THE BLOG

Egyptian Revolution... Same Old Same Old

05/07/2013 10:09 BST | Updated 03/09/2013 10:12 BST

2013-07-04-egyptrevolution9.jpg

I am sitting at my computer, staring at a blank page of a well known word processing platform and trying desperately to think of something to write on my inaugural blog post for the Huffington Post. As a copywriter and blogger, I am used to being told exactly what to write about, so this is relatively new territory for me. Then, as Coldplay fill my room with their dulcet tones, my BBC News App disturbs my contemplation with a slightly annoying 'ping'. The news that a revolutionary encore is taking place in Cairo's Tahrir Square arrives, and the subject of my first HuffPo post begins to write itself.

Only two and a half years ago, Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power amidst scenes similar to those this time around. However, this latest Egyptian revolution could prove to be far more significant. The crowds of demonstrators have grown more vociferous and numerous by the day, and it seems they have finally had their collective voice heard; President Morsi has been forcibly removed from power. Scenes of joy and relief in Tahrir Square are accompanied by fireworks, but haven't we been here before.

The democratically elected leader of Egypt has been ousted from power by the country's military; a victory for democracy, of course. Voters have been outraged that the political face of the Muslim Brotherhood has purportedly hijacked their glorious revolution for his and his party's own interests. A dangerous precedent some would say, but surely not as dangerous a military coup.

Egyptians wanted democracy; Egyptians got democracy. Egyptians elected their leader, but they don't seem happy with the result. I voted Conservative at the last General Election, but the last thing I want to see is a row of tanks rolling through Downing Street to right my wrong. It would seem that this ancient country has much to learn about the democratic process.

The somewhat muted response from world leaders has been nothing less than shameful. Western governments, constantly propagating the virtues of democracy in the Middle-East and northern Africa, don't seem to know what they want. The revolution was, at first, seen as an ideological blow to those who ride roughshod over basic human rights and freedoms. However, the response to the initial election results in 2011 was greeted by world leaders with far more trepidation. Cautious messages of congratulation suggested that Morsi may not have been the result many had hoped for.

At the time, the Guardian reported that many Egyptians were complaining of a soft coup. A constitutional declaration gave the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) sweeping powers after a court had ordered the predominantly Islamist parliament to be dissolved. This suggests that Morsi may never have been the person pulling the political strings in Egypt. It would seem that the army calls the shots, so has the status quo really changed at all after this latest citizen-led revolution?

No doubt the world will watch as new elections are called, but what will happen if the electorate isn't happy with the next result? Can we expect a revolution every time a significant section of the population doesn't like the direction the government of the day is taking? Or is this all just a charade? Regardless of who wins the next election, it is my prediction that the balance of power will not shift too far away from the generals that control Egypt's armed forces.

It will be interesting to see how Western governments react over the coming days. The hope for democracy in Egypt seems as far away as it ever was. But do Cameron and Obama really care who is in charge? Their moral stance on democracy has its limitations; their respective countries' relationship with Saudi Arabia is proof of that.

I have no doubt that Cameron and Obama will have no compunction in dealing with the army or a puppet president if that suits Western interests. Such is the brazen nature of widespread hypocrisy from Western governments these days, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Obama's PR team have renamed the political structure in Egypt 'democracy-lite'.

Photo Credit: Ramy Raoff - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramyraoof/