Friday, February 18, 2011

The Caliphate beckons…..

Yemen observes 'Friday of Fury

There is just a chance we'll all be cycling to work soon - and if Joe Sixpack gets p!ssed off enough to join in, the price of houses may just slip off the front page of the Excess

Posted by braindeed @ 06:44 PM (2528 views)
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16 thoughts on “The Caliphate beckons…..

  • Is that a yashmak or a niqab that the female newsreader is wearing, or is it the start button?

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  • mr g, that’s a bit tasteless.

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  • …..you tell him Ambassador – pass the Ferrero Rocher

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  • It’s nice to see my diplomatic abilities are recognised amonst the hoi polloi.

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  • Good coverage by AlJazeera,
    e.g. on egypt: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/02/20112148356117884.html
    goes into the deeper reasons behind the protests: the old regime implementing IMF and World Bank policies of liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation, which hit the poor and middle classes to the massive benefit of multinational corporations and a tiny domestic elite. These policies having sparked sporadic strikes over the last 5 years. Strange there is FA about this on BBC, Independent, Grauniad, Nobserver, Torygraph. Or maybe not strange at all.
    Nick

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  • nickb, Confessions of an Economic Hitman is quite good if you like that sort of thing.

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  • nickb,
    There’s another way of looking at Egypt. They have an Indian level of bureaucracy, full of pettyfogging rules which keep civil servants in jobs but merely frustrate the rest of the population. Less than 10% of property owners actually hold the legal title to their property. It takes 500 days to register a company in Egypt. Small unregistered companies can’t grow because the bureaucracy would cripple them; this causes high unemployment. There’s more in this FT blog article: Egypt’s Economic Apartheid.

    The article you cited refers to “government factories”. What kind of economy has government-run factories? Sounds like they need a Thatcher moment.

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  • Umm… that would be structural adjustment policies (SAPs) your quoted article alludes to young naive drewster. Read more about this wonderful idea in the aforementioned book, or just google SAP, for example :

    http://www.globalissues.org/article/3/structural-adjustment-a-major-cause-of-poverty

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  • The Egypians are living through Thatcherism’s logical conclusion. – feudalism, servitude,repression, and an idle ‘elite’ who are reactionary and prone to blaming the poor for their own myopia – go finish the ‘Star’ crossword, spewster

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  • nickb – exactly right, this is a classic workers’ revolt against race-to-the-bottom low wages, lousy conditions, anti-labour laws, repression, corruption and high food prices. The US thought that if Mubarak stepped down there might be business as usual under another leader/ cog in their neoliberal machine, somebody who made the right noises, sent them back to their sweatshops and meagre smallholdings and did a little tap-dance about the need to review the situation. They’re going to be proved wrong on that one. These people will not be placated or co-opted. Clinton wants to provide funds for developing ‘secular political parties’ but that horse has already bolted. The western media? Yes, all this started with a twitter-happy bunch of 20- and 30-somethings texting their mates.

    drewster – a lot of those state ‘enterprises’ were privatised in the 90s but the major strikes over the years have been in both state-run and privatised industries. It makes little difference – they both get creamed off by a corrupt elite and neither has much incentive to care about their employees if they think they can successfully use the police and army against them.

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  • Maybe we should try a Caliphate here.

    It sounds pretty cool and couldn’t be worse than the coalition.

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  • If it means I can have a hareem then let’s go for it.

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  • @Peter “Maybe we should try a Caliphate here.”

    Be careful what you wish for, some parts of the country are heading that way already.

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  • braindeed,

    So you’re in favour of a system of government where it takes over 500 days and 56 government agencies just to register a company? A system like 1970s Britain where inefficient state-owned companies control vast tracts of the economy?

    Alan540,

    I’m sure there’s more than a grain of truth to “Shock Doctrine” line of thought. Obviously it’s foolish for any country to load up on debt, then devote more output to repayments than to schools & hospitals. But we shouldn’t ignore the many other real factors at play too. In the case of Egypt, the domestic choking of small enterprise has serious knock-on effects for unemployment and under-employment.

    Big multinational companies can always bend the ear of government (even in the UK). If Boeing announce tomorrow that they want to build an aircraft factory in Egypt, the government will bend over backwards to accommodate them and the paperwork requirements will magically disappear. Planning permission is granted, shanty towns are bulldozed, export tariffs are waived. Small local companies are unable to compete in the same way. If developing countries spent half as much effort on encouraging small business as they do for big corporations, then those countries would be developed by now.

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  • drewster @ 13said…

    ‘So you’re in favour of a system of government where it takes over 500 days and 56 government agencie’s just to register a company? A system like 1970s Britain where inefficient state-owned companies control vast tracts of the economy?’

    Where did I say that?

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  • @drewster
    Yeah, 1970s Britain – what a hell hole, eh? Let me see, there was a functional NHS, proper pensions and employment protection, a much more functional public transport system, lower working hours, more of the workforce in work and an economy which was not nearly as dominated by the housing market or finance. And after our Thatcher moments, what do we have now? More ‘efficient’ factories? Possibly, those that are left. And a pretty dysfunctional society all round.
    My question was, why do our media only look into the events on on the ground, not at the history of recent disturbances or the ideological conflicts driving events?
    N

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