The causes. Allegories of Good and Bad Government

In Siena, which was an independent Republic from the 12th to the 16th Century, in the Public Palace (14th Century), there are the famous civic-themed frescoes, the Allegory of Good Government and the Bad Government, works by Lorenzetti, of which a detail (of Good Government) appears on your screens.

Perhaps it is a sign of the times: the allegories are being restored. Unfortunately, it is impossible to analyze and develop here what in a more democratic and liberal 14th Century than would have been anticipated if understood to be the answer to this great political question of that time and ours, but I strongly recommend that you research about it on the internet.

What I can say is that yesterday I was reminded a lot of the times we live in Europe, unfortunately full of examples of bad governments in States, institutions and political-social structures.

I will try to talk about this today and under this inspiration.


Let’s see, to begin with, what the 2nd round of the French legislative elections brought us.

Firstly, an electoral victory for the moderates. Around 58% of deputies are not Right or Left radicals.

But it is also true that the programs of the New Popular Front (NFP) and the RN are very radical and 56.5% of the deputies were elected under these banners.

The possibility of Good Government or the inevitability of Bad Government depends on this and on the possibility of NFP elected officials who are not radicals to separate themselves from the radicals or to remain united and be a part of the Ensemble (centrists) that join them all.

In other words, the question is whether the 2nd placed team (Ensemble) or the winning coalition (NFP) will emerge. In the first hypothesis we will certainly have a Bad Government, but in the second perhaps we will be able to have a Good Government.

But worse could also happen: the informal coalition of mutual anti-RN withdrawals, which managed to isolate the more than 10 million who voted for RN in the 2nd round (in this politically irrelevant criterion, the RN won the elections ), cannot be able to find a Government solution.

If we have a Bad Government or if the Good Government fails, if the moderates are unable to isolate the radicals of the LFI (Mélenchon), or if by isolating them they are unable to govern well, the consequence will be very bad. .

If so, in the 2027 presidential elections we will most likely have the radical Right and the radical Left in the 2nd round and, in either case, a Bad Government.


The British elections gave Labor a crushing victory, despite the size of the popular vote for them being little greater than in the brutal defeat they had with Jeremy Corbyn.

This demonstrates that it was mainly the Bad Government of the Conservative Party that sank, but without a doubt the Labor leader’s turn to the Center calmed the moderates.

But the essential thing is that the conditions for Good Government are now met. Copying from the Consistory Room of the Palace of Siena, I consider that Kier Starmer reveals “Patriotism, Justice and Harmony†and that the allegorical virtues of Good Government of the 14th Century are not missing: The manager virtuous personifying the Common Good, supported by Justice, Temperance and Magnanimity, on the one hand, and by Peace, Fortress and Prudence on the other, with Faith, Love and Hope hovering above.

We certainly have some difficulty in the necessary transposition of the almost 700-year-old allegory to our days. But in my opinion the essential is the same then as today: the defense of a fair government, which protects the weakest, which is peaceful and moderate, which ensures Concord and civic Peace.

And this becomes even more evident if we turn to the allegory of Bad Government (curiously, this fresco was much more in need of restoration…) with a diabolical figure representing a Tyrant, surrounded by vices and capital sins: on the one hand, Cruelty, Treason and Evil; on the other, Furor, Division and War, and gravitating above Avarice, Pride and Vainglory.

For our time, it would be said that violence, internal conflict, external war, abuses of power, basically radicalism, are what define Bad Government.


Let us now focus on Portugal. I don’t want to talk about Justice and institutions with their own power (despite so much to say and I recognize myself capable of doing so), but let’s look at the State and Political Parties.

Firstly, Luis Montenegro is globally managing to ensure the conditions of a Good Government: speaking only of what I can and want, I remember what will be done in the regularization of immigration, in agreements with unions, in measures for Transport, Housing, Health, Education, tax reductions and in the now announced measures for the Economy, without forgetting what is being done to put the PRR on track.

Surely not everything will be possible, some measures will probably not be successful and mistakes will be made. But we are dealing with what a Good Government is and not one that is Perfect, which was not even possible in the 14th century with God’s help.

I am also talking about the Good Government of many unions that were able to opt for Concord and Peace, which were born as a result of difficult negotiations, but in good faith.

I continue with the Good Government of the PS, which is expressed in the leader’s refusal to defend a Left front (as in France), in the clear signs of abstention enabling the 2025 Budget, and in a clear environment of turning towards the Center.

