As the crisis in Egypt develops, it is becoming increasingly clear what it is not about. It is not about the proposed constitution, many of whose provisions opposition members put their signatures to, before changing their minds and walking out of the drafting committee. Negotiations on the contentious clauses have been offered and rejected. Nor is it about the date of the referendum, which the Egyptian justice minister, Ahmed Mekki, offered to postpone. Again, this was rejected. Nor even is it about the temporary but absolute powers that the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, assumed for himself – which will lapse the moment the referendum is held whatever the result.