Episode 110 – Trumping all over the UK, RIP White Paper, exactly who is left in the cabinet anymore, omgwtf is actually happening when will we ever get a rest from this relentless news bonkersness? Oh and also Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) speaks to Lupita Valdez at Justice Mexico Now (@justicemexicouk) all about AMLO and Mexican politics.
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Trumping all over the UK, RIP White Paper, exactly who is left in the cabinet anymore, omgwtf is actually happening when will we ever get a rest from this relentless news bonkersness? Oh and also Tiernan (@tiernandouieb) speaks to Lupita Valdez at Justice Mexico Now (@justicemexicouk) all about AMLO and Mexican politics.
Links and sources of info from Lupita Valdez’s interview:
All the usual ParPolBro stuff:
Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the political comedy podcast that dissects the past week’s news before realizing oh, it’s all charred inside, I shouldn’t have used it for science I should have let it die in the wild. This is episode 110, I’m Tiernan Douieb and as oak smoked, barrel ripened hernia Donald Trump met with US President Vladmir Putin and said he trusted him over US intelligence, I understand as basing it works on just him, top level smarts is something that’s quite clearly lacking.
Yes, Donald Trump met Putin for reasons no one knows why and openly said that ol’ Vlad helping with the investigation into Russian hacking would be a good idea. WHAT? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? That’s like if a police detective said ‘hey squad, don’t worry we’ve got this murder wrapped, that guy with the blood on his hands and the big knife says he’s glad to help!’
In the UK the government have already had their Brexit White Paper crumpled up and thrown in the bin, not the recycling one though, as Prime Minister and template for Aunt Lydia Theresa May accepted the amendments from European Research Group – a bunch of people who mainly research how much each other hates Europe – that basically means the big plan she announced last week is already dead in the water and no one even wants to retrieve the body to bury it properly.
WAIT HANG ON WHAT?
FX of Record Scratch
SLOW DOWN EVERYONE. HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Yes, sorry, there is a lot to catch up on as it has it has been another week in British and global politics where in years to come, historians will use to add to the reasoning as to why this decade is known as the harrowing 20-teens aka when humanity just gave up. Ha! Who am I kidding. As if there’ll be any historians after the great intelligence purge of 2021. But genuinely though I feel like we’re just hours away from a Middle Eastern country saying they’re going to have to intervene in the UK and US just to end the widespread suffering.
Where to start? How about we go chronologically so as to dip your toes into the shallow end of awful, before you plunge in genitals first and get hit in the face by a giant wave of upset. After the beginning of the week involving the chaotic crashing out of the cabinet of anthropomorphized dandruff flavoured candy floss David Davis and potato sack pulled over several bowling balls Boris Johnson, a cabinet reshuffle happened. Strengthened in the way that cider is if you leave it out till it becomes undrinkable, Theresa May decided to uphold the message from her February speech celebrating 100 years of suffrage about how woman do politics differently, by appointing more men called Jeremy than any female politicians. So, the not so much reshuffle as manning the station included Jeremy Wright, a man who looks like what you’d find if you typed into google images ‘stock photo of an 80’s American IBM manager’ who is now the new culture secretary. Something that will suit him well as he has an inactive Twitter account, seems to have no interest in the digital world and probably thinks Stranger Things is a documentary on modern life. Another of May’s new ministers is happy new potato Justin Tomlinson who got in trouble in 2015 for leaking information from the Public Accounts committee to payday lenders & money bastards Wonga.com, and now he’s Parliamentary under-secretary for family support, housing and child maintenance which I guess means its only time before those claiming universal credit will have to pay it back with 1000% interest. And all that’s as well as the appointments of face drawn on tagliatelle Jeremy Hunt as Foreign Secretary because no one can represent how just how healthy our country is globally than the man that made the NHS sick, and what if someone pulled Ant McPartlin’s back of the neck skin too hard Dominic Raab as Brexit Secretary because there no positions left in the mail room.
Raab’s first duty as Brexit Secretary involved him trying to unveil the Brexit White Paper to Parliament only to be heckled by MPs asking why they hadn’t seen it before his statement. All Raab needed to do after that was tell everyone the white paper doesn’t actually exist before revealing that it does, but he hasn’t finished it, or even started it, and he’s basically the perfect David Davis tribute act. Except the White Paper is finished, and as Theresa May said it will deliver the Brexit everyone voted for, and by that, I mean it’s a mish mosh of ideas that won’t work, with no definitive stance, based on a simplified notion that no one thought through and that is incredibly hard to carry out. It’s not so much cherry picking and cake eating but more a badly made cherry cake that someone showed to Mr Kipling and caused him to cry. May and her cabinet have achieved the impossible and united Britain bringing everyone, Remainers and Brexiteers together, to agree that this White Paper is shit. The proposals suggest a Ukraine style Association Agreement, which I think judging by recent events, means we’ll be even more prone to Russian invasion than before. May had to deal with more resignations as two vice chairs quit in protest at the White Paper. These were Maria Caulfield who is both a Tory MP and a nurse and therefore doesn’t actually exist, and Ben Bradley who’s resignation now means the Conservatives will struggle without someone to naively pen legally dubious tweets on their behalf.
Someone else who wasn’t happy with the White Paper even though there’s every chance he hadn’t read it because it didn’t have his name in it, was Donald Trump who tumbled into Britain like a lump of uncooked pork, two days after kicking off about NATO not paying enough money into defense and one day after, at the NATO summit, he said what they were doing is fine, in the way you expect someone had to quietly tell him he once again had no fucking idea what he was talking about. Within hours of landing in the UK and during his meeting with Theresa May at Blenheim Palace, his exclusive interview with everyone’s favourite bonfire material The Sun was released, saying that May had ignored his advice and wrecked Brexit and if the Brexit deal on the white paper goes ahead, it would kill a deal with the US. And here I was thinking the White paper had no bonus elements. I mean a trade deal with a country that is currently in a pointless trade war that is hurting both itself and other countries, why would we want to pass up something that sweet? Why not secure a trade deal with the US, and then maybe another one with space where we fire all our best food into orbit at ridiculous cost and in return we all starve and die? The rest of the interview included Trump saying Boris Johnson would make a great prime minister, a sentence that would only be correct if he added ‘fucking livid’ on the end of that, he said immigrants were destroying Europe’s culture even though a ton of European culture was created by immigrants and let’s face Trump doesn’t know what culture is as he only eats fast food which is so synthetic it’ll never go off. He blamed Sadiq Khan for letting too many immigrants into London, something that if Trump really cared about he’d have helped out by not visiting. Oh, and he also kept referring to the hospital in London which I think means he thinks there’s only one of them which is weird, but as a plus, should limit how much of the NHS the UK government can sell to him.
