Which autocratic regime will be next to totter and topple in the Middle East?
Perceptive commentator David Osler points to Saudi Arabia, where:
It seems that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has noticed what has been going on elsewhere in the Arab world, and has announced a £269bn giveaway package of the type that used to be popular with chancellors of all UK parties in pre-election budgets.
So public sector workers get a 15% pay hike, there will be more help for students and the unemployed, and some imprisoned debtors will be let off the hook. There will also be massive extra spending on education, infrastructure and healthcare between now and the end of 2014, in sharp contrast to the austerity packages prevalent in Europe.
He quotes Tory politician Lord Hailsham, who after the Second World War realised that the ruling class had to make concessions to workers: ‘We must give them reforms or they will give us revolution’.
Gadaffi and Mubarak weren't quite as perceptive of the challenges they faced.