"Kyenge looks like an orangutan." This comment was made on 13 July 2013 during a political rally by the vice president of the Italian Senate, Northern League's senator Roberto Calderoli, in reference to Italy's former Minister for Integration Cécile Kyenge, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (pictured above).
For this comment senator Vito Crimi, belonging to comedian Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement party, had requested Calderoli's prosecution for defamation and incitement to racism.
Grillo's party had long been courted by Nigel Farage to persuade it to enter a European Parliament alliance with his UK Independence Party, which it did last June.
Now the Italian Senate's Committee on Elections and Parliamentary Immunity has rejected, by a majority, the proposal to grant the authorisation to proceed against Roberto Calderoli.
His behaviour is covered by the first paragraph of Article 68 of the Constitution, according to which "Members of Parliament cannot be called to answer for opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of their functions."
The newspaper Il Giornale remarks that it's lucky for Grillo's party that this immunity exists:
The Five Star knows a thing or two about insults. Beppe Grillo has built, in fact, an entire career on F-words. Profanity, criticisms, ridicule and outright insults are daily occurrences in the vocabulary of the Five Star people. But, if it's a member of the Northern League who raises his voice, then the followers of the Genoese comedian are ready to rattle the handcuffs.The Five Star Movement party is a bitter enemy of the Northern League, which is much more straightforward in its protection of indigenous Italians and their culture against the Third World invasion.
That UKIP has chosen as an ally Grillo's party rather than the Northern League is an indication of its "moderation". Nevertheless, come the next general election in Britain in May, UKIP is the only party capable of shaking things up.