What would Clement do?

A Labour blog that witters on about Clement Attlee. Hurrah for The Major!

Archive for the tag “Egypt”

Egypt – Don’t Surrender the Square!

As I write, men and women thousands of miles away face a terrible choice between liberty and personal safety. I sit here, safe in a Democracy where I can think whatever I want, and express those thoughts relatively freely.

In contrast to the relatively childish issues in my last post, I hope that anyone here in London will understand the seriousness for all concerned. So in a spirit of solidarity, and with humility at the bravery being shown in Cairo and Alexandria, and also across the Middle East, I have to say do not give up. Do not relinquish the Square or the streets, and stand together.

Mubarraks’ goons have been seen entering the square, and have been starting fights against anti-Tyranny protesters. The Army let them in, and seem to be holding the ring, rather than opting for one side or the other. These soldiers are waiting inside their American tanks, unsure of what to do.

Those of us who hoped for a revolution along the lines of East Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1989 can see that the issue hangs in the balance – we could see another Romania, or worse, Tiananmen.

The Tyrant Mubarrak last night took the step of promising to relinquish power in September, and to bar his son from standing in his stead, if only everyone would get off the streets. Today we see the other side of his strategy – divide the opposition, and provoke a wave of violence, allowing him to claim to be a force for order, rather than the vile oppressor he truly is. Around the world we can see his plans for what they are, no doubt so can his people. The Army, which has little or no training in crowd control, was welcomed with open arms when they replaced the vicious riot police. Those who remember Northern Ireland in 1968 will remember the British army in a similar position.

To the ordinary soldiers in Cairo and Alexandria today I say do not waver, do not turn your guns on your people – keep them on safety, and earn the eternal gratitude of your mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.

Mr Cameron looked very fine today on Downing Street with The U.N. Secretary General, talking about “clearing a path” and other guff, but we know that the only two powers that could matter here would be the USA, who bankroll Egypts Armed Forces, and Israel, who must stay silent.

President Obama has to clearly side with the forces of Liberty, or else the whole west stands to lose the goodwill of the Egyptian people, and very probably the whole of Arabia. We in Britain are little more than sideshow players here, and have been (rightly so) since Suez.

So I call on the decent people of Egypt – do not fall for Hosnis tricks, stay united until he goes – sooner than later. Stand firm, or the criminal forces of the NDP will sense a weakness, and go for the kill. Take heart that all over the world – in New York, in Edinburgh, Berlin, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Mexico City, millions are with you.

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Who Would Have Thought It..?

Interesting to see the difference in reporting about demonstrations against unpopular governments making the less well-off  pay for the economic crisis…

Sometimes I wonder how all these editors deal with the contradiction inherent in painting a bunch of students and ordinary people in Westminster as violent anarchists, whilst wishing the ordinary men and women of North Africa and the Middle East well…

…then I remember their big fat paychecks…


“The Arab Street” is Really Angry…

Since the start of the Tunisian Revolution, the combined Dictators, Kings and Kleptocrats of the Middle East have been feeling the wrath of what commentators refer to as “The Arab Street” – which we would recognise as the ordinary fella and his wife…

Events in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Algeria, Lebannon and Iran have been building for a number of years, but the combination of  Tunisian revolt and the leaks from the last round of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have made for a heady brew.

Anyone who believes in Democracy and Liberty will welcome the discomfiture (possibly defeat) of dictators and their supporters. I do see a number of issue which we as democratic Socialists should be clear about:

  1. Israel has a right to exist. Whatever the debates about Zionism, and however valid they were in the 1930s, the simple fact of Israel means that we have to oppose any move to destroy the state of Israel- it is a recipe for the potential mass murder of millions .
  2. The “Greater Israel” project, meaning the consolidation of gains made during and since The Six Day War must be stopped, and where possible, reversed. Support for Israels existence does not mean uncritical support. The repressive machine that Israel has become must be dismantled.
  3. Bottling up resistance with repression has only led to much more extreme forms of dissent. By undermining Fatah, the Israelis now have to deal with Hamas, the Algerian Dictatorship stole an election from FIS, now they will be dealing with something much more extreme, and then there is Iran…
  4. The West must play a very careful game here – we need to support moves towards Democracy without fuelling accusations that they are our patsies.
  5. The Socialist International, to which Labour belongs, must clean up its own house – the repressive thieves who rule much of  the region are often represented here. For the sake of international solidarity, they and their parties must be expelled.
  6. We must clearly support, as Democratic socialists, the right of free speech and protest against repressive regimes, wherever they are.
  7. However, we should have no illusions about some of the organisations that are seeking to lead these protests – some of them are Islamists, whereas most of the demonstrators are clearly ordinary men and women who have just about had enough…

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