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British Government refuses to let Babushka visit her grandchildren this Christmas

Galina with Tosha and Tolii 2012

Our boys Tosha and Tolii with their babuska Galina – “Baba” – during her visit to us in January 2012. Hopefully our MP can make smiles appear on our boys’ faces again this Christmas.

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Click to see the Facebook page about #ChristmasBaba

(updates have been added to the bottom of this article – scroll down)

Some disappointing news: the UK government has refused to let Babushka (“Baba”) – real name Galina – visit the UK this Christmas to be with her grandchildren, our sons Tolii and Tosha.

Katya’s mum has been visiting from her home in St. Petersberg, Russia for 14 years without any issue. Until now.

The UK government now claims that they are not convinced that 76 year old Baba has somewhere to sleep and won’t take a job away from another grandmother. Or words to that effect – see below.

Also, earlier this year, 25 June 2013 to be precise, the UK government announced (HERE) that it had eliminated the right to an appeal whenever a family visitor visa is rejected. Great. Not.


The UK Government’s decision is especially disappointing this year because grandpa – Andrew’s dad – died earlier this year and so won’t be with us around the Christmas table either – see  ‘In memory of Brian Henry, my dad.’

Thankfully “Grangela” – Andrew’s mum Angela – is here with us. She lives in town near us and doesn’t have to worry herself about any jobsworth government bureaucrat getting between her and her grandchildren.

We have informed our MP, Sir George Young, of this whole sorry tale and are hoping that he might be able to find out why, after 14 years of family visits, the UK Government has now resorted to such cruel behaviour.

» Continue reading British Government refuses to let Babushka visit her grandchildren this Christmas »

A glistening pink pony trotting through your mind

Like him or loathe him, I am thankful there are popular figures like Russell Brand* to kick up some much needed debate and discussion, to re-engage people with politics (oh the irony!):

“imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way I can be enthused about politics.”

Russell’s article in the Newstatesman magazine (Russell Brand on revolution: “We no longer have the luxury of tradition”) and his interview with Jeremey Paxmann (video below) has sparked many a political commentator to completely miss the boat.

UPDATE: The interviewer himself has now chimed in with his thoughts on Brand’s premise – “Paxman: Brand was right over public’s disgust at ‘tawdry pretences’ of politics

Brand’s article is lengthy and filled with some words I would need to google (but didn’t). He talks like that too: At least with a strong interviewer, he can be interrupted and pushed to reveal more (or less, whatever).

Take him seriously!? (insert joke about comedian / taking-seriously here). That’s not the point; He is this: the whack on the side of the head. Sure your head hurts and has a bit of a buzz [like that time tripping up the stairs coming out of the London nightclub escorted by the bouncers; and man, can things be seen in a whole new light and damned be sure that girl is GORGEOUS]. It is not about Russell; it is about us.
» Continue reading A glistening pink pony trotting through your mind »