Even on the CHEGA side, in the midst of many calls for a Bad Government, the viability of governments in the Azores and Madeira, is included – however much they prefer not to highlight it – €“ in a line of reasonableness and common sense that deserves to be praised.

It would remain to talk about the radical Left parties. They are no different from CHEGA in their appeal to Bad Government, but their real political insignificance allows them to show the slightest concern about the problem of conditions for Good Government. .

In short, perhaps paradoxically, despite the theatricality in which parties like to fight each other thinking about their militants and clientele, it seems to me that we are entering a period of calm and creation of conditions of concord and peace without which Good Government cannot exist.


And to top it off, I would like to return to Cavaco Silva’s article published in Expresso at the end of last month.

As I have already mentioned more than once, no one in Portugal has the preparation and experience of someone who was Prime Minister and President of the Republic for 20 years.

Your text was read incorrectly by those who criticized or praised it. Cavaco did not write it to force early elections, but to help force other things that are much more difficult and essential:

(i) how can we achieve a leap in the well-being of the Portuguese people in 10 years?

(ii) For this to be possible, how can we achieve strong growth in domestic production, national productivity and the competitiveness of the economy?

(iii) And how to ensure the conditions of reforming political governance with a minority government?

For me, this will only be possible with a regime pact between moderates: today with an AD government, but at a certain point, most likely with a PS government.

This is in fact what will be done in the European Union for the next 5 years with the alliance between the PPE, the Socialists and the Liberals, for purposes identical to those that Cavaco summarized for Portugal.

Therefore, this regime pact (in Portugal and Europe) must have as its central core the achievement of strong GDP growth, with an increase in domestic productivity and international competitiveness.

And for the regime pact to be successful it will be necessary to decline it in the areas of immigration, taxes and the reduction of the fiscal penalty in the economy, justice and the Rule of Law, the reform of the State in Portugal (and the European Union) and the essential guarantees of the Social State.

At this moment, the PS and PNS – assuming they wish to do so – need time to move away from the political culture of the Left radicals, as the AD has already demonstrated that it has moved away from the political culture of the Right wing radicals.

Therefore, and until objective conditions allow a regime pact, LM’s great mission is to govern as if it were doing so within the scope of a regime pact with the moderate Left with strategic characteristics. techniques that Cavaco summarized, but that so many others have affirmed.

Basically, and I end as I started, the challenge is for AD to be able to support a Good Government, as after all – the World doesn’t change as much as it sometimes seems… – 700 years ago it was designed on the walls of a small room, of a small republic in Italy that was fighting internecine wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines.


António Vitorino for the interview he gave a few days ago to Diário de Notícias basically about migration and in which he had the courage to praise the immigration proposals of a center-right government.

When I talk about regime pacts, this interview is a good example to copy.


After several weeks, I make my last suggestion of Camonian works. This is the reissue of “LuÃs de Camões†by António José Saraiva, which I had read with enthusiasm more than 25 years ago.

And to follow this great name in Portuguese Culture, I suggest you read “Eduardo Antes de Ser Lourenço†, a collection of texts from the youth of this giant of our culture, written by Luciana Leiderfarb.

They are both published by Gradiva, which deserves praise for more than 40 years fighting for the scientific-cultural dissemination of the highest quality combat boots.


The American elections this year seem to be a “remake†of the final years of the Roman Empire or a horror novel.

How is it possible, some will say, that the leadership of the greatest world power is contested between these totally unsuitable candidates, one certainly at least for ethical reasons and the other for reasons of patent degeneracy?

But my question is different: what can be done to avoid this tragedy?


The current Minister of Culture, in November and emphatically, stated that it was “fundamental to assume the imperative of restitution of appropriated goods, regardless of the conditions of their reception†, who knows if thus going down in history as an inspiration for the current President of the Republic.

The Minister already stated a few days ago that after all, “to date, studies carried out from the point of view of appropriation do not account for any cultural asset that is in conditions of restitution. “”

However, he appointed to succeed him as Director of the Museu dos Jerónimos and Torre de Belém someone who did not have the legal competence to appoint, and to direct the Cultural Heritage – Public Institute (PC–IP) someone in which he allegedly began “bullying†and threatening employees with an acacia code of good manners.

As if that were no small feat, he appointed to direct the National Library someone who became known above all for rising to prominence by attacking major figures in Portuguese culture and publishing.

I’m already a little lost, but the madness could be the Minister’s propensity for mistakes (some of them “casting”), or even the “casting” error of having been appointed, which some of her choices may reveal.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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