In Brazil, all is not leather that shines

Posted Jan 13, 2008 by Knight Shield
Brazilian parliament members' fine leather shoes are now expected to shine more than the protruded, empty and wormy bellies of the countries' hungry children. Believe it or not, the House Speaker is calling all House members to wear shiny shoes.
Illustration by
Illustration by
The Speaker who presides over the Federal House of Representatives in Brasilia, Arlindo Chinaglia, of the ruling PT party from Sao Paulo, wants all his legislative assembly members, including assistants and house employees, to wear shiny shoes. He has just laid down the bidding procedure to have shoeshine parlor services available in the House building for a sum to the tune of 3,135 million Brazilian royals over a period of twelve months. That's 261 thousand Brazilian royals per month or otherwise 8,700 royals daily! That's a lot of canned wax and hand-brush exercising!
The daily amount envisaged by the bidding protocol corresponds to the food consumed by 174 families in a month, according to the rules established by President Lula's foiled Zero Hunger Plan. At private business costs, that's over 3,500 pairs of shoes being polished there every day, for an amount that each representative would be expected to pay out of his own pocket and not at public expense.
The Brazilian people must now pay for the Zero Hunger Plan while wearing shoes that are dirty from the mud which political leaders in this poverty-stricken country get mixed with.
Worse still, Brazilian lady representatives in Brasilia now want to follow suit and all too soon have started to claim their right to the corresponding beauty parlor and hairdresser's services, which, as one of them recently put in a radio interview, are expected to be available in the same federal House building as well.
Interestingly enough, the Speaker's new shoeshine move is not subject to any previous voting or approval whatsoever before implementation.