The next day when meeting May in Chequers, Trump apologized to her and told her the interview was fake news even though there is an audio recording of him saying all of it. Weirdly what he said was fake news so maybe it was an inadvertent admittance of his own bullshit? Or if not, then he was calling The Sun fake news, which is mostly is, except for this one time when it wasn’t and he’s saying it was. Damn it! This feels like in a film when a hardened criminal tries to go on the straight and narrow, but something drags them back into the underworld. Without Trump, who knows, maybe the Sun could’ve spent the next day reporting its first few facts while Rupert Murdoch turned to dust in the sunlight somewhere. Highly unlikely but now we’ll never know. Ever the strong leader, May accepted Trump’s apology, legitimized his bullying and rhetoric and then said ‘it’s just the press’ which is the world’s biggest understatement for a leader of a party who thrives off their support. It’s like May saying, ‘oh it’s just the donors’ or ‘oh it’s just a tax haven.’ However, at the meeting in Chequers, Trump did say that he wants a UK/US trade deal but didn’t understand what May was trying to do, which to be fair is the first time he’s ever been close to aligned with UK public opinion and he said the US and UK had a relationship that was the highest level of special, which with him probably means Star Wars holiday. May later revealed that the guidance Trump gave her was ‘sue the EU and don’t give up’, which is two awful bits of advice. Trump then went on the next day to turn up 15 minutes late for meeting The Queen before not bowing and then seemingly forgetting to walk so he blocked her way. Now look, I’m sure Lizzie is used to dealing with old racist sex pests, what with a lifetime spent with Philip and Rolf Harris having done her portrait, but you don’t come to the UK and offend our monarch. I’m saying that as someone who has never been a royalist and you see what Trump’s done? He’s so much of a shit that last week I felt temporarily sorry for a right-wing rag, our shitty prime minister and the Queen. He’s so awful that you take sides of other awful people instead. Trump is the ISIS of presidents! I mean that fits, right? He’s misogynistic, homophobic, has tons of mad fanatics and looks like he’s blown himself up, albeit mostly just his ego and in a sort of inflatable way. Over 100,000 people took to the streets in London on Friday plus more all across the UK to protest against Trump’s visit, in what has been classed as the biggest protest in the world against another country’s leader, though Disgraced MP Liam The Disgrace Fox said that everyone who marched was an embarrassment to themselves because you know, he only cares about the will of some of the people. While I’d disagree with him, I suppose that as he is a twice disgraced MP whose Brexit proposals have regularly been proven nonsensical and impossible, people embarrassing themselves is about the only thing Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox is actually an expert in. Many critics tried to say that the protest was not just anti-Trump but anti-American, which is stupid as us Brits don’t hate Americans, except Trump. Or all of Trump’s team. Or Harvey Weinstein. Or Kevin Spacey. Or Johnny Depp. Or most of those YouTube celebs. Or Kayne West. Or all of the Kardashians. Or Rebecca Black. Or all those really loud ones that let you know they’re American from miles away or…. ok ok, but this one was definitely just anti-Trump.
After keeping to form and visiting a country mainly just to insult two woman and a Muslim man, I mean no wonder he thinks Boris Johnson would make a good Prime Minister, Trump travelled to Helsinki to have a summit with Putin for reasons no one has explained. Trump swears that before this meeting he had only met Putin two and a half times, so I’m guessing on one occasion they only had time for a hand job. This time round though it lasted longer than the 90 minutes than was planned, so I’m guessing if Putin is still in World Cup mode that meant they went to extra time and then penalties but just not for him or Trump. At the press conference after the meeting where it’s likely Trump just asked if Putin could help with the mid-terms and Putin told Trump to dance like a monkey, Trump openly said that he backed Putin over the FBI, called the US foolish, and said that they’d both tackle hacking and cybercrime together, all in a way that makes you wonder what the trigger word is that Putin needs to say down the phone to make Trump in order to make him turn a gun on himself. At the end Putin gave Trump a world cup ball, as it’s a nice gift to fondly handle a marked rubbery sphere and then give him a World Cup souvenir as thanks. Back in the US, 12 Russians were indicted for hacking into and interfering with the 2016 US election, meaning that as Trump supporters regularly stated about Hilary Clinton ‘but what about her emails’ it may have not been a protest and more just been a reminder to the Russian intelligence services.
Meanwhile May has now told Conservative Brexiteer rebels to back her or risk no Brexit at all, which is great to hear there is finally a political situation with a win/win outcome. Former frontbencher and only person I’ve ever seen who looks unhappy about smiling Justine Greening, is demanding a second people’s referendum saying that May’s plan is the worst of both worlds, which is the first definitive proof of the government being aliens that I’ve heard of so far. However Downing Street have already said there will not be a second referendum under any circumstances which is very shortsighted. I mean what if their alien overlords beam down and threaten to blow up humanity unless there’s a second referendum? See, they didn’t think that one through, did they?
MPs continue to step down from their positions in order to revolt against the new Brexit plan, including MP Chris Green who you might know from er…. nope….and er MP Scott Mann who er…..stuff and and MP Robert Courts who did…er…the thing….nope, absolutely no idea. I could’ve just made up descriptions for them and you’d never have a clue if it was correct. Chris Green who looks like if a hoover vomited up a cheesecake. Nope, doesn’t even matter. I mean Scott Mann sounds like the name a child would give to a crayon drawing of a man they just did. Anyway, Robert Courts resigned during the World Cup finale just to make, you know, a really massive impact. Both held the posts of Parliamentary Private Secretaries, or PPS which makes it sound much more appropriate considering their resignations very much feel like the after-thought of an after-thought. Whether this will have any impact on May and her Brexit plans remains to be seen but unless other cabinet members step down it feels a bit like a handful of extras from a film mass battle scene quietly walking off because they don’t get to wear the helmets they like. Could the Conservatives be splitting up into separate parties? Who knows – I mean for a start, what would they be called? The Cons and the Newservatives? Both sound shit – but the debate on the White Paper and its proposed amendments got heated as Vanilla Rebel Anna Soubry announced that Brexiteers Tory MPs have said in private conversations that the loss of thousands of jobs will be worth it for our country’s sovereignty. I’m pretty sure now she’s said that, they’ll be finding out if that comes true or not by the next election. The government passed its white paper bill but only because it included the amendments that basically ruin everything it proposed. May has insisted that the changes were consistent with her plan, in the same way she definitely has a best friend but he goes to another school. Anyway, it’s all gone to shit and the government have now also proposed that parliament has it’s recess 5 days early so they can all run away and not deal with any of it because that’s the grown up thing to do. Once again the unoriginal Conservatives have stolen the Labour policy of more holidays and change it so it somehow only benefits them.
MP Andrew Griffiths and fully realized Roger the Dodger in many ways, has resigned as minister for small business because he was also revolting but in a different way, after it was revealed that he sent two female constituents over 2000 sexts, which is a lot. I mean, I’m guessing that’s 1000 each, was he typing out 50 shades of grey in emojis? I have no idea what that’s like but I’m guessing it’s a lot of aubergines, chains and a few snoring faces. And Labour MP Jared O’Mara aka Spamhead Jones who was suspended over homophobic and misogynistic twitter comments, has resigned from the Labour Party, presumably to run as the next US President. He said he’d not been listened to or given a fair trial by Labour about the tweets he did when he was much younger. Labour responded by saying ‘sorry what did he say? Who was that?’ So in the past week that’s Davis, Johnson, Griffiths and now Mara who’ve all resigned rather than getting fired for their mishaps. What does it take to lose your job as an MP? And who can we sponsor to find out? Come on Thangham Debonaire, I’ll buy you a sandwich if you try to set fire to Michael Fabricant’s hair during PMQs and see what happens. Come on Jo Swinson, light a firework during the Autumn Budget speech and I’ll buy you some biscuits. A limit must be found!
