Category Archives: travel

The Master(2012): Movie Review – Good but not quite masterful

You can understand why Joaquin Phoenix gets the nod for his little gold figurine after watching The Master. Even though Phillip Seymour plays The Master in the movie it’s Phoenix who put in the master class of acting. Everyone knows about Phoenix’s public melt down a few year back! When he decided he was quitting the movie business and becoming a rapper? When watching this movie I was constantly asking myself? How hard he needed to act as the guy close to the edge or how much of it was closer to the bone then we were to believe.  Either way, his pain was our gain!

He plays a naval veteran, with a serious drinking problem. So serious that your standard highest proof alcohol doesn’t really cut the grade with is intoxications. Along the way he makes specially made concoction that suits his level of euphoric pleasure. One night while roaming the docks he finds a ship that looks suitable for his inebriated needs. When he comes to it seems that the ship was his destiny!

Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays the master of a cult that’s name is not really mentioned. Like any cult leader his ideas are purely open to change, when the change suits his needs of course. When Freddie (Phoenix) shows up Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman) sees him as a project he would like to work with. The trouble being is how do you train a wild animal?

The story is very engaging and the characters dialogue is always original when Paul Thomas Anderson is involved. They only gripe I have with his movies is that he sometimes losses his way. There’s many times where the movie could have been ended, but he fails to finish it where you expect and rather leaves you asking why! It’s just a minor problem though; I seem to enjoy the company of his movies every time.




Mum takes UK visa battle to Westminster – David Cameron & Teresa May attempt to break up family

A MUM who has seen her son’s family ripped apart by tough new immigration laws has been invited to speak at a key Parliamentary debate about the controversial legislation.

Gillian Davies-Nippel has seen at close quarters just how devastating fresh guidelines, put in place last summer, can be.

Her heartbroken son Kevin Allen, from Catrine, appeared in the Chronicle on December 26 as he faced up to Christmas without wife Jamie and children Tristan and Eowyn.

His fight to obtain a visa for the trio to fly them in from the USA has been a frustrating and ultimately forlorn one.

All because he wasn’t able to prove he earned £18,600 in his native Scotland.

Gillian has campaigned on his behalf and her efforts have been rewarded when she visits Westminster on January 23.

The New U.K Immigration Rules are NOT OK!

Changes to the Immigration rules put forward by Teresa May are going to make a massive difference to a lot of people hoping to settle in the UK. May Mansour has penned a piece for us explaining why these changes are wrong.

Recent adjustments in the UK Family migration rules have triggered outrage amongst overseas citizens, as well as British nationals living abroad or in the U.K. Amongst the most contentious alterations is the New Income Threshold of £18,600 for those who wish to sponsor a non-EU partner or spouse, which consequently affects 40% of the population in the U.K according to the National Earnings Survey website. As a minimum wage salary is £6.08 an hour, for a lot of people it will never be possible to acquire an annual salary that could come close to £18,600. The situation is more or less hopeless for new couples looking to settle in the U.K.

The new migration rules set by Home Secretary Theresa May seem quite discriminative against ordinaryBritish citizens and on some level utterly racist against citizens of other countries. Not only will they decrease the potential of foreign businesses looking to invest in the U.K but they will also create a social uproar against such a new motion of blunt fascism.

In regards to how this relates to my background, and in what sense / how it affects me as an agnostic Egyptian female from a Muslim family, I assume my culture is included as part of “the threat” for social and economic reasons! We’re not progressive or rich enough so to speak! Boohoo.

So it is understandable that people have noticed an increase of asylum seekers and immigrants within the U.K! But why is THIS the problem? Even if the way they look or dress alienates them from their surrounding environments? So what of Punks and Goths then? Or the conservative Jewish communities? According to Theresa May in this article it is a matter of “Setting new standards for those who wish to live among us”.

I am a constant visitor and perpetual wanderer in England, and I have come across ethnic minorities who have no problem maintaining the same lifestyle they have been exercising in their former home countries, (I.e wearing headscarves or full-body veils or whichever “mannerisms” that go hand in hand with their certain cultures). This seems to confuse the British government when they Try to identify the difficulties at hand; specifically in regards to social discomfort. I however believe it is the immigrants who Impose their belief system among others within the country that are the problem! Nevertheless the UK Government should not interfere by appointing such severe migration rules that will unfortunately be enforced upon everyone! Conservatives and Fanatic Extremists as well as broad-minded anti-fascist, anti-racist Liberals who seek to settle in a country they can realistically relate to, and commit to with an aspiring, well-driven and relevant flair!

