Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oman and HM in the British Press over controversial UK member of Parliament Alan Duncan

Interesting article published yesterday in the low-brow UK Tabloid the Daily Mail, about the UK Member of Parliament (and ex-oil trader) Alan Duncan, and his frequent holidays in Oman as a guest of His Majesty.

Alan is in a spot of bother over the UK's MP Expenses scandal, and the comment he made to a hidden camera complaining about the low 65k salary he gets as an MP. (Personally I think he's right, it's not exactly a huge salary, even for a part-time job).

But as a part of the debacle and his recent (slight) demotion in the Tory party, the UK press are delving into his many free holidays here in the Sultanate as a guest of HM. The gifts he received were, I'm sure, just the standard xmas cracker trinkets HM regularly provides his guests as a good host, but to the average reader of the Daily Mail - who probably wouldn't know what a French Cuff was in the first place - its all shocking, absolutely shocking.

The article also has some miscellaneous photo's of HM that really have nothing to do with the story at all, and you can follow the link to read the whole thing.

I think it's cute that Alan proposed to his partner while here on Valentines Day.

It would be nice if we could get the world press to stop referring to us 'Oil rich Middle Eastern country etc'. Its not really the association we want. Suggestions:
- Beautiful and peaceful Indian Ocean country, famed for its world class beaches and exotic holiday destinations.
- Oldest independent Middle Eastern nation, with a stable enlightened Government and a rich tradition of tolerance and friendliness.

Other suggestions readers?

Whining Tory Alan Duncan's £1m Gulf War oil 'rations' and glittering gifts from Sultan of Oman

Daily Mail 11th September 2009


In the past decade he has spent a staggering 99 days living it up in luxury in Oman - the tab picked up by the Sultan's government. Gifts from the same source include five watches, three sets of cufflinks, and a 'traditional Omani coffee pot and incense burner'.

He even had his appendix removed for free while on holiday there. No chance then, at least, of the 'rations' causing any problems as they work their way through Mr Duncan's system.

Photo: Alan Duncan (left) proposed to his partner James Dunseath (right) on Valentine's Day while in Oman


Having become the first Tory MP to come out as gay in 2002, last year he entered a civil partnership with his partner, 40-year-old, James Dunseath, a press officer in the City.

Mr Duncan proposed to Mr Dunseath on Valentine's Day while in Oman - a place that the politician knows particularly well. His links with the oil-rich Middle-Eastern country stem from his work, but as a politician he has been a regular visitor. Indeed, almost without fail he spends New Year there as a guest of the Sultanate and rarely returns without a valuable trinket or two. When struck down with appendicitis during a visit there in 2000, he was treated for free in the Royal Hospital.

While denying suggestions that there is anything improper in his relationship with the Omani regime, his outside business interests have caused problems.


  1. Looks like they just felt like using the name of an "Oil Rich Middle Eastern Country" to make the dude sound less trustworthy.

    Any delegation that comes to visit a Minister of any other high government official may be given gifts such was watches and traditional incense burners, it is really no big deal and has nothing to do with the Sultan (Or Christmas).

    But I think the article sent a number of good messages about Oman by emphasising that it is a luxorious tourism destination, showing the image of the shore, and saying that Duncan stayed for 99 days. It also gave people another idea for an extra exotice valentine holiday, and told people that it is safe for gay people to come visit the country. Not sure popular the Daily Mail is, but I think this article could improve the image of Oman in the UK after last year's Christmas holiday disaster.

  2. The comments he made to the undercover reporter about expenses did him no favours. He came across as if he just found out we lost the Empire! Sometimes it's not what is said but how it is said !

  3. Oman seems to be a popular holiday spot for Gays. I wonder why.


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