According to several polls Labour are now ahead of the Conservatives by 4 points with the biggest lead since last year’s general election. All it’ll take for them to win is to somehow not tear themselves apart even more than the government, which is why it’s great that it was revealed in a book by a former Labour staffer, that the party HQ spent £5k just targeting online adverts at Labour leader and Sidney in Ice Age Jeremy Corbyn and his team, so they’d think HQ were running the campaign they wanted. I mean, that’s pretty low, but I reckon if they can learn from this and target individual adverts at all of the Labour leadership, front bench, backbenchers and members each individually giving them the Brexit plan they think they want, I reckon they might just survive to the next election.
And lastly Environment Secretary and de-thorned and entirely undeadly puffer fish Michael Gove has admitted that had it been left to him, the Leave Campaign would not have stoked immigration fears in the way it did. Which is funny as he’s the one who said immigration would make the NHS unsustainable by 2030, staying in the EU would add 5m to the UK population and a ton of bullshit about Turkey. So not saying that ship has sailed Govey but I’m pretty sure it’s already finished its voyage but on its return hit an iceberg and can be found somewhere deep underwater on the sea bed and everyone’s wishing you were on it.
ARGH HOW IS THERE SO MUCH NEWS? My daughter was crying a lot this weekend as we think she’s teething and apparently having bits of bone push their way through your gums isn’t all that comfortable. Who knew? Anyway, there have been several times when she’s been crying her tiny eyes out that I’ve felt like showing her the news headlines and saying ‘you see that? That’s what you should be crying about’ before joining her in curling up, sucking my thumb and passing out. That is also the reason I didn’t go on the Trump march which was sad, but I did see all the amazing pics from it and was truly impressed with many of the excellent banners. It seemed brilliant. Instead I saw some friends of mine from the US who I’ve not seen in over 10 years, so I feel like part of me neutralized Trump’s visit by meeting with some good Americans instead. Does that work? No, I suppose not.
Hello! How’s you? Did you trump protest? I know it’s obvious but god that sounds like the step before a dirty protest. Ok, lemme rattle through this bit on the penultimate episode before a summer break! Yes soon I will not wake on a Monday morning panicking about ‘what can I say Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn look like today’ but only for a few weeks. So, thanks for being here on what is a bit of a long episode so I’ve tried to cut it down as much as possible BUT THERE’S JUST SO MUCH HAPPENING. Firstly shout out to WapWapWapz which I’m sure is their real name, for giving such a lovely review on the iTunes. But also the triple W, wait isn’t waps an old school euphemism for boobs? Are you the three boobed lady from Total Recall? If so, I’m well chuffed you’re a listener. Anyway Mega Waps says ‘please do a short episode on something like simplifying all the major events from the past year and their consequences.’ I like that idea a lot, and I’m thinking that the best time for that is either at some point during the summer to keep you going or just before the show returns in the Autumn as a kind of ‘previously on Partly Political’ episode. What are your thoughts? And what events would you like me to cover because I mean, this past week alone can’t be fit into an hour episode so I’m going to have to be selective. Send all suggestions to the email, web contact page or twitters or facebooks. Thanking you. Also if you’d like to review the show, why not do that? I mean, what else have you got to do? Oh loads of stuff. Ok, fair. But still it takes just seconds unless your internet connection is lame. So please give us a 5 star review on whereever you like reviewing things whether that’s iTunes, Castbox, Stitcher, Podbean or the BBC Good Food guide because I like to think this show is very easy to digest. If you can afford to and fancy donating to the show I’d bloody love it if you could and would definitely say nice things about you to my great aunt when I see her. You can donate a monthly fee to patreon.com/parpolbro or a one-off payment to ko-fi.com/parpolbro if you like.
One last bit of admin is that I was emailed by someone called Licia who very nicely asked if I could plug their music fundraiser on July 21st in North London supporting the Khora community centre in Athens that supplies 1000’s of refugees with basic life needs such as food, clothes, legal support and a safe space for women and children, so a very good cause indeed. The fundraiser is at the Castle Climbing Centre in N4 on Saturday and has Pete Fowler who DJs with Hot Chip and Perri Kaye and loads of other cool people I’m too old to know about. You can grab tickets at tickettailor.com if you search for Hands Up for Khora Community Centre. And you can find out more about the community centre itself at khora-athens.org so do that too. If any of you out there also have local or national events that you think are in line with this show’s general blab, I’m more than happy to give them a plug if there’s time so drop me a line at all the usual places lines go.
On this week’s show I am speaking to Lupita Valdez at Justice Mexico Now all about the huge political changes in Mexico. And that is quite a long but super fascinating chat, so there’s not a lot of time for anything else except, yep, you guessed it, some bucking Fexit Brawlout. I’m so sorry. I know there’s other things to discuss. But there aren’t many other things and most of those other things will be affected by Brexit anyway, and the only one that isn’t is how Michael Fabricant is a xenophobic bellend who looks frighteningly like Carole McGiffen and really, by saying that, I’ve covered that bit and you all know and can be uspet by that too. So now that’s done, here’s this:
AMLO might sound like a brand new Sesame Street character but actually, it’s the acronym for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the man who has just been elected Mexican President hopefully ending over 80 years of corrupt rule by the country’s main parties. Eight zero! With a culture of politicians accepting bribes, drugs cartels having far too much power and the corruption report giving Mexico just 29 points out of 100, the lower the points, the more corrupt your system is. Incidentally, the UK scored 82 because apparently, it’s a bonus if you’re pretty open about all the money that donors give to persuade policies and avoid tax. But this recent election showed Mexicans want a change and despite a reputation for election rigging and over 140 politicians being killed in the lead up to the vote which is just terrifying – I mean no one can accuse Mexican politicians of being careerist when they are literally taking the job for life – but despite all that AMLO still managed over 53% of the vote share. And now he’s promising to tackle corruption, inequality, bring in universal healthcare and improve education but that’s a taller order than a serve from John Isner and AMLO’s being touted by many as a left-wing populist and a Mexican Trump by people who’ve obviously never read any of Trump’s quite different policies. So, will he change Mexico for the better? Why were so many politicians killed? How will Mexican Trump handle American Trump? And how many of these names will I actually be able to pronounce properly?
