mercoledì 13 maggio 2009

The Reality Show of italian politics: Unconvenient Immigration

The issue "immigration" created by the italian government is provoking a relevant political and emotional debate at international, national and local level. Maybe, according to my very personal opionion, also to divert public opinion's attention to annoying family disputes, it has been prepared a precise political strategy supported by a media campaign which it is important to think about.

First of all, it is essential to think about the critical moment which we live in: european elections, economic crisis and recession, soaring uneployment, media-populism, a mix between politics and TV shows... Immigration seems to meet all these requisites.

The first aspect is the idea of the "scapegoat". In a moment a dramatic economic crisis finding someone in a vulnerable conditions and easily detectable toward who focus collective anger is an old and obvious trick. Italians, being good catholic devotees, have usually a double ethic: a "false facade kindness" according to which during the day immigrants are people "like us". They make those jobs nobody wants to do: they are useful because we force them to work as slaves for few coins. Servants, nurses, assistants for old people, farmhands, workers in constructions sites...

When finishing their work as slaves, a second ethic emerges: these people must desappear, they must become invisible untill next morning when the van to bring them in the fields or in the construction sites will pass again...

This media campaign is dangerously exploiting this double ethics and unfortunately is generating high consensus in the italian public opinion.

Instead of dealing with this complex issue as social, political and cultural challenge or as the most evident effect of international economic development distorsions to be urgently solved, it is easier to adopt police measures which are ineffective in the mid-long run but having great spectacular and consensus impact in the short run. This campaing also diverts public attention from the problem's real nature. In brief, this is the last manifestation of the reality TV show of italian politics within which it is included also the idea according to which who protests is a "snob intellectual".

In the meanwhile, the confrontation is performing also at international level involving also the UNHCR which has produced several press notes on this topic. See here for details.

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