by Peter Franklin
Monday, 26
September 2022
Analysis
11:38

Giorgia Meloni crushes her friends as well as enemies

In yesterday's Italian election, even her political allies went backwards
by Peter Franklin
Giorgia Meloni is expected to become Italy’s first female PM. Credit: Getty

In Conan the Barbarian (1982), a victorious general asks Arnold Schwarzenegger “what is best in life?” — to which Arnie infamously replies: “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!”

In other words, winning is not enough — others have to lose. 

As Giorgia Meloni savours the taste of victory this morning, there will be those who see her as an all-conquering barbarian — the Right-wing populist who took her Brothers of Italy (FdI) party from just 4% of the vote in 2018 to a commanding first place in yesterday’s Italian general election. 

However, she hasn’t just won — her enemies have lost. At time of writing, we don’t yet have the full results, but the figures reported by the BBC, show the FdI breaking through the 25% barrier. That’s a clear lead over the Democrats (PD), which appears to have under-performed expectations — despite being the main party of the anti-populist establishment.

Meanwhile the Five Star Movement — which was the runaway winner in 2018 — has seen its vote cut in half. The same goes for Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, which used to be the main party of the Right, but is likely to end up as a junior member of Meloni’s ruling coalition.

There’s a more subtle — but crueller — variation of Conan’s philosophy which goes something like this: “It is not enough for you to succeed. Your friends must also fail.” The words are often attributed to Gore Vidal, but there are other quotations to that effect going back centuries. 

Whatever its origin, the line certainly applies to the relationship between Meloni and her most important political ally — Matteo Salvini, who is the leader of Italy’s other Right-wing populist party, the League. Back in 2018, the League was a surprise success story — overtaking Forza Italia to become the biggest party on the Right. 

Seizing his moment, Salvini lead his party into government as Five Star’s coalition partner. However the governing parties soon fell out. Salvini tried to force an election to capitalise on the League’s soaring poll ratings, but he was outmanoeuvred by the Democrats who offered themselves to Five Star as an alternative partner. 

Dumped from the government, Salvini was humiliated — furthermore the episode made him look a like a schemer not a statesman. As if to correct that impression, he then led his party back into government when Mario Draghi took over as Prime Minister in 2021. However, that too backfired. It’s hard to compete for the populist vote when you’re simultaneously propping-up an establishment-led government.  

Yesterday’s result was a further humiliation for Salvini. On the Right, his party is now a distant second to Meloni’s — and not only in Italy overall, but also in the League’s northern heartland. Any remaining doubt that Meloni is the senior partner in the Right-wing alliance has now evaporated. 

Unless there’s some incredibly dirty dealing from Berlusconi and/or Salvini, Giorgia Meloni is now set to become Italy’s first female Prime Minister. Of course, her party wouldn’t be the first to squander its momentum. Having luxuriated in opposition, she now faces the trials of government — and, in particular, the challenge of dealing with Italy’s EU overlords. 

But for the moment, Giorgia the Barbarian can be satisfied that she’s crushed her enemies… and her friends.

Join the discussion


To join the discussion, get the free daily email and read more articles like this, sign up.

It's simple, quick and free.

Sign me up
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
17 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Jam
Jim Jam
2 months ago

As with Sweden, entirely predicatable.

When the pressure of rampant progressivism becomes too much to bear, populations will in their droves look to the hard and far right to ease their frustration.

Political parties would do well to stick to what they should be doing: serving the interests of the citizenry, not using their powers to wrench the overton window over to their side by executive fiat. It surely doesn’t take a political analyst to point out that if you fail to take people along in this enterprise they will become your opponents.

It seems equally obvious that the best way to keep this propensity in check – for political parties not to overplay their hand – is for or them to spend a great deal more time when in power actually listening to people and judging the consensus; though with considerable dismay I’ve noticed time and again, that when this democratic safeguard is proposed, it’s immediately dismissed as ‘populism’. Which would be amusing if it wasn’t so tragic, because it of course opens the door to prospective leaders that will much more ruthlessly expolit this apparently dreaded concept.

This is precisely what we are seeing in Italy, have seen in Sweden, and what we surely begin see in many other places.

So, when the hard and far right continue to gain more and more traction in Europe and elsewhere, all the above will be ignored. The baffled and sidelined politicians, parties and their media mouthpieces will then, like clockwork, generate any and every possible explanation for their loss aside from this most obvious one, while turning their frustration and anger on to the very people that they have spent so long ignoring and without the slightest appreciation that by doing this, they engineered their own demise.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Jam
Albireo Double
Albireo Double
2 months ago

I expect that the Italians want what we want here:

Properly managed borders
An end to the erosion of our societal values
An end to the destruction of our institutions
An end to “Policy by Virtue-Signal”
An end to “Policy by Woke Infantilism”
An end to political meddling in our lives
A safe and secure homeland.

