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Get real

Nick Ericsson Nick Ericsson | 10:21 UK time, Thursday, 11 August 2011

As is so often the case, social media has had a lot to say about the news. And not many stories this week have been bigger than the protests here in the UK. A tweet has been doing the rounds which confronts anyone who would compare Trafalgar square to Tahrir square. Lulu Rose I'm talking about you. "The youth of the Middle East rise up for basic freedoms. The youth of London rise up for a HD ready 42" plasma TV," she writes.
Now you'll know the latest Focus on Africa magazine has a discussion on the pro-democracy protests on the continent. An academic, journalist and blogger debate whether or not any reforms seen in North Africa could spread further south - and how deep rooted they would be. So I thought it would be interesting to send this tweet to them.
The reactions are worth blogging about. One participant, the Moroccan blogger 'Houdac', admits she doesn't really know what to respond to the English riots. "Basically I think the poor (in the Middle East) protested for basic needs while in London the 'less rich' are protesting to be as high consumers as the richest," she replies.
But the Ugandan newspaper editor and media advisor to the ruling party, Robert Kabushenga, is having none of it. He calls this view "out of touch with the desperation of the British underclass", who - he says - need jobs. "I think I know why they are in the streets and burning them. No difference with Tahrir square," he thunders. Do you agree? And what exactly is the distance between Cairo and Croydon?

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