Tuesday, 18 June 2013

A bit of a Brazilian

The event that must be sending little frissons of unease amongst the besuited oligarchs at the G8 is the spontaneous demonstration by about a million Brazilians last night. The Guardian reckons it was prompted by another rise in bus fares, but El Pais has the better story; it was unplanned, entirely unexpected, not organised, without leaders and with a simple and universal message "We want to change Brazil". Young and old, from all classes, they just appeared, committed and angry. El Pais quotes Brazilian historian Francisco Carlos Teixeira as explaining that people felt that politicians "no longer represent them". 

It really does seem that this is more than just a temporary though global crisis of confidence in our political systems. It's really no good telling people they're being silly, it will all come to nothing and they're best off putting their trust in their local Tory MP and carrying on. That response misses the mood by a country mile and marks the responder as remote, out of touch and actually part of the problem. 

Of course (whilst avoiding potentially racist national stereotypes etc) it's possible that Brazilians are a tad more spontaneous than the inhabitants of Esher, or that Brazilian Monday night TV is even more banal than our own or that the Brazilian streets are actually not a bad place to be on a weekday evening, but it's the sheer unexpectedness of the thing rather than its size or actions that is the key point. And that's why there will be a few anxious phone calls home today from Loch Erne


Barnacle Bill said...

But what's it going to take to get us out on the streets?
Or are we going to be very British about it by quietly sliding the old stiletto in between our local MP's ribs in the privacy of the polling booth?
I'd rather we got out onto the "streets" to give them a few trouser-changing moments before then.
I've taken that much shite from them there's no mercy left in me for any of them now.

DeeDee99 said...

We British don't really 'do' demonstrations - apart from the relatively small number of left-wing rent-a-mob types.

But we are carrying out an insurgency in our own quiet, understated and entirely legal way. Another UKIP local authority councillor was elected in Norfolk last week with a 45% share of the vote.

Much as I'd like to see massively attended demonstrations against the Elite who have wrecked our country, they aren't going to happen. But rejection in the polling booth is.

Anonymous said...

It is a fair ask, the Brazilians want schools and hospitals not football stadiums and Olympics, the jet set, their European-esque lifestyle. of the extremely corrupt Brazilian autocracy, the socio economic gap grows wider.

Similarly, the rich here in the UK the socio economic gap grows and grows.
This outrageous inequality ferments ill feeling, now that the statists in councils and corporate utilities also plunder the people/taxpayer - there be lots of very, very unhappy bunnies about and the chasm between rich and poor will cause revolution......more especially when the money hose [QE] is turned off and interest rates rise... even here in the [ever so not Brazilian] UK.

G. Tingey said...

Anyone seen/heard of the "silent standing/standing man" protests in Turkey?
On the radio this AM - nothing on net - yet.

Nick Drew said...

the Beeb reports that one of the causes of unrest in Brazil is the cost of staging the World Cup

hey, amigos - wait till you see the bill for the Olympics !!

Anthem said...

From protests to Carnival, the Brazilians do seem to do the outdoor thing a lot better than us.

Besides, the weather's so much better.

Even if we planned something for next modnay night, a quick flick of the curtain and it would be "Hmm... raining... again. Don't think I'll bother."

Anonymous said...

hey, amigos - wait till you see the bill for the Olympics !!

Good observation - football a mere bagatelle when compared to cost of limpik preparations.

Anonymous said...

Lough Erne, please.