Two pieces of good news have appeared in the news today. One was the release of all the detainees held in relation to the petition saga without any charges or any bail due to an order by the King. The other, equally as significant event was the meeting of the King with the leaders of the nine political parties.
Thank god the saga of the detainees seem to be over. Interestingly, it seems that the release of the detainees had nothing to do with the actual meeting of the King with the political parties' leaders. It seems the issue was not even discussed at the meeting, according to AbdulRahman Al Nuaimi, president of the NDA society.
Well now that this saga seems to be over, one has to still wonder about the bigger, wider issue. What will happen now to the petition issue? Will we finally see a solution to the problem, where both sides might be able to reach a mutual solution? Apparently, the constitutional issue was at the top of the agenda in the meeting with the King.
There are some signs of concern, however, that this meeting might not have been as fruitful as hoped. One of the comments Mr. Al Nuaimi made was that the release of the detainees occured because the government realized it made a mistake, and it should be viewed as a grant or a "heba" from the government (i.e. it was a matter of right and wrong and not charity). Al Wefaq and the other boycotting parties also apparently plan to hold a celebration in honour of the detainees, whom they consider heroes. Furthermore, Al Nuaimi commented on how the membership of the political parties and the doors for signing the petition are still open. This seems to be more of a mood of defiance than complete satisfaction with the situation. Maybe I'm being a bit presumptious here, but if an agreement has been reached regarding the issue, the opposition would probably have been less critical.
In any case, a meeting is a step in the right direction, and hopefully the meetings will continue to happen until a solution acceptable to most people is reached.
On a lighter note, it seems that Tony Blair needs protection, but not of the kind he received in parliament today. While talking in Prime Minister's questions, three condoms filled with purple flour were hurled at him, with one hitting him squarely on the back. Now, I know a lot of people consider Tony Blair to be a dickhead, but is this the best way to deal with that?
You can watch the video of the event here (Watch how the face expressions of Gordon "I'm posh but I'll pretend I'm working class" Brown and John "I am working class but I'll pretend I'm posh" Prescott change).