I've been to The Shed once before and you'd have thought that I would have learned my lesson then. Since my last escapade to the Shed, the clientele have become younger and dare I say it, perhaps even hipper? The male haircuts were more angular and artistically dishevelled; the girls wore beehives and looked like a mix between Duffy, Amy Winehouse and Peaches Geldof (an oxygen thief if there ever was one).
However, I was just too sober, too old and too hot (temperature wise) to stick around. I made it until about 1.30am and then left with my pal, Erica, leaving Tim, Lauren, Laurie, and Nir to kick it 1999/ 2000 old school style.
On Saturday, I was still struggling with the after effects of The Shed but nevertheless managed to meet up with my friend, Claire, and her sister, Lisa, for the Body and Soul Fair. Not one who believes in "souls", I was a skeptic heading into the event and my suspicions were confirmed with stalls advertising "past life regression therapy", "reiki", and "clairvoyants". I could only manage one eye roll for fear of amplifying my hangover. In the end, however, it was all worth it because I managed to get a back massage for £10.
Afterwards, we headed to Wagamama for some lunch, before stumbling upon the newly-opened Tea Rooms - which is run by the folks who own The Butterfly and the Pig (one of the best places in city centre for some cheap pub food/ lunch). I am absolutely in love with the Tea Rooms and cannot wait to go back for some "proper" afternoon tea.
Following the previous nights theme, after tea and a (couple) glass(es) of wine, we somehow managed to end up at the State Bar for comedy night, wherein I was mocked for my outfit and insecurities in front of the audience. That's what you get for showing up at a comedy club slightly tipsy and sitting in the front row. Good times!
Also funny (and sad)? Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith's recent comments regarding immigrants in the Uk:
On Sunday Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was "raising the bar" for non-EU workers seeking skilled jobs.
Immigrants should not be able to take them unless they had been advertised to British workers first, she told the BBC.
Non-EU workers have to go through a points-based system to seek work but most EU citizens face no restrictions.
Ms Smith told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show that it was right the government made sure that the points-based system was "responding to the current economic circumstances".
From April, non-EU workers wanting to come to Britain without securing a job beforehand must have a master's degree - rather than a bachelor's degree, as currently - and a previous salary equivalent to at least £20,000.
The Conservatives say the government is only tinkering at the edges of the problem and say a cap on immigrants from outside the EU is needed.
Employers already have to prove that there wasn't a better UK candidate before hiring a non-EU worker (I've filled out the paperwork). So while there are changes regarding degrees, etc I don't see it as that big of a change.
Really? I guess it was the whole tone of the argument for me - "British jobs for British people" - and fair enough...to an extent.
It just seems that with such policies, the UK government is limiting jobs to those that would, perhaps, need them the most and likewise, the UK needs THOSE people. For example, someone in India who has a Masters degree in say, statistics, but not necessarily the previous £20, 000 salary. I mean, a £20, 000 salary?!? You're lucky to get that here - let alone in developing nations!
It's a false argument, really, and one which only makes the small minds smaller (but quieter).
It does make domestic help cheaper, as it drives them underground where you can pay them less and abuse them more.
They made 450 people redundant at my work today (Carphone Warehouse if you want to check). A lot of those will be replaced by Indian nationals supplied through Indian companies. They will live in the UK for an average of 3 years and be paid 30% of what a UK worker would get.
They did the same c.18 months ago. The office I work in is now more than 50% Indian National.
A lot of families (of various racial backgrounds) lost their main breadwinner today despite those job roles not actually disappearing. And it is all legal.
We didn't 'need these people'. We had these people and they are now on the scrapheap. There is no false argument here.
That is not to say that individuals (like your good self) shouldn't be allowed to come to this country to make their way. But a governments first duty is too its citizens and in the above example it has failed miserably.
Sorry if this is a bit of a rant but its been a cr*p day. I just want people to know there is another side to things.
Phil - I'm really sorry to hear you've lost your job. I hope you'll be ok.
I wonder though if the problem here is actually non-EU immigration. What I mean is, in the end, should Carphone Warehouse be allowed to lay off masses of their loyal workers in order to outsource it to cheaper labour? It hardly seems fair. Surely businesses have a responsibility in such economic climates.
I know that sounds flaky and idealistic but then again, didn't corporate greed get us into this recession mess?
Anyway, I'm really sorry for your loss. You're in London, right? Maybe it's time you moved back up to bonnie Scotland?! Perhaps there are better job prospects up in these regions than in London?
I'm not sure about better prospects but it's a nice idea :-)
ps anon = Phil :-)
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