Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Brexit has done it’s damage already.

Let the nightmare be OVER. Let’s stay.  On a very personal level, the prospect of Brexit has been awful from the outset as it would change the future prospects for my friends and family in a bad way.

Opportunities for my children to freely travel, work and live abroad anywhere in Europe would be snatched away, the same for us. I have always thought once the children have grown up I might move to another European country to live because I could. That will get so much harder.

It still hard to believe that my country is going to divorce from the huge and powerful block European of over 500 million people (Highly educated people and a bigger population than the US) to go alone as the tiny independent nation called the UK.

I can’t see many people benefiting from the divorce that is Brexit. I do see lots of people losing out. Particularly younger people (under fifties).

The reality right now in 2019 is massive unemployment or underemployment – cuts in real pay, cut back on labour, shorter working weeks.

It might not show up in the official figures – because claiming benefits is difficult and people need more money than that – but talk to people who work in construction everyone will tell you the same. Work has slowed considerably over the past few months as international businesses have taken investment away from the UK – they might not have gone completely but there are enough who have halted British investment and decided to expand their companies in Europe instead.

It seems to me, Amsterdam must be booming. I’ve heard of quite a few companies setting up or expending their instead of here. And, you know what, not only does that mean British construction firms aren’t building the premises, British young people will not be able to apply for the jobs because mainland Europe already has a highly educated and capable workforce. And British will be missing out on all the tax revenue that work would have generated – £££ that could have gone into the NHS.

I have consistently held the belief that Brexit will be so damaging to our country that it is beyond belief that a government would willingly take us there.

My hope is that at the last minute someone calls a halt to this nonsense and calls to account the people who mis-sold the idea of Brexit to the voters at the referendum now that we are able to compare it with the reality.

My own MP in Thanet was in UKIP and is one of those who supported this terrible path for our future.

I hope all the construction workers who are struggling to pay their household bills today recognise that the cut backs in work and pay are a direct consequence of Brexit. Think on that at the next election.

Remember the lies the leaders of the Brexit campaign told us compared with the reality that we face.

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A Plan to increase Tourism in The Gambia

I first went to The Gambia 18 years ago and like many British tourists I fell in love with the country and have returned many times, including once (so far) this year.

We visited a few years ago when Ebola was rife in west Africa. It was sad to see then and today how the numbers of tourists have dropped away and the devastating impact it has on people who rely on tourism for their livelihoods.

I note Hamat N. K. Bah, the Minister of Tourism and Culture for The Gambia, who was once a hotel manager himself, suggests that The Gambia should:

  1. offer All Inclusive holiday options
  2. become a family friendly destination welcoming children rather than sex-tourists
  3. compete with Cape Verde which has 1 million tourists per year whereas TG only sees 150,000

As I’ve been a tourist in The Gambia many times, but never a sex tourist, and I have children I have lots of thoughts on this.

  1. All Inclusive in The Gambia 

Many small Gambian businesses are oppose to All Inclusive because, as the see it, Europeans hide inside the hotels and don’t venture out and spend their money. This is true of many of those tourists, nevertheless, the money they bring into the country does trickle out as there is more employment within the hotels and the major tourist companies meaning more Gambian people with paid employment. That has to be good. The small independent businesses aren’t going to be missing out because the people who choose an All Inclusive holiday would otherwise NEVER have gone to West Africa and spent their money in with independent traders. They would have gone All Inclusive somewhere else.

Luckily The Yellow-Coat tourist Guides actually help/encourage tourists to visit and spend money with small businesses in The Gambia and if all the hotels were busy those guides would be busy and they’d be taking people out to restaurants and markets.

2. Does The Gambia want Families or Sex Tourists ???

I’ll be honest, I may be blind to sex tourism in TG because I don’t go to those places because I don’t go out at night or to those types of tourist places. So if TG has a reputation for sex tourism, I’m not aware of it.

Gambia SHOULD be a very attractive destination for families with children.

SAFETY: One of the things that I most like about TG, which keeps me coming back, is how safe I feel in the country. It has very little crime so I’d feel perfectly safe on my own or with my children. People who’ve been to TG know looking out for other people is part of the culture. This is a BIG selling point, an advantage that TG has above the other African destinations.

Families with children: All Inclusive appeals a lot to families with children as we don’t know what or when our children will be willing to eat but if we know they can have unlimited ice cream, snacks and drinks then we can stay on budget. I don’t mean my family in particular. But in general, families are on a budget and All Inclusive is attractive for many families with children.