This week I spoke to Lupita Valdez at the London based campaign Justice Mexico Now who aim to inform on and work to end human rights abuses in Mexico. I had pretty much zero idea of how things were in Mexico with all the news in the UK mainly being about things from the US side of the possible wall, and it was only after hosting a night for Justice Mexico Now last month that I found out just how huge their country’s changes were. That night they were raising money to send independent invigilators to the election to help stop rigging, and so I thought it’d be good to find out from Lupita what this result means to Mexicans, what AMLO is all about and exactly how Justice Mexico Now helped. This is a long but a thorough and good one and I should say that Lupita and Justice Mexico Now are long-time supporters of AMLO so it is, in some way, a chat that is very biased towards him. But really, as you’ll hear, when your political options are politicians who are swayed by drugs cartels and bribery why wouldn’t you back the man who says he’ll uphold human rights? Not doing that would be like willingly taking the stormy path in a horror film rather than the sunny one, and if you do that, you deserve to be eaten by zombies frankly. You should know better and no it won’t be quicker in the long term. What am I talking about? Anyway, I hope you enjoy and feel informed. Here is Lupita:
INTERVIEW PART 1
Tiernan Douieb: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, have I said that I right?
Lupita Valdez: Yes.
TD: Okay, so he won the election on July 1st, how do you feel about that result? Is this going to be an amazing long-awaited change from the corruption from the PRI or PAN parties? Are things going to be different now?
LV: Firstly, I’m a leftist, so when I learned, and I’ve been supporting Obrador since 2006, even before when he was a mayor of Mexico City, the biggest city in Mexico, and I’ve been a supporter since then. When he contested, because this is the third time that he’s been a candidate for presidency, and we were all of course worried because he said, ‘This is the last time I’m contending. If it’s not this time, it’s not going to be ever and I’m going to return to my daily life, regular life outside of politics.’ So, we were all quite worried that this was going to be our last chance of significant change in terms of governance. The fact that he won with such a huge majority is amazing. I wasn’t in Mexico City but I stayed awake all night, I have friends who went to Zócalo to the celebrations and they said, for example, it was amazing to see how, you know, people in Mexico we close restaurants and shops very late and there are (?) about between 8:00pm and 11:00pm. So, they said that when people started gathering by the thousands in the Zócalo, the people from the shops, the pink zone from the centre of Mexico, started to get out of their jobs and celebrating and jumping and cheering. This sort of happiness from the population was very, very visible. It was just heart-warming and it gave us a sudden sense of hope that we hadn’t had in many years, let me tell you, many, many years.
TD: That sounds amazing. What made this one different? You said that he ran before, why is it this time round that he’s managed to be successful?
LV: I think, not only successful, he managed to get the majority, as you know. I mean he (?) this election, he not only won it, he got the majority in both the higher and the lower chambers in congress. He got 5 out of the 9 governorships in the country and he won the majority in more than half of the local legislatures throughout the country. This is a massive win. If you see the map coloured according to who won in this election, everywhere is AMLO, the north, the south, the east, the west, everywhere. So, that points out something, why didn’t he win in the last election? Why didn’t he win in 2012 and 2006? Well, I think the issue that propelled him to this success this time was violence, that he himself, after such a long time being part of the political arena, because he’s been there since he was very young, he hasn’t become polluted by constant cases of corruption, not himself, more by the collusion with what’s perceived as the political class with the drug cartels. So, in this sense, he’s perceived in general by his followers and by the people that voted for him this time as someone outside of this circle of criminality and corruption. I think that’s where he got the biggest capital for this time’s success. In 2006, people claimed and there was a big campaign comparing him to Chávez, that he was going to bring about socialism and communism to Mexico, that he was going to turn our economy into something similar to that of Venezuela. It was a smearing campaign against him from the opponents, from the opposition parties, and I think that got a hold on people because, you know, I believe in my heart that people vote out of fear. In 2006 people weren’t fearing drug cartels, they weren’t fearing violence in the streets in your neighbourhood, you were fearing an economic crisis, right, because it was uncertain times in 2006-08. So, people wanted a steady economy and I think that’s what people, at the end of the day, even in 2012 after the crisis of 2008, I think people voted for the certainty of the main political party, the right wing, who could historically provide in economic terms. That’s the case of the last election but then, in 2006, he lost by only 0.5%, not even 1%, with Calderón who was the candidate that got into presidency. So imagine, we’re a country of almost 130 million people with almost 90 million voted, or at least registered to vote, and then he lost by just 0.5%. 2006 was a difficult period for Mexico because we all had hopes of change and then losing by such a small margin was a difficult thing to see. Of course, we all know how elections in Mexico are a bit dodgy to say the least.
TD: What do you mean by that? Can you elaborate a bit more?
LV: Of course. When people talk about fraud, fraud is a big thing, it’s a big word, but you can use general lies about an election, but you have to talk about the small nuances of what’s going on in the years before (? 07.15) and the electoral period. So, social programmes are used very often to coerce votes, so people are giving money, cash transfers, which are conditional and, ironically, in Mexico, they become conditional in terms of who you’re going to vote for. Then you also have deployment of people coercing, paid by parties, coercing people to vote. So, practices such as having, close to polling stations, a house, they call it I think, Friend’s House, and it’s basically where people bring the pictures of their ballot paper voting for a specific party and then they get money back, something like £20 or £30, something like that, something insignificant but in terms of the poverty that’s going on in Mexico, all these small cash transfers in exchange for votes are very significant because people are very poor. £20 can mean that your family during the week.
TD: So people are going for the quick money even though in the long term it’s going to be more damaging for them?
LV: Exactly, that’s the case. Then we have massive situations like that in Mexico and sadly I believe that our national electoral institution is very corrupt in that sense, they neglect to address these issues appropriately. They should be addressed with a very strong hand. In 2006 we had a massive situation of this sort, and what happened is, okay, Obrador lost statistically by 0.5% but how can you tell that those elections were clean if you have all these coercion strategies and illegal coercion of the vote? You can’t. So, happily, this time, AMLO won not by a small percentage. We were all fearing that if he won by a small percentage then they might use more coercion and then get 0.5% ahead of him. We were all fearing that, I couldn’t physically breathe until we saw how massively he’d won, which was a great joy to see.
TD: That must have been an amazing feeling. One of the reasons why this election started to show up in global news was because of the amount of violence, I mean, you’re talking about corruption in terms of paying people to vote but I think I read at one point that 116 political candidates had been killed in the run up to the election. Why was it so high? What was the reason for these people getting killed? Why was that happening?
LV: Yes. Actually, the final number, and it’s still happening every day, more politicians die. Up until the election there were 145 politicians murdered plus 50 people that were members of their close families, so imagine a total of 200 people related to candidacies murdered in cold blood. I think we don’t know who pulled those triggers for sure. However, experts do point that it’s very likely that the killings were a way for organised crime to try to gain control and influence on local government officials. We also have to see the number that also 600 candidates backed down, this also points towards to the fact that candidates get a lot of harassment, they get threats, they get these violent displays and they get scared so they back down. It’s important to note, I think, that we usually have in elections specific actors, which is civil society, and the political class, those contending. But, in this case, we have a very important third actor, which is the drug cartels, the organised crime trying to assert influence, which is something very dangerous because, as you know, AMLO has vowed to bring peace to the country. However, in these elections, he doesn’t have control of the political sphere right now, he comes into power in December, that’s how it works in Mexico, you win in July but then you come into power in December. However, these elections made very clear that this third political actor is very strong, is very real, is there and is starting to be there to stay, it’s not planning to go anywhere. So, it’s quite scary, at least from my perspective, to see that.
