Justin Trudeau seriously needs to grow a pair!

Love her or Loathe her, Margaret Thatcher was every bit the Iron Lady. She had balls of steel. A formidable woman, she clawed her way up in the greasy, sleazy world of politics, and made a name for herself.

Not one to bow down, she gave the order to go to war over the Falkland’s, took her entire cabinet to task if something went wrong, and only once did we see a tear, which was when she was ousted by her own party after being the driving force that led them to success.

Now, Justin Trudeau, the PM of Canada is the polar opposite. With his dashing good looks, fun and pretty unorthodox approach to his job, you’d expect to see him more at home on the stage at Glastonbury, not in a suit behind a desk running a country.

Now, I don’t dispute that he’s a nice guy, and I bet he’s an absolute scream on a night out. He’s probably done the Rocky Horror show in full drag. He’s that kind of cool. However, when running a country, you can’t be both hip and popular, and then exercise your power. The two don’t go hand in hand.

A teacher that is cool, popular and hip is far less efficient at controlling a classroom than a teacher who is firm but fair. There is a balance that has to be mastered, and the same goes with a PM.

I’m not a snob when it comes to politics, and a few things he does are (in my opinion) unfairly picked on. For example, he has a penchant for funky socks, such as his Star Wars collection, and he doesn’t want to simply be another boring suit behind a desk. He relishes life, and isn’t afraid to enjoy every moment of it. But there doe come a time where the schoolboy antics have to stop and the grown up head has to be used.

His recent exploits in India were at times cringe worthy, begging for selfies with celebs, donning traditional attire and dancing. It’s all well and good to get into the swing of things, but, Justin, you have to realize that you’re not on holiday. You’re doing a diplomatic visit. Essentially a business trip.

Emotions are a good thing to see in politics, and most women prefer a man that is able to show his emotions, but blubbering like a baby is not attractive. I dread to think what happens when he watches Bambi, BTW, Bambi’s mum gets a slug to the head!

To be a ruler, you need to toughen up. I don’t care about whether you wear R2D2 sock, dye your hair pink, or if the mood takes you, you decide to wear eyeliner. They’re all aesthetics. I want to see a world leader with a backbone, a leader who will do exactly that, lead.

Not another politician who’s going to promise the world, but then now deliver.

 

Gary Oldman’s Mum got the Ultimate Mother’s Day Present!

There is no deeper love than that of a son for his mother. And Gary Oldman has proved that by telling his mum to ‘put the kettle on, because I’m bringing Oscar home’.

It’s a strange bond between mother and son, a bond that isn’t easily broken, and through good and bad times, a mother’s love for her son is unwavering and comes with no strings attached.

So it’s not really ironic at all, that a few days before Mothers Day (UK), that Gary Oldman dedicated his Oscar to her. If anything it’s beyond sweet. For the many women that have been in his life, who have helped shape and evolve him, everything always comes back to his mum, and every step of the way he always ensures that his mum is the centre of his world. Though he admits he has drank gallons of tea!

Mother’s day for a lot of people is quite a contentious time for a lot of women. Some through the loss of a son, some through never having children at all. Some though the cruelty that is nature not allowing them to conceive.

However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You’ll find that women, especially those that don’t have children, have a tendency to take younger friends under their wings, and nurture them. It’s like parenting, but without the dirty nappy’s, terrible twos, puberty and various misdemeanours.

It doesn’t matter who it is this mother’s day. Women mould and shape our lives and drive us to be the best we can be. Women have a natural instinct to nurture, be that a friend, their own children or random strangers, they have an instinct to protect. So why not make a little more effort this Mother’s day, and actually appreciate the other women in your life who have moved mountains for you.

Mother’s day isn’t simply about mums, it’s about grandmothers, aunts, cousins, dads who are fulfilling both mum and dad roles. Everyone deserves a day that recognises their efforts, and their unconditional love.

However, I think this Mother’s Day will be extra special for Gary Oldman’s mum, because even he states that they would have never expected something like this to happen to them in a million years.

We may not all be winning Oscars, but every single mother out there deserves to feel like they have, because without their guidance, loyalty and unconditional love, none of us would be where we are today, even if it does mean they’ve had to give us some tough love along the way.

If we stop and think about it, there aren’t many people in the world who would be able to put up with our teenage strops, problems, triumphs, fails. It is only a few that can not only help with such issues, but also guide us through them with the hindsight of their own experiences. Something that we should never forget to be thankful for.

