February 29, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow ...

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

So goes the old Judy Garland song, whose lyrics depict a sweet tender girl's desire to escape from harsh reality of the world, to the bright, new world called Oz—well, it isn’t actually my aim to tell a fairy tale …, rather I am to tell a political story. Set in Italy, AD 2008. What has that story got to do with Judy Garland’s song? Er … nothing, nothing but the rainbow, a new bright (possible) world “where the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true,” and things like these, unimportant details. So what? Well, It’s just that I do love fairy tales …

From today’s Il Foglio:

The Rainbow Left is making an united front against all the Italian Military Missions abroad – in Lebanon, Afghanistan and the Balkans. Yet while the Prodi Government and its Union coalition were in charge the included Hard Left had voted for all of them in Parliament. Now their slogan is “Italy out of NATO”. This is a proposal that the old PCI – The Italian Communist Party – abandoned in 1976 when their Leader Enrico Berlinguer declared that he felt safer “under the NATO umbrella”. Moreover Fausto Bertinotti, the now Leader of the Hard Left La Cosa Rossa, who proposed leaving NATO in the 1994 Election, from then until now has been very careful not to repeat it. The front line politicians of the Pd – the centre left Democratic Party – underline all these Cosa Rossa policy position takings as a proof of the good reason – and of the inevitability – of their decision to run for election separately. Yet the argument could be turned upside down. It could be said however that it might be verily their decision to renounce unilaterally the preceding agreed policies of the left wing Prodi coalition government – and with this “the old two party system” – which has subverted that mechanism of “the constitutional inclusion of the extremes” which had been universally considered the Rainbow Hard Left’s most important achievement in government.
[Translation by Richard Newbury]

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