Monday, June 05, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 15, 1444 H
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32°C / 32°C

What have they put in the water this week?


It’s been a massive week of foot trips, stumbles, and falls in the United Kingdom this week, and the Sultanate of Oman, as having traditional ceremonial, commercial and educational ties to what have, this week, been rather unsteady isles. Bournemouth stumbled through their EPL match against Liverpool, conceding a whopping 0-9 result, and their manager Scott Parker was shown the door just a couple of days later... and that set the ball rolling...

Meghan Markle, wannabe royal, or don’t wannabe royal, depending which day of the week it is. She’s the one that married Harry, who always seemed like a good bloke, but now? Anyway, she channeled her inner Marie Antoinette this week, in yet another artless faux pas, as she compared herself to, of all people, the statesman who reformed a nation, bringing hope to tens of millions, and changed the world more than any individual, the wise and modest, Nelson Mandela.

For those of you who missed it, ‘Princess Pushy,’ and yes, I know she’s not a princess anymore, but has anyone told her? Anyway, she told ‘The Cut’ magazine that she had been taken aside by a member of the cast of ‘The Lion King,’ explaining in her own words, “He looked at me and said, “I need you to know: When you married into the Royal Family, we rejoiced in the streets the same way we did when Mandela was freed from prison.”

The thing is not whether it was said or not, I don’t for a second doubt that some sycophantic, celebrity obsessed, struggling young actor, could say something like that, but isn’t there something discretionary about our ability to hear things about ourselves and ‘value’ them according to the environment, the emotion, and the moment? This is a quality, or an asset, of adulthood that is developed and refined throughout childhood, frequently tested during the angst-riven teens, and enhanced continuously through our lifetimes... I think we call it wisdom.

Daniel Bernstein said, “In English, we have this wonderful difference between hearing and listening. You can hear without listening and listen without hearing.” Following that wisdom, it is also true that to hear, you must stop talking, and particularly when you are talking about yourself. Honestly! How do such self-obsessed individuals achieve so much media and societal prominence?

Oh, and speaking of ‘foot in the mouth’ moments, British politician Liz Truss, who will probably end up as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom this week, has been ‘leaked!’ Saying, in 2012, that it is a historical fact for decades, that British workers, particularly outside London, lack skill, application, mindset, and attitude, in their working culture, with the hammer blow... “If you go to China, it’s quite different, I can assure you!” Well, that’s one way to get your electorate behind you... not!

Not so much ‘foot in the mouth,’ as foot on the throat, energy suppliers across Europe and the United Kingdom have flexed their muscles through that paragon of consumer protection, that watchdog of fiscal responsibility, that arbiter of social equity and responsibility, Ofgem, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. Not content with the ‘Big Six’ all reporting profits of more than a billion pounds each, on August 26, Ofgem ‘allowed’ the energy giants to increase their tariffs by more than 50 per cent.

Such increases are outrageous, given that Ofgem appears to be failing in its statutory obligations to consider the impact of any tariff changes on consumers, and societies. They identify on their own website, their roles and responsibilities as being to, “deliver a net-zero economy, at the lowest cost to consumers, to stamp out sharp and bad practice, ensuring fair treatment for all, especially the vulnerable, and (get this), to enable competition and innovation, to drive down prices.” Their failings are epic!

I could chat too about overpaid footballers playing like mugs, behaving like thugs, and not ‘feeling the love,’ OMG... I think I’ll just go to the dentist instead!

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