It’s Time to Look at Cannabis Again

Yes, we all know that Jeremy Kyle can at times be an infuriating, holier than thou motor mouth, however, for the most part, he’s a decent guy, who offers some pretty sound advice and isn’t afraid to look at things from all angles.

Last night, we saw him take a look into the seedy underworld of Cannabis, one of the most underestimated drugs that has flooded the market over the last 30 years.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, cannabis was associated with hippies, music festivals and flower power. These days it’s seen as either being the butt of jokes (it’s always a young black man) for comedic effect, such as the Scary Movie franchise, or it’s seen being smoked by chavs who have no regards for any social rules.

Furthermore, we have seen a huge increase in severe mental health, HOWEVER, this is not due to bog standard ‘vanilla’ pot. This is due to Cannabis being farmed to be 5x stronger.

I’m no expert in the inner mechanics of Cannabis, but it was explained that there are 2 chemicals at work, and this is what gets you high, but as mentioned, unlike the traditional weed of yester-decades, the new stuff is super strong, and not even the dealers and growers understand how the drug is mutating into one of the worst drugs the streets have seen.

We met a few different people from all walks of life. A Lord, who’s son tragically died after Super Skunk literally pureed his brain. He was found barely alive by his own mother in the grounds. We met a man who’d set up his own private members club, where you could smoke, and we also met a dealer of oil, who in turn introduced us to a serving police officer who was buying the drug for her child with terminal cancer.

The officer in question had done all of her research, and studies do suggest that Cannabis Oil can help alleviate the pain of cancer and its treatment, and could also help in stopping it spreading or shrinking tumours.

So the question is, how do we utilize and grade Cannabis were it to become legal?

I like a drink, I drink to get drunk, and as such, I buy mid strength booze. I’d never dream of necking a bottle of vodka, or drinking Carlsberg Super, I don’t want to get THAT drunk. But by law booze has to display its ABV, and if Weed was available to buy, you should be able to buy your preferred type, strength and even what form it comes in. It’s a simple concept but think of it like being in the pub and you’re buying top shelf spirits. Do you want Vodka, Bacardi, Whiskey? You pays your money you makes your choice.

There are coffee shops in the Netherlands that are for smokers, and they don’t seem to be having any of the repercussions that the UK is? Maybe we should take a look at their method.

 

The Jamie Oliver Rants Continue

It seems that Jamie Oliver doesn’t have a brake pedal when it comes to his rants. Claiming that obese, poor people eat ‘crap’ because they think in a ‘different gear’.

Seriously James, can you not learn to keep that cantankerous mouth of yours shut and save us all from being subjected to the verbal diarrhoea that incessantly spills out of it. Yes, we get it, you’re rich, you can shop at Waitrose, Fortnum and Mason, Harrods, but you’re not the average person with a mortgage, 2 kids and a 9 – 5 job are you? You’re in that very fortunate position, where you don’t have to tally up and round prices up in your head so your card isn’t declined at the checkout.

There is a very simple reason why poorer people tend to be larger than the wealthy, and that is because on the scale, the cheaper the product, the lower the quality. But unfortunately, like #chickengate , the vast majority of people can only afford the basics. We can’t all afford to buy higher welfare, organic, free range, been on the log flume at Alton Towers produce, and as such have to make compromises.

For a man that’s in his 40s, your acting more like a snowflake than a class of vegan uni students studying the philosophy of whether or not a cucumber can feel pain, and if it’s ethical to eat it.

Does that sound ridiculous enough for you? Because that is on a par with your latest outburst.

We all have to eat, and unfortunately, that means we have to eat as well as we can within the means we have, more importantly, we have to ensure that our children are fed well, and if that means buying cheaper cuts of meat or fish, so be it. In my eyes, veg is veg, but when it comes to meat and fish, I understand the nutritional values go down the scale of Price vs Nutrition.

But why don’t you set yourself a challenge? See if you can feed yourself for a whole month on the average disposable income, which is £326 a month. That isn’t a great deal is it? And I’m being generous there, because that factors in a typical 4 person family, so you have a little more to play with.

But let’s see you not pull the strings at your parents pub to bulk buy quality stuff. Drag your ass round Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and ASDA, and see just what you’ll get for £326, and see if you don’t put fat on (not weight, but fat).

Actually, why not go whole hog, don’t drive, take public transport ,there goes at least another £70 a month. It soon adds up mate, and that £326 is getting less and less by the time you’ve sorted your essentials out.

