All Roads Lead To Rome
Submitted by Mark J Grant, author of Out of the Box,
Carlo is lying in a hospital bed. He is sick and I don’t mean the flu; the guy is seriously ill. Uncle Mario has promised to pick up the hospital bill if necessary and so Carlo isn’t so worried about that. The problem is that Carlo is a member of the Roman Soccer League and he is unable to play in the matches. He promises that he will be out soon. He swears that he will be better any day now. The hospital costs build, the doctors’ charges soar and Carlo is no better. In the meantime Carlo borrows and borrows and borrows to pay his bills. The family doctors have all assured both Carlo and Uncle Mario that he will be better soon but it has not been the case. Then a new doctor is brought in; Dr. Beppe. He examines Carlo and he looks at the other doctors and tells them that they are out of their minds. The patient is really sick, the medicine that they have prescribed is not working and Carlo is in danger of dying if something isn’t done. The entire family is horrified with this pronouncement, Uncle Mario takes a hard look at the size of the bill and gags and the family’s cousins in France and Germany begin to panic as Carlo is an important family member. The family doctors insist their medicine is the correct but the patient is lingering and worsening and the priests are hovering in the hallway.
“Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.”
(Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.)
This is Italy. This is precisely the circumstances. This contest will be decided by the mob; thumbs up or thumbs down. Even if you wish to believe in the far flung view that Bersani could form a new government; it will not survive as Grillo can block what he wants and on his own which makes no mention of Berlusconi who is not exactly Bersani’s ally either in spirit or political leaning. Odds on is that a new election will have to be called and that Grillo gathers even more votes as his political positions do not rest upon being a comedian but upon a new order for Italy. You may recall Ronald Regan in our own country, a former cowboy star and the positive affect that he had on America. Grillo may be the Ronald Regan of Italy and it means the worst of scenarios for Europe as the old guard is thrown out, the deceptors by design, and the people, the mob, has the run of the Coliseum once again.
“The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate, it's the sand of the Coliseum. He'll bring them death and they will love him for it.”
Grillo refers to Berlusconi as “the psycho dwarf.” Grillo’s vision of Bersani is a “dead man walking.” In an interview that Grillo had with the New York Times over the weekend he said he would support neither side and that doing so “would be like Napoleon making a deal with Wellington.” He went on to say that, “We can change everything in the hands of respectable people, but the existing political class must be expelled immediately.” He has called for a nationwide referendum on Italy’s participation in the European Union and indicated that while Italy will pay its debts; it might be done in Lira.
Do not underestimate this man. Do not assume that Italy will go on as usual and that this is just a split between the Left and the Right because this is not the case. Grillo’s call is for a new order, a new way of doing business and a new spirit for the Italians. The day may yet come where he can echo Caesar’s famous words; “I came, I saw, I conquered.” In the meantime yields on Italian bonds are likely to go higher, the antagonism between Italy and the established order in Brussels and Berlin will foment and the European Union may be whacked at its bedrock during the process as Rehn and the rest fiddle while Rome burns.
There is an old saying that, “All roads lead to Rome.” Soon, quite soon, the political leaders in Brussels and Berlin may be reminded of it.