Children’s day

Today was “el día del niño” in Mexico. Mickey had already celebrated the event at school and didn’t go to any special parties (for a change!). But he did get the red Bionicle he had been wanting for the last month as a present. He’s getting very handy at putting his toys together and had the thing assembled in five minutes. I always end up with a piece left at the end. Adriana is feeling a lot more herself these days but the bulge is beginning to show and does make her feel very heavy and fat.

We spent the last week taking cuttings of everything we could find that looked remotely green in order to try to get enough plants together for the garden. One interesting fact that I never realized is that petunias root from cuttings! Apparently it’s done quite regularly here and the ones I started off last week look as if they will take. I suppose in Britain the season is too short to make it worth while. The first rains have come, but we still have to buy in water as not enough has fallen to fill the cistern. It is really clear that even though our growing season has now begun, things are not moving at anything like the daily rate that they would in Britain. We have not had to cut the grass for six weeks, although it is green enough looking.

Mexican news broadcasts were full of the sound of slipping cogs as everyone involved in the “desafuero” of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador frantically back peddled. A few, including the Procurador General de la Republica (attorney general) found themselves on a steep slope with no chance even of slamming on the brakes. Mexican politics under Fox had degenerated into a terrible mess of Machiavelian machinations and maneuvering. The point about politicking without policies is that you have to be really good at it to make it work. Machiaveli himself was full of contradictions. In “The Prince he states “It is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity.” Later he says” When it is necessary for him to proceed against the life of someone, he must do it on proper justification and for manifest cause.”

Those in Britain who despair of the confrontational nature of British political journalism should see what happens when journalists are deferential. The day before the resignation of the attorney general his deputy was interviewed for a full hour on one of the more independent Mexican stations. He was allowed to get away with inanely pompous sounding repetitions of “the law is the law” when it was obvious to all concerned that his office had become untenable. I would have loved to have seen him try to hold his own for five minutes with Paxman. What is disconcerting here is that no-one forces public officials to say what they mean, or even help to interpret their statements in an unambiguous way. Fox’s declaration this week was “I will ensure that the case of Lopez-Obrador is reopened and studied in detail”. Well we all knew what that meant, but it would have been nice if he had actually told us.

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