It’s not the poor’s fault that they can’t get healthy, quality food, and people like you are making them feel more guilty.

 

Exploring the UK

If you’re ever visiting the UK, please remember there is actually something north of the Watford Gap!

If you’re ever planning a trip to the UK, please don’t be sucked into thinking that the entire country(ies) revolve around London. In fact, we could all still get on with our lives quite well if London didn’t exist.

The UK is a rich, diverse (very artistic) place, with some of the biggest names in music coming from all 4 countries. Oasis from Manchester, The Beatles from Liverpool, Tom Jones from Wales, Westlife from Ireland. We have a fabulous scene and mix of musicians, artists, actors and even industrious tycoons.

So here are a few things to do in the UK, without spending all your time (and money) in London.

Blackpool – Blackpool, though currently fallen on hard times and undergoing a long overdue regeneration, does still have quite a lot to offer. There are amusement arcades and stalls all along the sea front, the biggest arcade being Coral Island. There are bars, restaurants and you can also access the iconic Blackpool Tower from here. At the far south side of the town, is the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, home to The Big One.

Liverpool – Liverpool, and Scoucers in general get a bad rap, but they’re actually a really nice bunch, and the city is welcoming. Home to The Beatles, Cilla Black and even one of the Spice Girls, Liverpool offers art galleries, theatres, a bustling bar scene and shopping. Don’t worry about the accent, you soon get used to it!

Manchester – Literally the next major city, there are plenty of things to do here. There’s the Museum of Science and Industry, the Lowry, Old Trafford, the Manchester Arena, Shopping, the world famous Gay Village, all in easy access by rail, bus or tram.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the centre, there are several back street cafes and bars in the Northern Quarter, or you could jump on a train from Victoria and take the 30 minute journey to Greenfield, where you’ll find yourself on the outskirts of the peak district with a plethora of walks and Chocolate Box type villages.

Stoke/Alton – This does take a little extra planning, but you could get the train to Stoke on Trent and then a taxi to the famous Alton Towers amusement park, where a brand-new ride has just been unveiled. Steeped in history, the village of Alton is picturesque and there are several reasonably priced hotels so you can do the theme park one day and the water park the next.

London – If you do want to spend some time in London, there are countless things to do, the London Eye, the Dungeons, and so on, however, that doesn’t mean the UK only offers London.

Edinburgh – Get a little Scottish Culture in you, Edinburgh is one of the friendliest cities you can visit, and you can see the castle, the countless museums, and even try some Haggis! Definitely a place to go if you want variety!

 

There Could be a Solution for the Homeless Problem

I’m surprised I’ve not thought of this sooner. It could possibly work the world over actually, not just the UK, but as a proud Brit, I’m naturally going to focus more on my place of birth. There’s a McDonalds near where my other half grew up, and after the temperatures plummeted to -10C in some parts of the country, they opened their doors to the homeless and vulnerable, so they had a warm, dry and safe place to be during the night.

They didn’t turn it into a refuge (per se), but they opened their doors at night fall to anyone who needed to come in from the cold. Now this is all well and good, but wouldn’t it be better if the government could actually strike up a deal with 24 hour fast food places? Stationing social workers in the restaurants so they can offer help, support and guidance to those that need it most?

I would have to look at one of the restaurants books to know the exact profit vs loss, but, if they can sell a Medium Double Cheeseburger Meal with a Hot drink for £3.99 and still make a decent profit, surely the government, as they do have a duty of care, can do deals. Such as, if you want to get a free meal, and you are homeless, you have to show willing and speak with social workers who will in turn try to sort out the predicament.

There are also Pubs, a lot of them even have rooms, complete with either shared showers or en-suites. Open these up. The licensing laws in the UK allow for any venue to be open 24hours, though the sale of alcohol is quite often denied in problem areas.

Opening the pubs up, offering the landlords compensation for their time and produce, and also offering those that truly want help a place to go and speak to someone in the know, while also being able to get a basic sandwich and possibly even a room could make all the difference, and in a lot of cases, can be the difference between life and death.

Of course, there would have to be stringent rules in place, such as no Alcohol, no Drugs, no Fighting etc. But I understand we don’t live in a utopia, and there will always be those that don’t want help. But the vast majority, especially the newly homeless since the financial crash, will appreciate any help to get them back on their feet and into a steady life. They could even end up being employees of the places that open their doors to them.

