Sunday, July 23, 2006

Smoking Ban

We went out to a club last night and had a really good time. The music was fantastic and the crowd were fab, well behaved as you would expect in a gay club. There was a bit of a mixed crowd, straight and gay, but everyone had a real blast.

But oh my god, the next day when we woke up, I could hardly talk and my throat was disgusting.. the after effects of being exposed to a great deal of smoke, most of which was created by young people i.e. under twenty five's I would hazard a guess. Most of the mature people there were not smoking and as a reformed smoker of many years I wondered why so many young people smoked but older ones didn't.

Does it have something to do with the fact that you grow out of it as you age cause you realise how dangerous it is to your health as well as it being damn anti social? Now, from my point of view I would like to make my own decisions as to whether I want to die early or not. I don't really want that decision to fall on others so personally I cannot wait for the impending ban on smoking in public places to arrive. It would have been just lovely , after a fab night out, to wake up the next morning feeling exhilarated about it instead of feeling absolute crap and having to bung every bit of outer clothing in the washing machine cause they smelled like an ash tray.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Immigration and The Home Office

There is a lot of chat going on at the Home Office at the mo concerning the estimated number of failed assylum seekers in the country and where they are !!
This current rhetoric makes my blood boil because in effect we the normal British Citizens of this country, and I include all ethnic backgrounds in this, are the ones who foot the bill for this unholy cock up on the part of the Home Office.

My partner, who as I said before is Filipino, had a hell of a job getting a visa through the Manila Embassy, even though his case based on our collective evidence was extremely genuine and well based. He had one terrible experience with the Manila UKVACS who handle the applications before they go to the Embassy when in front of his eyes they started to dismantle his excellently presented portfolio of evidence by extracting vital information as required under the Home Office guidance because an official at UKVACS said it was not required. My partner had to remonstrate with them and finally they allowed him to put the evidence back in the right order in the file with index's. He sealed the envelope himself so that no one could tamper with it anymore. What a situation to be in and how can this Government allow such things to happen when so much is dependent on the case you put forward.

On top of this it has been found out that an Embassy official has been arranging visas for cash and even got his girlfriend a visa under a false application to come to the UK. His name is
Sharad Ladva and this says a lot about the corrupt system surrounding The Home Office.

There are so many genuine cases where people are waiting to join their loved ones so we can only imagine their heartache when they read of corruption in the very system they are led to believe will give them fair treatment. On top of this, I ask the question...How did so many people who did not have to build a painstaking case to get here or have to lay bare theirs and their partners life by supplying details of employment, bank details, earnings, assets, accomodation, love letters, birthday and christmas cards with intimate notes attached, receipts for gifts, hotels, meals, holidays etc etc and I can go on for ages and ages on this...get here in the first place? Oh, and pay £480 to the Embassy for just a hearing i.e. cost of application plus secure postage of personal documents from the UK to Philippines. Over a quarter million assylum seekers are here already without having made one application through normal channels... After what my partner and I went through for one whole year we can only ask...How on earth did they do it ?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

NatWest Three

Doesn't it just make you feel good to be British ! What on earth are this Government playing at ? Here we are extraditing three men to the USA under a 2003 Treaty not even ratified by the US Government and which gives more rights to US citizens than us British. We don't even ask for a "prima facie"case to be proved before we ship our citizens willy nilly across the Atlantic. Are we mad or something ?

Apparently there are loads of other extradition cases pending under this onerous Treaty which makes the whole issue extremely bizarre. When will this Government and Tony Blah Blah Blah stop pandering to every single US whim. My flabber has never been so ghasted !!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Europride 2006

We went to Europride in London last weekend and had a really good day. For a start the weather was fantastic, brilliant sunshine all day long. The floats were great and the procession as a whole was colourful and vibrant. Of course, the atmosphere was electric and everyone seemed happy to be gay on that day. High points were .. a float for Gay Muslims Unmasked and they were not masked either. A sign said..Gay Muslims and yes, we do really exist. It was great to see them and they got real loud applause too. Well done to you all !!! There was a float for older lesbians too and it was great to see our much older sisters enjoying themselves so much. The whole of Picadilly/ Soho and the surrounding areas were buzzing, you couldn't move down Old Compton Street. Entertainment was fab, especially the drag contest in Leicester Square and Four Poofs and a Piano in Trafalgar Square. Thanks everyone for a great day, it was spot on guys and gals. Sorry we had to leave early in the evening but as England had lost some sort of football match there were the obligatory riot vans arriving and associated Police horses just in case there was trouble from the flag bedecked red and white painted yobs in the surrounding streets. I never saw any trouble at the time so lets hope it stayed that way. Cheers !!!

BT Rip Off

I have just had a look at my BT phone bill on line. Why? Well, my partner found through another web site that by directing your calls via a call centre you can make substantial savings when telephoning a mobile abroad. His family is in the Philippines and he told me calls were only 7 1/2 pence per minute incl. VAT at any time of the day.

So, the reason I was checking my bill is because I frankly didn't believe this and thought there must be some sort of catch. Imagine my surprise when I checked to find it was completely kosher. What astonished me was the difference between the BT call rate and this other was enormous. For instance...

BT .... 9 mins 35 secs - cost £6.72 ..therefore call rate is 71 pence a minute plus VAT.

Other .... 1 hour 21 mins - cost £4.98.. therefore call rate is 6 pence a minute plus VAT.

Of course , we all know that BT are ripping us off right, left and centre with their monopoly but this is more than just a rip is in fact gross extortion!

The web site to visit is called and the section is International Callchecker. If you make calls abroad I urge you to check it out. You will also be able to make savings on U.K. calls too.
We are currently looking at other options for phone and Internet contracts from other sources. Unfortunately we do not have cable in our town but nevertheless we know we can make substantial savings on our phone and internet bills from BT every month. Search around, you will be surprised what you will find. BT certainly deserve to get that metaphoric kick in the balls for being so greedy.