Monthly Archives: June 2011

Stop the World, I want to Get Off!

It seems like yesterday when we ushered in the new year and vowed to stick with our new year resolutions come what may.  While I am sure some of us are doing great on that front,  I am equally sure that others have jump-started their new year resolutions a couple of times already.  Needless to say that some of us have already given up on our  resolutions  altogether.  Surely there’s no cause for alarm, right? After all, there’s always next year to get it right.

So far 2011 has been one racy and action-packed year.  When one considers the significant global events of the last five months,  it feels more like the end, than the middle of the year.   A few weeks back, a friend posted a link to the “2011 Time 100”  list on Facebook.  At the time, I thought that the list of the most influential people of 2011 was rather premature given that the year hadn’t even ended yet.

Anyway, I noticed that UK Prime Minster, David Cameron,  had pride of place on this list of most influential people, even though I couldn’t, at the time,  and still don’t understand why.  It is ironical that a leader who couldn’t even muster an overwhelming mandate to rule his own people, gets a showing on such a high-profile international list for his warmongering antics. Agreed, stranger things have happened at sea, but I think it is morally wrong to glorify social-climbing warmongers.

I know they say history generally repeats itself, but did anyone really anticipate the wave of revolutions we are seeing in the Arab world? Did anyone envisage  the U.S. assassinating Osama  Bin Laden and feasting his body to the sharks instead of putting him on trial in a court of law?  How about the events that recently overtook the former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, did anyone see that coming?

Okay, we all knew about the royal wedding. This one was definitely on the cards. Even though there were times when the media frenzy was a bit over the top and we couldn’t wait for the whole thing to be over and done with.  All in all, it was a lovely wedding. Although I must say I found the furore of  inviting  some dignitaries to the wedding only to later disinvite them,  for political reasons, quite hilarious.  If I ever pulled a stunt like this, not only would I get a lorry-load of hate mail, I probably won’t have any friends left. But of course I am not royal.

How could anyone forget President Obama’s embarrassing breach of royal protocol at Buckingham Palace?  Every time I watch the video clip of the President speaking over the British anthem, I burst into  a fit of hysterical laughter.  President Obama really should have known better.

So there you have it. It has certainly been one eventful year so far.  What else has 2011 got in stock for us ? Please stop the world, I want to get off………….


Every Dog Will Have Its Day In Court

Seemingly, some of us think that wealthy and powerful men are well-cultured and have better moral values than the rest of the male specie. Those who endorse this line of thinking fail to understand that while a wealthy man may not necessarily be a chicken thief, he may not be a saint either.

In the wake of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest three weeks ago, for allegedly sexually assaulting a maid in a plush New York hotel, there has been mixed reactions from around the globe on what actually happened. While some have slammed Strauss-Kahn and the prevailing climate in France, alongside other countries, which makes it easy for powerful men to get away with sexual crimes, others have opinioned that the maid  simply cooked up the story for her own ulterior motives.

There are also some French pundits who think the incident was orchestrated to politically damage Strauss-Kahn. Worse yet, are those who suggest that it is okay for powerful men to sexually attack women, as long as they are African women. Whichever way you look at it, there is no denying that the Strauss-Kahn sex sensation has resulted in one mammoth free-for-all.

Strangely enough, approximately two weeks after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, another well-heeled hotel guest, former bank chairman, Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar, was arrested in New York for sexually assaulting a maid at the Pierre Hotel.

My aim is not to pass judgement on Strauss-Kahn. Hopefully, the jury will do a good job of that when the trial gets underway. I strongly believe in the rule of law. However, it doesn’t help when consummate politicians like the British  Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clark, make inappropriate remarks about how some incidents of rape are more serious than others. You don’t need to have a PhD in Psychology to know that all sexual assaults are indeed serious and traumatising for victims, some of whom never fully recover from their ordeal.

As they say, there are positives to be taken from every bad situation. And as  someone who is au fait with the hotel industry, these recent, high-profile, alleged sex assaults have highlighted the occupational risks to which female hotel employees are constantly exposed. Every time a female hotel employee goes into a male-occupied guest room, to service it, deliver room service or even collect laundry, there is a possibility that something untoward may happen to her. Hopefully, the publicity surrounding the Strauss-Kahn case will prompt hoteliers to review their current arrangements for mitigating the risk of sex attacks on  female employees in the work environment.

I also hope that justice prevails in this case. If Strauss-Kahn is guilty of the charges filed against him, then it is only right that he pays for his crime. On the other hand, if it transpires that the maid made it all up, then she should face the music for wasting US public funds, police time, and ruining the career and reputation of an innocent albeit wealthy and powerful man.

Earlier this week in a New York court, Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted rape. For some weird reason, I feel that this trial may come to resemble the 1995 O. J. Simpson murder trial. Those who recall that trial will remember how the issue of race, as well as the handling of the investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, had a significant bearing on the outcome of that case.

For now, one thing I can say with definite conviction is that every dog will surely have its day in court.