Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Egyptian revolution gives us all hope for the future

There is so much going on at the moment that its difficult to keep up: change in the middle east; phone hacking; privatisation of the NHS; massive cuts in welfare; the forest sell off and the crumbling world economy. But what is happening in Egypt is really significant. People are voting with their feet and taking to the streets to protest about a corrupt and dictatorial regime which is supposed to be a democracy, and to protest about lack of jobs and opportunity. This is democracy in action - no need for a ballot - the Egyptian people have had enough and have voted with their feet.

We can only hope that there will be a positive outcome. The bad news is that even if Mubarak goes, and it looks like he will have to, the chances are that the corrupt apparatus that surrounds him will survive and that the establishment will gradually regain control. There is no clear focus for the revolution other than the removal of the regime and its replacement by an open plural democracy. We can only hope that a genuine secular democracy will be the eventual outcome.

What the Egyptian revolution has exposed is not just the oppression and the wasted lives of Egyptians, but has also exposed the cynicism of western governments, including the USA and UK, who have been happy to support this regime as long as it brought "stability". But what is this "stability"? It means that corporations can operate and make profits without fear of any interference, and in particular, can exploit the resources in the region. Western governments have been acting in the interests of the corporations - and screw what that means for the people. That is capitalism in action and that is what really matters to our governments, that is the 'bottom line'. When will people realise that the same applies here?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where I work, people are voting with their feet to leave the council. Not standing up to fight, but walking, thinking this is all they can do. We need to work togther to oppose the cuts here and I hope we can learn from Egypt.

Jilly

Howard Thorp said...

I agree that we need to work together and oppose the cuts with optimism. There are lots of groups like Ukuncut which are doing great things. There is the big demo on the 26th March. In the meantime there is plenty to get involved in. Have you any local groups where you live?

Anonymous said...

Well, this has made me giggle. It sounds like a porn website for uncircumcised guys!! Ukuncut? Surely someone is having a lark?!

Jilly

Howard Thorp said...

You have to be careful how you say it - but they are doing great things - check out their website -http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/

Anonymous said...

Our local trade union is going down to London on 26 March but its always the usual participants - I am sick and tired of the rest of the members saying we must do something and then look at others. We are even paying for their transport and they cannot be bothered to march to save their jobs. I pointed the sacrifice the anti government protesters in Egypt were making to stand up and be counted only to be laughed at. How do we galvanise these 'We must doers' into seeing they need to do something as together we will be a bigger voice.

Anonymous said...

I'll have a look. But it does sound a bit rude. Whatever next? 'Spotthebellend.co.uk'???

;)

Jilly

Howard Thorp said...

We've become too soft in the UK. The Egyptians have been brutally suppressed for years and they've shown great courage.

There are plenty of people who have been galvanised by the cuts and are fighting back but not enough yet.

Its tough but we have to keep up the struggle and keep on talking to these people - hard as it is.