Bruno Vespa on Matteo Salvini: the "Beast", as he has taken the consensus that will lead him to triumph


"Because Italy became fascist (and because fascism cannot return)" is the title of the new book by Bruno Vespa to be released on 6 November for Mondadori / Rai Libri (349 pages, 20 euros). The first eight chapters are dedicated to Mussolini's rise to power (1919-1922) and to the transformation of "authoritarian democracy" into a dictatorship (1923-1925). The last four to the rise of sovereignty in Europe and the background of the transition from the Conte 1 to the Conte 2 government to the controversy in the majority following the resounding success of the center-right in Umbria.
We publish an extract.

At the end of July, the danger of a government crisis seemed to be averted and in early August everyone left for the holidays. All, except Matteo Salvini. Who had already left for the holidays for some time: he had toured the beaches in July and, at the beginning of August, he was finishing his holidays on the Romagna sea, at Papeete Beach in Milano Marittima (Ravenna). This bathing establishment, with an anonymous address (via III Traversa, 281), has been the most famous beach in Italy since the beginning of the 2000s. The owner is Massimo Casanova, 49 years old and three children, an entrepreneur from Puglia who made up his own preferences (65,000) in his own land, becoming a European deputy for the League in the 2019 elections.

Spacious front, made immense by a deep receding hairline, bushy beard, at the same time good-natured and rampant expression, Casanova allowed Salvini – the two are old friends – to make his beach the most striking point of media and political attraction of the summer 2019. Forty-five years earlier, the writer had succeeded, with a sensational departure from the protocol of the First Republic, to wrest the Minister of the Interior Paolo Emilio Taviani from his desk at the Viminale on the day of August to give him an outdoor interview : we had not gone beyond a very short walk on via Nazionale, under the bewildered gaze of the escort police. Now, seeing the last successor of Taviani in a bathing suit to watch on the beach at the exhibition of breathtaking cubists while dancing on the sand at the sound of Mameli's hymn, I felt the full weight of the years.

Also read: Bruno Vespa nails M5s and Pd on pensions

Salvini had planned to stay in Milano Marittima the first week of August and to spend the rest of the month beating the beaches (and not only) of the whole South, thus anticipating the electoral campaign. The results of the recent European elections had for the first time established the League as a major national party. And the South, in this sense, was decisive. The 23.46 percent taken in the southern regions, 22.42 in the islands and 33.45 in the Center conspicuously completed the expected confirmation in the Northeast (41.01 percent) and in the Northwest (40.7).

Luca Morisi, who is responsible for Matteo Salvini and for the party (the famous "Beast", the dreaded and demonized by Matteo Renzi in the televised confrontation with Salvini on October 15 2019) "started in 2014 in general skepticism. The historical results obtained in the Centrosud have seen a parallel growth of votes even in the territories of reference of the old League, showing that the national turning point has not in any way damaged Salvini's consent to the North, indeed it has increased it ». «Attention,» observes Alessandra Ghisleri, director of Euromedia Research, «it is true that the League in the South went very well, but for its political success the adhesion of Tuscany and Emilia was decisive. There the party moved very well on the territory, involving the entrepreneurial class that joined the traditional Northern class. At the national level, the League has a base that fluctuates between 20 and 24 percent. The 10 extra points come from that part of public opinion that has no precise reference points and adheres to programs and hopes that would be proper to the common citizen if it went to the government ".

"The electoral weight of the South has been decisive," adds Antonio Noto (Noto Sondaggi). «He chose Salvini people who had not voted before. But the transversalism of the League has reached new dimensions for Italy. He doubled his grades in one year because so many people who had abstained in 2018 had already begun to look to Salvini in the summer. "" A large part of the 6 million votes lost by the 5 Star Movement went to the League "continues the Ghisleri. "While Salvini scoured the territory, Di Maio embraced an institutional role, abandoning the idea of ​​Grillo to open the Palace like a can of tuna".

«These results» observes Morisi «are the result of a mixed campaign between classical methodology and the use of social media. The demonstration that filled Piazza del Duomo a week before the vote had a pulling effect. The call to the pride of Christian roots, the invocation to the patron saints of Europe, has been criticized by many, but has had a positive effect. And it finds the reply from the answer. The Salvini Facebook page has a higher audience than all the newspapers and all the Facebook pages of the other leaders put together. And posting 20 to 30 messages a day during the election campaign, we made sure that these channels ended up dictating the agenda ».

In Italy, 32 million people use Facebook, 20 million Instagram and 2.5 million Twitter. In October 2019 Salvini had 3 million 800,000 "like" on Facebook against the 2 million 184,000 of Di Maio, the almost 2 million of Beppe Grillo, the million and a half of Alessandro Di Battista, the 250,000 million of Giorgia Meloni, the million 150,000 by Matteo Renzi, the million by Giuseppe Conte and Silvio Berlusconi.

The posting on Instagram is even sharper: 1 million 800,000 followers, against the 853,000 of Di Maio, the 484,000 of Conte, the 425,000 of Meloni, which beats both Di Battista (248,000) and Renzi (219,000). But what matters is the number of reactions. From 1 January to 30 September 2019 Salvini had 120 million reactions, shares, comments, against the 20 million of its competitors. According to the Fanpage Karma analysis system, to get the same involvement it would be necessary to spend almost 2 million euros a week on advertising investments on Facebook.

In this way, the Captain takes first place in the world, with a value of his Facebook page of almost 81 million euros, beating Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a true champion of the social media, and detaching Donald Trump (68 million) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (almost 32 million). An exaggerated impact force to keep the old house standing.

by Bruno Vespa

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