I for one am an Egyptian female citizen who’s escaped her own country in pursuit of a more liberal and receptive society as I have been a constant victim of verbal harassments and assaults back in my home town, for being myself; which seems to annoy the majority of males in my society and mislead them into thinking that I perhaps may be a prostitute or something for having male friends whom i’m openly “chummy” and comfortable with on the streets, for smoking cigarettes in public or for wearing leather pants or skirts! Coming to London often in search of sanctuary I find myself yet again a victim of the same assaults made by other Arabs or Middle Eastern immigrants, for simply claiming my nationality or religion through casual conversations with Falafel vendors, or waiters at cafeterias or restaurants on Egdware road or passers by on Tottenham Court Road, Marble Arch and Oxford Street who intentionally and interrogatively approach me to know where I come from and react accordingly! Sometimes I’d hear sexist or perverted remarks / mumbles in Arabic as I walk by, I turn around and defend myself because it turns out I understand the language and accordingly I must be Arab or Muslim, and it is as though they have the right to insult me even more then! I have been insulted or simply even frowned upon because of how I look and dress, which is not even remotely provocative in the eyes of any regular British or European citizen, but according to my fellow obnoxious muslim extremists, I am a disgrace to my kind! But aren’t we all subject to verbal or even physical assaults? By men of all races and ethnicities? And aren’t there just as many struggling Brits as there are other ethnicities within the country? So apart from my personal rant on social discomfort, there are several other factors that may have bugged the Government enough to enforce stricter migration rules that technically bypass all ethical or humanitarian prospects! But for citizens of other countries, it is now one hell of a nightmare! Especially for those of us who were already bewildered and constantly struggling to belong to the British culture as we more or less have the mentality for it! But alas, we aren’t “rich” enough.

So what becomes of us? The artists and musicians, the aspiring journalists and authors, the innovative youth who’s ideas and beliefs are simply condemned by their own governments. Are we not entitled to attempt to settle within a society that accepts us? Especially if we are committed to an EU-member? No matter our financial assets or whether or not we desire to be employed by a highly corporate, first-class business. Families are being destroyed as we speak because of the new family migration rules; and their only options now are to separate or struggle to settle in some other country. The solution is not to restrict all non-EU citizens from attempting to work, study or settle in the U.K with their partners or families. But to take action against those specific individuals who wish to distort the country’s cultural, political and social advantages, inspite of their ethnic backgrounds, and that may just be the most sincere manner of dealing with such an issue. Diversity must be welcomed within any country for it to flourish with grander and more stimulating ventures! Where immigrants may express, practise and develop their abilities in any worthwhile position!

Reducing net migration in the U.K is a simple guise behind the Home Secretary’s initiative towards class warfare; to protect the wealthiest of individuals, and reduce economic risk. Instead of encouraging any uprising potential, the aspiring, perfect-English-speaking, high-minded youth who wish to invest in the British community, slowly but surely. Alas! One tends to resort to Money and Power, over Character and Virtue. and that’s a right shame!

All words by May Mansour.


Thai visa lie about the amount of active users they have to create extra revenue via advertising

I have been a member of Thai visa for a few years,recently I had an experience with a local Taxi driver that I wrote about on this blog and decided to copy the blog onto Thai visa.

Every time you click onto a post on Thai visa you are taken to a third party source were the story is held,I did not do this,I posted the full story on their site,with a link to my blog.

Within minutes the post was deleted,I asked why and they said it was due to an advertising rule,I mentioned that I do not have advertising on the blog and they said yes but I was still directing traffic away from their site,OK I replied but I also create traffic for their site by using their links on my blog,as there is no commercial element to my blog I thought this was mean spirted so decided to delete my account,or should I say I tried to delete my account…

5:12 PM (1 hour ago)

to me
HelloWe do not delete accounts, simply no longer read the forum. You are unsubscribed from the daily newsletterLinda

So on this basis when you join Thai visa you join for life,there is no getting out,I have asked several times for my account to be deleted and I either got ignored or I got this helpful email above.
For any would be advertisers please be aware that whatever number the Thai visa team give you as the amount of live accounts they may have, this number is fabricated as anyone wishing to leave is told they have no choice but to leave the account open,strange business practice but I guess it looks good to any would be advertisers.

