Sultans of Swing

Yet more run ins with ministerial bureaucracy!!! This time HiFM, the radio station in Oman that is covering my expedition with daily phone calls, has had its website blocked.


The reason for this block is that my provocatively, revolutionary inciting, “Sultan of Snow” blog has been deemed to be subverting the rule of the Sultan of Oman, by using his title in a flippant manner, or some such reason.

I have absolutely nothing but the utmost respect for the Sultan of Oman. He has managed to build a country from nothing, and his achievements are only overlooked because Oman is such a stable country with a wonderfully low profile. If anything, the nickname Sultan of Snow, which was given to me by the German press, is a homage to him.

However, it isn’t just my site. The song Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits is also banned from Oman. I wonder if the movie “Team America” is banned for having a puppet representing the Sultan at the conference of World leaders? Or if the dried fruit sultanas are considered subversive to the monarchy?

Where will it end? Or will the government bureaucrats realise that this really isn’t that dangerous? Or even remotely seditious? Probably never, because if they were smart enough, they would have a real job working in the private sector, not in the Ministry of Coffee breaks, or they would have worked out that we live in the information age, and the old fashioned Stalinist form of information control went out with the dinosaurs. Oh well, let’s all hope that Oman continues to progress as fast as we have done in the last 39 years…

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