Utility Week

Utility Week 6th Dec 2019

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Community but when asked, less than half of Swedes thought their fellow countrymen would say they were happy. The biggest gap is in South Korea, where only 24 per cent of the population think their fellow South Korean would report as happy, when in actual fact 90 per cent of them said they were happy with their lot. It should perhaps give us pause for thought when we blithely assume we're living in such conflicted, angry times, that we're not talking about ourselves but assuming it of our fellows, and not out of a sense of empathy but because we think we're better than them. In everyone's case except Disconnector's, of course. How many? Not everyone is such a pes- simist, of course. In fact, some folk are positively brimming with unquenchable enthusiasm. One such is Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla. Last week, this led the tech entrepreneur to get a colleague to lob a steel ball at the windows of the company's new electric pick-up truck, the Cybertruck, at its launch event in LA. The intent was to prove they were unbreakable, though with predictable bathos they shattered. But despite the PR disaster – and the subsequent pan- ning of the vehicle as ugly and impractical by the world's motor Disconnector Publishing director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellenbennett@fav-house.com; Content director: Jane Gray, janegray@fav-house.com, t: 01342 333004; Editor: Suzanne Heneghan, t: 01342 332106, e: suzanneheneghan@fav-house.com Digital editor: James Wallin, 01342 332015, jameswallin@fav-house.com; Intelligence editor: Denise Chevin, 01342 332087, denisechevin@fav-house.com Energy correspondent: Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tomgrimwood@fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@ fav-house.com; Reporter: Adam John, t: 01342 332069, e: adamjohn@fav-house.com; Water correspondent: Ruth Williams, e: ruthwilliams@fav-house.com, t: 01342 332069 Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paulnewton@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ben Hammond, e: benhammond@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332116; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, e: sarahwood@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332117 Conference sponsorship manager: Sophie Abbott, t: 01342 332062, e: sophieabbott@fav-house.com; General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332057, e: peterbissell@fav-house.com. 2,500 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2018 Membership subscriptions: UK £950+VAT per year. Contact Jo Nikiforov on: 01342 332077 Utility Week is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the regulator of the UK's magazine and newspaper industry. We abide by the Editors' Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint, please contact the Editor. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you want more information about IPSO or the Editors' Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk. swiŽ: "I was and I remain a professor of economics." To much tittering in the hall, the chair opined: "I think Mr Rowland stands corrected." The Brexit Party's official Twitter feed relayed many of the day's exchanges between its MEPs and their counterparts, but curiously enough, that one failed to make the cut. Why the long face? If you think you spend much of your time surrounded by moody buggers, you're not alone. Which is not to say that you are, merely that most of us think we are. Confused? Read on, dear reader. According to Bobby Duffy, the author of Why We're Wrong About Nearly Everything: A The- ory of Human Misunderstanding, most people suffer from "illusory superiority bias", which leads them to inflate their leadership skills, IQ and popularity. One side effect of this is that they also assume that everyone else must be less happy than they actually are. And the gap is both universal and usually very wide. Of 40 countries surveyed, the least happy was – perhaps unsurprisingly – Russia. But even there, 73 per cent of people said that all in all they were happy. The happiest country was Sweden – at 95 per cent – Who do you think you are? Boris Johnson has come in for some stick for avoiding a grilling by Andrew Neil, but his trepidation is well founded. No matter how well you pre- pare, live interviews can take unexpected twists and turns. And let's face it, Boris is hardly the sort of chap who puts in the hard yards doing prep. He prefers to wing it. That said, even the PM has some prepared lines when it comes to set-pieces such as debates or parliamentary appearances. Which is more than can be said for Robert Rowland, one of the new intake of Brexit Party MEPs representing the UK in Brussels. The self-styled bovver boys of Brexit like to get up the noses of their colleagues, and Rowland is no exception. For his debut speech at the Euro- pean Parliament, he decided to go for the jugular and attack Green UK MEP Molly Scott Cato for her temerity in claiming the UK would be worse off aŽer the transition period. "As far as I'm aware she doesn't have a degree in eco- nomics," he scoffed. "Maybe she has some business experi- ence that would give some empirical proof that that would be the case?" Scott Cato's response was UTILITY WEEK | 6TH - 12TH DECEMBER 2019 | 31 press – Musk is doubling down on his positivity and claiming in tweets than pre-orders for the Cybertruck already top 200,000. To put this in perspective, in its day the widely admired Tesla Model 3 had pre-orders of 275,000 a week aŽer its unveiling. It looks like Musk has his finger on the pulse aŽer all, and all the market was waiting for was a grey, boxy pick-up truck that looks like it stepped straight out of the pixelated universe of a 1990s video game. Who are you looking at? It's the great sectarian divide of our time. No, not Brexit – it's whether you think cats or dogs make the most intelligent companions. In a leg-up for cat people (those who like them, that is), researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada have said that cats do, aŽer all, have different facial expressions just like dogs do – it's just that a lot of people have trouble interpreting them. Well, this is news only to people who have never owned a cat, thinks Disconnector. Anyone who has is perfectly aware that cats are capable of conveying facial expressions. And that expression is most oŽen a look of contempt.

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