Uncertain future for family – Actions by Teresa May and David Cameron of the Conservative party UK

Tim Cox and Sarah Cox. Sarah is Filipino and has been denied a visa. She will have to leave the country and their two children in June Kimberly Cox and James Cox


Published on Wednesday 2 January 2013 06:30


New Year is normally a time of happiness and optimism but for one Murrow family, their celebrations were tinged with uncertainty for the year ahead.


Sarah Cox was featured in the Citizen earlier in the year after being refused a settlement visa to stay in the UK with her children. Now, despite the best efforts of her family and MP Steve Barclay, she has again been refused her visa.

The Cox family believe they have done everything that was asked of them, including Sarah’s husband Tim resigning from his £100,000 per year job in the Middle East to show how serious they are about settling in the UK.

But to their disbelief, just two days before they flew home for Christmas from Oman, where Sarah has to make her visa application, they received a rejection letter stating they did not meet the financial criteria.

“As a family, we have more than proven to the world that we are not a burden on society,” Tim said, speaking from his parents’ home where Sarah and children James (11) and Kimberly (8) live. He was due to fly back to the Middle East today (Wednesday).

The strain on the family is clear, with Sarah fighting back tears at the thought of having to leave her children for six months.

The simple answer appears to be for Tim to move back to the UK and get a job here, but he said with Sarah unable to work they would lose their house, as he would be unable to earn a similar wage.

Sarah is a trained theatre nurse and there are hospitals needing nurses with her skills locally. With both of them working, they could make ends meet but not with just Tim bringing in a wage.

Tim said: “I want to challenge the government’s interpretation of its own law, which I think is fundamentally flawed. There is no benefit to refusing Sarah’s visa. Would they be happy if I was down the dole office, signing on and asking them to feed my children and parents?”

The family are extremely unhappy with their treatment by the embassy in Oman and said they were messed around by officials and given the wrong information about how much money they needed to have.

Tim claims it was also not made clear that they needed to have had a certain amount of money in their account for six months prior to the application. This was one of the reasons for their visa refusal.

“If we had been told this at the start, we wouldn’t have bothered. Sarah could have applied for a visitor’s visa, got it in a few days and at a fifth of the cost. We wouldn’t have had to go through all this stress.”

Tim and Sarah are also concerned about the potential effect on their children. James poignantly asked for his Mummy and Daddy to be home safely when asked to write his Christmas list.

Both children are excelling at school – Kimberly at Murrow Primary School and James at Peele Community College in Long Sutton – and their teachers noticed a visible change in them while Sarah had to leave the country to make her visa application.

“They don’t understand,” Sarah said. “I am standing there with my suitcases and they are saying ‘Mummy, why do you have to go?’”

A spokesperson for UKBA said they are unable to comment on individual cases. Steve Barclay has raised the Cox’s case with immigration minister Mark Harper, who will be instructing his officers to review it.

Mr Barclay, who was praised by the family for his support, said: “There need to be tough rules on immigration in place and they need to be enforced, but at the same time there needs to be common sense. These rules were put in place to stop people abusing the system and being a financial burden on the state, but this clearly isn’t the case here.”

Link to original story –

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Heartlessness of the Home Secretary

Compassion and immigration control have appeared as unreconcilable concepts since Theresa May’s appointment as Home Secretary. Ever since she took office in 2010, Ms. May has appeared determined to respond to the tabloids’ cries that the UK is letting in too many immigrants. Certainly we need some way of determining how many and what kind of immigrants should be let into the UK, but May’s policies and the actions of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) have persistently and ruthlessly attacked the wrong kinds of immigrants with, in some cases, a blatant lack of concern for human dignity.

