Post Revolution 2011
It is fair to say, that following the so called "Revolution" of 2011, Tunisians are confused about what they expected. They considered President Ben Ali to be a French puppet and Zionist, but put graffiti swastikas on his portraits. Having improved Tunisia's economic situation by diversifying industries Ben Ali was doing fine, until the world wide financial crash came and by December 2010 the unemployed who were blaming him personally demanded his departure.
The people, having been worked up into a frenzy by the promise of US and EU support, have succeeded by employing mindless damaging and violent protest, to get a new 77 year old president, and a new 84 year old prime minister, to guide the country into the future. Tunisians are convinced that they are going to have a democratic society, unfortunately what they know of the west is largely picked up by watching films (God knows which ones?)
The truth about democracy will probably dawn on them if ever they hold an election, as the over 90 political parties will produce a mishmash of coalitions, allies and back room deals that they haven't yet experienced.
The once calm and secure country, with its stern secular government, was a haven for tourists, and many of the population rely on this trade for their income. However since the "Revolution" there is a self imposed curfew, with shops and cafes closing at dusk. The streets are strewn with razor wire, tanks stand at every major intersection, and all official buildings are surrounded by armed troops. As a direct result of the "Revolution," 9000 criminals were released from prison, and the police are on strike, and there is an air of fear about especially when darkness falls.
Thousands of villagers have moved into Tunis, presumably for the "expected handout" of jobs, cash and housing. Although illegal, there are thousands of street vendors sprawled on every street trying to force their shoddy goods and counterfeit products onto passersby, with no police to confront them. Crime and violence is rife. This is true democracy, invented by the Greeks two millennium ago, and in the same year as the "Revolution," rejected by the Greeks who can see their country going downhill too, and are having their own "revolution."
There are several factions vying for power. The ultra right Islamic Front, and ultra left Communists being the largest and most extreme. The peasant villagers will either not vote at all, or vote for a local tribal member. The vast majority of voters are under 25 years old, with no previous experience of voting or democracy. It is likely that the Islamists and Communists get a large share of the vote but very unlikely that they could work together. The rest of the parties, who will probably hold the crucial votes in political matters, are a load of wannabees with no idea about running a country, just lots of complaints about those that do.
Watch this space for the next "Revolution."
Tunis, Avenue Charles de Gaulle
Tanks and Razor Wire!
The Interior Ministry
No Car Bombs Allowed!
Ready for Curfew, Metlaoui
Guarding a Crossroads
Hotel (We got sent out to play, whilst Senator Mcain
(is that the chip man?) was handing cash out)
Meeting at Hotel to Sort Tunisia's Finance