For the record, I’m not a smoker but for the record I am totally against what the government is doing to the tobacco industry.
I find it strange how one of the largest taxable commodities is being chased in to extinction by smoking, branding and display bans.
The smoking ban was understandable, but perhaps, it was a little over excited, smokers out in the rain (outside), non-smokers in the dry (indoors). Its like a partide for people who have slightly different habits than others.
The impending branding ban, means that all cigarette packets MUST be in plain packaging, supposedly deterring young people from taking it up.. Because people really go “oooh a pretty pink box, I wanna become a smoker!”.. Hmm yes *rolls eyes*.
The ban on display came in to force earlier this year. This means that all tobacco counters, in large shops/supermarkets have to be concealed with unsightly shutters, the idea behind it all, is if something is hidden a person won’t have the desire to want it anymore.. Don’t you remember when you were little and your parents had a ‘forbidden’ cabinet? Maybe it held liquor or money or even porn, didn’t you feel empowered to go in to it and steal/drink whatever was in it? So track back to the present day, they’re making cigarettes ‘forbidden’ from view. Well I’m sorry but I don’t see how that will stop people, in fact I have no desire to smoke, but those shutters are just so tempting!
The ban on advertising, has meant that instead of having Embassy on a Formula 1 racing car, we now have Carling on a racing car, that just screams ‘don’t smoke and drive when you can drink and drive!’
During the last half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, a total of £11.1bn was made, just from cigarettes sales in England. See the figures for yourself for Tobacco tax revenue its shocking.
£11.1bn is a noticeable amount and when the government delve in to their deep deep pockets, they’ll find that those missing billions were actually very important indeed.
What are your views on the bullying of smokers? Have any of these laws affected you? As always drop me a comment and don’t forget to follow me – LeilaniDiana!
So yet again this week I really haven’t had anything interesting to showcase in WRU, but I hope this filling satisfies you as much as a bagel satisfies a New York cop (which is a lot I hope).
So let’s gets things started with Springwatch coming to its season end for this year, it was a fantastic year, even though a lot of baby birds died this year because of flooding, first time parents and cats. As per usual the Owls never failed to entertain and the best part for me was footage of a Kingfisher laying eggs and watching butterflies hatch.
Another story is from the Metro titled Man Complains about his sandwich to 911 yes, that’s right a man phoned up the American emergency services just to tell them his sandwich sucked.
Today (16.6.12) was the Diamond Troop The Colour, which is where the armed forces come out to pay their respect the Queen to wish her a happy birthday. The actual birthday (the day she was born) is in April, but they have a state birthday for the Queen in June, because the weather is more reliable. After all the Troops did they’re bit for the parade, the Royals descended upon the famous balcony to watch the flypast, the only planes that couldn’t attend were the Lancaster’s and the Spitfires, because of low cloud base. But the show was magnificent, more people than ever attended, which just shows the boost the Diamond Jubilee has given to our fine country.
Julian Assange has been told that he may not reopen his case against his battling extradition to Sweden, they are quickly exhausting all their cards to play to keep Julian in England for as long as possible, so it will be interesting to see what they do next.
And in other news (which is totally unrelated 😉 ) England beat Sweden 3-2 on Friday (15.6.12), thus eliminating Sweden from the Euro 2012 football championships!
I hope you enjoyed this juicy virtual bagel!
That’s all for now!
So for all those who missed the biggest European musical competition over the weekend, then here is a round up of all the great bits!
First up was my home, the United Kingdom, this year Engelbert Humperdinck represented us, many people thought that with us being the first act, we would be forgotten, but that’s a lie, if we had a stronger song, then it wouldn’t have mattered if we were the first, middle or last to perform. In my unbias eyes, our song was not strong enough to compete let along win.
The second act was Hungary and they were quite the vocal powerhouse, I thought they were the european version of evanescence!
