14 years ago the then leader of Brothers of Italy's predecessor, the National Alliance, went to Israel, said that fascism was "pure evil" & rejected the legacy of Mussolini's Social Republic.

In time, he moved even further to the centre.
Having split from Berlusconi, Gianfranco Fini tried to reinvent himself as a liberal leader renewing Italy's right, only to end up in the political wilderness. There was no political space back then for someone of his background now embracing the values of the Enlightenment.
Meloni's strategy in recent years could not have been different, as we are seeing today after reps from her party have been shown on TV praising fascism & making openly racist statements.
Whatever details of recent events (which aren't terribly important), her guiding principle is simple: target "moderate" voters who are leaving Forza Italia - now the shadow of the party it once was -
while reassuring radical elements within her party that they are not about to be "betrayed". To fully appreciate this, one has to analyse the language she uses in demonstrations & speeches delivered to her supporters...
... full of references & key words that only those in the know can fully appreciate ( good topic for a PhD, incidentally, and maybe someone out there is already writing it).
In other words -- not unlike the League - the attempt so far has been to target & please different constituencies at once. After all "moderate" Italians are well used to being governed by right wingers who - until the day before - were considered as very radical.
One of the important legacies of Silvio Berlusconi is exactly having brought the then Social Movement & Bossi's League into govt, making them a permanent feature of the right wing coalition for decades.
Those who follow Italian politics know of the various scandals that have afflicted the two largest parties of the right in recent days. They'll blame their poor performance in local elections today on hostile media covering these events.
But while these events won't help them, all the signs were even before that they were going to do badly , due to a variety of reasons. These include the PD's rootedness at local level, poor choice of candidates & infighting.
However, poor results at local and regional levels mean nothing as far as subsequent national elections are concerned. Indeed Berlusconi lost ALL local and regional elections while in govt - only to perform considerably better at national level.
While this could be an opportunity for the so-called left and near left to try and take control of the agenda & portray themselves as "winners" (for a change), it is also the moment for them to push forward with actual proposals & a sense of direction.
In the world of permanent campaigning, waiting until next year will be too late. /END/

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More from @DrAlbertazziUK

30 Sep
In 40 years of League history (i.e. starting from the Lega Autonomista Lombarda) there has never been a sitting national leader ejected by the party. Not for political reasons, and not for any other reasons (both Bossi and Maroni had resigned).
Yes things change, but the idea that the members of the "League for Salvini Premier" are now going to follow such an inspiring leader as Giorgetti, & that Salvini won't fight back is, frankly, for the birds.
Hard as it certainly is, the only way for the League not to be overtaken by Meloni (and by a large margin) is to try and keep its coalition together: radical boh-vax, Eurosceptic, no-asylum voters, alongside the more export oriented productive types of the deep north.
Read 4 tweets
4 Sep
I have said many times that I expect an eventual govt led by @GiorgiaMeloni to act in continuity with the 4 govts led by @berlusconi in the last 25 years. The fundamental reason are the powerful external constraints placed upon Italy by its membership of NATO & the EU...
... (particularly as Italy starts drawing EU funds to bounce back, & considering its ballooning state debt & reliance on international finance markets).

These facts will not be changed by a campaign - as they never have before.
Yes, the radical right League & Brothers of Italy send (not exactly "covert") messages to an extreme right milieu, trying to keep these individuals & groups on board, not to mention the small but vociferous world of NO-VAX, No-Green Pass groups...
Read 11 tweets
14 Apr
Like Conte's, Draghi's govt seems to be making it up on a daily basis concerning pandemic.

It is as if structural factors (e.g. state capabilities), relations of power state/regions, and: "events, dear boy, events" (e.g. J&J & AZ) mattered more -much more- than identity of PM 🤔
On the other hand, no-one could have predicted this.
Problem with this constant overpromising of "new eras" that always fail to materialise is that it provides the ideal breeding ground for next "anti-elite" entrepreneur who, this time, "will definetely get things done". Feeding a never ending cycle of political disillusionment.
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb
Some Italian papers are talking abt the right wing coalition "breaking up", since the parties within it have different positions abt Draghi. Nothing is further from the truth. This is the usual good cop/ bad cop routine they have adopted many times before-which benefits them all.
The facts. Berlusconi has consistently asked for a "Government staffed by the best" to lead the country. Taking part allows him to influence allocation of the goodies of the Recovery Plan, election of next President, while fostering the image that -incredibly- Italian media...
...are unquestioningly perpetuating: that he is a "moderate", "anti-populist", pro-European & some sort of father figure who has de facto become almost super partes now.

This move helps him occupy this niche in view of the next election. It's only 7/8/9% of the electorate?
Read 14 tweets
3 Feb
Draghi has PD & Demolition Man in the bag already (yes, strange as it may sound, Renzi has literally no choice right now but to back him. & he will).

So he only needs to pick a couple of ministers M5S can "sell" to their grassroots...
... they don't even need to be party members (Conte wasn't, in fact Conte could well be one of them). Then he could pick one of two that Berlusconi likes. And he's done it.

(It's clear enough already that no-one is going to focus on policies, just look at the debate today...
... the guy could literally walk into Parliament carrying a blank sheet of paper & improvise for 15 minutes & it would not make the slightest bit of difference).
Read 4 tweets
3 Feb
This is now the proposal of ex-M5S leader Di Maio to get out of the impasse, avoid elections and still keep the party together.👇
In other words: support Draghi, but ask him to put together a "governo politico" (in the rest of the world simply known as: "a government").

See debate among M5S Parliamentarians here:
There is even a precedent, the Ciampi govt of 1993. Ciampi was a former Governor of the Bank of Italy, hence a technocrat, however many of his ministers came from the parties that supported his govt.

In other words, technocratic govts come in different shades of grey...
Read 4 tweets

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