As Brexit and its attendant chaos hurtle toward us, one of the most darkly humorous features of contemporary British politics (a competitive field) is the ubiquity of parliamentarians, pundits and business titans who wail and gnash at our ceaseless political tumult but appear utterly incurious about the conditions that produced it.
Ten years on from the start of the financial crisis, they cannot entirely ignore the many ways in which politics has been reconfigured by the 2008 crash and its aftershocks. Such stalwart defenders of a certain brand of “common sense” capitalism have watched in horror as ill-mannered upstarts — on both the right and the left — build power at the fringes.… Seguir leyendo »
The apartment blocks on my street in downtown Cairo have accommodated many cycles of Egypt’s political tumult in the past 18 months. A stone’s throw from Tahrir Square, they have been enveloped in teargas, pockmarked by Molotov cocktails, pressed into use as urban barricades by both revolutionaries and pro-Mubarak militias, and provided the backdrop for some of the post-Mubarak military generals’ most violent assaults on the citizens they swore to protect. They gaze over the gardens of the Egyptian Museum – a regular home for one of the army’s pop-up torture and detention centres where those still daring to rally for meaningful change have been brutally acquainted with the realities of a junta-curated “transition” to democratic rule.… Seguir leyendo »
When it comes to dry reads, it ranks somewhere between Welding and Metal Fabrication Monthly and the collected speeches of Alistair Darling. And yet a newly-published report from the Egyptian government’s investment authority, GAFI, is one of the most significant and explosive pieces of writing to appear anywhere in the Middle East in recent years.
It doesn’t mention the Muslim Brotherhood, or antisemitism, or artificial hymens, and so far it has garnered precisely zero coverage in the international press. What it does do is address an issue which day in, day out, shapes the lives of the vast majority of Egypt’s population and hundreds of millions of others beyond its borders.… Seguir leyendo »