Saturday, 12 February 2011

A Lesson To Despots Everywhere

Hello.... Hello.. is that my people?
I awoke this morning to the news that the despotic regime in Egypt had finally been toppled.
What has been truly remarkable is that the youth who achieved this, managed to restrain from any violent action to overthrow Mubarak and his cronies.
Each day on the BBC I have been listening to young, educated and articulate Egyptians expound their hope for the future; a future free from  the dictates of a central family surrounded by enforcers and sycophants.
Today they achieved there first objective with the President's removal by peaceful means.  Now the challenge is even more difficult, establishing a government that is truly representative of the people's wishes.
The other thing that has been very apparent in recent weeks is the part played by the internet in sharing information and marshalling resistance. Social networking platforms have become platforms for action in the 21st century.
All of this is important far beyond the shores of the Suez.  Any regime that has suppressed personal expression and/or and subjected their peoples must be looking over their shoulders at this time, wondering when they will be next.
In the age of twitter and facebook the dispossessed will always find a way to communicate, resist and mobilise.
It is of course what happens next to Egypt that really counts.  Replacing one despot with another is not an option and the road to true freedom and opportunity will be a long and difficult one.  

There is a very real danger that extremists will attempt to step in, to take advantage of the power vacuum. This is but one of the many serious challenges the people of Egypt will face in the months ahead but given their determination thus far, they should be able to overcome them.

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