The power of the internet & social media

Beppi Grillo has caused quite a storm, writes Jamie Bartlett in the Guardian CiF, his campaign being due to “head on the internet and feet on the ground” in Grillo’s own words.

With a simple message that politics is corrupt, elitist and closed, eschewing conventional methods of spreading his message through the media he spoke to the Italian electorate directly through Twitter and Facebook. His supporters are said to come from across the political spectrum and from all walks of life. With this type of campaign he has managed to channel the general apathy of an electorate and their latent anger with politics per se; got together an army of volunteers and door-knockers that would have taken years to recruit; gained supporters who consider themselves members of a movement; and he has achieved this in nine months, taking his level of support from 5% to achieving over 25% of the votes cast in a national election.

Just saying………….

9 Responses

  1. Edward. says:

    I may not agree with all of his ideas but Beppe Grillo fills me with astonishment and also excited hope – it could be done here in the UK – but we need a charismatic and passionate orator – someone who can galvanise and hold an audience – someone with gravitas and who exudes conviction.

    The British people are ready, the audience awaits in baited silence, who will [or could] fill the void?

    The internet is the way to talk to kids of all ages and all the people – Beppe Grillo has forged the way.

    • david says:

      That is just it – it was a movement that the people grew themselves. You don’t need a talking head if the idea catches on. Lessons to be learnt?

  2. Ian E says:

    Of course, in more civilised countries Facebook and Twitter are so last-year!

  3. james Higham says:

    It might just kick start something similar here. Then again, we’re not bunga bunga people.

    • david says:

      Don’t see that is a factor James. I believe discontent is rife.

      • Peter C says:

        I agree discontent is rife, David, but there is no passion, no properly directed anger and simply too much apathy. Put simply, things have not yet gotten bad enough for the sheeple to stir themselves and risk turning away from Nanny.

        Take Eastleigh, current voting intentions are:

        Lib Dem 33%
        Conservative 28%
        UKIP 21%
        Labour 12%
        Others 6%

        These people are NUTS, true sheeple of the first order deserving of the slaughter house (Halal at that). How can anyone vote for the utter incompetents that almost the entire political class, certainly the entirety of Ministers for at least a generation, are? Only when the polls show things like:

        Lib Dem 10%
        Conservative 10%
        Labour 5%
        UKIP + Others 75%

        will there be any real hope of meaningful change.

  4. It strikes me that anyone wishing to change the nature of politics in our own country cannot afford not to use the internet as part of their weaponry. Twitter and Facebook can reach out to millions of people and be instrumental in growing a movement. Well done to the Italians and Grillo!

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