Dear Diary what a week it has been.
Mubarak finally makes a sharp exit to Sharm el-Sheikh – didn’t he read all of those stories about the sharks? Brave man – to stay in Egypt that is. Now speculation is building that he is negotiating to come to Dubai.
Lifted from my newspaper of choice:
Mubarak said in his first speech during the uprising on 1 February that he would not leave his homeland, pledging to “die on the soil of Egypt and be judged by history”.
But exploratory discussions involving the Saudis, the US and the UAE have reportedly taken place about him moving to Dubai. One important issue is immunity from any prosecution he might face on charges of crimes against humanity after 300 deaths and documented abuses by the security forces.
According to the London-based paper al-Quds al-Arabi, revelations about the Mubarak family fortune and possible legal action over that are also a factor in planning for a post-presidential future.
Experts have estimated that the Mubaraks could be worth £43.5bn, with much of the wealth from investment deals in British and Swiss banks or tied up in upmarket real estate in London, New York, Los Angeles and expensive tracts of the Red Sea coast.
For the likes of you and me, transferring our hard earned money can be the task from hell with all sorts of rules and regs. So how has Mubarak managed to siphon away $43.5bn with complete impunity? The gnomes and our lovely bankers have a lot to answer for.
Cameron has a new friend
Someone loved Cameron’s speech on multiculturalism, step forward Marine Le Pen, Leader of France’s National Front who has congratulated David Cameron on his controversial speech. I have openly said I don’t like Cameron’s politics but I never had him down as a fascist. Live and learn. This came in the week that most of the top universities in England declared they would charge the maximum student tuition fees. Now anyone who thinks that students from a middle and working class background will not be put off going to Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial College etc. is sadly deluded. Parents who send their children to private school will still be looking forward to the day their kids head off to uni, £9,000 versus £30,000. A country’s future (and its ability to pay for everything else) depends on its education system.
A cautionary tale about online advertising
A few weeks ago I expressed a concern that banks shouldn’t have sales and in the article I named and shamed HSBC and gave my critical opinion. HSBC’s sale is being supported by a huge advertising campaign and I accept being stalked on The Guardian is the penalty I pay for reading a quality paper where customers and potential customers of HSBC are lurking.
However imagine my surprise when their ad popped up on my blog? I wrote to them politely explaining that I was telling people that, in my opinion, a bank holding a sale was a bad idea but they declined to reply. We went public on Facebook and Twitter but the world’s local bank has no local social media strategy, so again complete silence. All of which reinforces my view that HSBC is falling way short in all respects.
It’s all about the line
I had a very interesting meeting last week with the marketing lady from Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai (a seriously good hospital specialising in anything and everything to do with your eyes which in my book are our most precious sense and yet we go to the dentist once a year but pretty much completely ignore the health of our eyes unless something goes seriously wrong) and the media guru from Optimedia. We slipped into jargon, above the line (advertising), below the line (stuff like packaging, sales promotion) online (anything to do with the www) . . . Nadim from Optimedia speculated that there is no line anymore, it’s all about one line, in other words you have to be on the ball in all forms of communicating with customers/clients. Sounds about right to me.
Was Amy any good?
Before I reveal all, I went to Bike Week to meet up with our Harley client and had a play on a big bike, wow, I went vrrm, vrrrm, vrrrrm. My wife has banned me from riding a bike but in my next life I’m going to get a big boy Harley and a super cool Vespa. Harley’s start from around AED 34,000 here and Vespa’s are a snip at AED 14,000.
My wife Sally represented the Prosser’s at Amy. She is tough to please, for example she rated Robbie as average when he visited Dubai a few years ago. Amy started slow and was in a bit of a mess but in the opinion of our Sal she was incredible and very special. I think this goes against what you are going to read and hear but give the gal a chance if you get the opportunity to see Amy before it’s sadly too late.
McDonalds profits soar, again
Apparently during a recession our spending power goes down and we eat more cheap, junk (comfort) food. The US gave the world fast food because it suited their lifestyle and monster appetites, British food is a bit hit and miss so I can fully understand why McDonalds has done well in these two countries. But Asia has the most scrummy food on earth (along with the Italians) and have fantastic, incredibly cheap street food so why are more people in Asia eating more McDonalds? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Leading on here are my top five foods I can’t live without:
- Pesto (bit of a cheat)
- Tomatoes (fresh, sweet and juicy)
- Plums (fresh, sweet and juicy)