by  Gianfranco Menghini

The politicians


Today in Italy, as many as five million people live well with politics. They may be deputies in the two branches of Parliament that regional, provincial, municipal councilors, party clerks, racks or simple runners. Considering human nature, even if the majority of them are healthy and honest and a small minority devoted to politics for the good of the country, a good fringe, instead, lives of the illicit proceeds due to corruption. The protagonists of this novel, however, are border-lines, having managed to occupy important and very profitable benches, having touched the criminal laws or having managed to take shelter in time. Coming they too occupy significant positions in large companies at the national level, despite having neither art nor part, pocketing annual salaries that a humble worker would not dream of earning even in an entire working life. These characters, although the fruit of the writer’s imagination, are those that were once called, for a cue from the millenary Chinese history, the mandarins, that are the modern POLITICIANS.

Read an excerpt from the book


“He’s unreasonable. I cannot accept that our son undertakes that kind of career. I expected him would follow mine. “”I know, dear. But do not think you that in this way, Carlo can crown his vocation? Already as a child… “”Come on vocation! It’s not he should do a priest. I should not repeat the same thing, but our son has been following my teachings for almost three years with a considerable interest in continuing my work. “”Work, work, Michele! You talk about it as if you would be called to create something for the good of the humanity. Do not you think you’re exaggerating?””Well, I did not mean that,” answered the husband, biting his tongue. He let  himself be taken by the emphasis.But then, why did he stubborn himself with the purpose his son would continue his work? He had emerged unscathed by political and war upheavals, to which he had participated as a victim, since he was yet not fit of the right age. He was born in a period when the regime had already enrolled him in the lists of future ‘balilla boyhood’ and when the war had to burst out, he was just six years old, precisely enough time to start attending the school. Which was repeatedly interrupted. And then, with frequent intervals, he had resumed it and, in the 1954 had been himself  enrolled in the faculty of architecture obtaining, in the prescribed terms, thanks to the fact he lived in Rome – the most important university of the time – the degree with a score of excellence. And, given that for the reconstruction of a tormented and defeated Italy, there was the urgent necessity to rebuild up, there’s not was lack of job for him. And he, indefatigable and enthusiastic, had made himself honor, as well as creating a certain wealth that, incapacitated, he had never wanted to admit was such, considering it only comfort. A small construction of twelve stately homes in the Boccea area, built on the foundations of a big house of a former fascist hierarch, disemboweled by the bombs, with both new and recovered material and six apartments scattered in the center of Rome, bought for the miserable amount by some characters a bit too involved with the past fortunes of the Mussolini government and that, necessarily, they must move away as quickly as possible after September 8th to ambush, in particular, bands, which did mask themselves as part of the Resistance. Resistance, yes, but to the nascent democracy. Taking revenge on the expropriations against innocent people, cutting them off. Now that it was approximating the time to retirement, to enjoy that remnant of life left him to live, of the graces of a wife a neglected a while, leaving everything in the hands of his only heir, who perhaps better than he should increase the business, his son had decided, instead to adventure himself on a political career.’But is it a career, that one?’ Michele asked several times in his intimate. ‘If not to steer a middle course in the way of life as those who did not manage to obtain just enough results in their business, provided, they would have it, because as results to me, the vast majority have never done anything except the canvasser for a longtime at the service of some mediocre political character precisely arrived to occupy a well-paid armchair. ‘     It was his fixed nail and reasoned in his intimacy innumerable times, convincing himself that  his son must express his intelligence, since – connoisseur’s word – clever he was, indeed and to confirm that he also admitted  his son was more skillful than himself, having Carlo taken from his mother who as well, whose had inherited the facial features. Nonetheless, his culture. He had always been very good at school, so much so was enrolled himself at the university, look at the case, just to the architecture faculty – damn! – a year ahead of the schedule and now, after three years, with a student record-book  which marked countless thirty point, he wanted to start over with the faculty of political science. Luckily that the university had recognized him two years, so that within other two he should get the degree, spreading to devote himself full-time to the politics. Oh yes, because already by the obtaining of the high school certificate, without him would manage to prevent him, his son frequented a small group of friends, all of them socialists – natural, isn’t? – a kind of their cenacle, with the ambitious project of founding a little party. One of the many bushes of which the serious Italy could do without. The only originality of the forum, being the age: an average of about twenty-three years old. And, like the Musketeers, since they were three and lately another has added himself. A typical D’Artagnan, because as the Gascon character he promptly showed to be such, when he introduced this fourth friend to him. Certainly not bringing him home as we do with an improbable girlfriend, but Michele had that ‘magnificent’ opportunity once found himself crossing the four guys as they came out of the bar usually attended and he, instead, totally frantically was looking forward to reaching the bus to return at home. Which, on that occasion, of course, he lost.     “Come, dad, let us offer you an aperitif,” his son made to him, using that comrade expression his father did not know on him. “In the meantime, I introduce you Marcello, who has decided to help us.”To Michele the idea of ​​drinking an aperitif did not go too well. He was not used to drinking alcohol when he was fasting neither, alternatively, he should swallow a non-alcoholic aperitif which looked like one of those colored liquids the children use when they play the little chemist. However, he liked himself the idea of get acquainted of the fourth musketeer a little better. Who, as a matter of fact, while they were drinking, harangued with equal sentences written and pronounced by the various media. Meanwhile, Michele was careful not to say anything, but let them express themselves freely. And what a kind of freedom, heck! The newcomer continued to speak as if he would be at the Hyde Park Corner to declare a harangue, interrupted from time to time by a playful pat that one of the three gave him on the shoulders to invite him…