So what has this got to do with Thatcherism? More than you might think. Firstly the Egyptians have just removed a despot who ruled them for 30 years. In the UK we have now had 30 years of Thatcherism. Thatcherism is a right wing neoliberal ideology which aims to ensure 'free' market domination of the world's economies. In the 1980s neoliberalism was known as Reaganomics in the USA and Thatcherism in the UK. Ever since that time, UK and US governments, including those lead by Clinton and Blair, have pursued neoliberal policies characterised by tax cuts and privatisation of public services. These policies benefit the wealthiest in society and have been responsible for increasing the gap between rich and poor.
In the USA there has been a marked increase in inequality with the incomes of workers (including the middle classes) stagnating whilst those of the richest boomed. In the UK the changes have not been as marked yet because we have historically had a much stronger public sector. The current Coalition government has set out to change this by cutting the public sector, slashing welfare and dumping the costs of the economic crisis onto workers and middle classes. We are catching up with the USA. The Tory-led coalition plan is clearly to pave the way for further tax cuts before the next election, which will further reduce the tax base leading to further cuts in public services and, eventually, the privatisation of the NHS.
The point is that if you take what the current Thatcherite government is doing to its logical conclusion in the UK you end up with a country like Egypt. A country with a small wealthy elite, mass unemployment, and the majority living in relative poverty. That is the plan for the UK. Of course if you have such a society you have to have a repressive state/police apparatus to make it work. The foundations of this were laid by the last government. Think it can't happen here? Can you afford to wait and find out?
Of course its ironic that Cameron is calling for greater freedom and fairness for the Egyptians whilst putting in place economic measures that will inevitably take us closer to them. But he has to doesn't he? The Americans and the British have to maintain the illusion that they support democracy abroad despite the fact they have been propping up Mubarak and the other despots for many years.
Like the Egyptians we need liberation, liberation from a neoliberal 'economic' system which is gradually making us poorer and taking us closer to the kind of society they live in. That is why we have to fight the cuts and crack this coalition apart. If you can, join the protest organised by the TUC in London on March 26th. The Egyptians have shown that determined protest can work!