AOB – July 2017

27 July 2017

Smart note on PPRUNE from an ex cabin crew defending the poor crew member caught on video pouring Business class welcome drinks back into the bottle:

“I am not addressing anyone in particular, please take no offense!

It just happens that the pilots and cabin crew live in distant galaxies far-far away. I bet most of those who are bashing her for what she did have no idea of what it is to work in customer service and what it is to work as CC for Emirates. When you guys complain about long hours etc, your complaints are 100% legitimate! However if you want to get into CC shoes.. on top of hours add a gigantic load of sh*t coming from every single direction, everyone is against you and all the rules and regulations seem to be written in a way to screw you over, like whatever happens you will always be held responsible, no matter what is the outcome. I don’t know if the pilots work in this sort of environment, perhaps you guys do, but the CC is under constant pressure!

She was putting it back into the bottle as a normal practice. This is what CC do to gash it later. The company doesn’t provide conditions to “safely” gash colored drinks. If you use the little sink in the galley, you can be reported (it seems to corrode AC’s belly when the liquid is out of the AC) You have to toss it to the toilet that may be busy.. If it is, you can’t wait because.. you will be reported for being slow in service. On top of that add the ever-complaining pax, the cabin seniors waiting for the opportunity to write on you, etc. So the CC is constantly “trapped”. No matter what you do, the day will come when you are unlucky and get busted doing something wrong, because anything you do can somehow be turned against you.

The pilots get WAY more respect from the company than the crew does and unfortunately most of the cockpit guys simply can’t imagine how it is to work in that cabin.. I am not saying this to start some discussion on equality or something, I am just telling it to those who start judging fellow colleagues without any idea of what those people go through.”

Well done.

26 July 2017

Empower and DEWA – to get the clearance certificates for the sale of our apartment.

Both very good – with staff who actually gave the appearance of wanting to be helpful.

Unusual for government agencies in Dubai – so credit where due.

The car has gone….so sad.

It had served us well for ten years – reliable, still quick when it wanted, or needed, to be and near immaculate inside.

23 July 2017

Jeremy Cliffe from the Economist on twitter today:

“The essence of economic progressivism is the creation of the best possible living conditions for the largest possible number of people. That means (1) increasing the size of the pie and (2) slicing it more equally.
This is basic recipe of EU (& Eurozone) countries like Germany & Netherlands, where working-class life is v much better than in the UK.
Though also cultural, the Brexit vote was tipped by low- and middle-earners working too many hours for too-low living standards”

A sensible response would thus be to improve living standards concretely by making the pie bigger & allocating its slices more fairly.

i.e. minimising the economic costs of Brexit and simultaneously advancing genuinely radical reforms to spread wealth and opportunity.

Corbyn is going in the opposite direction. First, his opposition to the Single Market will make Britain poorer. It will shrink the pie

Instead Labour should be “tough on Brexit, tough on the causes of Brexit”. By doing two things:

Boost jobs and wages, and drastically increase available funds for public services, by keeping Britain in the Single Market.

Advance genuinely radical & redistributive policies on tax, education, industry, regional policy, infrastructure, political reform.

On the mark.

Meanwhile Air France have announced a new medium/long haul subsidiary called “Joon” – allegedly targeting millennials – in reality targeting the Gulf airlines.

Here is Gizmodo on Joon:

“Joon is kind of a perfect thing to happen in 2017, a bad and stupid year, because it combines all the weird, tired millennial jargon that marketers have invented with the knowingly infuriating tone of someone trying to goad said millennials into a reaction. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can look forward to 2018, when someone tries to milk a few thousand hate-shares out of a “Millennials Killed the Airline for Millennials” take.”

Tai is back in Thailand for a couple of days – taking the first collection of our possessions back into storage.

I have been selling the car – it has done 10 years good service – just turned 100,000kms which is not a lot.

Selling a car in the UAE is an experience…..

19 July 2017

From PPRUNE: “A very wise training captain once told me in EK if you need to go to the bathroom, then take the F/O with you as he will do less damage than if you leave him there!”

