Prime Minister Meloni (who uses the masculine form of the Italian honorific, il presidente del consiglio) on Tuesday presented herself in Parliament for her opening speech, testifying, on live TV, the demeaning lexical reversal. She confirmed it with her opening words, saying “honorable colleagues” (in the masculine plural colleghi), instantly erasing the equally honorable colleghe (feminine plural).
The subsequent long string of names of women (Tina, Nilde, Rita, Oriana, Samantha…) cited as examples of great reference biographies, did not, however, serve to revive improbable references to a sisterhood that does not exist — neither in her party, nor in her government.
La presidente (no offense) Meloni, in her long, tough, crafty, identitarian intervention attempted the big leap: from the status of underdog to the standing of an institutional figure, from the role of party leader to that of government leader.
Without succeeding in the arduous undertaking, because the militant of the until-yesterday marginal party of the post-missina right, in the end prevailed over the rest of the performance.
So after 70 minutes and several glasses of water to quell an annoying cough, accompanied by an almost uninterrupted background of applause and standing ovations, we quickly returned to where we were: that is, to the last rallies of the election campaign.
Not because the first female prime minister did not touch a dense agenda of themes and topics. But because she has never known how to (or been able to) explain how she intends to implement those which, without a concrete translation, remain only propagandistic slogans.
Examples: Growth is needed to reduce debt; we have to spend the NRR money well; we will lower taxes; we will work to increase employment; we will give pensions to young people; we will have free municipal kindergartens for everyone. Great, commendable goals on a long shopping list.
However, unless we want to face the recession that afflicts the two sides of the Atlantic and solve the problems of our public budget with the (albeit partial) abolition of citizenship income, Meloni has not found the words to make us understand where she will find the money to finance her new Italian miracle. Although, to implement it, she said she was ready to risk unpopularity, consensus and even re-electibility.
Perhaps silence and cloudy rhetoric, barely disguised by the repeated use of the word “pragmatism,” were her only refuge, the only possible escape route given her need to follow the path of continuity with the Draghi government, which until yesterday were the “European elites” in the crosshairs of the Brothers of Italy, a party friendly with the worst illiberal, obscurantist and fascist regimes in Europe.
No one has ever denied that friendliness, which makes Meloni’s ostentatious pro-European claims very thin (even poor Montesquieu got caught in the middle, quoted in connection with freedom and democracy), and more convincing her adhesion (historical, yes, since the times of the Social Movement) to Atlanticism (even if more Trumpian than democratic).
Having somehow done her homework for the benefit of those who observe the start of the legislature across the border, the FdI leader has gradually moved toward that identity profile of the right, the mood of the voters who voted for her and who she intended to fully represent from the Palazzo Montecitorio.
A wild ride through God, country, family, sovereignty, security, migrants, health dictatorship, drilling, sports against deviance, more prison for all, differentiated autonomy combined with the presidential reform. There were some clumsy tailspins, such as swearing that she has no sympathy for “authoritarian regimes, including fascism,” never mind the videos in which she expresses her passionate appreciation for Mussolini the “great statesman.”
Water under the bridge: Today “freedom, equality, democracy” would be the cornerstones of the new course, which would have the ambition of making her the representative of that modern and conservative right that has never existed in Italy. Not even with Berlusconismo, which, while clearing customs from the Almirantian Fini, had its roots in tax evasion, in corruption, in plebiscitarianism, in performance instead of representation, in the transformation of the citizen into an audience. Nor with the racist, xenophobic, manettara, Putinian imprint of Salvini’s League.
Now, with Melonian power, including her allied media, we will see what imaginary, what cultural hegemony will envelop the country, the nation and its citizens, indeed the patriots.
When you play at the death of ideologies, essentially removing the ideas of the left, the ideology that remains on the field wins.