The strange wails of Albania were up afterwards, and they were very strange, a good 87% of the lyrics were comprised of wailing, screaming and howling, but hats off to the singers unique hairstyle! Never the less though, they had achieved the position of being higher than the United Kingdom on the leader board (well anything is possible!), having
After my ears had stopped bleeding thanks to Albania’s kind offering, Lithuania were up next and I thought the concept was rather nifty, it was a half ballad half pop dance track, with the male vocalist being blind folded halfway through the song, the song was called ‘Love Is Blind’
The fifth act was a whiney ballad with love from Bosnia & Herzogovina, the only thing I liked about the performance was that the singer had channelled her inner Lana Del Rey, with her hair sporting a middle parting and soft waves in a honey colour.
Number 6 was the one that made my heart glow, even at the Semi-Finals, it made me smile inside, it of course was the Russian Grannies, weren’t they adorable? ‘Come on and dance’ was so catchy and it made my head bob like a nodding dog on the back of a car that was driving on very uneven cobbles!
My lucky number 7 was promptly afterwards and Iceland took that place, I’m surprised that they hadn’t received more points, the song was intense, dark, atmospheric and chilling (I also wanted to mary the male singer :$), I was backing Iceland ever since the Semi-Final, I will most certainly be acquiring that song!
The 8th performance was, Cyprus. Cyprus had a very catchy song, but the song was practically ‘how I’ve waited for this la la la la la la la la love’.
France (number 9) got full marks for the dress, because Jean Paul Gaultier himself designed the lead singer’s dress, it was beautiful.. As for the song, it was one of those dance tracks that took a while to get.
Eventually we got to the 10th act, they were Italy and she was like a continental Amy Winehouse! She had soul, style and her song sounded like Paloma Faith had given a helping hand in the writing and composition.
The eleventh act was Estonia, lackluster is too meek a word to describe that song, it was one of those ballads that made you want to walk in to a spikey door repeatedly..
Norway started the party again at number 12, it was such a fun song and the singer (born in Iran, moved to Norway) was like an Iranian/Norwegian Adam Lambert, he got the crowd going! I loved the fusion of middle eastern music meets western dance.
Azerbaijan, the hosting nation were the 13th act, another ballad that was slow going, but the lead singer was beautiful and the way they made her stand, it made her dress change colour as the strobe lights melted in to different colours.
Having to wait 13 acts, at number paisprezeci was the beautiful Romania (still being unbias), I thing the song was amazing, mandinga was what every song should be, uplifting, dancey and starting with a man moonwalking whilst playing the bagpipes, what couldn’t you love about it? I felt sorry for them though as the rule was not more than 6 people on stage despite the fact it was practically the size of the X Factor stage, unfortunately, Romania was a seven piece act, so one of the members had to stay in the green room and watch on.
Performance 15 belonged to Denmark, the singer was formally a busker and she displayed her song writing potential to the fullest with the song ‘Should’ve known better’. This is another song that I will be getting hold of and listening to time again!
Performance 16 was Greece, they had a really strong and catchy song with Aphrodisiac, they choreographed the dance music with traditional Greek dance.
Time for 17 which was Sweden and, well I got the impression she was a Bjork, crossed with Kate Bush (with great hair) but ended up sounding like an uplifting clubland track that was well deserved of a chart place.
At number 18 was Turkey, I was about to call the royalty police as the song sounded frighteningly like something I had written*, so of course I enjoyed the song!
*The songs I write are performed as humorously as that though!
Number 19 was Spain, it wasn’t my cup of tea, and the dress the lead singer wore, looked like she belonged with the presenters.
Not far from the last song and when we reached number 20 we said Hallo to the German‘s, their song was written by our very own Jamie Cullen, it was a beautiful ballad.
The 21st country was Malta, I thought they were full of energy and had great synchronisation when it came to the dance routine and the two female singers, looked like exotic versions of Tulisa Contostavlos!
22nd act was the F.Y.R (Former Yugoslavia Republic) Macedonia and she had the vocals that could have blown Cheryl Cole off the ground!
