Open the Cage and Let Them Out

open the gates
Politics is in the air at the moment.

If it’s not Donald Trump in the U.S.A. then it’s Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K. …and here, in my little town, the candidates are squaring up for the local elections in February next year.

So far, only one party has announced whom its candidate for mayoral office will be: the party currently holding power.

The party whose representatives are responsible for the ever immobile bulldozer, the dustcart that collects more dust than rubbish and – latest item, remember you heard it here first – the payment of over two million colones (some four thousand dollars) to an enterprise appropriately entitled ‘El Gusano’ (The Grub) for cutting down a tree.

Be that as it may, the party faithful, all sixty three of them, assembled this weekend to elect their candidate for February.

The list had been whittled down to three….the current alcalde (mayor) – pink shirt; a gentleman who had given long service to the party both in the council and the National Assembly – blue shirt and a hair style expertly imitating a wig – and a large gentleman distinguished mainly by his striped polo shirt, resembling a navigation buoy swept inland by a tsunami.

Now, the party nationally runs the rule over those of its members who wish to stand for office.

It doesn’t like to endorse those who have previously stood for office for other parties….or those who have less then two years’ membership of the party.
No problem for the local candidates there.

It will not endorse those who contravene the requirements of its ethics committee.
No problem there either.

It will not endorse those condemned by the justice system…
Ah! A hitch!
One candidate was refused the party’s approval on these grounds.
The one with long years of service at local and national level.

It appears that this gentleman had been an agent for the then monopolistic state insurance company INS. Apart from his other activities.
As an agent for INS he had accepted payment for car insurance and had duly delivered certificates of insurance to his clients.
Unfortunately, he had forgotten to inform INS of his transactions.

It all came to light when a client, passing the head office of INS in San Jose decided to check his policy…only to discover that INS had no record of it.

The state prosecution service became involved and eventually the forgetful gentleman was hauled into court.

The Costa Rican justice system allows for a conciliation process before action proceeds, and at that process, the future candidate offered to refund the nineteen million colones (some thirty eight thousand dollars) identified as entering into his possession but not into that of INS and was given three years in which to do so, in addition to a payment to benefit the National Children’s Hospital and the obligation to do one hundred hours of community service.

Simple, you would think. Condemned by the justice system…can’t be a candidate.

But this is to underestimate the abilities of this gentleman.

Instead of appealing against the decision of his party immediately he waited until the day before the election and took his case to the national Election Tribunal who decided that, as a long serving party member and not otherwise disqualified by internal party regulations, he could proceed with his candidature while he appealed his party’s decision in an internal tribunal.
No time for the party to disqualify him again, then.

First round of voting….the navigation buoy is eliminated. Pink shirt and blue shirt tie.

Second round of voting….blue shirt wins.

Deep unhappiness among those whose candidate was not successful…..who have launched an appeal to overthrow the decision.

With a bit of luck this series of appeals will last until after the elections…or they might do a re run and elect the navigation buoy.

Needless to say, the social media are fizzing…..very good for my Spanish vocabulary, if somewhat repetitive.

I have no idea what the reaction in the U.S.A. to Trump might be…I just wonder if he reminds anyone else of a troll (Norwegian variety, not internet)….but Corbyn’s candidacy for the leadership of the Labour Party certainly seems to have enlivened political life in the U.K.

It appears from the reaction of an unholy combination of press and politicians that his election will end civilisation as we know it.
Looking at said civilisation as exemplified by the U.K., I tend to think that that is no bad thing.

There have been years of privatisation – both openly and by stealth – of public assets. Sheer daylight robbery.

Years of kow towing to the U.S.A. government- the follies of whose evil policies are plain to all.

Years of grinding the faces of the poor….no proper employment resulting in artificially induced dependency; education designed to depress, not encourage talent; inadequate housing, poor nutrition.

But what seems to worry the powers that be the most is that Corbyn would like to hear what ordinary people think, what ordinary people want….and proposes to try to put those wishes into effect.

Shock horror!

Democracy!

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29 thoughts on “Open the Cage and Let Them Out”

  1. Nice to read one of your posts again. Not blogging myself, I have also neglected the reading side. The guff in the papers about Corbyn is incredible, isn’t it? I would find it delightfully entertaining if I didn’t in fact think that the relentless negativity will stymie his chances as party leader. A very sad self-fulfilling prophecy. And you’re absolutely right – no matter how woolly some of his ideas MIGHT be (I haven’t heard an especially worrying one yet), what really bothers establishment politicians is his obvious dedication to robust, fearless democracy, either within the party or nationally. That’s anathema to them – their one big gripe with this democracy business is the voter.