TD: Yes, it’s terrifying. One of the things I read the other day was Alfonso Romo, who I believe is going to be the new chief of staff under AMLO, he was saying 40% of Mexican territory is prisoner to chronic insecurity and violence. Is that going to be able to change? Is AMLO going to be able to do anything about that, especially if it’s so endemic in society?
LV: You already have a project and I think, actually, one of the main issues that I was telling you before that the reasons why AMLO won was because people are fed up by the current status quo and the current state of Mexico, violence and the collusion of the perceived collusion of certain sectors of the government with the organised crime, which means that the system you’re voting for and that you’re relying on to protect you is basically against you. So, people were fed up and he won on this platform. AMLO inherited one of the biggest crises in terms of political violence, in terms of disappearance, in terms of murders in the country, we have more than 30,000 people who disappeared just by official numbers and more than 80,000 people murdered. So, these are the issues AMLO will have to fight, even though he has the majority in the legislative sphere let’s not forget that he only has 5 governors. We have 32 states in the country and his party controls, at least in terms of the governors, only 5, the rest are scattered around. We’re set to create very close communication with his governors that are in fact responsible for providing security in their regions but we see 2 things very clearly proposed by AMLO in order to end this wave of violence throughout the country. We have an amnesty project, which is basically proposed by the first secretary of state, who is Olga Sanchez, a woman, which is nothing less than a project of restorative or transitional justice. This means that suddenly justice shifts its focus for the needs of the victims and their families rather than solely on the punishment of the perpetrators or criminals. That’s one issue that he’s proposing to end this violence. The other thing is to have a reform, a judicial reform, and this means a big change in Mexico, and he’s vowed to demilitarise the country because, as you know, Mexico, in 2006, the then president, Felipe Calderón, began the war on drugs. To do this, he deployed the military throughout the country, this is something very dangerous to do. Historically, we’ve seen how the military industries are something that we should all be very wary about, we should all be very careful, and things got out of control for him and then for the following president, Peña Nieto. Having the military industry has not brought about peace, violence hasn’t reduced and, in fact, a lot of international organisations have pointed to the fact that human rights violations have gotten worse due to the fact that you have the military and the navy in the streets tackling internal security. This is something very troublesome. So, on the one hand we have AMLO trying to stop the strategies to address this violence, which is going to a different reform of the judicial of the police forces throughout the country, he aims to get the military out of Mexico, he has vowed to do this by 2021 in 3 years’ time, and he has also the approach of tackling inequality. At the end of the day, the organised crime, the drug cartels, get their people, they get new members because they pay them, they give payments. I mean, it’s a $30 billion business, they have a lot of money and they bring a lot of money, sadly, to Mexican society. So, they pay young people to part, they pay but sometimes they also coerce, they are recruited by force. So, you have a mixture of actors within these criminal organisations and I think he’s doing a lot of strategies to tackle what these actors represent with different strategies, one tackling inequality and, on the other hand, tackling how internal security is going to be worked in the next years.
TD: That’s not a small job at all. One of the things I wanted to ask you is some of the criticism I’ve read and I wanted to ask you whether it’s true. A lot of the press refer to him as a Mexican Trump who’s populist and just makes promises that he then goes back on or can’t keep, is that fear of the press or is it because of something different? Why are they are referring to him as a Mexican Trump?
LV: I read recently a very good article on that in Rolling Stone magazine titled ‘Why Mexico’s New President Is Nothing Like Trump’. I think is anyone has fears that there may be any similarity, I recommend them to go and read that article, it’s very enlightening and it says basically that just in terms of their public political discourse, they’re very opposite. When people say, ‘Oh, you know, both are populist, both are demagogies,’ but they haven’t heard AMLO speak. He speaks of peace, he speaks of reconciliation, he speaks of equality, he speaks not of isolation, not economic isolation, he speaks actually about how Mexico should become much stronger in terms of the global economy. Those are his words, he coins terms very easily and people pick them up because they rhyme, it’s funny, but he does it because those are the values he has at his core. He says, for example, that you can’t solve violence with violence, he’s a pacifist.
TD: That’s very unlike Trump, you couldn’t get further away from Trump.
LV: Yes. He has another saying ‘Vicario no sicario (?)’ which means ‘students and not (?)’. You have another one that he says ‘Hugs not bullets’, ‘Abrazos no balas’. They rhyme in Spanish so they’re very catchy but they’re very serious, you can laugh at them if you want but they are very serious, he doesn’t want to tackle violence with more violence. He wants to do a reconciliation of the country, that’s why he’s proposing this amnesty project of restorative justice. That’s the political discourse, Trump’s discourse is xenophobic, you can even say violent, it’s not reconciliating, at the very least it’s actually antagonising, it’s always prepared to say something inappropriate and prepared to find a scapegoat, it’s always prepared to find someone else to put the guilt on someone else’s back.
TD: Do you think now with AMLO in charge that Mexico’s relationship with America will change? I think I saw Donald Trump did a congratulations tweet or whatever, the minimum that he can do, but if you’ve now got a left wing leader in Mexico, is that going to make relations with Donald Trump’s more and more xenophobic White House more unstable?
LV: I’m saying that the card that AMLO has is that he has a big mandate, he has the largest mandate ever for a president in Mexico. He has public support, definitely. When Peña Nieto, I think, last year, the level of public acceptance of him was 17%, the lowest in the Latin American region, no one wanted him, no was supporting his political agenda, his economic agenda, no one was supporting him, no one was backing him up. So, I think Trump smells this, and regarding Peña Nieto, I think he was very antagonistic and he invited him before Trump even won the elections, Peña Nieto invited him to Mexico, which I think was a big political mistake. I think Trump smells fear and I think, in one way, the political class and the political economy has historically been a subject of the US, not only in terms of natural regional dependency but also in terms of how the US signature model of neoliberalism has been very convenient to the economic interests of the Mexican political class, that of the preferential accumulation of capital. Now we have AMLO coming into power, he was voted for by 30 million people and we will have, of course, a change on the economic approach. He will, in fact, maybe shift towards a more nationalistic and popular approach to public spending and market intervention, which will indeed be a radical change, but also he aims to remain part of the international economy and reflect this macro economic growth into the micro economy of the people living in the country. So, this is going to very important because, sadly, NAFTA, you’ve heard of NAFTA, the economic trade deal with Canada and the US, it’s very important for the economy. It’s always put us at a bit of a disadvantage in terms of the economic relations with our neighbours in the north, however, if you suddenly cancel it, as Trump is proposing, it’s going to bring about some macro economic impact to Mexico and this is very tricky. You know, Trump has, up until now, been on a small honeymoon with Andrés Manuel, he’s coming, I think, to the UK this Friday, however his economic team is actually going to be in Mexico. This Friday he’s sending Mike Pompeo, his state secretary, he’s sending Jared Kushner, his son in law, and also I think other people, many people from his economic team, to speak with López Obrador and his team. It’s very likely that the main topic is going to be NAFTA, the renegotiation of NAFTA, and possibly also migration and security, I think those are the 3 main issues they’re going to discuss. Truth be told, we need to be prepared for the worst because we all know Trump and we all know that one day he smiles at you and the other day he stabs you in the back. So, I think what’s going to happen is that Mexico might even strengthen his economic relations with Canada and with Latin America, with the rest of Latin America. Right now 80% of our exports go to the US, so imagine the impact that is going to have if suddenly NAFTA is cancelled. The economic team, of course, aims to have a renewed and renegotiated NAFTA, you know, trying to lose as little as possible in terms of economic capital, but we don’t know, Trump is crazy.
