Is there some truth in this or is it hype?
Is there some truth in this or is it hype?
Years ago I was in Sarawak where the "booze lady" rowed up the river, under cover of darkness to sell her wares to the Shell employees in their British enclave.
Yes, we had a booze license in Dubai. You had to produce it in the off license which was an anonymous windowless building down a side street. The monthly allowance was based on your salary. So the more you earned the more pissed you could get! Sort of seems like a fair levelling of potential Drunk executives outwitted by sober employees sort of thing. I too remember the Gulf Air girls. You could tell those that had succumbed to the local men’s charms (and I use the term very loosely) by the watches and jewellery they wore.
Simon, the entrepreneur is rarely respected, neither by governments nor the population generally. Both work on the principle you must be a crook or hiding money away and as such a 'personna non-gratia' and I don't want someone like you to marry my daughter!
Did you pick up on the sad state of France last night on the news? Students (aged 25???) and others all looking for jobs as Functionnaires. Why not I suppose? - total job security, no responsibility, secure and good pensions. Don't even cry in your glass of red for the poor old Cheminots who 'only' get a medium salary of some €2700 a month, and really hard job making them retirable at 50-55, plus the job perks of all the family getting free travel de-dah-de-dah.
Amazing how the world has changed, I had chalked up ten years of work by the age of 25.
Still as they say, I started with nothing and still have most of it left, so do I REALLY give a stuff? No.
Back to FIFA - providers of the opiate of the masses, and like most drug peddlers making a fine quid out of it.
John do you know what I found most foul? The European girls who went there (theoretically) to work as 'Air Stewardesses' and just literally prostituted themselves.
Maybe it has changed in that regard, but they certainly confirmed the role of women generally in the Arab mind, at that time.
To be honest though I enjoyed most of my time in the ME, although the Saudis were notably loathsome in both their attitudes and hypocrisy. But us expats did have a bit of a daft time there mostly - and partly returning to the booze bit, Ramadan was a hoot with all the pick-up trucks (owned by Arabs) denuded Gulf Cellars of booze!
Qatar incidentally used to have a 'drinks license' for expats, which if my memory serves me right, was something like 4 gallons of stuff per week!
The Causeway didn't exist in my time (80-82) and it was the funniest jet flight in the world as the plane went straight up and straight down without levelling out.
Yes Norman, Bahrain is a horrible little police state whose real purpose for existing is as a bolt hole for the despicable Saudis across the causeway.
Not just the labourers either - I had a 30-page 'Contract' signed before I went Bahrain. It was to proven a 'load of *****' Later, I was to learn that a Contract is not considered a final, done and agreed document, but more of a 'work in progress' - guess who did the progressing? That in itself is a misnomer as it was 'retrograding' all the way along the line.
I was the Studio Manager of the company producing both the Gulf Telephone Directory and individual country ones. That was my 'paid job', however in my contract they wanted me to develop their Graphic Design side - for which I would get 5% of the gross - yes Gross, I thought I was being clever here having been stitched up on this sort of thing before. I was successful in this bringing into the fold a lot of graphic design work - which I did myself - and usually over my weekly breaks of 1 day and a further half a day.
One piece of business was American Express Middle East. The DM side only, but very substantial.
Came my first payday and expectations of my due commission only to be told 'no-one earns this sort of money here' Eh? This was just a start, and I got kidney stones and had to go to hospital sometime later. The Company refused to pay the hospital bill despite it being yet another clear clause in the 'Contract'.
This was the cruncher as apart from the usual blindng arrogance of the Arabs this was clearly against the Work Contract as laid down by the Government. I still have it and the stamp of the Government is all over it. I thought I was on strong grounds - idiot that I was. When I threatened to go to the Department of Labour and/or sue the answer was simply a laugh and 'you, a foreigner in an Arab Country, employed by an Arab company, intend to go to an Arab Court, and truly expect to win?'
It was a good lesson though as I continued to do the Amex work on my kitchen table, and never did sod-all for the Arabs without cash up front. Yes it didn't last, but it stood me in good stead for various 'Contracts' that appeared later in other Arab countries. For a while I had a good enough reputation to be able to demand this or 'bugger-off'.
The Filipino, Sri Lankan, Indian and other workers haven't got a hope with this, and female 'housemaids' are expected to be a lot more than that - and if they don't concur - where do they go for justice? Nowhere because women are only regarded as useful for cooking and sex, and that's it.
