We've always known that politicians on the continent were bent - that European power politics always was a filthy, stinking dungheap of crookedness, corruption, fraud, bribery and gerrymandering - but in the UK we have also somehow convinced ourselves of our own immunity from it all.
In a hard-hitting piece, leftie academic Perry Anderson (H/T Peter Oborne) gives us a full essay in the London Review of Books exposing in ghastly forensic detail the sewer that is Italian politics - and why Beppe Grillo's 5 Star is set to collect so many votes tomorrow. Worth persevering with, even if sections are hard going.
Perry is making the point that the EU, rather than tending to be positively influenced by the best and most virtuous practice on the continent, is overwhelmingly contaminated by the worst and most corrupt, and that this filth leeches back to infect and contaminate national politics.
Just by our membership of this putrescent club, the UK has become as foul and stinking a den of political corruption as the worst in Europe.