It’s not exactly rocket science. In Italy today, Meloni, In France tomorrow, Marine Le Pen I wonder who the UK version will be – I wonder if we already have her in place – only time will tell. But there’s not much time left. Electorates everywhere have had enough. Truss has just 2 years to convince enough people that she means business, or she’ll be out on her arse just like the last two. Patience is well and truly exhausted everywhere, and the politicians have no one to blame but themselves. .

Last edited 2 months ago by Albireo Double
Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
2 months ago

We voters just keep trying, no matter where it might be to rid ourselves of the most State influence as we can. A difficult task when the rulers and their lickspittle press just call us names and tell us how much like Satan we are. Best of luck to you Italians, you voted now you must back it up. We in America who care will be rooting for you. Do you take Lira yet?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

Forza Meloni: If only we had one.

Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
2 months ago

Two words with infinitely pliable definitions: love, fascism. This election is not about fascism at all. It is about breaking the grip of the center left on European politics.
https://www.nationalreview.com/2022/09/giorgia-melonis-election-isnt-about-fascism/

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
2 months ago

I tried to post this some hours ago but it has been censored. This is from the woman herself

https://gript.ie/watch-meet-italys-new-prime-minister/

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
2 months ago

Thanks, I watched the clip with mixed feelings. She talks about family and national identity, lashes out at consumerism and “financial speculators”. She quotes Chesterton. She puts the boot into wokeism. It sounds Italy’s days in the EU might be numbered.
I’m fine with most of that. But her anger and intensity frighten me.
Does she really care about consumerism and financial speculation? I’d like to think so, but I fear disappointment.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 months ago

Enacting policies that large sections of the population want is derided as populism by those who disagree but democracy by the voters. Too often the population has to chose the least worst option between very similar parties that don’t reflect what they want.

M. M.
M. M.
2 months ago

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew M.
M. M.
M. M.
2 months ago

Last edited 2 months ago by Matthew M.
Stez
Stez
2 months ago
Reply to  M. M.

Yep, the great Western European nations have really got a problem with immigration. I’m not sure about Italy, but look at Spain! It was more than 40% Hispanic even by the turn of the Millennium! Who knows where it sits now…???

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Stez

Who knows, by 2040 Spain may cease to be a western nation because of all the Hispanics!

Vince B
Vince B
2 months ago
Reply to  M. M.

I’ts not the masses of Hispanic immigrants which are ending the US as a Western nation, but homegrown liberals of all colors and ethnicities. If anything, hard working, church-going, family-oriented Hispanics will save us. It’s liberals, not a specific ethnicity, who are “anti-Western” and hate every value built by the Enlightenment. (In Europe, there is a problem of Muslims not wanting to assimilate. Different problem.)

Last edited 2 months ago by Vince B
M. M.
M. M.
2 months ago

Peter Franklin wrote, “Having luxuriated in opposition, [Giorgia Meloni] now faces the trials of government — and, in particular, the challenge of dealing with Italy’s EU overlords.”

Giorgia Meloni has 3 equally important tasks: enforcing the borders, distancing Italy from the United States, and upgrading the economic system.

First, Meloni must enforce the borders. That action includes deporting illegal aliens like the ones from Africa and the Middle East. Her Brothers of Italy (FdI) party has made such enforcement central to its political platform, and her supporters expect her to remove anti-Western aliens.

The demographic situation in the United States is a dire warning to the Italians and other Westerners.

By 2040, the United States will cease being a Western nation, due to open borders. By 2040, most Americans will reject Western culture, and Hispanic culture will dominate. In California, 40% of the residents are currently Hispanic. Most residents of the state already reject Western culture, and Hispanic culture dominates.

Second, Meloni must immediately begin distancing Italy from the United States, including exiting the American security architecture.

Finally, in order to avoid economic pressure to remain in the American orbit, Meloni must bring the Italian economic system up to the wealth-generating level in Germany. In this way, she can make Italy immune to economic pressure from the European Commission (EC) or Washington.

The EC can successfully force the Hungarians and the Poles to act against their own interests because, due to their economic systems’ being inferior to the German system, they depend on financial grants from the EC.

Get more info about this issue.

R Wright
R Wright
2 months ago

The only way to stop the far right is to copy some of their policies. Goodwin was talking about this like 5 years ago. Italy’s establishment has had decades to work this out.

Patrick Ruark
Patrick Ruark
2 months ago

I’m confused. You are making it sound like her victory is a good thing.

Last edited 2 months ago by Patrick Ruark
Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
2 months ago
Reply to  Patrick Ruark

It is! Down with the globalists who have no interests in helping the populations but only in forwarding the greed of the elites