La Russa and the Right for the first time at the Book Fair

The government right finds itself at the Book Fair and never before has it flexed its muscles to underline the desire to affirm the conservative cultural model as an alternative to what it considers the “dictatorship of the left”. Fratelli d’Italia does so by presenting itself with some of its main exponents (only Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is missing): the president of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa and the minister of defense, Guido Crosetto. But also with the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano, «my friend» defines him La Russa («Do you remember when Pinuccio Tatarella told us: “You must read Prezzolini!”? He guided us much more than our professors»). And then to welcome the national exponents there is the whole Piedmontese party, starting with the councilor of FdI, Maurizio Marrone.

And here it is, then, an eloquent image of climate change: in the lounge overlooking the Oval, Minister Sangiuliano meets exponents of conservative culture, before the official inauguration: next to him, Emanuele Merlino, head of the minister’s technical secretariat ( author of volumes on sinkholes and patriotism, chairman of the “February 10” committee and cultural director of FdI); Francesco Giubilei, consultant to the minister (creator of the Nazione Futura think tank, publisher of Alain De Benoist’s latest book, frequent visitor to the Salone for years as an exhibitor and leading name in conservative culture with contacts also in the USA and Hungary); Maurizio Marrone, regional councilor, and Giulio Biino, president of the Circolo dei Lettori, against whom the president of the Region, Alberto Cirio, and the mayor of Turin, Stefano Lo Russo, have lashed out in recent days, deeming him “guilty” of having complicated the match for the succession of director Nicola Lagioia. Brothers of Italy, on the other hand, defended him: “He is an excellent president, despite the fact that he has been blamed for something other than him”. If this year, unlike other years, there is a “right” theme at the Book Fair, it is mainly attributable to them.

The lion’s share, however, goes to Ignazio La Russa, who goes around the stands dispensing kisses (even to middle school children who give them a hat with the dinosaur printed on it and as soon as he leaves they ask: «But who was that sir?”), bursts into the Rai stand during a live broadcast and is filmed with the book by Luca Sardella “A plant as a friend”, puts on the hat of the Ministry of Defense with the hashtag #unaforzaperilpaese, surprises a group of boys in front to the panels of the Civil Protection: «We only remember it when we need it, and instead it must always be helped», he expresses solidarity with the publishers of Emilia Romagna and from the stage of the Sala Oval improvises pyrotechnic comments that would like to emphasize the bipartisan role of culture, the value of acceptance and openness. Thus, speaking of Albania as a host country, he goes back to his youthful memories: «I was already involved in politics when the first immigrants arrived: we hosted about thirty of them in the headquarters of the Italian Social Movement, they were the very first immigrants who arrived from the East and we transformed our space in a sort of reception centre. We have never regretted it, even if they gave us some problems». Then, the greeting to the director of the Salone Nicola Lagioia, with gag included, which however he must explain, because he doesn’t even elicit a smile from the audience: «Thanks to him, who is the last one left like Lagioia in Turin because Dybala has taken away»… «For the uninitiated, La Joya is his nickname».

And down other jokes, such as the one on the mayor of Turin, Stefano Lo Russo (Pd): «After all, politics does not separate us, but only the letter A». There is an urgency to show oneself open, willing to dialogue, in La Russa and Sangiuliano, the attempt to say that “the others” are the bad guys who “want to put fences”, but we don’t: “This is the city of Piero Gobetti – says the Minister of Culture – and do you know who was at his bedside, who brought him the medicines? Joseph Prezzolini”. And again, to underline that no, never, the right does not exclude: «I’ll tell you a personal experience: with La Russa we will inaugurate the exhibition at the Uffizi on the avant-garde of the twentieth century, I realized that Ordine Nuovo, the magazine by Gramsci and Togliatti was missing and I demanded that space was also dedicated to that magazine which was fundamental to the debate». Sangiuliano, who in the tour between the stands is in the shadow of the president La Russa, always one step behind, sometimes chasing him by accelerating his pace. The friend does the show, calls him and from the stage he returns to reure the audience of the Salone: ​​«Sangiuliano is very good, you will notice, in a few years you will tell me: ‘You were right’».

There is such an urgency to say that there is no political interference in the Salone (says Lo Russo: «It survived and grew up under governments of all colours») that paradoxically never before has politics been the protagonist as in this edition. Lo Russo says: «It’s not the Turin Motor Show, but one of Italy and the world». And the president of the Region, Alberto Cirio, replies: «It will also be the World Exhibition, but it was born here. In Turin, the city of the first Senate of Italy: let’s look beyond the border but let’s remember our past».

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