So much went on last week that I don’t know where to start. Having given it much thought I’ve decided to, once again, solve Dubai’s ills in a single dramatic stroke. For those of you who will call for me to be pelted with eggs I’ve got a less controversial alternative.
I’m really sorry (for myself as well) but the UAE has to bite the bullet and introduce income tax – at this point I’ve ducked for cover as the first egg has come winging my way. The simple fact is they have to raise money to extricate themselves from the mess that they’re in and stealth taxes sneaked in under the radar just give the legion of mini-moaners too many opportunities to stamp their foot and cry foul. What I’m suggesting is a flat rate of 10% on all earnings over AED 10,000 a month, for example, if you earn AED 15,000 you will pay AED 500 a month in tax. There will be those who baulk at this so let them get in a huff, pack their bags and get used to paying at least 30% (59% if you live in Denmark).
Now at the very beginning I mentioned an alternative and very cunning it is too. An on the spot fine of AED 500 for everyone who uses a mobile phone while driving. For all of you who are thinking this is a drop in the ocean I noticed 54% of the drivers waiting at a traffic light this morning were on their mobile.
With Dubai’s problems solved I’m tempted to get up take the applause and exit stage left. Resisting this urge, Toyota’s troubles caught my attention. I read news of the recalls with interest as I wanted to learn how the biggest car manufacturer in the world handled a crisis. After all they probably employ the best, most expensive crisis management consultants in the world. The sort of people that advised John Gummer that he should attempt to feed a hamburger to his four-year-old daughter Cordelia at the height of the mad cow scare. Unless I’m missing something their initial response was to hide for as long as possible and hope it went away. As we all know, this tactic doesn’t work as there is something called the press who love a good story involving people behaving badly.
Now, I’m not a PR expert but as I read the stories of Toyota owners’ scary experiences with stuck accelerator pedals I was a little put off buying a Toyota. This state of mind existed right up until I heard an interview with a consultant on BBC World Service. He said, and I nearly quote, he would still buy a Toyota because he knew what to do if the accelerator pedal stuck to the floor. Now call me old-fashioned but my first instinct would be to buy a car where the accelerator pedal responds to what I wanted it to do. Anyway, his solution was ingenious – if it happens, resist the urge to hit the brakes and stick the car into neutral.
Another a big event from last week was the launch of the first Massive Attack album for over 100 years. On first listen courtesy of Spotify it sounded promising if a little bit like all of their other albums, which leads me nicely to this week’s top 5; best bands from Bristol. Unfortunately I could only think of three (Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky) and if I widen the net to Bath I have to include Tears for Fears. Taking my cue from Massive Attack I’ve decided to do the top 5 vocalists that I would like to hear on one of their tracks.
Gil Scott Heron
Matt Bellamy (Muse)
What would be your choice? Ok, ok, all my blog readers in the South West can tell me their best 5 bands from Bristol.