Monday, May 2, 2011

Royal Snub for Blair



Even Malaysians were glued to the television set watching the royal wedding of William and Kate in faraway Britain. Former UK Prime Ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher were on the guest list; Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not. And this has given rise to many speculations as to why the latter were snubbed.

One of these interesting ‘theories’ was that Wills was pissed off at Blair over the way he used Diana's death as a vehicle to further his political agenda, and also the way he goaded the Queen into making a televised statement in spite of that fact that those kinds of things are not in her queenly nature. I don't know if this is really true, but I am not ready to discount this. Besides, true or not, it does make for interesting reading.

Anyway, because Blair was shunned, Brown too had to pay the price. He received no wedding invite as it was the only way to make it look non personal! Well, you never know – it might just be true.


Photo taken on May 01, 2011 shows the warning sign of NO SMOKING at a ticket outlet in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province.

It is a fact that China has more smokers than any other country. So it is welcoming to learn that with effect from May 01, 2011, the country has put into force an indoor smoking ban in public venues such as restaurants, hotels, railway stations or theatres, but not at the office. The selective off-limits policy acknowledges the fact that smoking is so entrenched that, according to Huffpost Health (Webpage http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/01/chinas-indoor-smoking-ban_n_856016.html, posted May 02, 2011), almost half of all male doctors smoke! Anyway, this move is aimed at curbing the number of deaths from smoking-related diseases, running at a million a year.

But there is a hitch. There are no prescribed penalties to punish recalcitrant smokers who choose to ignore them. This may well be a toothless piece of legislation.

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