A lot of debate about situational awareness following an incident in MRU airspace a few days ago.

18 July 2017

Winnie the Pooh – blocked in China where a photo of Mr Xi standing up through the roof of a parade car, next to a picture of Winnie the Pooh in a toy car, was named the “most censored image of 2015” by political consultancy Global Risk Insights.


If yesterday’s Washington Post story is true – then the issues faced by the Gulf nations have just escalated. The WP is reporting that the UAE planted fake news via a hack and effectively engineered this crisis with Qatar.

That is a huge story. But of course relies on unnamed intelligence sources.

The UAE’s foreign minister Anwar Gargash told an audience, yesterday, at London think tank Chatham House, there was no truth to the allegations made by both Qatar and The Washington Post, which cited information newly analysed by US intelligence services.

But the Qataris have always denied the quotes allegedly made by the Emir of Qatar praising Iran and Hamas.

The Qatari response which was to protest: “We’ve been hacked and he never said this.”

13 July 2017

UN Human Rights – Asia statement issued last night:

We call on the Singaporean Government to halt the imminent execution of Malaysian national Prabagaran Srivijayan for a drugs related offence, and urges the Government to immediately instate a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
On 6 July 2017, Mr. Srivijayan and his family were informed that he would be executed on 14 July 2017. His appeal for clemency to the President of Singapore was declined on 7 July.
Mr. Srivijayan, 29, was arrested in April 2012 in possession of 22.24 grams of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin. The heroin was found in the arm rest of a car that he had borrowed. Mr. Srivijayan claimed that he had no knowledge of the drugs.
On 22 July 2012, Mr. Srivijayan was convicted and sentenced to death under section 33B of the Misuse of Drugs Act. On 2 October 2015 his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
Separately, in May 2017, Mr. Srivijayan’s legal representatives in Malaysia launched a case to urge Malaysia to seek the intervention of the International Court of Justice.
We are gravely concerned that the execution will proceed despite a pending appeal to take the case to the International Court of Justice.
We deeply regret that in recent months, four individuals have been executed for drug-related offences in Singapore. Under international law, the death penalty may only be used for “the most serious crimes” which has been interpreted to mean only crimes involving intentional killing. Drug-related offences do not fall under this threshold.
Several States have also called on Singapore to abolish the death penalty, in particular for drug-related offences, during its human rights review in Geneva in January 2016.

Unfortunately executing foreigners is all too common in Singapore.

7 July 2017

Will they – or won’t they – the flydubai and Emirates merger speculation continues.

Clearly they are meant to be brought into closer co-operation – here is one scenario: No merger. Just a greater synergy of route structure. Good for EK pilot bad for FZ, more short TAs for FZ and the most of the layovers go to EK. Overall reduction for both initially. But with greater connectivity between the airlines.

For instance FZ would not fly Prague and Bangkok as it does now. They would only be EK flights.

Well done Hainan Air – very classy – but not sure that the shoes are suitable for long haul flying:

Rather more down to earth – this is the new look for flydubai:

The Qatar crisis rumbles along – neither side can back down without massive loss of face –

The cabal of Egypt. KSA, UAE and Bahrain said yesterday in a statement that Doha’s refusal of their 13 demands to resolve the Gulf diplomatic crisis was proof of Qatar’s links to terrorist groups and that they would enact new measures against it.

They also insisted that their initial list of 13 demands was now void and pledged new political, economic and legal steps against Qatar.

Qatar’s stance “reflects its intention to continue its policy, aimed at destabilising security in the region,” their statement said. “All political, economic and legal measures will be taken in the manner and at the time deemed appropriate to preserve the four countries’ rights, security and stability.”

The statement did not say when the new steps would be announced or what they would be.

This dispute has a long way to go still. But there is a great deal of Western (led by the USA and Germany) pressure to not add to the existing restrictions.


6 July 2017

England v South Africa today – I only wish I could watch it but OSN Sport moved it from the Sports Channels that we were paying for to their pay-even more money channel.

This is from the Guardian today:

“Test cricket remains the finest sport available to humanity, and its underexposure and short-sighted administration in recent times is society’s crime, not ours. And it’s back! And not just for any old series either.

