The Grillo followers: rivers of ink have alredy been spilled to explain who they are, what they want; there are some who already know where they will go. There are already many books around and I suggest the one written by my friend Alessandro Lanni.
I have few things to say about them, but the first is: respect. There are millions of Italians who have decided to put their faith in this young gang and the leader (or two?) of the movement. To be clear, the Chamber electors, the most representative example since it includes everybody, gave them more votes than Pierluigi Bersani, than Silvio Berlusconi (who personally was a candidate to the Senate but his party was also in the Chamber). Mario Monti, “the professor,” was nicely mocked by the Italian voters; he arrived last – he did not stimulate faith in the citizens. Squads of ministers, former ministers, national assets, refined intellectuals, and wise politicians were walloped by students flunking-out, employees (not even managers, just workers), unemployed. This represents a real and full slice of the actual country: not just a handful of the working class just to have them; not the lawyers who traditionally inundate Parliament; not the party officials; not the mediocre co-opts — who knows why from the parties (maybe because they reach majority and don’t disturb the lead man?).
The second: I don’t want to hear about age. It is true, the majority of them are young folks and it’s true they don’t have administrative experience, probably not even any experience. But let’s remember the “kid judge”, the Magistrate Rosario Livatino, contemptuously called kid because he was young and then he was killed at 38 – little more than a kid – after having discovered important connections between the free masonry and the mafia (1). Let’s reflect further: did Scilipoti, De Gregorio, Milanese, Papa or even Casini and Veltroni managed to transform this country from a pumpkin into a carriage? I don’t think so. I would say, however that after 20 years of Berlusconi it is difficult that a group of respectable people could collaborate in good faith to rough up the country worse than the condition in which it was until now. Would they be wrong to write a law? It would not be the first time (on the contrary, it was often done intentionally, hoping to twist the controls) and there is always a way to fix it. Then they will learn too.
It should also be said that Grillo does well to raise the bar. It is necessary to put things in perspective – that the traditional parties (ones for which I voted) must radically change their approach. Maybe the old Parliamentarians are bewildered and rightly so, they need to understand that someone like Francesco Boccia should not be in Parliament. It is not illegal but it is unjust because the voters rejected him more than once when he was presented at the primaries, because he is mediocre (politically), because he is a classic sly navigator of the political underworld, just like his colleague Andrea Romano, example of Monti in Tuscany. People with titles, estimable or not, but nonetheless far from having demonstrated being useful to Italy, but who knew how to help themselves.
But, but, but… Grillo has at least 2 duties: that as an Italian even if not still his electors, in any case I, like anybody else, have the right to ask him to honor, precisely because he represent so many of my people. The first is that he must arrive at having a real democracy and internal transparency in the movement. Otherwise, everything stays the same (just like it is now in essence) to the Pd of friends (that at least officiate Congress) or to the Pdl of the “elected” by Berlusconi. There, I would say that the 5 Star Movement actually has the same internal democracy as Pdl: no congress, no primary, and no party life and on the territory, but a political class chosen by the leader. You could say the Grillo followers are fair peoples, simple citizens; yes it is probably true, but to eventually vote for them, the next time or to know what interests they safeguard if they enter the government now, I would like to know them and know how they are chosen.
The second is that now Grillo and his group have to say what they want to do and how. Up until a week ago it was all in all easy: to say what is wrong with Italy is a common sport – in bars, on buses, at college, in the cinema, among journalists. We are all good (not quite, Giulio Tremonti denied it) at saying the national heritage could be used better. Now that they run Italy they must explain to us how to achieve these objectives and they also have to show us in good faith they are ready to do it: to assume responsibility; to work hard to understand how to manage; to endure criticism from the ones, even among themselves, who will tell them they are doing it the wrong way; and to make choices. Hey must play politics not just protest.
(1) Here is what Francesco Cossiga, then President of the Republic, said about Rosario Livatino: “Can we continue with this taboo, which means that every young boy who becames magistrate thinks he should exert the criminal act inside out as he sees fit without answering to anyone…? It is unbelievable that he thinks that a young boy, only because he participated in a competition for roman law, is capable of conducting complex inquiries against the mafia and drug trafficking. This is a certified screw-up! I wouldn’t even trust him to administer a house plot, as one says in Sardinia, a single-story house with just one window which is also the door.” Years after the assassination, perhaps overcome with shame from these words, he denied quoting this about Livantino.