Position 23 were Ireland and they were the firework that is Jedward! It sounded a lot like Part Of Me by Katy Perry, but nevertheless, I enjoyed it! I was also pleased that before John and Edward jumped in to the fountain, they dropped their microphones on the floor!
The penultimate of the penultimate at 24 Serbia, another ballad, that was all in Serbian, wasn’t to my taste, perhaps I would have been a bit more moved by it if it was in English. If you are Serbian, please provide me with the translation of the song!
Penultimate 25 was Ukraine, they cleverly got around the 6 on a stage rule, by putting a huge screen on stage that projected a pre-recorded video of about 20 backing dancers, she sounded a cross between Anastasia and Gabrielle.
The final country to sing on the night was Moldova, unlike Romania, the whole song was in English and even though it made no sense at all ‘you’ve never to my show, how looks that trumpet’ was one of the lyrics, but if it didn’t bring a smile to your face, then start looking at cute puppies!
All in all, it was a good night and it seemed like dance music was on top, Azabaijan is probably going to have a massive boost in tourism and they deserve it, it looks like a beautiful country, they have the perfect blend of not being too western and ruining/forgetting tradition, but not being too eastern and traditionally strict. They have the perfect blend.
I was saddened to hear reports, I don’t know how true they were because I heard it through the grapevine as it were, but apparently Spain and Greece represents were told to not perform to their best ability, because the respective countries are too poor to host the grand spectacular.
All the songs are still memorable almost a week after hearing them, with the exception of our song, I forgot it by the second country..
The entertainment didn’t stop when the performance ended either, I think they had Azabaijan’s biggest talents performed on stage, however I was annoyed at the fact, when the ‘professionals’ performed they were allowed as many people as they liked on stage, despite the countries only allowing 6 people on stage.
When it came time for the video link around Europe of ‘we give x points to’ there were 2 stand out countries, one of them was Greece, the woman representing Greece, didn’t sound Greek at all and wouldn’t have been out of place if she were Adele’s speaking voice double, she couldn’t say Azabaijan, so she said ‘Good evening Azkaba, Azaza, good evening Baku!’ I have a suspicion she wanted to say Azakaban..
Then Denmark representative was a man dress up like a viking/worlock/troll.. Very amusing!
I think it was a great night, it was all about forgetting about all the European economic turmoil that’s going on right now and focusing on how many brilliant countries are out there.
This is slight backtrack from all the lovely things I was saying about England a few weeks ago something I forgot to mention that I HATE OUR WEATHER! this outburst is a little sudden, but its well deserved, seriously, how much rain do we need? Its the beginning of May and it still feels like November (May if you are reading in Australia). I have had enough of all this cold weather and to be quite honest, its starting to get really depressing, there are only so many times you can snuggle up on the sofa and watch a movie! I have had enough and if I had the money, I would be taking a very long holiday in Moldova (which is currently 27˚c) here in cloudy London is a glorious 8˚c, 8freakin˚c! What have we done to be given such bad weather and more to the point, which country did this weather come from *sideseyes Antarctica*.. We have had non stop rain for a month now and I haven’t seen any sun for a month and a week!
What do you suggest to do in this horrible weather?
Happy St Georges day everyone!
Okay, okay, yes I’m a day late in saying that, but how many of you remembered what yesterday actually was?
I would be deluded if I expected everyone reading this post to put their hand up as a way of saying ‘yes, I remembered’. Purely because, unlike St Patricks day, or St Davids day, we don’t make much of a hoo-harr about it, even Burns night and St Andrews day get more attention!
The reason why we don’t make a song and dance about our day, is beyond me, we are just as proud as other nations.
I for one think this will be our year yet again, our beautiful monarch will be celebrating a 60 year reign, our future King and Queen, will be celebrating their first anniversary and we will have the greatest show on Earth for the third time in Olympic history.
Am I wrong to boast about the land I was born on? No, it has treated me the exact way I deserve to be treated, yes our weather is the butt of the joke, but all countries have some jokes about them don’t they?
We have so many wonderful things to offer, and if you’re thinking of visiting, why not come this year?!
I am proud to be British!