Series against South Africa have consistently been the most compelling and close-fought of any England have faced in the past few decades. From Devon Malcolm’s Oval carnage in 1994, to Atherton staring down gloriously undiluted aggression in Johannesburg and Nottingham in 95 and 98, through the 2-2 draw in 2003 (one of the great forgotten Test series – who now salutes the decisive roles played by James Kirtley and Martin Bicknell?), Hoggard’s seven-for at the Wanderers, Smith forcing teary resignations out of Nasser and Vaughan, Collingwood and Onions digging in in 2010, Amla’s triple-century two years later, to Ben Stokes’s beautifully brutal Cape Town assault … I could go on. Encounters between these two are overloaded with great memories.”

3 July 2017

This: or just jump down to the last two lines:

Prompted by this:

Donald Trump did more than ‘wrestle’ CNN in a video. He attacked democracy

From Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) Writer, Hoosier, Asst Prof of CW at GA Southern, work in @nytimes, @newrepublic From twitter.

“I’d like to give a little insight into what it’s like being a journalist in 2017 and why Trump’s rhetoric is incredibly dangerous

Yesterday I broke the news that the guy who made Trump’s CNN gif also created an antisemitic meme and was obviously racist. 

In the wake of that, I received numerous threats. I was told people wanted to shoot, strangle me, hang me, throw me out of a helicopter 

Some assumed I was Jewish because I spoke out against antisemitism, others said I was a race-traitor. Got it on both sides. 

Now articles are showing up on Neo-Nazi websites, there are videos spliced with Goebbels telling me not to test his patience 

That one also has footage from Natural Born Killers of a journalist being executed by shotgun. 

On forums, under my tweets, there’s a list of excerpts from newspaper articles about journalists being slaughter, the details gory. 

Meanwhile, people are claiming I’m making up the threats and then immediately threatening me. In the same message. 

Over on Facebook I’m getting messages from strangers about “goyim” and talking about what happened to Jews in the 40’s.

This environment is the creation of the man in the White House. There are valid criticisms of the media, many on point, this isn’t that 

When you start calling a group of people enemies of the country, this is what happens. When you call them scum, this happens. 

This is what happens when you have Alex Jones calling mainstream media pedophiles and Satan worshippers, and threatening to crush them.

This environment we have right now is volatile. Some of these threats are empty, but people who are unwell consume this stuff.

Even as I’m typing this I’m getting antisemitic memes and messages. It’s happening in realtime. 

And everyone keeps bringing up the shooting in Virginia. In a way, they’re right. That’s what happens in this environment.

This shouldn’t be a country where these violent instincts are cultivated and encouraged. We’re at a real tipping point right now. But make no mistake, there’s something growing in this country, and it is very, very ugly.”

1 July 2017

Happy 150th birthday Canada

And also the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong by the British to China.

Joshua Wong the young Hong Kong student leader has a piece in the Financial Times today – a few highlight:

So many young people….seldom, if ever, identify as Chinese and are no fans of the communist regime in Beijing. 

We have consolidated our strong identity as Hong Kongers — rather than embracing a Chinese identity — not because of the city’s British colonial past, but because of Beijing’s ongoing assault on our way of life.

The…umbrella movement (was a) clear rejection of Beijing’s increasing interference, chiefly by young people.

Rather than demonstrating a genuine intention to introduce liberal reforms to win us over, Chinese leaders have been doing the opposite and tightening their grip.

The real question for Hong Kong is, therefore, what happens in 2047? This is a certain uncertainty, just like 1997, the date of expiry on the New Territories lease — a treaty that granted the British 99-year control of some 92 per cent of the colony’s area.

The same questions have already begun to resurface in post-umbrella Hong Kong: will land leases expire? How about 30-year mortgages?

Hong Kongers were barred from participating in negotiations in the 1980s. With the territory’s future again in the balance, it is time for our generation to look ahead. Only through learning from our past mistakes — political apathy and overconfidence in Beijing — can we truly determine a free future.

He is a smart young man.