Thursday, 28 February 2013


Last year in June I wrote a blog about Beppe Grillo. I’d never heard about him until then but I was intrigued.

Here’s what I said:

“For some time I’ve been worrying about the absence of comic anger in the midst of a shaken world. Where, I lamented, was a Swift or Hogarth or a That Was the Week that Was? Thank heaven, to be sure, for Private Eye and Have I got News for you? But where’s the rage? Where’s the kind of filleting that Christopher Hitchens gave Tony Blair in their debate on religion?

This week that all changed.

I became aware of Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement in Italy.This comedian and political activist won just under 20% of the vote in local contests in Parma, and several smaller towns. Have a look at the story of his journey and his beliefs

Like Alexis Tsipras in Greece he seems uncorrupted, focused and damn mad.

I confess (shamefacedly) not to have realised Beppe had been voted a European of the year by Time Magazine in 2005 on the back of his fantastic blog (  And then I saw Griff Rhys Jones on Question Time demolishing the other contributors including the, for once, tongue tied Caroline Lucas trying to defend wind power. He was angry and eloquent. I wanted to vote for him. Sitting opposite Lord (good Lord, how did that happen?) Prescott and two brains Willetts, he was so much more passionate and smart. And no, he doesn’t look funny in this clip does he?” 

This week Beppe holds the fate of Italy and maybe Europe in his hands. He has over 100 seats in the Italian Senate and his threat to slice open Italian politics like a tuna tin doesn’t seem entirely idle.

Like him we should be enraged by the old boys club that is Euro politics,

It’s time for a big change.

I see in the Eastleigh by-election that there’s a party called the “beer, baccy and crumpet” party with a candidate called Ray Hall….good solid trustworthy sort of name.

I hope he wins.

And I hope he’s as angry as I am at how disappointing normal politics has become.
Ray and Beppe – that’s a glimpse of new Europe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a party on the Hove ballet for the last G.E called 'The Roman Party- Ave'. they just lost out on my vote to Labour, though in hindsight...