The passport bit was tried with me when I first arrived and I said No firmly and it was left alone. The only good thing was the Company was required to provide a return air ticket to where I came from.
I picked up and retained an Australianism whilst I was there, and I still agree with it "I wouldn't **** on one if he was on fire"
I don’t see it happening David. For example in my industry, IT, how can tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs be brought back to the US and Europe without the price of services and software going through the roof? How many people would buy an iPhone if it was 1500 euros rather than 800? All this repatriation talk is, in my opinion, just politician’s populist waffle. There is no way back.
Yes Simon and there is now a move to repatriating production and services. A good thing too.
there is a flip side to this argument, look at what has happened in the UK and the USA, as people demand better living standards incomes rose, then came the shock that other countries could make things cheaper than at home so the home grown industries shut down and now we buy goods from abroad.
I watched a programme recently about fishing, fish is caught in the UK and shipped to China for fileting as it is cheaper to ship it out and then ship it back to be sold in the supermarkets.
all countries have some time in their past gone through the slave labour trade, it is reapearing in the UK under the disguise of self employment, it is happening in all sectors not just a few. to stay competitive individuals have to cut costs and live on the breadline.
That applies to so much Bruce. I love and buy a lot of Apple gear but I suspect the working and living conditions of the folk in China that assemble the stuff are poor. It’s a complex issue. Are these folk better off in poverty with no work or better off working in tough conditions but with the opportunity to progress. I guess for me there is a big difference between people working in thir own country with the ability to jack it in and go home if they want to and the poor devils transported in 747s from Pakistan et al. to horrible Saudi who cannot leave. Riyadh has to be the lousiest place to be stuck as a “guest worker” in the World.
You don't have to go far to see this. People in hordes shop in Primark because it's cheap. Does anybody consider why everything is so cheap or, more to the point, who cares?
I suppose people like to go to Dubai with their eyes closed. Much the same way that people in the mid thirties thought how wonderful Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany were. I can never get over the hypocrisy of the Wahabis and their friends. They preach about how corrupt the West is while fomenting bloody war elsewhere and generally treating their "guest workers" like sh*t.
I’ve never been to Quatar but I’ve lived in the M/E and the many countries I have visited there had one of two approaches to alcohol. Either it was banned outright as in Saudi or it was available in nominated hotels for non-locals (i.e. Non-muslem) consumption. I think Quatar will struggel with it being available openly in Stadia.
The reality Liz is that all the Gulf States and Saudi etc. have slave like conditions for workers. Many people travel to Dubai on vacation and yet construction workers there live in appaling conditions. In sort of concentration camps and bussed in and out every day to the construction sites. The busses have no air conditioning of course. Theoretically they don’t have to work if the temperature goes above 50 degrees but amazingly the “official” temperature never does
Luckily I don’t like soccer so I’m not conflicted in not liking FIFA but I do like motor sport and I suspect that FIA which governs that could be just as bad. I’m watching the bribery trial of Bernie Eclestone in Germany with interest.
I wouldn't think there would be any problem with beer. Companies could still sponsor and simply add the info to their advertising in the countries in which they market. Unlike France where no alcohol advertising is allowed in the ground or on shirts. Hence Wales Rugby shirts in France do not bear the blazon of Brains and the Heineken Cup has to be referred to aas the "H" Cup; In any case I would have thought the main sponsorship would come from the manufacturers of one or other of the two tooth rotting , diabetes promoting brown beverages from the US. Very popular with our Arab friends I believe especially with an un-Islamic dose of a Scottish product.
Like the video. Probably accurate too.
If FIFA didn't represent such a universally loved sport it would certainly already be extinct.
Next opportunity for change is if Blatter goes. Hopefully the pressure will continue to mount from sponsors and FIFA will elect a new leader, who will then have the poison challis of cleaning it all up....
Like the point re Beer in Quatar - what will they do if they have an important beer sponsor?..that is one battle FIFA may actually not win!
My personal opinion is that the rant is pretty accurate, and if FIFA was a standard big coporation or even a countey, they would not be permitted to act as they do. Frankly the world cup in Quatar is simply stupid beyond belief and how many people are going to be held as virtual slaves with their passports held by their “emplyers” and their health and safety virtually non existant, so they are dying at a rate of 1 a day? Will FIFA insist on a law change to sell beer at venues in Quatar? How will supporters be treated there?
It is time there was a massive change with FIFA or for another federation to be set up that is a more acceptable company.