We watched the drama unfold in Egypt on BBC World. The dictator was finally toppled by the “…huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” to misquote the inscription on a bronze plaque mounted inside of the Statue of Liberty. History demonstrates that authoritarian regimes, whether left, right or theocratic that rule by fear eventually collapse under the weight of their own oppression. Egypt, the most ancient of nations, has no experience of democracy and I sincerely hope that the experiment will be real and lasting. Let’s wish for a pluralist, secular state that respects individual rights and not for a ‘one man, one vote, once’ process that might cast Egypt back to the Middle Ages and would make the Middle East an infinitely more dangerous place. That would be scary for everyone and Egyptians deserve better.
I also sense my foster land may be sliding imperceptibly backwards. The first sign of compulsory head-scarfs will see us booking the first available Easyjet flight back to flawed but free Blighty.
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton (1834-1902)