Monday, January 31, 2011

Revolt Like an Egyptian

Looks like a good time to book a holiday in Egypt. With all that unrest and tanks on the streets, travel firms will be practically giving away holiday packages in Egypt. OK, you might have a few problems getting into or out of Cairo airport, but that's just a minor consideration. Once you've got there, you can lie back, enjoy the sunshine and gloat about how much money you've saved. After all, the Foreign Office keep telling us that the unrest is all concentrated in a few cities, with the main Red Sea holiday resorts still operating as normal. In fact, you don't even need to risk travelling now, the civil unrest won't last forever, either it will be crushed by the government, or Mubarak will be forced out, either way things will quieten down, so if you book now for a holiday in a month's time, you'll probably still get a huge discount, and avoid any risk. Mind you, despite claims that the main tourist destinations in Egypt remain untouched by the unrest, it is notable that the Army have sealed off the pyramids. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Is this the real source of the current unrest? Have mummified Pharaohs been reanimated and are now stirring up discontent? Perhaps that's the real threat - rampaging mummys.

One of the most interesting things about the current situation in Egypt has been the UK government's reaction to it. Over the past few days we've had Foreign Secretary William 'Most Certainly Not Gay' Hague urging the Egyptian authorities not to overreact and to allow peaceful protests. Fascinating that this Tory government appears to want other governments to respect their citizens' right to protest, yet domestically they are quick to have the police harass student protesters when they try to exercise the same right, and are now threatening to curb Trade Unions' right to strike. Indeed, it is notable that - so far - the unelected Egyptian authorities have shown far more restraint in dealing with demonstrators than our own, supposedly democratically elected, government. It's a sad state of affairs when having tanks parked on street corners seems more acceptable than the Metropolitan Police's tactics of 'kettling' teenaged protesters. Mind you, the only reason we haven't had tanks on the street here is because they've all been scrapped under the government's defence cuts...

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