While the Commonwealth Bureau set no limits as to the level or sources of income of the surveyed households, the New Zealand survey narrowed the idea of ‘living’ to the that of a nuclear family, neither too rich nor too poor, paying rent and supported by a father in stable employment – and by the father only.
When I applied to become a resident ahead of moving to New Zealand, in 1997, I did it under the ‘de-facto partner of a citizen’ category. Since my partner happened to be a woman, the requirement was for us to have been together for at least two years, which we had to scrupulously document. Had my partner been a man, it would have been four years.
They took his body into the city in the evening of the 28th of April, but it was well past midnight by the time they passed all the roadblocks and reached the particular square they had chosen as their destination. There they unloaded all of the bodies – eighteen in total – and arranged them in the forecourt of the petrol station. Then they stood guard, waiting for the sun to rise.
It is entitled ‘Confiscation of politicians’ assets’. The setting is the campervan that Grillo uses to tour the country. The comedian is sitting at the table, a V for Vendetta mask placed at his side and framed in the establishing shot.
Two soldi – that is to say, one tenth of a lira – was the very popular price of La città futura (‘the future city’), a recruiting pamphlet in newspaper form distributed in February of 1917 by the Piedmontese youth federation of the Socialist Party. The publication had been entirely written and compiled by then 26 year-old Antonio Gramsci and is considered the most coherent expression of his early idealist phase. However the extract I’ve translated for today’s post won’t tell you much about the development of Gramsci’s political thought or his laborious conversion to materialism, for it is an invective – or, if you prefer, an impassioned civil oration designed to wake the reader from the torpor that characterised in his view the Italian spirit.
Forget Berlusconi. Berlusconi is dead. And with Berlusconi dies the right-wing coalition that he didn’t so much cement as embody, with its paradoxical mixture of opposites – fascist corporatism vs Thatcherite neoliberalism, nostalgic nationalism vs regional separatism, moral conservatism vs how the boss liked to spend his evenings.
As for the official rationale, according to Prime Minister John Key it is two-fold: on the one hand, the policy is a way of thanking Australia for sharing its intelligence on the activity of people smugglers in the region; on the other, it is aimed at discouraging asylum seekers from bypassing Australia and reaching New Zealand directly. Neither proposition makes much sense unless you are willing to entertain the possibility that somebody would in fact attempt to make such a voyage, which at over 4,000 miles is equivalent to crossing the Atlantic twice.
Mussolini wasn’t so bad. He started out as a socialist, after all, didn’t he? And as director of the party’s newspaper, Avanti!, he was firm in his opposition to Italy entering the First World War, at least until his sudden change of heart of 1914, which may or may not have been facilitated by sums of money secretly paid to him by the French to promote the cause of intervention. As director of the newly founded Popolo d’Italia, following his expulsion from the Socialist Party, Mussolini became one of the most influential pro-war voices in the country, but seeing as the eventual intervention cost Italy a mere 750 000 lives, this wasn’t so bad.
The experiment in post-democracy that was the government of the technocrats in Italy ended in December when Silvio Berlusconi announced his intention to once again run for Parliament as leader of a right-wing coalition and withdrew his party’s confidence in Prime Minister Mario Monti.