Just think about it, when your pride has hit such a rock bottom place, and their feels like there is no way out, that helping hand and nudge can really drive and motivate someone to get back on their own two feet and hopefully pay it forward in the future.

 

Snow Causing Chaos in the UK

The weather across the UK has taken quite a nasty turn for the worse. To the point now where there is a very credible risk to life. Be that on the roads or in your own home. This is partly due to people being unable to afford to adequately heat their homes, and many elderly and vulnerable people are succumbing to the cold, with coughs, colds, chest infections and the like on the rise, as is always the case in Winter.

Also broken bones are generally higher during the winter, and this can be greatly limiting when it comes to mobility, and as a lot of people don’t get paid if they aren’t working, it can place an unwanted financial burden on their finances as they must bankroll the next 6 – 8 weeks.

So if you’re in one of the more affected areas of the UK, try to be sure to check on your neighbours, especially the elderly. If you’re going to the supermarket, ask your neighbours if they need anything, offer to make them a hot drink and dinner. You’ll be surprised at how many people will appreciate this generosity, even if they don’t take you up on the offer.

Because we must stick together, you’ll find that in your time of need, it will be your neighbours that return the favour, especially if it comes to important things like burst pipes. All you must do is try, and it will be greatly appreciated.

If you live somewhere like I used to, and there are quite a lot of elderly people, you could open your home to a group of them, make a huge vat of warming soup(s) with bread and butter, and have a little party where your neighbours are in company, are warm, and are able to get at least one warm meal in them for the day.

The single parent that has 5 loads of laundry to do, but can’t because it won’t dry, offer to do some essential laundry like underwear, warm jumpers, thick trousers and socks. This will be not only greatly appreciated by the parent, but also the kids because they’ll have clean clothes.

There are all kinds of ways people can help, a pub in Manchester opened its doors at 12pm this week so anyone who is in need can go and there will be free hot coffee and tea, board games, TV and they’ll be out of the cold and in a nice warm pub with other people.

Helping neighbours to shovel and grit their driveways and the immediate road just off them is another great help, and as a problem shared is a problem halved, you will get the job done in half the time.

Try to ensure you check on your neighbours at least once a day, and make sure they have your contact details should an emergency arise, as is common when the weather is like this.

No Robbie, you are nothing like George Michael!

Robbie Williams has spoken of his mental health, and how it’s affected him. Normally I would be applauding this with a standing ovation (without looking like Nicole Kidman at THAT ceremony!). However, Robbie, with his now fizzling career is trying to claw it back like the desperate celebs that appear on the likes of I’m a Celeb and Big Brother.

Firstly, his mental health is his own fault. Booze, Cocaine, Weed, Acid, Heroin. If it didn’t at some point enter his system, it doesn’t exist. So it’s no one else’s fault that he’s a train wreck other than his own.

Robbie was, and always will be, the fifth member of Take That. He simply got lucky. George Michael on the other hand was a hugely talented man who struggled with his sexuality, the spot light, coming out, the deaths of friends due to HIV related illnesses, and of course, drink and drugs. He openly admitted he smoked a hell of a lot of pot.

Though there was a seedier side to George, such as his penchant for cruising for sex in public places, and his leaning towards the more fetish side of the sex scene, on the whole, he was actually a pretty nice guy. He called a spade a spade, made no apologies for who he was and generally got on with his life as well as he could.

Not once did you hear George Michael bleating about how miserable his life was, or comparing himself to his betters. If there was a problem with his life, he squarely placed the blame on his own two shoulders.

It wasn’t his fans fault that he’d drink himself into oblivion and get banned from driving for smoking driving while stoned. We didn’t force him to do it. Robbie on the other hand makes it sound like the very people that put  him where he is, and the very people who are bringing him back down to earth, are the cause of all of his woes.

No, I’m not buying the mental health plea. This is an orchestrated plan to try and get him back to what he was. He’s had nearly everything he desired given to him on a silver platter, and has even managed to make money of his own misadventured piteous overthrows. Something that not many people can do.

Yes, I understand working for Nigel Martin Smith was probably hard work, but so would be working for Simon Cowell, or Louis Walsh, but it’s not his fault you decided to essentially pee it up the wall and bite the hands that fed you for all those years.

What this ‘confession’ about his mental health smacks of is self preservation and trying to get himself back in the limelight for a second shot at fame, especially after the hugely successful reunion of Take That.

So go on crying Robbie, because I can guarantee you, not many people are listening anymore.