Other things families look for: On budget, flight times (excellent from the UK). Most people speak English, so it is easy to communicate. Things to do. what is the food like? Are food providers aware that many Europeans are allergic to nuts and seeds? Or that we are Vegetarian or Vegan?

The local Gambian food is delicious – British people would love it but they like to know what’s in it. For example, peanuts and cashew nuts could kill my son who has a nut allergy. Many of us get very sick if we eat eggs or dairy.

3. Should I go on Holiday to The Gambia or Cape Verde?

For me there was no question: TG is I think a similar price, the flight times were similar, but Cape Verde seems to offer a “Tourist Destination” sun and sand whereas TG offers so much more: The African mainland, culture, heritage, history. Wherever I travel in the world, I like visiting the historical sites and mixing with ordinary local people going about their business.

I’ve never been to CV, I think it offers a different type of holiday experience, which doesn’t appeal to me. I think The Gambia shouldn’t focus on the fact that it has sun and sand, lots of places in the world have those things. Gambia is unique in being a Safe tourist destination where tourists can experience Africa and communication is easy because most people speak English.

Last but most important:

SAFETY & LGBT rights

Why do 1 million people go to Cape Verde and only 150,000 to The Gambia?

I have mentioned safety, over and over. Tourists are worried by incidence they’ve heard about on the African mainland that have resulted in big trouble or even deaths of tourists: Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco. All of these places are popular destinations but views with some fear.  For many reasons, by any measure, Gambia is far safer than those other African counties.

But tourism in The Gambia is severely harmed by:

  1. The laws making homosexuality illegal
  2. The many hateful statements against Lesbian and Gay people made by the former President Mr. Jammeh.

In Cape Verde homosexuality is legal. Those tourists are welcomed with their friends and families.

Many MARRIED British couples would not travel to The Gambia for fear of being arrested because their relationship is illegal in TG.

in the UK:

  • Men can marry men
  • Woman can marry women

and most of us think that’s a good thing.

We ALL have LGBT people among our friends and family.

Across Europe and much of the world LGBT people’s rights are respected and protected. People of the Same Sex can get married.

My message to the people of the Gambia is that your former President threatened the lives of Lesbian and Gay people making them unwelcome. That might only be 5% or 10% of the British population. 5 out of 100 people. But those 5 people have friends and families.

Intolerance to British bisexual, lesbians and gay men has a far bigger economic effect as those people and their friends and family are less likely to choose your country as destination. British people overwhelmingly are supportive of lesbian and gay people, of same sex marriage.

Angola recently changed the law. Tunisia and Kenya look set to change the law very soon. The intolerance of homosexuality is a small recent blight in African history, it arrived with colonialism. It should have no place in the future.

If The Gambia is to truly welcome British tourists it has to roll back the intolerance that was a part of Jammeh’s regime and welcome ALL British people not just the heterosexuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How fragile is Equality? Could we get a homophobic Prime Minister in 2016?

At a time when our country is divided, this week David Cameron specifically mentioned increased steps to tackle hate crime.

We are all aware of the increased shocking racist crimes taking place around the country – shouting abuse and intimidating people is a crime.

Last week I was talking to a man who was fired from his job when his employer found out he was gay. Because you could do that in the 1990s.  There was no equality legislation 20 years ago protecting lesbians and gay men from such discrimination. 

David Cameron says all the right things when it comes to LGBT equality, and twice in the last couple of months has specifically mentioned Britain’s role in the world taking forward an equality agenda:

note – half the worlds population live in a country where it is illegal to be LGB and in 13 countries such people can face the DEATH PENALTY.

Yes, death for who and how you love! in 2016! … Oh look, one of those countries is to host the Fifa football world cup in 2022. Can you believe that! 

As we say good bye to our Prime Minister and wait to see who the Conservative Party thrust upon us I looked up the voting records of the candidates.

Liam Fox has failed to turn up and vote in favour of any LGBT equality issue. In fact he has been vocal and offensive. Most people in the UK are LGBT or have friends, close family members or work colleagues who are LGBTQ and would find his comments at best ignorant. Personally, I found them offensive.  How could this person follow David Cameron as PM of the UK in 2016?

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/06/30/heres-where-all-the-tory-pm-candidates-stand-on-lgbt-rights/

And then there is Stephen Crabb… with his dubious Christianity connections. I’m not sure if he thinks homosexuality can or should be cured but without doubt he has been linked with events and organisations that do. And he voted against gay marriage.

