In Italy the stand-up comedian Beppe Grillo has triggered a small-scale revolution with his blog. Here he exposes and ridicules the corruption of Italian power holders and encourages the country's citizens to 'take back politics'. One of Beppe's ideas is a law that will exclude convicted felons from the Parliament. At the moment there are 23 felons in parliament and the 'Clean up Parliament!' section of Beppe's blog lists their crimes.
Beppe's very high Technorati authority is not the only evidence of a highly successful political project. The event 'V-day' (V is for 'vaffanculo', which means something like 'fuck off') earlier this month drew many many Italians into the streets to demonstrate and sign a petition for banning convicted criminals from Parliament. In one day more than 300,000 signatures were collected.
Beppe's blog has certainly led many Italians to take back politics. I am particularly fond of these statements which show how cynicism - the greatest danger to democracy - can be overcome and even be replaced by activism:
”In Parma we organised a V-bicycle ride for the whole city, everywhere we went we woke up the people with the tin-tin of our bicycle bells. No party, young and less young, there were really loads of us. Participation, interests, joy, smiles…. This was the reaction of the people…. I even brought my 10 month old son with me on the bicycle. I know it was an important day and I will be able to tell him so in the future: “Marco you don’t remember but 8 September 2007 you were there too.”
"I thought I was right wing because I love rigour, precision, enterprise, frameworks, the “good” family, because I am a businessman….. I thought I wasn’t left wing because I hate sharing with those who don’t pull up their sleeves and get on with things, because I don’t like to squash individual “talents” rather than identify people for their qualities, because those on the “left” have often offended my wish to work at school, at work, in life… NOW, after SIX HOURS of queuing in Piazza Castello in Turin, I am no longer anything… AND YET I AM EVERYTHING! I am full, full of hope, of a desire to “participate” to be involved and to involve others. I am part of the “group” of those who want to change the Spirit of the World that is our country, Italy. On Sunday I will go fishing in the lake. I haven’t done that for 15 years. I want to live….well.”
More about Beppe Grillo in The Independent and The International Herald Tribune.