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Bringing in the Clowns at the EU Parliament: Arlecchino or Machiavelli?
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2014-06-23 11:14:32
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As feared and expected the UK Independence Party (UKIP) of Niegel Farage, which topped the polls in UK elections to the European Parliament only a few weeks ago, has already formed an alliance with Beppe Grillo’s Italian Five Star Movement at the EU Parliament with 17 MEP.

They will call themselves The Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group and will also include MEPs from Lithuania, France, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Sweden for a total of 48 Euro-Parlamentarians. Under EU rules, each group must have at least 25 MEPs from a minimum of seven member states. They are expected to keep on growing in numbers and political influence.

The alliance will enable both UKIP and Five Stars to access to generous EU public funding plus a guaranteed platform to make speeches in the EU Parliament. It all sounds very democratic until one scrutinizes the declared agenda of the group and the character of those who will constitute it.


Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party

That agenda overtly has as its target the restoration of democracy, freedom and prosperity in Europe. One would have thought that such was the original agenda of the EU founding fathers. But the hidden agenda can easily be glimpsed by this declaration from the group’s leader Niegel Farage who advocates no less than  “the restoration of national democracy” in Europe. That statement, for those who know the current political crisis in the EU, sounds like an oxymoron or a paradox. There it is in all its stark Machiavellian deviousness. How can the return to ultra-nationalism, which produced two world wars in Europe in the 20th century, be good for EU democracy?

In effect what you have today is a disgruntled electorate who votes for right wing Euroskeptic parties like UKIP and Five Stars as a form of protest. This is seen as an opportunity to gain political power by the ultranationalists haters of democracy who currently pullulate all over Europe. Once elected, these political opportunists pick up the mantle of populism and present themselves at the EU parliament in Strasburg as restorers of democracy and the sovereignty of the people. The hidden agenda however is the restoration of the nationalism of old and the destruction of the European Union.

To use an ancient metaphor, the Trojan horse is now firmly inside the European citadel of democracy and the men inside it are patiently waiting for the opportune moment to come out in the darkness of night and lay waste the city. The Cassandra-like warnings by those who would like a return to the ideals of the EU founding fathers are mostly ignored, even ridiculed, by the people at large and by the myopic crass bureaucrats and politicians who refuse to lead and remain with their head in the sand, in denial that democracy is in peril in Europe.

What is also highly intriguing is that the UKIP, while refusing to align itself with France’s Front National and Greece’s Golden Dawn, has accepted with open arms the cooperation of a former comedian and clown turned politician and populist, who has taken Italian politics by storm when his anti-establishment party gained 25% of the vote in last year’s general election.


Beppe Grillo who has questioned whether Italy should stay in the euro

As already mentioned Grillo is a former TV stand up comedian who has grasped at an opportunity in the political circus that is Italy. Lately he has taken on another former clown politician, ex prime minister Silvio Berlusconi who has not ceased and desisted yet from venturing in political life, despite his last encounters and vicissitudes with the law. Grillo has taken to insulting Berlusconi’s dog Dudu saying that he would like to see the dog subjected to scientific experimentation and vivisection.


Beppe Grillo on Italian TV exchanging insults with Silvio Berlusconi on a screen behind him

Berlusconi, true to form, has replied in kind calling Grillo the worst kind of populist and likening him to Robespierre, Stalin and Pol Pot; somebody who has so far managed to avoid prison for killing three of his friends. That was in reference to a car accident where Grillo was at the wheel and three of his friends riding with him were killed while he survived. Sounds like the kettle calling the pot black.

The current prime minister Matteo Renzi has also not been spared the fray and has been brought into the three ring circus. Grillo refers to him as “the little moron” in charge of a corrupt establishment who will eventually be buried under an avalanche of Five Star votes. The prime minister Renzi, while desisting from joining the circus directly, referring to Grillo’s past occupation as stand-up comedian said that this is no time to send in the clowns.

That may be true, but as of now the people, after undergoing so much austerity, seem to be enjoying the break of the clowns in the three ring circus (the Democratic Party of Renzi, the Five Star Movement  of Grillo. and Forza Italia of Berlusconi). The corrupt Roman emperors of yonder may have had the right formula though: give them bread and games and everybody will be happy. Who needs democracy? That formula surely beats Machiavelli’s austere political schemes.



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James Woodbury2014-06-24 22:09:13
Dear Emanuel.
What you show about these clownish masquerades now in full cry in Italy and elsewhere in Europe sound not unlike the public letters that circulate here in the good old USA advocating the Flat Tax as the remedy for all our economic woes. On the one hand those with low incomes are promised no taxes at all or very low taxes for the 40 to 60 thousand a year crowd, while the real message is an absolute upper income tax limit of 17%--splendid news if you're pulling in million(s) per year--Plus the complete elimination of all capital gains taxes! So even this elderly brain can figure out who the real beneficiaries of the Flat Tax will be--the very rich!

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