TD: Well, he’s completely unstable, that’s the problem. You’d think there’d be some logic in supporting a Mexican government that might get rid of inequality because then there would be less migration over to the US anyway, wouldn’t there? If Mexico had a more stable economy, more people would stay in Mexico to work.
TD: Surely Trump would prefer that, not that it means he’ll understand that or go for it but, in my head, that would make sense.
LV: I don’t know what to think. I don’t think Trump isn’t smart. Actually, one of the meetings that AMLO will propose to him and will offer is to actually to really take care of the local economy of the country in order to prevent, as you’ve very well said, more migration to the north. He has even vowed to welcome some migrants from Central America because Central America also has its issues in terms of violence and drug cartels but also gangs. So, yes, I think it’s going to become very interesting. You know, in terms of migrants, I think the migrants in the US suffering, in Mexico we have a similar case. If Trump closes the border and actually prevents migrants crossing it, whether he constructs a wall or whether he sends more vigilance and police presence there, suddenly Mexico in the next years is going to have a migrant crisis, not only because of its own migrants but also because of Central American migrants remaining in Mexico. Mexico, up until now, has been a very hostile environment for migrants, they disappear, they get killed, certain areas of Mexico are very xenophobic against migrants. So, AMLO has a very difficult 6 years ahead of him, he’s going to have to deal with a lot of things and I think he has a great team to back him up but we all still have to remain very vigilant and very supportive in terms of our role as a civil society.
END OF INTERVIEW PART 1
Right we’ll be back with Lupita in a minute but first. Yes, I’m sorry. It’s…
No I don’t want to talk about Brexit any more than you want to hear it. I mean maybe just skip this bit and then I won’t have to say anything and you won’t have to hear it and we can just pretend I’ve covered what I need to? Fair? Ok, go!
Doo doo doo de doo doo de doo dooo
Still here? Shit, ok. How about we talk about something else like, I dunno, favourite vegetables? Whose availability will be affected by Brexit, shit. Ok, look, I guess we have to do this, so rather than me go on and on about who said what nonsense and what petty infighting is happening this week, I thought it’d be best to do a quick run-down of firstly the Brexit White Paper and why all the Brexiteers hate it even though it has White in the title and all the Remainers hate it even though it’s something Brexiteers hate. Then a quick look at the problems with having a second referendum. Or a secarendum as I like to call it. Then I’ll try not to mention Brexit for the rest of this episode, promise.
So first up, let’s look at May’s new plan and by new plan I mean a plan cobbled together with lots of bits of old plans and plans other people have. It’s sort of a like a new car that you take home only to find that the front end is from a different car to the back end and the wheels are from a child’s tricycle and the radio is made of spam. I mean, if that happened, I’d definitely blame you for not doing more checks at the car sale but there you go. This new plan has upset everyone because it absolutely has cherry picking, that term you’ve heard throughout the process, whereby the government have said ‘these bits look nice, we’ll have them’ while leaving out any others they aren’t a fan of. Which is how you pick cherries I guess, only with cherries they are all still cherries so it’s harder to be upset by that as not eating a cherry with a worm in it makes sense, unlike taking just the bits of the single market you like and not the bits with the worms in. For example, the White Paper says they’ll keep all the same aviation standards, stay in the internal energy market and have a close association with Euratom, which is the nuclear regulator, not a guy called Tom who’s really big in the EU. So basically saying ‘hey all those things we left as we don’t want to be in the single market, can we still have them please’. Then it says that the UK and EU would notify each other through the joint committee of any proposed and adopted legislative proposals. Which isn’t what would happen if you look at any other agreement the EU has with Norway or Switzerland, where what happens is the EU says, here is a new rule and the country then takes it on. And that’s it. Once again, the UK is walking in assuming they have all the cards and seemingly ignoring that everyone else is playing chess.
I’m not going to go through all the bits that are problematic in the white paper because it’ll take ages and the EU are not going to agree on most of them. I mean MPs don’t agree on most of them and I’m pretty sure businesses won’t either so wasting time on it is a bit pointless. But here’s the doo dad, the trade parts of the white paper don’t need to be agreed as quickly as everything else. They have to be done by the end of the transition period, end of December 2020 so the only bits right now that have to be set in stone are things to do with the withdrawal agreement or the backstop aka what you have in place if it all goes wrong which is might aka hey do you remember Ireland, that place you keep forgetting, well we’re watching you and if you fuck things up Northern Ireland will stay in the EU? So there’s nine points in the White Paper that basically say ‘hey we’ll do what you do with trade so no need for a border’ which means that the backstop wouldn’t have to be used which means Ireland and the EU could agree as even if the nine points aren’t good, the backstop is there so they can push ahead. It’s a bit like how because I’m self-employed I always have to list a guarantor whenever I do anything like rent a new flat or get a loan or do anything grown up because they don’t trust me because I have a clown’s job. But then the aim is that I will cover things and the guarantor won’t have to be used but the financier can agree to it. Except in this case, it’d be more like me saying I could definitely pay it knowing full well my dad is going to get really, really angry with me in a few months’ time. Either way, this might mean at March next year things aren’t as chaotic as they’ve previously seemed. I mean, they might be, but come on guys, if I can’t pretend to be positive about this then I’ll have to go down the whole ‘hey at least we’ll stop being an obese country when we’re all malnourished due to lack of food imports’ route and that is much less nice.
While the White Paper is the sort of document that should have happened before Article 50 was triggered proving that the government had any sort of plan back then that could be amended well in time for deadlines, that didn’t happen and so in a weird way, maybe we can be vaguely relieved that finally they’ve produced something that sounds like they’ve at least discussed it. Sure this is like a child handing in their homework 2 years late and the teacher praising them for making sure they took their time on it. But it will need changes or scrapping and replacing with something else or just putting in a bin and being set fire to while we watch the country collapse but at least for now, someone’s done something. The White Paper is the government’s Cliff Richard at Wimbeldon in 1996 when it rained. No one wanted him there, no one enjoyed it, but at least someone was doing something even if ultimately it wasn’t what anyone would have asked for.
