There was an interesting programme about Saudi Arabia on Radio 4 recently, which you can listen to on-line by clicking here.
Here's the synopsis:
"Ed Stourton travels to Saudi Arabia, where the first stirrings of democratic change have begun. He finds a deeply conservative country badly shaken by 9/11 and where the war in Iraq is sending would-be democrats scurrying for cover."
Doubly interesting from our point of view, as it includes extracts from an interview with Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, whose views on the subject are distilled by his extensive experience and knowledge of the country and its people.