Italy’s other – more dangerous – Mafia

cover to Italian edition of ‘Gomorrah’

In a previous post on my other blog – The Pillow – I flagged-up an interesting read for those interested in the relationship between crime, economics and why those imports from China are so cheap that you and your friends are having difficulty staying in a job that isn’t in a call-centre selling kitchens and double-glazing windows. That book was Roberto Saviano’s ‘Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia’ and it is likely to be the most important book published in Britain this year, and quite possibly, this decade. It is officially published in the UK this Friday.

It is a cheap understatement to say that Roberto Saviano has risked his life to expose the way that Italy’s more successful, richer and more powerful Mafia, the Gomorrah (which to it’s members is simply known as ‘The System’) has infiltrated Europe’s trade. Take for instance those cheap jeans you bought? The Gomorrah profited. Cheap electronics made in China? Again, the Gomorrah profited. The smart money is quite simply not in drugs or people-trafficking as these are high-risk activities that attract the attention of politician’s in search of poll ratings, police just doing their job and the media, for the ready bylines.

Before reading this book, I was in love with the idea of ‘Europe’, with open(-ish) borders to our neighbours and free trade across a whole continent whose population and collective wealth outstrips the ‘States and with such history, such potential… Nope. Not any more. Though it is not the author’s intention – and without co-operative policing across borders, there would never be progress in catching modern criminals – I am now very firmly against open borders. The scale of criminality is simply so monstrous. There is a very simple reason why the area around Naples, Europe’s largest port, has the highest murder rate across the whole continent. Something smells and it isn’t the uncollected rubbish.

Here is something for readers in the UK to think about: the most senior of ‘The Systems’ lieutenants to be caught by police was arrested in Aberdeen, Scotland. Incredibly, the UK has still not made it a criminal offense to be a member of any Mafia organisation. (No doubt if we had, there would be a lot fewer Russians enjoying tax-free status in Chelsea and Kensington, given ‘exile’ status simply because they ‘support the economy’ by buying football teams).

Read a fantastic interview with the author from The Guardian online by clicking on this link.

Learn more about why if it says ‘Made in China’ on the product, you shouldn’t be buying it by going to Amazon here.