The political hangover. Its been a rough week.

The state of immediate shock seems to be wearing off and everyone seems to have a sort of grin and bear it look about them.
Six weeks to go to Regime change.
Just to help the gloom and doom it’s rainy season here in Rio prior to the heat of summer. Damp everything and wet shoes.
Walking home is a bit of an assault course of avoiding the puddles as you are never quite sure how deep they are when manoevering out of the way as the traffic throws up waves of water over the narrow pavements where the battle of passing umbrellas is going on.
This morning the sun is sort of out and it’s warm and I remember why I enjoy living here.
I shall go to a concert at the foot of the Moro a bit later. Local kids all good musicians all from the “wrong side of the tracks”.
There is a lot of fortitude and grit there. I hope their lot doesn´t get worse but I fear it will.
In Bolsonaro’s 81-page Plan of Government, “the word ‘culture’ appears only once.”
The Ministry is threatened to be absorbed into that of Education for which in turn he has announced plans to merge the Higher Education Ministry with the Ministry for Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, a cost-saving measure that could undermine Brazil’s current role as Latin America’s scientific powerhouse.
Before plunging into economic recession in 2015, Brazil spent 1.3% of its gross domestic product on science and technology research – by far the largest share in the region.
With the rabid puritanical evangelists demanding a say in policy this is all shaping up to be straight out of the Handmaid´s Tale.

For those wanting the inside baseball of how the Brazilian Political system works I can recommend this Spotify podcast.
I don´t wholly agree with it, and find the take by Muni Jensen slightly elitist.
However I fully agree with the statement that
It’s the bark that summons all the other rabid dogs to the yard. Even in the absence of policy.
The idea that this government will end up being just right of Centre is, to me laughable but then American Centralists are right wingers in most other places and not a vestige of socialism is permitted.

From May 2017
Temer’s interim government worked hard to roll back thirteen years of reform by instilling policies which “represent a shift toward a neoliberal economic policy
by the old elite that ousted elected president Dilma Rousseff.”
As Jonathan Watts at The Guardian then noted, the interim government has made moves to “soften the definition of slavery, roll back the demarcation of indigenous land, trim house building programs and sell off state assets in airports, utilities and the post office. Newly appointed ministers also are talking of cutting healthcare spending and reducing the cost of the bolsa familia poverty relief system.”
According to Greenwald, these moves serve as an effort to “impose a right-wing, oligarch-serving agenda that the Brazilian population would never accept.”

Well we have moved even more right since then which with hindsight was probably the plan all along.
First remove Dilma and then jail Lula the only creditable opposition leader.
Neo Liberalism marches on and Paõlo Guedes of Chicago school infamy and who taught at the University of Chile during the Pinochet terror heads up the new financial superministry and is here to lead the charge.
The fact that he is facing a fraud investigation is very normal for a Brazilian Politician.

It should be noted that in spite of all the hype the Chigago Boys did not save the Chilean economy with repression for the majorities and “economic freedom” for small privileged groups being two sides of the same coin.

Just an aside that last week was the 3rd anniversary of the worst enviromental disaster in Brazils history.
Samarco knew of and predicted the dangers and yet no one has yet been held responsible. As a result a class action has been opened in Liverpool for about UKL 5 billion against The Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton.

The transitional Bolsonaro regime is not really sure what it’s up to as yet there have been more than a few hiccups.
The head of Brazil’s Senate, criticizing the incoming Bolsonaro team: “These guys don’t come from politics, they come from social media.” (Twitter).
The promises of political renewal, leaving behind “old-school” politicians and pursuing national sovereignty, now sound like ideals that are far away from the group that will take office in January.

First the Agricultural ministry was going to be merged with the enviromental ministry. That was short lived as agribiz saw its bottom line being hit.
The new agricultural minister Tereza Cristina the first woman in the Cabinet is commonly know as “Musa do Veneno” for her heavy support o the pesticide industry.
This will speed up the loosening of Pesticide laws with the expected dire consequences.
Her predecessor under the usurper Temer was Blairo Maggi the soya king who has the previous distinction of being awarded the Greenpeace Golden chainsaw award. So it’s all signs of businness as usual but with fewer restraints.

Bolsonazi has alienated China which looking at Brazil’s export map seems to be a self inflicted wound.
And in Trumpian style he is attacking the press with specific ire for Folha de São Paulo. Before too long we will have a government fully run on facist twitter.
To his credit he has now included 3 more women in his transition team. The fact that they are all military personel is just something else to loose sleep about.

The next ongoing shock to social order beside pension reform will probably be his insistence on liberating gun laws, another failed policy in the making but his hard core storm trooper base will love it.

Finally from this morning’s news a newly elected Congressman taunts human rights groups as police drag blood-splattered bodies into pick-up trucks in Rio. The Congressman was elected on the pro-guns ticket of Brazil’s fascist president-elect and is a former porn star; pro-life but asked his ex girlfriend to have an abortion because they just had “casual sex” and he didn’t register the kid that is now a grown man.

How do the people stop this shit?


(I shall continue to refer to Jair Bolsonaro as the Bolsonazi because according to his own stated views this is exactly what he is as are so many of his despicable base).

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