    1. I haven’t been blogging much either just lately, or catching up on reading! I can’t seem to get a minutes’ peace to settle before some interruption or other comes along…

      Yes, voters are such an inconvenience to our masters, aren’t they…

      I just wonder whether Corbyn will have a convenient heart attack a la John Smith and Robin Cook…

  2. . . one of the joys of being a card-carrying member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain is history shows that since its foundation in 1904 it has never been on the wrong side of any issue (it truly is a remarkable and checkable fact) – doesn’t make us electable, of course. The party evolved from the old Socialist League of the likes of William Morris and Oscar Wilde who once pointed out that ‘the problem with socialism is that it takes up too many evenings!’

  3. I do believe François Hollande promised that his government would be ‘exemplaire’. Another empty promise or blatant lie but no surprise coming from a politician.

  4. It’s more a statement of where “we’re” at with political smoke and mirrors, that Trump has risen to the level he has. But Americans are waking up to the show and Ben Carter is now moving up. That again is a statement that people are sick and tired or politics as usual and don’t buy the sound bites. If Trump were to make it, it would be a negative gain: a vote against what is and the false belief that anything non-political is better than… That’s how low we’ve sunk. You’d think someone would wise up and start being honest, or something close enough to resemble it. Your guy sounds like more of the same, but more off the bell curve of corruption with that last minute move he pulled/is pulling.

    I’m glad to see something from you before I take off for a few days, maybe more. Stay well and enjoy. 🙂

    1. Thank you for dropping in…take care now, because it’s not just what you do for those dogs we value, but you yourself.

      I’m glad that Americans are waking up to the reality of Trump….I wish that they and the British would wake up to the evils of the party system too.

  5. “The Grub”: Sounds like an ideal name for a wide array of political candidates in a wide array of countries.

    And I don’t know whether to admire or be astounded by a party that eliminates those who have had previous difficulties with the legal system. After all, it’s not like those in power ever get in trouble with the law, right?

  6. Any post that starts with the image of an Assyrian lion has to be good and this is indeed a good one. I was shocked – shocked I tell you – to learn that there is a “ethics committee” in operation. Ethics Commissioner – that’s the job I want because they do not seem overly taxed by their duties thereby leaving ample time for beer breaks.

    1. Very necessary, beer breaks. And any ethics committee which follows the ancient Egyptian practice of decision making – decide when sober , then get drunk and decide again – can’t go far wrong.

      The ethics committee in question has announced itself to be surprised by but not of course critical of the Elections Tribunal decision to let blue shirt continue….

      Which body did not take the ancient Egyptian way of decision making is of course open to (polite) speculation.

  7. A New York Times article recently featured the work of a cartoonist who painted Trump as a steaming brown turd…Apt, I thought. I am once again fretting my lack of two good legs…hard to immigrate without them.

    1. Yes….it just makes you wonder who ingested him in the first place….

      I cannot tell you how glad I am that we were able to leave the U.K…..I don’t recognise what has happened to my country

  8. Trump is indeed the image of a Norwegian troll (folldy woll as my father always insisted was their greeting), Jeremy Corbyn is a true socialist with both feet cleanly in democratic politics so must be trolled out of the running and I want to meet your wig-haired blue shirt who sounds like just the man to lead either the U.S. or the UK – his choice 😉

    1. My memory plays me false…did the troll folldy woll intend to eat one for supper…or was it another meal?

      Yes, I reckon Mr. blue shirt could have a promising future on the larger stage…

      1. The troll folldy woll was intent on Billy Goat for any meal at all I think (and Baby Goat might only have represented a light snack, I rather think) ! Blue Shirt clearly has the credentials for greatness …. Perhaps we should enroll as campaign managers now!!!!

  9. Helen,

    I was just visiting my mom’s down in the States over the weekend, and she watches the news every evening. And every evening there was yet another Donald Trump story. We would both react by snorting and cringing at the same time. Your post reminds me that there are similar power hungry politicians, or in Trump’s case, wannabe politicians the world over. Sigh…

  10. Re the various grounds for disqualifying potential election candidates, I’m sure the British Labour Party would love to have found something that would disqualify Jeremy Corbyn from running as party leader. Unfortunately he’s a man of integrity and as clean as a whistle. But I’m dying to see what the Labour bigwigs do to try and sabotage him if he’s elected leader. I bet they’re all plotting and scheming like crazy. What they can’t stand is that his policies are not only widely popular with the public but are actually quite sensible alternatives to the current austerity-mania and pro-big business arse-licking.

    1. I sincerely hope that his supporters in the Constituency Labour Parties will seize the reselection opportunities offered by boundary changes to get rid of some of the dead wood of the PLP.

      1. If Corbyn wins and he then does not have the support of Labours MPs he can not lead the Party in the House of Commons.

  11. I do so love your insights, Helen. Always on the button. I cannot believe that the Labour party are shooting themselves in the foot like this, arguing amongst themselves and ‘sound biting’, manoeuvring for position rather speaking up for what they feel is right. People all over the world have had enough of piss poor government. Time to act together ourselves.

    1. It seems to be the PLP who are behaving like children…fearing that their sweet ration is going to be cut.
      i hope those who signed up as supporters will join the party and bring it back to life.

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