Saturday, 29 January 2011

Egyptian Emergency

It seems like there's only one item of news at the moment - Egypt. But how to say anything about the situation there that isn't being said in a thousand other blogs? Well, while I was watching the 'all Egypt all the time' news, I heard something that rang a bell. The Egyptian government had introduced a 16-hours a day curfew, meaning that people can only be out for eight hours. They're disabling mobile phone and internet communications, so demonstrators can't coordinate there actions. Where had I heard that before?

A couple of days ago I wrote about how the government announced it was scrapping control orders. These orders placed restrictions on suspects such as 16-hour curfews, and a ban on internet and mobile phone communications. Could it be that the Egyptian government was taking its cue on how to deal with unrest from New Labour?

Control orders were introduced because of an alleged 'ricin plot' where no trace of ricin was ever found. In Egypt buildings have been torched in several cities, protesters are marching everywhere, looting is rife, the cabinet has resigned and the army is mobilised. Whatever you think about the Egyptian government's counter-measures, at least there seems to be a genuine emergency which might justify them. Labour complains about coalition recklessness, saying that the government is "soft on terrorism". They apparently want to keep emergency measures in place. So where is our emergency?

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