BUT there are two bills in the Commons this week, one on Taxation and Cross Border trade and one on the Trade Bill both of which have amendments from Remainer MPs that would mean the UK would have to stay in the Customs Union and the Taxation Bill has four amendments from the European Research Group, who are no doubt friends with the Taxpayers Alliance where they all have fun in their Little John ironic names meetings. The Taxation and Cross Border Trade bill passed on Monday night but only because May added all of the Brexiteer amendments to it, one of which makes the backstop impossible meaning the EU is likely to reject the whole thing anyway and the others that, oh look, its not even worth me explaining them. Basically, they are the equivalent of driving an RV straight through May’s plans because now the chances of the White Paper being excepted by the EU have gone from slim to none to less than zero meaning that the Brexiteers are just insistent on getting a no deal and reverting the UK to WTO tariffs. Something that was terrifying before but now suddenly much more so as the US have been blocking the appointment of members of the WTO’s Apellate Body. That would mean that the organisation could be incapable of resolving disputes between parties and thus meaning Trump can screw over anyone he likes in a trade war. But hey, he wouldn’t do that to the UK right? I mean we all know we have a high level of special relationship with him, that is about 7 places below Russia and totally depends on what he thinks about when he tweets while on the toilet. We should be fine.
Ok and now let’s look at Trump’s idea that May should just sue the EU. Ha! I joke, I mean, that is just stupid. What would we sue them for? That how dare they let us leave them and their rules that we signed up to? You’d have better luck calling one of those helplines and saying our country had an accident at work that wasn’t our fault and blaming the Russians for not destabilizing the necessary support structures causing severe spine problems. No ignoring that tangerine jizzrag’s idiocy, the other idea that is popular this week is the possibility of a second referendum, or a people’s referendum because apparently the last one was mostly for bots. And I mean, it seems like a great idea because maybe now, unlike in 2016, everyone’s realized what a pain in the arse Brexit is and might vote more sensibly, especially as our MPs don’t really have a meaningful vote and tons of leave voters have now died so here you go, you lot ruined it, you lot re-vote and fix it. Sure. Except it’s not that easy and not just because I don’t trust people, I mean, they can barely vote on Love Island correctly. For a start across the board, many in politics and the media still seems to think the UK is as powerful as the EU and can do what we want. Leavers still think we can up and go and it’ll hurt the EU more than us, soft Brexiteers seem to think we can have the bits we like. But there’s been very little information from any leadership about what the actual Brexit choices are and what they would mean, so if we headed to a second referendum would anyone really know what the choices are other than thinking one is telling the EU where to stick it and one isn’t? I mean that’s assuming those aren’t just the questions on the ballot paper which I feel right now they really could be.
The other bigger issue is time. The first Referendum Act for the vote took seven months to pass with its primary legislation on what the referendum would mean, and its secondary legislation on voting registration and funding limits and all that sort of stuff. Thing is, it’s mid July now, Parliament is about to go into recess, then it’s conference season, then the first step of the agreement with the EU around the Withdrawal Bill needs to be in place for October so the possibility of having a second referendum in March is pretty slim unless the UK ask the EU for an extension on everything and right now I sort of feel we’re getting to the phase where we’ll owe the EU so many favours we’ll be terrified that at some point over the next 10 years they’ll just turn around and ask us to quietly take out Luxembourg or something. May has specifically said that there will be no second referendum so it’s out of the question anyway, although knowing her that doesn’t mean there won’t be a first referendum with a different name or, I dunno, a prequel referendum or something or most likely May will go on a walking holiday and come back and announce a second referendum.
Lastly the number of EU citizens emigrating from the UK last year is the highest on record. You see? We didn’t even need Brexit or stronger borders or whatever, all we had to do was prove to please all those that wanted lower immigration figures was make things so shit here, everyone leaves. Well done everyone! Sorry, I did warn you to skip this bit but did you, nope. And yes, it is like I’m blaming you for my lack of preparation in making this bit all ok, but I feel like if nothing else, I’m well on trend with that sort of attitude right now.
And now back to Lupita.
INTERVIEW PART 2
TD: One of the things that I found quite striking to find out is that it’s now, I think, 49% the lower house and 51% of the senate is female politicians, which is really exciting. I think Mexico is now fourth in the world for women’s legislation. What difference is that going to make? I guess that’s quite different to how things have been before.
LV: Yes, that was a very surprising thing. We knew that his cabinet was going to have gender parity. Since before he won he was proposing 8 and 8, 8 women and 8 men in his cabinet, so that was already positive. Then when he got the majority, we also learned that they had almost gender parity in the legislative arena. It’s amazing because politics in Mexico has historically belonged to men, you always saw this, we called them (?) tables, which is like VIP tables where only men were speaking. I don’t know what you call it in the UK, basically panels and everything just men. Something that is even more surprising and is very nice to see is that he has proficient women in the most important roles of his government. I mean, the head of his campaign was an amazing woman, Tatiana Clouthier, who was the head of his presidential campaign, and he came to be loved by all his followers because he has very good charisma. So, you have the main 3 main AMLO goals for the next business years, which is to tackle corruption, to tackle inequality and to tackle violence. Then you have tackling corruption you have Irma Sandoval, who is the head of the public service ministry and she will be, in fact, in charge of eliminating corruption in government, that’s a woman. To tackle inequality you have the development minister and the works and pension minister, who are both women, Luisa Albores and Luisa Alcalde. Then regarding to stop violence, you have the first secretary of state and she’s a woman, Ogla Sanchez. In terms of economy, the economy minister is also a woman, she’s called Graciela Márquez, an amazing economist and historian. You suddenly see him positioning women in the most important places in his government and I think he’s relying on them not only to shift, it’s not only a marketing strategy, I think he truly believes that they will bring about change. You know, historically, politics has been dominated by men, then he’s shifting towards an approach of gender parity, that’s a very positive thing, also the potential that it has for change, his government, I believe.
TD: It’s also very different to Trump in every way, to have gender parity. I wanted to ask you about Justice Mexico Now, obviously your campaign, your charity. When I met you, you were raising money to send independent invigilators to the election. I wanted to ask you firstly how that worked out and what happened and also what you’re going to do next. Now AMLO’s in, what area of Mexico’s future are you focusing on as a campaign?
LV: Yes, I remember the fundraiser we had, it was amazing, and yes, we did send the international observers. We manage to gather almost 30 international observers, it wasn’t only ourselves as Justice Mexico Now, we had the help of many unions., we got the help of Unite, we got the help of the National Education Union, the transport union, the communication union, it was a collective effort actually. From here we were organising but in Mexico we had the help of a very important and new work that is called (?), basically they were organising everything on the ground in order to receive international observers, not only in the UK but also over the US, South America and mainland Europe. Yes, this network was amazing. I still have a WhatsApp chat with around 35 people and they were informing us live about what was happening on the election day. They all arrived a couple of days before the election to be trained properly as international observers and then they were deployed on election day very early, they left the hotel at 6:00am in order to reach different states around Mexico City. They went to Veracruz, they went to Puebla, they went to (?) de Mexico, Morelos, Tiaxcala, Hidalgo, they went to many, many states around Mexico City. And they were basically there to see some of the difficult scenarios, a lot of reports were submitted to the National Electoral Institute, a lot of reports of fraudulent things going o. But, in general, we were of course very worried for their safety so they weren’t by themselves, they partnered with national observers, with Mexicans, they were amazing with them. At the end of the day, the experience was very enriching. We’re meeting again very soon, all the observers and us from Justice Mexico Now. When things were happening, they were sending us pictures, they were sending us accounts and text narrating what was going on. At the end, some of them stayed up until 2:00am counting votes, they didn’t count the votes themselves of course, they were observing the processes of vote counting. When it all finished, they were all very eager to go to Zócalo to see the public displays of joy that were happening in the centre. Their hotel was 2 blocks away from Zócalo, Zócalo is the main central piazza in Mexico City, next to the national palace and it’s a very big place. It got packed with people chanting and singing, it was midnight, between 11:00pm and midnight in Mexico, here we were still awake monitoring, it was 5:00am or 6:00am and we were all receiving here in London the videos of the people chanting in the streets. You can just go online and google it and it will give you goosebumps just to see it.
