Ross Perlin gives a potted history of the import of internships to the UK from America for the Mail on Sunday. Warning "Britain of what may be ahead", Perlin lays out his argument against the ever-growing practice of exploiting young people for cheap labour and its social cost:
Writing for the Guardian, Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation, argues that "internships are the face of privilege, restricting opportunities to those able to work for nothing or for a pittance - or sometimes even pay the price in cold hard cash." He sees the auction of internships at the Conservative Party's recent Black and White party as evidence that internships are "a morally bankrupt free-for-all, a new glass ceiling in the making."
In his article "Egypt's joy as Mubarak quits" for the Guardian, Tariq Ali quotes the Arab poet Nizar Qabbani, remarking that he would have been happy to see his prophecy fulfilled:
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains.
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Don't read about our suffocated generation,
We are a hopeless case,
As worthless as a water-melon rind.
Don't read about us,
Don't ape us,
Don't accept us,
Don't accept our ideas,
We are a nation of crooks and jugglers.
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation that will overcome defeat.
Paul Mason analyses the worldwide wave of protests for his Idle Scrawl blog, picking up on some "common threads" including the centrality of secularised, westernised young people and how social media and technology has "expanded the space and power of the individual."
We've had revolution in Tunisia, Egypt's Mubarak is teetering; in Yemen, Jordan and Syria suddenly protests have appeared. In Ireland young techno-savvy professionals are agitating for a "Second Republic"; in France the youth from banlieues battled police on the streets to defend the retirement rights of 60-year olds; in Greece striking and rioting have become a national pastime. And in Britain we've had riots and student occupations that changed the political mood.
What's going on? What's the wider social dynamic? ...
Avi Shlaim responds to Raja Shehadeh's Palestinian perspective in the Guardian feature in which leading writers from across the Arab world reflect on the Tunisia protests. Shlaim, author of Israel and Palestine, urges us to remember Palestine:
Your 10 Arab writers gave voice to the wave of optimism that is sweeping through their countries in the wake of the peaceful revolution in Tunisia ("After Tunisia", 29 January). It was melancholy to note, however, that Raja Shehadeh, the Palestinian lawyer and writer, cannot share in this optimism. While the rest of the Arab world is at long last moving towards participatory democracy, a police state is emerging in Palestine with active western support.