I’m willing to believe better than this of Crabb. I know lots of religious people aren’t bigots. But… so far it looks like his extremist views make him unsuitable to be PM.

 

It wasn’t so long ago that LGB was defined as a mental illness and the Age of Consent for gay men was 21? Let reporter Michael Gove take us back to those days with his 1993 report.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/gay_rights/12016.shtml

It is interesting how, in the report, the success of the right-wing agenda, the EU and gay equality were linked back then. And I remember it like yesterday, being myself involved in that campaign for equality.

Every body is entitled to their opinions, and I’m all for free speech and people holding their own views BUT Anyone who has recently voted AGAINST equality for a section of the UK public like these men is totally unsuitable to head the British Government. But it’s not just how they voted in 2013, it’s what they said about how they voted and what they’ve said since.

 

I am Voting to stay IN EU

Overwhelmingly the evidence points to the UK being better off in the EU.

If I was a gambling woman and was going to place a bet based on my personal conversations with people, then It will be a landslide. Because in my real life I’ve been asking everyone I know, and about 3 out of 4 people if not more are VOTING IN.

It is easy for the leave campaigners to say things that sound good. but most of it doesn’t stand up to examination.

I’ve been checking the facts behind the claims. Mostly using this easy to use website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35603388

Just saying…

 

 

IDAHOBIT Day #LGBT

It’s not often you will hear me agreeing with a conservative party politician. But I’ve all praise for the excellent speech by our Prime Minister, David Cameron, for the International Day of Awareness ~ Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

Here is just a little of what he thinks should be the government’s focus for the future:

I think laws and practises help change culture, but to change culture you need to change the way people think, you need to change the way government works, and you need to change the way institutions work.

That’s why I think it’s right that there’s such a high emphasis now on dealing with homophobic bullying and transphobic bullying and all the problems that go on at schools and colleges.

We’ve put money into that, but I think we need to keep working with all of you to make sure we really deliver on that agenda.

But if there was one thing I wanted to pull out, and say the government can do more and do better over this Parliament – alongside change law, change practise, change culture, it would be the ambitious change the world. We may feel that this is a good country to be gay or to be bi or to be transgender, but in the rest of the world, many countries are a totally miserable place to be LGBT.

Just take one fact: the Commonwealth that we’re proud to be a member of and HM The Queen is the head of.

Of the 53 countries in the Commonwealth, 40 still have legislation that in some way disadvantages people that are gay.

We are hosting the Commonwealth Conference here in London in 2018 and I think there’s a good opportunity between now and then to encourage countries to take the steps that we have taken here.

 

Miserable is an understatement. You can watch documentaries on You Tube showing the sort of lives LGBT people face in some of the more hostile parts of the world due to state laws and prejudice.

It’s illegal to be lesbian/gay in many parts of the world (including the country chosen to host the 2022 World Cup – how disgraceful).

Several counties in the world implement the death penalty for homosexual activity! This is so wrong and so shocking.

You can read David Cameron’s words in full  here:

 http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/05/17/david-cameron-i-want-to-change-the-world-on-global-lgbt-rights/

 

 

 

Parents should be able to take children out of school without fines

Jon Platt is a hero!

He has fought the ridiculous, mindless system that has been imposed whereby parents and children are encouraged to lie and pretend a child is off school due to illness rather than honestly admit they are going on holiday.

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2016-05-13/father-at-high-court-for-taking-child-on-holiday-in-term-time/

There are many good reasons for taking your children out of state education for a day or a week.

But the current education system allows NO discretion when schools are judged by attendance figures. The pressure is on headteachers to refuse all absences.

In resent years, the criminalisation  of parents who are trying to do good things for their families was a disgrace. I hope it ends now.

The rebelious anarchist in me wants to book a family holiday in June or September!

I will not, because it doesn’t fit with our plans.

 

 

 

 

World Plumbing Day in March

is a good time to reflect on the fact that more people have access to the internet and a smart phone than clean water.

World Plumbing Day isn’t about breakfast in bed and a card for plumbers (that’s mother & father’s days)

it has a serious health message:

http://www.worldplumbingday.org/facts-sheets.html


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    I’m sure the overwhelming majority of residents will be pleased if UKIP can get on top of the dog poo problem. There is no easy solution as councils around the country have tried to tackle this with the Keep Britain Tidy campaign for at least 30 years (that I know of). One council tried Doggie Loos […]
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