Take for example the case of Roseline Akhalu, a now 49-year-old Nigerian who came to the UK in 2004 to take a masters degree in development and gender studies at Leeds University. She was stricken with kidney failure shortly after arrival. In 2009 she received a successful transplant, but relies on regular hospital checks and must take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of her life. Since March 2012 she faced deportation by the UKBA to Nigeria, where she claims she will not be able to receive adequate medical treatment and could die. Fortunately, last Friday (30th Nov) a judge quashed the Home Office decision based on article 8 of the European convention on human rights.

No one claims that the NHS is not suffering a huge strain on its resources, and of course those who funded the institution through their tax money deserve to reap the benefits first. But let’s imagine a completely unlikely yet pertinently hypothetical situation in which Ms. Akhalu turns up at your doorstep and says that she needs a small amount of your money or she will definitely die. Nobody else can help her but you. If you send her away she will die. You’d give her the money, wouldn’t you?

Some argue that states may – and indeed ought to – adopt a different set of moral standards to the individual. This is often necessary, but in the case of immigration decisions it shouldn’t be. If Ms. Akhalu had indeed been deported to Nigeria and died, nobody in the UK would have been affected by it and our NHS would probably have saved a little bit of money. But can we really adopt such a closed world-view where we treat human beings from other countries as being of less worth than our compatriots? It’s not as though Ms. Akhalu is Abu Qatada, who harbours extreme religious view antithetical to a free society like Britain. She clearly wanted to live here, as shown by her volunteering work and how her friends gave evidence in court about the value she added the local community. She deserved to stay.

Let’s move on to some younger victims of Theresa May – namely, the under-reported (what are they doing now?) case earlier this year of thousands of international students at London Metropolitan University who faced deportation after the university had its highly-trusted status (HTS) revoked. I ran into the National Union of Students’ (NUS) International Students’ Officer Daniel Stevens at the NUS Demo in London on 21st November when I was covering it for my students’ newspaper. He was marching with some students from London Met – but Mr. Stevens seems to be one of the few standing up for these young victims.

On a similar note, the abolition of the Tier 1 Post-study Work Visa last April unfairly penalised international students currently studying in the UK. It should only have applied to new applicants, not existing students. Having invited them into our country to spend tens of thousands of pounds on our education system, promising them up to two years in the UK after their studies to look for work, but then to turn around and say actually we want to kick you out between one-three months after graduation is a gross deception on the government’s part. I’m sure many prospective international students would have looked elsewhere – the US, Canada, Australia – if they’d known that was going to happen.

There’s one final issue I’d like to touch upon, and it’s a measure which has received scant opposition in the press besides a few articles when it was first introduced. I’m talking about the new £18,600 minimum salary requirement for bringing in a foreign partner from outside the European Union Economic Area (EEA). Essentially this means a ban on many working-class Brits from marrying foreigners, which seems absurd considering how many members of the opposite sex (or same, depending on your persuasion) we encounter these days who don’t posses that vital document which is a British passport. This measure is, in my opinion, an unwarranted intrusion into one’s personal life and a breach of the human right to fall in love with just about whoever we please, thank you very much.

If you need any more evidence that our government is daily sacrificing human dignity to the cold rationality of economics, note how it’s planning to ease restrictions on Chinese tourist visas so more of the nouveau riche Chinese can stimulate our economy on Oxford Street by buying up all the designer goods. That’s fair enough – but at the same time it is turning a blind eye to all those suffering under May’s immigration regime.

A judge overturns Teresa Mays and the Tory goverments £18,600 immigration rules

Facebook group :!/groups/139807999382936/

Judge overturns Teresa Mays inhumane immigration rules. (Thank god someone has stood up to this stupid and disgusting person.

The supreme court have overturned a rejected visa case,based on the spouse visa threshold of £18,600,everybody are now set on the government reversing the rules or at least making them more realistic to what the average pay is around the UK.

(I have taken down the original post due to some drip accusing me of stealing their post,I always attach a link to any post or author if it’s not my own writing,as the original content came from a law firm and not a press webpage,the content offered little opinion and stated the bold facts,I was contacted by the law firm who asked about a link to their site, which I happily attached within the hour,now I am being accused of stealing and editing all of my content,as it’s 90% movie reviews that my co blogger and I write,I find this hard to swallow,hence why I have now removed the original article,we do not have advertising on our blog and we do not gain financially from the blog)

The person who reported this can now go back to writing to points of view!