Political elite has lost grip, left can’t take advantage

I was on The Real News this week discussing a(nother) mad week in Brazil. There are effectively four major threads to anti-corruption charges now, two against Temer/PMDB and two against Lula/PT. I won’t recap them here but instead tease out some deeper implications of what I said on the programme. (For a good summary, Stephanie Nolen Continue reading Political elite has lost grip, left can’t take advantage

What’s the opposite of these PPE/Énarque/Beltway weirdos?

On Populism and ‘Honest Politicians’ Corbyn has been praised for being an honest man, that rarity — an authentic politician. Yet his lack of success has brought criticism (and not just from the right of his own party and other centrists) for not ‘playing the game’. So which is it? Neither. The surprise upsurge – Continue reading What’s the opposite of these PPE/Énarque/Beltway weirdos?

The List Lands: Who can reconstitute democracy after this bombshell?

By 6 PM on the night of Tuesday 11 April, the plenaries of Brazil’s house and senate were empty. A long-promised political holocaust had arrived. Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin had just authorised corruption investigations into nearly a third of interim president Temer’s cabinet, and a similar proportion of senators. The list to be investigated Continue reading The List Lands: Who can reconstitute democracy after this bombshell?

In Defence of Abominations and Peversion

It is one year to the day since ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, in which they “targeted the capital of abominations and perversion.” What followed was the predictable Je Suis Charlie-style demonstrations of ‘solidarity’ – so patently a charade when voiced by authoritarian, militarist, and censorious European leaders. Others repeated the French Republican Continue reading In Defence of Abominations and Peversion

Dirty hands, broken car wash: anti-corruption and the Brazilian crisis

As I’ve argued since the beginning of the year, the Lava Jato investigation is one of two things: either a limited initiative that stops after ensnaring its primary targets, or a thoroughgoing campaign-cum-crusade that ends up eviscerating the whole political class. It’s hard to decide which would be preferable. The one would be, effectively, a highly Continue reading Dirty hands, broken car wash: anti-corruption and the Brazilian crisis