On 17 December, in a desperate display of public defiance, a petrol-soaked Mohamed Bouazizi stood outside a government building in Tunisia and set himself alight.
This harrowing act of self-sacrifice sparked flames of revolution and 28 days later the Tunisian regime collapsed, ending President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year rule.
Two days after Tunisia’s toppling, amid growing tension and numerous self-immolation attempts, the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, dismissed the prospect of a Tunisian-style revolution in Egypt as, “Pure nonsense”.
He added, in an ill-advised metaphor: “Those who are promoting fantasies and trying to ignite the situation will not achieve their goals and will only harm themselves.”
Unbeknownst to him, the Egyptian people would revolt within ten days of this announcement and the regime would fall soon after.
The above comes from a feature I wrote way back in 2011, about the history of self-immolation and the start of the Arab Spring.
After that, it pretty much goes on to notable self-immolations throughout the 20th century, and the movements they started. You know, really uplifting stuff.
So, why am I quoting it now, eight years later, in an investment-focused e-letter?
Allow me to explain…
Back then, in early 2011, the world had high hopes for the Arab Spring and the new political structures it would lead to.
We were convinced that people’s lives would improve, thanks to this movement. Corrupt regimes would topple and be replaced by fairer, more democratic ones.
Yeah. It didn’t exactly turn out that way, did it?
Instead of fair, democratic governments, we got ISIS, worldwide terror attacks, millions dead, and an immigration crisis all over Europe.
I was reminded of this after seeing Nick Hubble’s latest investigation.
He firmly believes that we could be about to see similar events to the Arab Spring, but in continental Europe.
I have to admit, to me that sounds a bit farfetched. But it certainly isn’t farfetched to Nick, or to many other people here at Southbank Investment Research.
And to be fair to Nick, this isn’t just a hunch that he has, or a story he’s covering from a distance. Last week, he flew to Brussels to get an inside take on it.
From Nick’s investigation:
I’m here in Brussels today to speak privately with political and financial insiders…
… and to expose why key figures within the European elite are terrified of a coming period of unrest… volatility… and violence.
I can’t say precisely how violent or disruptive things will get. In fact, the people in the building behind me would certainly rather I kept quiet about this…
I’m here to show you what’s coming so that you can be prepared ahead of time. I think the severity of what is coming will shock and disturb most people.
But there is no need for you to be one of them. In fact, there’s every chance that by listening carefully to what I have to say you could be significantly richer by the end of the year… even if most people are living through a nightmare…
Back in 2011, if someone told you that the Arab Spring would lead to ISIS and major terror attacks on UK soil, you’d probably have dismissed them. I know I would have.
Well, if Nick’s right, this is going to have even bigger consequences for us in the UK than the events of the Arab Spring.
If what he’s predicting comes to pass, I think you’ll be very glad you heard what he has to say, ahead of time.
Until next time,
Editor, Exponential Investor