I should be gardening – BUT …
I should be gardening today (started writing this on Thursday!) after yesterday’s rain and today`s early morning sunshine … but … conspiracy is afoot. Or, at least, some of the conspiracy that has been afoot for a long time in Brazil has surfaced this morning and I thought you should know about it too!
It has been “common knowledge” for a long time that President Temer is somehow tainted with the endemic corruption in Brazil but up to now he has appeared Teflon coated and has claimed, of course, that all the allegations and insinuations are untrue. Today, however, it looks as though the “shoe has dropped”.
As part of a plea bargain, in their own corruption case, by Joesley and Wesley Batista, brothers who run the country’s biggest meat-packing firm JBS, they have passed over some tape-recordings which even Temer may not be able to wriggle out from if they demonstrate what they are alleged to show. For all the details of this news, see today`s Guardian story here goo.gl/ZMZL31. – but essentially he has been caught speaking about “keeping the bribery going”.
Apparently, the same tapes implicate a whole raft of other politicians including another Teflon coated leader of another party Aecio Neves and the former finance minister Guido Mantega. As I write this the TV news in Brazil is showing ordinary Brazilians banging pans together as they follow the unfolding news story – they do this as a form of protest, but, so far, I have only ever seen it on TV there, never witnessed it live. Perhaps it is something we could try here as our Government ministers pass by to let them know what we really think of them!
What next in Brazil?
Of course, it is still too soon to say what exactly might happen next, but popular opinion will almost certainly strengthen to have President Temer impeached or persuaded to resign. One of the problems, however, is that ALL the next few people in line to take over the presidency are also tainted with charges of corruption.
A recent article ( goo.gl/0CmG9t ) looks at some of the candidates but even though written only a month ago it has been superseded by today`s news.
My view is that they ALL need booting out of office and that suggests there needs to be an early presidential election before the end of Temer`s term in 2018. All the main political parties are led by politicians who are implicated in corruption, however. Even the former President Lula, who has been forecast to try again, is fighting to repudiate corruption charges, having allegedly been given a rather nice property without charge.
Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached last year over apparent manipulation of government economic data to massage the figures into better than real shape, has not, thus far, been implicated in taking personal favours. She is a busted flush, however, and, as a consequence of the successful impeachment she is not actually allowed to fight an election as President although she could give it a run in the lower offices.
Marina da Silva, who, as an environmental champion would receive my support, does not seem in a strong position, though she came a creditable third in 2014. A Huffington Post blog provides a number of reasons for her failure to break through in 2014 (goo.gl/dSqDuj) but the new circumstances may provide her with a lifeline – she could position herself as Brazil`s “Macron”, except that she has had two failed runs for President already.
The sun has come out again – I really MUST go and do some gardening, but will return to my blogging task later….
Well, I was going to continue to write about Brazilian politics, but perhaps you will forgive me and allow me to change tack and write about the ITV “leader`s debate” tonight (last night as I now finish writing this blog!). For me, it was a very enjoyable two hours of television without the weak and wobbly Mrs Mayhem and the vague and controversial Mr Corbyn participating.
It demonstrated how Theresa May comes across as so arrogant and carping – by her complete absence! – and it was very refreshing. I was also keeping tabs on a couple of Facebook threads as the programme went out and there was a consensus that it would be rather nice not to have to listen to the Cons and Labs of this country at all.
Maybe that was all wishful thinking, however, judging by some of the press comments on Friday morning. Several journalists were scathing about the programme and missed the presence of the so-called “big hitters” but I put that down to them being as jaded as the politicians of the two big parties. For me it was a relief not to listen to Mrs Mayhem`s nastily delivered soundbites.
The only journalist who seems to have seen it the same way as me is Robert Peston who tweeted….
And ITV’s political editor Robert Peston agrees.
Not wrong – nuts. Just reminds everyone their leaders were too frit to turn up #itvdebate https://twitter.com/steve_hawkes/status/865301170637680640 …
The debate was watched by a few million people who might have detected that Tim Farron, Caroline Lucas and Nicola Sturgeon have not given up on the idea of us keeping open the option of voting to stay in the European Union once the details of the negotiations are fully known. Plaid Cymru seem to have swallowed the guff about the “will of the people” being inviolable and unchanging, but it is clear to me that intelligent people are able to change their minds when confronted with FACTS rather than lies.
UKIP`s Nuttall is only worth mentioning to say that he showed himself up as the ignorant bigot that he is and was strafed successfully by all the others at several points during the debate. Disgraceful.
My first feeling after the debate finished was that it could have changed the possible outcome of the election on 8th June but was deflated to see the BBC News at Ten did not refer to the debate in their headlines and merely showed Mrs May pontificating on her Manifesto Launch earlier in the day. Will it change the outcome? We can only hope so.
My great-nephew Tom, who seems to have deserted the family norms of caring Liberalism, is actually looking forward to a Tory victory on 8th June, anticipating a champagne breakfast on 9th June. I blew him a raspberry on Facebook and decided to have a nice malt whisky then and there to celebrate the absence of the Cons and Labs from the body politic for a couple of hours at least!
Tory Manifesto – my reaction
As for the Tory manifesto – depressing stuff the lot of it, but I was particularly appalled at the negativity on the lack of understanding on poverty and social care. We are the fifth richest country in the world and it is appalling that some 4,000 people have to sleep rough on the streets every night and that 4 million children are considered to be below the poverty line.
Fatima was shocked upon seeing rough sleepers and beggars in the UK capital city when we visited London once. “I know this is a common sight in Brazil – but did not expect to see it here in the UK”. Now the Tories are planning to do away with free school lunches and “save money” by offering free breakfasts instead for infants and primary school children. As one parent said on TV just after this was announced “It would be much better for the children to have breakfast at home and be able to eat well at lunch time.”
Free school lunches was one of the Liberal Democrats ideas that happened during the Coalition – and it was well received. Money was spent on creating or upgrading school kitchen facilities to enable it to happen and now the Tories are to scrap it – to spend money on re-introducing divisive Grammar Schools. Crazy.
And, as for Brexit … well all I can say is “Don`t start me off!” How the Conners can say we`d be better of having “no deal” that staying in the European Union just beggars belief. We are already becoming worse off with the declining pound and food inflation and that is before we have even left the EU.
I am not going to say any more because I think you all know where I stand. Vote Liberal Democrat to stay in Europe.
And … Fox-hunting!!!??? For goodness` sake Mrs Mayhem. If you had not already done so you have just revealed how despicable you and your Tory mates are. Killing animals for pleasure. Disgusting.