Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Letter to The Times (unpublished) on influence of Arab Spring on UK domestic politics

The Editor
The Times

Sir,

I would add to Bill Emmott's conclusions (The Times, 28 February, 'Libyan tremors will be felt as far away as China') that we may feel some of the aftershocks on these shores. We have witnessed 'people power' not just in the Middle East but closer to home, where demonstrations against tuition fees and the selling-off of our forests brought about the humiliation of a political party and a swift policy U-turn respectively. In both cases people power affected the political process. This could be the calm before the storm as the Government is yet to enact the most contentious and damaging aspects of its radical and increasingly ideological reform programme and spending cuts. Blair and Thatcher struggled to achieve far less despite possessing hefty Parliamentary majorities. The Coalition's policies were not in either party's manifesto and neither Cameron nor Clegg won an outright majority . With lack of legitimacy a key driver of the Arab awakening, the Government ought to prepare itself for more people power in the years to come.

Yours faithfully,

John Slinger



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