Letter: Shifting the scenery of Italian corruption

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The Independent Online
Sir: I found Mario Laurenza's letter (31 March) both amusing and disturbing. His allegorical invocation of sheep is ironically appropriate, since the Italians, in this election, have revealed themselves willing to be led by a shepherd who is no more than a thinly disguised wolf.

Once again, the Italians have shown their celebrated 'imagination'. Their cry for 'change', so loudly proclaimed, has yielded only a single change: a new actor in the political theatre. (And that character wears a featureless mask on to which can be projected any fantasy that the Italians desire, to suit their imagination.) In the play running in their heads, Silvio Berlusconi is the Bringer of All- Healing Wealth who appears with his magic economic wand to make everything all right. Fantasy always did appeal to the Italians.

It is amusing to see Mr Laurenza's very personal 'Italianised' way of thinking, which does not seek to reject or even condemn corruption but accepts it as natural, merely wishing to readjust its level. He is right again in saying that 'Italy will always be the same', since it is clear that corruption is entrenched, implanted (whether genetically or environmentally) in each individual's mind. Indeed, this will go on no matter how much the scenery of the political theatre is shifted around in this long-running farce. Regretfully, it is with great difficulty that the Italian state of mind will reach an awareness of a different way of being and thinking.

I am proud to say that, unlike Mr Laurenza, I did not use raccomandazioni; it was my refusal to do so that led to my willing exile. The socio-political purge, so much cried out for through last year's so- called sweet revolution, is now revealed as illusory. Change will not come about until each single citizen becomes aware that it has to start from themselves. In the meantime, Forza Italiani] and keep munching those meadows.

Yours faithfully,




31 March