The Woman of Wall Street Could Soon Shake Things Up

Single mother of 3 Marianne Lake, who is currently CFO of JPMorgan Chase, is currently on the short list to take over as CEO. A young, attractive woman, she is proving to the financial world you really can have your cake and eat it.

Known for her determination and self deprecating sense of humour, she’s not a push over, nor is she a megalomaniac. In fact, she sounds like the kind of person I’d be friends with. She admits to liking a drink, once saying she’d ‘sit down and drink through the speeches’. She has the acerbic British humour that we are so famous for.

She’s also carefully diplomatic, and chooses her words carefully, something that a lot of the men at the top seem to struggle with (yes, Donald, we’re looking at you).

She takes no prisoners, and when needed can make the crunch decisions, whether she wants to or not, however, this is what makes a good leader. Being able to make the choices that no one wants to in a fair, and level way. There are a few candidates in the pipeline for the job, however, I’m hoping that she does get the top job, because it will show young girls the world over that you can succeed without doing a sex tape or a topless photo shoot.

It’s also time that the stuffy world of finance got rid of the clichéd suits look that constantly is conjured up when you think of finance. You can be a party animal AND have a responsible job, and do it well. Something that a lot of people seem to think go hand in hand.

I know it all too well, because my dad worked in the IT sector of the banking industry, and my parents tell me stories of how they met and when they were dating that make even my teenage exploits sound like an episode of My Little Pony. Or the recent Christmas night out my dad did with a few colleagues, where he was literally poured out of a taxi at my parents house with no money and the meter was over £100! And my mother wonders where I get it from!

You see, in life there always has to be a balance, work, family, life. If the balance is off, one of them will suffer no matter what. However in today’s age of technology, it is possible to be with the kids helping with homework, getting on with some work on the laptop, AND having a glass of wine, all at the same time. It’s something that the younger generation don’t seem to grasp, there are only 24 hours in a day, but as humans, we can multitask, and can actually cram 3 or 4 times the amount of work in simultaneously, it’s all about time management.

While waiting for one thing, (I’m downloading a huge file), I’m writing this because I know I’ll have to wait for a little while. Multitasking is pretty easy.

Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver is Insufferable at Times!

Jamie Oliver’s chain of restaurants aren’t doing that well, in fact, I hear that thinks aren’t going ‘pukka’ at all.

With millions of pounds in debts including unpaid wages, I find it to be quite laughable that his sub-standard, over priced restaurants which boast some of the most prime locations in the country, have been able to be bankrolled for so long.

Barbecoa, the steak houses, now the rest of your empire you’ve been force feeding us like fat to a goose destined to make foie gras, is near as damn it in such a financial state of disarray, there will soon be nothing left but the bitter taste in your mouth.

But, no need to worry, you can still bang on about healthy school dinners and campaign for the better treatment of lettuce.

When you first started your little crusade regarding school meals, I was on board. The amount of salt and saturated fat that was in some of the meals was obscene, and you did do a good job on getting healthier food on the menus that didn’t only consist of vegetables. However, we’re now all getting sick of the sight of you and your ever so self indulgent rants.

This week’s victim, Red Tractor chicken. You said, and I quote, you ‘wouldn’t feed it your kids’. Well, I’m sorry mate, but not all of us are multi millionaires who can splash the cash on Organic, Corn Fed, Free Range chickens. Do you want a picture of the chicken on the Log Flume at Alton Towers too?

My sister is on a very low income, with 3 kids (15, 8 and 6), do you honestly think she could afford to only buy the most humanely sourced chicken? Chicken is cheap, it’s a family staple, and a whole chicken can make several meals over a few days. Sandwiches, Soups, Broths, Stews, Roasts.

The whole point of the Red Tractor is to be able to reassure lower income families that the chicken they are buying is a good quality bird that isn’t going to come out of the oven the size of budgie. Yes, we would all like to see animal welfare improved, but that costs money, and thus drives the price up. So what you are suggesting, is pricing meat out of the average families budget. How Dickensian.

I also find it hypocritical, you buy cheap for your restaurants, yet charge astronomical prices for it. Were you not recently caught up in the dodgy meat scandal? Oh Dear.

Well, if everything does go belly up for you regarding your restaurants, given your hypocritical, holier than thou nature, you could always retrain as a clergyman. They love to preach and then do the absolute opposite of what they say. Just remember, its fish only on Fridays, but no shell fish.