TD: It must’ve been an amazing experience for them, absolutely.
LV: Yes. As Justice Mexico Now, now that AMLO is in place, it doesn’t mean that things are going to change from one day to the other, change is going to be obtained in a very slow process. So, human rights organisations are very important, he even proposed to create a national plan of certification and to include organisations on human rights, international organisations on human rights in this process. So, our job isn’t done. Violence is still spread around the country and as I told you, the collusion of public servants or of the police forces or military forces with the organised crime is still there. Some of them are very good, they’re serving the country, but some parts are still colluding. So AMLO isn’t going to bring a lot of magic change, it’s going to take years and it’s going to be a very slow and gruesome process of political entanglements that you need to unpick very slowly. We have been focusing on issues like violence against migrants, against journalists, activists, students, teachers, and issues like disappearance or torture, it’s a widespread practice in the judicial system of the country and it’s very sad to say torture is central. We work on extra judicial killings and their abuse power, and we are definitely going to continue working on those issues, we’re going to continue working from the UK and partnering with other European organisations and Mexican organisations because AMLO needs help. If he’s to bring about change, he’s not going to do it by himself and he’s not going to do it only with his governmental team, he’s going to need civil society. We need to keep pressuring him and we need to keep pushing him to deliver to the Mexican population, that’s very important. I think from the international sphere, one of the most important issues is that, historically, governments have been a bit antagonistic towards the meddling of international organisations in the issues of the country, the human issue rights of the country. So, I think we need to make sure that AMLO, and AMLO has said he’s going to openly (?) these organisms like the UN and the Inter American Commission of Human Rights, but we need to survey this country, we need to observe it and we need to be part of it, the work isn’t done and we need to keep working in the next years and even decades to bring about change.
TD: Apart from Justice Mexico Now, who all the listeners need to go and check out, what other organisations, campaigns or writers would you recommend that listeners go and find out about if they want to find out more about Mexican politics? Who do you go to for information?
LV: Well, I think there are some very important groups working in Europe. I think the biggest one right now is called the German Network for Human Rights in Mexico, it’s coordinated by (?) and they actually do a lot of work with the German parliament, they got the German parliament to address the issue of the Heckler and Koch selling guns to Mexico and allowing them to reach violent areas, such as Guerrero in the Ayotzinapa case where the students were abducted, the police forces that abducted them were using Heckler and Koch guns. This is completely illegal in terms of the German law, Heckler and Koch shouldn’t have allowed these guns to reach violent areas. So they’re doing a lot of work regarding the gun control in Mexico and also in terms of human rights in general. The basic organisations, like (?), they’re doing a great job in gathering all the information of violence against activists. Then Article 19 Mexico can provide a lot of information on the current awful situation that journalists are living under, that freedom of thought and expression is living in Mexico in the last decade, even since the 1970s you can argue before. Yes, I think Article 19 is a good place to start, and (?). If people follow us on our social media, we publish a lot of pieces of other organisations, this is in terms of human rights. Now, if people want to know more about politics within the country, I would suggest the media but we always know the media is a bit rigged and it might be hard to find a good place to find the real things happening on the ground. We’re friendly with a political left group called Democracia Deliberada, Deliberated Democracy, and I think they’re very young and I think they work very well in terms of narrating the political arena of the country. So, if people want to know a bit more about the politics, they can perhaps approach their networks, their social networks, and learn a bit, why not?
END OF INTERVIEW PART 2
Thank you so much to Lupita Valdez for speaking with me. Justice Mexico Now can be found on Twitter @justicemexicouk and on Facebook at JusticeMexicoNow. They will have a brand new website soon which I’ll plug on the ParPolBro twitter and facebook and update on the partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk website as soon as it’s up too. And of course the transcript of that interview and all the further campaigns and people to follow that Lupita suggests will be up on the website at some point too. I’ve been told by Kat who does the linear notes not to say ‘by the end of this week’ as they might not be, mainly because she does them out of the kindness of her own heart rather than any sort of monetary sum and so let’s be fair, she can do them whenever she likes. Whereas my wife does the transcribing, also out of sheer kindness, but she doesn’t listen to this podcast because she gets enough of me gabbing on at her all week, so I can make totally unfair promises about that and say, hey, the transcription will be up by last Wednesday and what can she do? NOTHING I TELL YOU! NOTHING! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Only one episode left before the summer and the interview will be with Sam Jeffers at Who Targets Me all about political advertising targeting, just so you can be wary on your hols. Joyful stuff. But of course, once the podcast is back it will be hungry for more interviewees to guzzle! I have had one nice suggestion sent through this week but any other thoughts on who to chat to or political subjects to find someone to talk to about, please let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org, the contact page on partlypoliticalbroadcast.co.uk, @parpolbro on Twitter or the Partly Political Broadcast Facebook group. Or you could send me a message through a hidden network of pneumatic tube systems although chances are, where I am in London, by the time it arrives it’ll just contain a very dizzy rat who’s had the ride of his life and illegible fragments of paper. So as always, probably best to email.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Once again many millions of thankings for your listenership and while the mere giving of your time is enough, should you wish to excel at generosity, please do donate to the Patreon or ko-fi if you can and review the show on your pod app of choice, or if you are stuck in the world’s most sedate bt digitally aware hostage situation, the podcast app that has been thrust upon you against your will.
Gracias to Acast for entwining this show in its many audio branches and to my brother The Last Skeptik for not only adding the musics but also loudening this podcast so it’s suitable for all your noisy transport journeys. Yes, even heading to work on a pneumatic drill or angry wailing ibex. His album under the patio is on all the music platforms so do gizz it a listen.
This will be back next week when Susan Trousers, Ned Pilchard and Steven Genericguy all resign from the cabinet in protest of May’s Brexit plan, with no one even noticing they never existed in the first place.
This week’s show is brought you by Donald Trump’s Advice Service, providing you with all the wrong options so you can more easily find the right ones. Not sure what to do about noisy neighbors? Call Trump’s advice service and Donnie best experts will tell you to maybe set fire to their house, try eating their stereo next time you go round or punch your own ears off allowing you to avoid all of those options. Baby won’t stop crying, just give us a little ring on the Trumpphone and within two extortionately charged minutes, we’ll ask you if you’ve tried keeping your child in a sack outside or perhaps filling their mouth with gravel, allowing you to absolutely not do that. Donald Trump’s advice service, from bankruptcy to Brexits, we’ll make sure you pick almost any choice but ours.