The world is in turmoil. ‘Certainties’ are crumbling all around us. Cosy and convenient alliances forged by yesterday’s political leaders are being seen for what they really are. What was done in our name and perpetuated by today’s political class is both shameful and deeply disturbing. But the distortions created by myopic self-interest, political ineptitude and downright dishonesty have finally been exposed by a newly enfranchised majority in the Middle East: enfranchised by access to information and the ability to communicate freely amongst themselves.
Arab nations have discovered a new sense of unity. They are calling time on the small, corrupt financial and political elites who have overseen the inequitable distribution of wealth and exacted a cruel tyranny on their own people.
These ‘jasmine revolutions’ will have sent shivers down the spines of members of the house of Saud and old despots like Gaddafi. Few will be able to weather the storm that is engulfing their neighbours. A new world order is about to emerge.
But what of politically quiescent Britain: how immune are our financial and political elites from the cyclone of change? Will we see mass demonstrations against the inequitable distribution of wealth in Britain? Will we rise up against ‘Demolition Dave’s’ austerity measures that are consigning our youth to the scrapheap and devastating the hopes and aspirations of millions of Britons? Are we prepared to tolerate a government that does little to curb the greed of the few whilst there are those in work who are having to resort to food handouts to survive because the cost of living has risen so sharply? Are people beginning to say ‘enough is enough’?
Our nation has one of the most unequal societies in the western world and yet our politicians seem incapable of doing anything about it. They lack the imagination and the political will to do what is best for the people they represent. The enormous divide that exists between the political class and the rest of us has become apparent as never before.
As in the Middle East, I sense that people in Britain are becoming less tolerant of the level of inequality in British society. They are tiring of an out-of-touch political class consumed by self- interest and self-enrichment. There are growing signs that more and more people are no longer prepared to accept a society that favours the few at the expense of the majority. There is a feeling of injustice in the land, and there is nothing that stirs a torpid Brit more than injustice. Is the level of discontent enough to fill the streets of Britain with protesters? Could the scent of jasmine ever percolate the corridors of Westminster? It could.