Wednesday, 7 March 2007

A load of royal twiddle

The recent Abu Dhabi visit of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla raised uproar in the world's media over some comments HRH supposedly made about the perils of eating McDonald's food. (Needless to say, our sources tell us that he was misquoted, which makes you feel a bit sorry for the supersized firm: it has previously donated substantial sums of money to HRH's charity).

One journalist, although ignoring the furore over Big Macs, still managed to ruffle the Royal feathers. Under a cloak of anonymity to avoid a one-way pass to the Tower of London, he emailed: "I wanted to ask him if he'd seen The Queen yet but didn't have the balls. But I did tell him that he'd failed to twiddle after drinking his coffee. He sarcastically replied: 'I am aware of the twiddle. I have been around for some time, you know.' "

No word on whether Camiknickers twiddled. (Apparently, the twiddle is when you shake the little cup for arabic coffee when you're done - wasn't aware that was the technical term though).

1 comment:

Ya Latif said...

Abusing McDonalds is fine - but will UAE papers publis this?

Seems a UAE diplomat thought he'd never left home...

Diplomat servant's 'unpaid slavery'
Caroline Marcus
March 11, 2007

A BANGLADESHI man is suing an oil-rich Arab nation in Australia's Federal Court in a groundbreaking case involving allegations of domestic slavery.

Nuruddin Bhola Meah has filed a suit against the United Arab Emirates, claiming he was not paid wages during a six-month stint in the Canberra home of its ambassador.

He is seeking $48,000 from the Gulf state for breach of contract, a statement of claim obtained by The Sun-Herald shows.

Mr Meah's lawyer, Lyn Payne, of the Legal Aid Commission in Sydney, will argue in the Federal Court this week that her client worked an average of 13 hours every weekday between March 28 and September 23, 2005, but was paid a total of $500 - less than one week's pay.

The court will hear that Mr Meah came to work for the embassy secretary, Saeed Salem al-Mansouri. But Mr al-Mansouri left the country less than a month later and the embassy offered Mr Meah a job in the home of ambassador Saeed Mohammed al-Shamsi.

He allegedly worked from 7am to 10.30pm preparing meals, vacuuming, washing, ironing and doing other general duties including sorting mail.

The weekly award for a home helper is $579.30 plus overtime when working more than eight hours a day and weekends. When Mr Meah complained to his employer on September 23, 2005, that he had not been paid, he was allegedly threatened with deportation.

Legal Aid NSW's Human Rights Committee recommended the case go before a judge.

Chairwoman Andrea Durbach said it was important to challenge the assumption that diplomats were immune from legal action.

She said taking on a powerful state was "a very bold action" and could be groundbreaking for Australian law.

UTS Anti-Slavery Project director Jennifer Burn said the allegation of domestic slavery was "something that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Immigration will look at very carefully".

A UAE embassy spokesman did not return calls from The Sun-Herald.

Meah's 'average' day



7am-9am: Arrive at ambassadorial home. Prepare, serve and clear breakfast.

9am-10am: Wash and iron, dust, clean floors, vacuum.

10am-2.30pm: Arrive at embassy, cook and serve meals, clean up, sort mail.

2.30pm-6pm: Return to ambassadorial home. Clean up from midday meal.

8pm-10.30pm: Prepare dinner, wash up.