On why a multiethnic Europe is nowhere near. Microsoft does Warsaw

So this is what Microsoft Poland (or they advertisers) considered a bit too much for their consumer base:

Error_publicitario_Microsoft

Lacking a better word, doesn’t it look glorious?

At least, they were tactful enough to do a poor Photoshop job… but come on, couldn’t mighty Microsoft Europe spare a few thousand euros to do a Poland-rated version of the ad?

But see, I learnt something today (it was worth waking up this morning then). First, Poland is as much a racist country as any other country in the world. Nothing bad with it (we are talking civilised racism here, not Hitler or Apartheid style racism discrimination as the UN chart calls it), but they are realistic about their market.

Second, apparently in Poland, if you are going to be different, you can be Asian, but not black (something to do with Polish builders, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen moving to Western Europe and being replaced by Chinese I have heard…)

See, I am as racist as the next, and I do have a network of global friends. Asian, Caucasian, Latino, black, and the like. I’ve got good German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Black and Coloured South African friends (yes, they come in even more versions.) Also Moroccan, Nigerian, Japanese, Filipino, French and some other flavours but we talk of races as what they are, points of anatomical and anthropological difference, not something to stigmatise or never speak about. We are all open about it, and we all agree that being tolerant is the key, reality can never be superseded by good intentions, affirmative actions or bill of rights.

No, it is not representative of the sports fun base to have women sports presenters in the UK. Just go see a game.

No, it is not representative of the estate agent crowd to have a black presenter in Location Location.

No, no matter what you say, Jennifer Lopez doesn’t speak Spanish or represents the Mexican-Americans (but epitomised the American dream).

No, call it what you want but a 45 year old black South African cannot have a degree in engineering because under the Apartheid regime they couldn’t go to uni (as much as I despise it, it is true.)

No, no matter how fast you run, if your family tree has been based in Beijing or Dublin for the last ten generations, you will not overrun a black athlete on the 100m.

No, you can try to bake yourself as much as you want and you will still look like a lobster if your name is Andrew McCain and you like the tanned colour of a Thai man.

And, I have never been to Poland, but I would bet my hat that chances are, one out of three Poles is not black or Asian.

When will we all accept reality as what it is real?

.calvin

On the end of the rule of law in the West, another case study: MPs expenses

I am growing more and more worried about the raising populist anger spiralling out of control.

First, it was the “outrageous” (but legally binding by contract) golden parachutes of failed investment banking executives.

It followed the popular clamour against sky-high (but legally binding by contracts) executive pay.

Then it came poor Sir Fred Goodwin and his pension (legally binding by contract), and his public grilling by the British government and puppets who have nothing else to do sadly reminding me of Dr David Kelly and the alleged sexed-up report on Iraq’s WMDs.

Continue reading

On talking about the weather and the hell we are going through

February 2, 2009. What a day to remember. It was a Monday, right after… a Sunday.

Freezing weather from the East brought us the “biggest snowstorms in 18 years!”

No trains in or out of London, no buses in the city, curiously even the underground underground services cancelled… the great ex-Imperial capital brought to its knees by some fluffy snowflake and its mates.

And the aftermath? Politicians, pundits and £19k journalists started the usual witch hunt.

The journalists with a 7-day memory: The city wasn’t ready for the snowstorm even though we had known it was coming for four days (aka incompetence argument)

Continue reading

On taxpayers being fooled again, 2% VAT reduction? In this sale season, I see it like a helping hand for retail businesses

So, as of December 1 darling Darling told us that the VAT rate in the United Kingdom would go down a massive 2% from 17.5% to 15.0% (-14.28%)..

At first signs of Germany getting into trouble, they rose their VAT rate last January 1, 2007 from 16% to 19% (+18.75%). At the time, everybody thought the Germans were nuts, but almost 24 months after they started paying more in Value Added Tax, they even felt like telling off the British chancellor when the pre-budget report came out.

Continue reading

On politicians and voters not being on the same page, ‘Ireland does EU, the sequel’

It is just un-be-lie-va-ble. They will not accept a NO as an answer. Now I know how ladies feel when dealing with pushy guys.

I thought that the Irish were quite clear when saying No to the Lisbon Treaty. But as democracy in Palestine, voters decisions are as good as the ultimate intentions of the poll organiser.

Continue reading

On things they make us think that are for everybody but they are not: Home owenership

Hobbes, I believe there is a misconception in Western societies. I guess that is my generation’s (early 30s, and working on a nice curvy stomach) fault.

We grew up on an ever growing GDP world. We grew to believe as rights thinks that older generations couldn’t even think of having one day. Over the years, I have had several discussions with my mother in regards of home ownership. Continue reading

On drivers loosing concentration or Council’s credit crunch short-term solution to empty coffers

Today on my daily commute to work (South Bucks to Central London) I have noticed a novelty to my rather dull drive.

Today, the 20-odd miles have turned into a journey of anthropological and public finances discovery. In 25 minutes I have seen 7 drivers pulled (or being pulled) over by police.

I am pretty sure that that is no coincidence. It cannot be. I spent my midday drive wondering about possible reasons for the unusually high level of speeders. Is it the credit crunch that makes every single driver pre-occupied and unaware of mobile and static speeding cameras. Continue reading