For journalists, interviewing diplomats ("an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country") is usually a waste of time. All you get is the party line. For a TV or radio programme like "Today" it's a last resort, when no genuine specialists on a country or topic can be found. So hats off to the Brazilian ambassador - and to the government from which he takes his cue - for responding so reasonably to this morning's questions about the demonstrations in his country.

Instead of blaming outsiders (whenever spokespeople resort to that line you know they are avoiding issues raised by protesters'and are preparing or justifying a clampdown), he said the demos raised questions from which everyone could learn.

He was of course echoing President Dilma Rousseff's response - she said the government was willing to listen and urged police restraint - buit he did so in a way that managed to sound humane and convincing.

The protesters have a number of grievances of which criticism of big spending on football stadiums is only one, but it would be great if this was the beginning of a public backlash against the influence, pressure and arrogance of organisations such as the interntional football federation and the international olympic committee. these fiefdoms have become a law unto themselves (literally, sometimes running their own courts as FIFA did in South Africa) and governments need reminding that giving into them is not always a guarantee of popular support.

The YouTube video, "No, I'm not going to the World Cup" is another cause for hope.

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