Political intrigue in small town Sicily

Italian politics by Giacomo taken from toonpool.com

Small town life is always insidious, the reality in Sicily is ever more so. Not only do you find everyone knows about everyone else’s business but they have been sticking in their noses for generations and so if you are a newcomer you will be a target for gossip.

I’ve been living here for a while now (more than ten years for those who don’t know) and there are still times when I feel like I am the eternal outsider. Recently I’ve been singled out by a question of local politics.

Anyone who knows me is probably smirking at the prospect of me being associated with any form of politicking, my life in politics is frugal at most, apart from being a bit of a lefty, the odd petition signing and greenie tendencies, I’m not the most politically motivated person around.

That’s why I was left aghast when my husband was told I was meddling in local politics by supporting and diffusing negative opinions about our current mayor on Facebook. Something that was suggested to be unsightly as my hubby has been given some small jobs by the current administration.

This was shocking to hear for many reasons, first someone obviously has way too much spare time to watch and plant feeds on Facebook and sit back to see who likes or shares them. Second, I’ve done no such thing. And finally the way it was said to my husband was rather threatening, like ‘shut your wife up or you can forget about getting any work contracts.’

I’m totally furious, as my husband refuses to tell me who approached him as I’d probably slap him in the face!

I considered ‘unfriending’ my Sicilian friends on Facebook to avoid any more insinuations. Then I thought, why should I when I have nothing to hide. I’ll just whine about it on my blog instead. I mostly have non Italian friends on FB anyhow.

You’ve go to hand it to these Sicilians who have turned the innocuous world of publicity drenched, data gathering FB into a source of political intrigue.

Political cartoon taken from thetypewriter.org

To be honest I’m generally indifferent to the current mayor and local politics in general. I still find it strange to see political rallies and house to house vote mongering at election time. I’m ignorant of the history of local politics which I think  is simply about family feuds and competition any way. Every time my husband tries to explain about the different factions and the complexities of the world of Italian politics I tend to phase out.



16 thoughts on “Political intrigue in small town Sicily

  1. This threatening behaviour is exactly what the Sicilians describe as “mafiuso”. It seems it is often done anonymously using completely false, invented accusations, adn the thing I find so annoying is that so many Sicilians believe any false rumour they hear without making any checks at all as to whether it is true.
    Our local elections round here are dominated by incredible amounts of lies flying around, all believed and spread by the naive and the idiotic.
    My personal response to this would be to call their bluff by posting a message on facebook saying you have received false accusations and the accuser may step forward with details if he/she is able to provide them. But that’s just me.


    1. Yes it was a bit Mafioso!! The truth is I really don’t give a flying hoot about local politics. I play the stupid straniera and gather information for a future satiric book about Italian politics!!


  2. Ignore it and go about your business with your head held high. When the shit hit the fan for me on a national level, that’s what I did. People wanted me out of the country, said I’d never get any work here again, etc, etc. As it turns out, I’ve met a nice guy out of it, have work offers coming out my ears and am meeting loads of cool new people! Some people always have too much time on their hands and try to drag others down to their level – rise above it! 🙂


    1. What a terrible thing to happen to you, Linda! Envy is a terrible thing. So glad you had the strength to overcome it. I think good things come to those who are determined and work hard while others fall into the weakness of cutting others down. Here’s to overcoming …


  3. Hang around outside the Mayor’s house with a camera and a zoom lensand get a photo of him in his smalls. Then photoshop the crap out of it so that he’s alongside a French actress in a bikini on the back of an Italian scooter in Paris, send it to Closer magazine, grab a beer and watch the fireworks. Local politics are awful, and being accused of something you haven’t done is unfair. I think your hubby should play the age and ask said person for proof of the post on your Facebook account, then politely blow them sky high from there.


    1. Hummm interesting idea, sounds very French paparazzi! But could work. It certainly is what the person who approached my husband deserves. I wish he told me who it was, so needed to slap someone!


  4. This just sounds like some local jealousy going on. In all small communities, worldwide, this sort of silliness can happen. My memory of the local WI ladies in a certain village in England, were dreadful and they lied all the time! One upmanship was the thing and if its linked to local politics, Oh dear! Ignore this pathetic person, he’s not worth the time of day. Otherwise, get a group of women together with pitchforks and run him out of town.


    1. Yes I am ignoring it, petty things really.
      Taking it on the chin, it really has nothing to do with me, other people have their own problems. I’ll just go on with my life. Even if I like the idea of some arse kicking and pitchforks!!


  5. Aw, how unpleasant for you 😦
    Not much you can do, I suppose, apart from going about your business as usual. Best not to get drawn into a knee-jerk reaction. It’ll blow over…


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