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Archive 26 April 2007


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"The Big Issue"

The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.

Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.

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April 2007
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April 27 2007

Fellowship Steps to Living in Reality DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’

So another day and its been one of recuperating and sorting what little possessions I have. Strangely though as we go out everyday, we often bring back more than we need. And this is truly me as well. Somewhere is a collectors eye for all manner of useless bits and bobs. gifts and free donations from helpful people mean I have one or two items to recycle amongst needy people. And fortunately they are right on my door step.

Tonight has been helpful to me, being in good company of fellowship people here in the London. I realise I have made friends all over the place and have so very good ones. I get concerned when people are not about and one or two are still absent or have moved on to new meetings. This happens in fellowships like ours in London, and its almost necessary for some of us to meander along into new places and new fellowship connections. Its part of our path to keep developing and adapting, and doing normal life stuff.

The Meeting - Experiences

We sit and listen to someone speak on a subject often. At the step meetings its all about the 12 steps of the fellowship. Steps are for changing our approach to living. Simply about attitude and behaviour, getting some confidence and living again without drink inside us. Sounds simple? It is of course in theory, not in practice.

We experience a decline in our living once we get dependent on anything, health and emotional matters become easier in the first blush of our drinking, but as time goes along it’s the drink that rules us and not the other way around.

Listening tonight, and seeing the person speaking, we had completely different living and working lives. Yet the similarities on what addiction does seems pretty universal. Loss of friends, shunned by families in despair, or worse families completely in the grip of drink. The truth can be stark for many, and the truth of where drink takes us is all too familiar.


Well it may seem obvious to give up what is killing us and we need to hear how people do this in the fellowship. Its part of the toolkit to learn to live a life without drinking. Not very difficult if you have no problem with alcohol. Very difficult indeed if you are an addict of anything.

The strength tonight for me was listening and hearing how friends and fellows are getting along. I feel like sharing and then see others still quite keen to have a few words and I keep silent. For now and the last few days just small shares from me. No rocket science here. Happily absorbing and making quiet plans to next steps for me.


There is always hope when we are often most in despair as we hear others share how they are making gentle steps in recovery.

Nobody is competing? Well maybe some are somehow. Yet there is no merit in being the best recovered alcoholic in the world. And finding someone who might feel they are the best recovering alcoholic is truly a misunderstanding and only happens now and then. And when we stop judging others and comparing ourselves, the peace and harmony is palpable. As we find ourselves in the moment of now.


So often when we seek a Holy Grail, where we want the truth of life and living. As if it were some big secret…

The truth is simply there for us to live in this ever present, present moment of now, the true connection to life, and our spiritual connection so overlooked we cannot see or perceive when we have denial and filters in place. Spiritual, not gifted by Guru’s or diligence or intellect is simply being and letting every being be as nature and providence have enabled.

Elusive and ephemeral, the spiritual connection, the Grail ever present in everyone who has connection to this very moment and every moment life is gifted and spent on this earth.

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Rail inquiry exposes new safety failings April 27 2007

Dan Milmo, transport correspondent

Police investigating the fatal west coast train crash have uncovered a catalogue of failings which casts doubt on the safety standards on Britain's railways.

An official investigation into the crash that derailed a Virgin train, killing one person and injuring dozens, has found a culture of shortcuts and deficiencies in the track maintenance regime.

Despite repeated warnings after a series of rail disasters in the past decade, campaigners say the evidence renews fears that lessons have not been learned.

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Times OnLine April 27 2007

‘Dry run’ attack forces Prince Harry retreat April 27 2007

Michael Evans, Defence Editor, and James Hider in Baghdad

Army chiefs fear that a fatal attack on two British soldiers in Iraq last week was a dry run for an attempt on Prince Harry’s life, The Times has learnt.

The attack was made on a type of vehicle that the Prince will use, and took place in a part of the country where he is due to be deployed as early as next month. The two died when their Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb – the first time that British soldiers had been killed in a Scimitar as a result of enemy action.

The Army fears that extremists deliberately chose the vehicle knowing that the Prince is a troop leader for a Scimitar-equipped unit.

Prince Harry faces a kidnap threat from insurgents, who have become active this month even within bases used by the British Army in southern Iraq. Security has been tightened at Camp Sparrowhawk, a base in Maysan Province used by reconnaissance units such as Prince Harry’s.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 27 2007

MPs sign up to the campaign against excess packaging April 27 2007

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

More than 100 MPs have backed The Independent's campaign against excessive packaging as political support grows for action to reduce the millions of tonnes of wrappers and cartons dumped in the nation's bins.

A Commons motion condemning the sheer waste of such large quantities of plastic and paper, and urging manufacturers to cut their use of packaging has been signed by 112 MPs from all parties and parts of the United Kingdom.

Now The Independent is calling for people to have their voice heard on the issue by lobbying their MP to join the protest.

A groundswell of parliamentary support for Early Day Motion 814 will show the Government the force of public opinion on the issue and increase the chances of legislation reaching the statute book.

Tabled a few days after we began our Campaign Against Waste on 22 January, EDM 814 commends the campaign against excessive packaging run by The Independent and calls on shops to tackle the problem and to encourage suppliers to do likewise.

It points out that packaging takes up 17 per cent of the annual food budget and generates 4.6 million tonnes of household rubbish a year.

So far, The Independent's campaign has exposed how scores of everyday products are over-packaged in wrappers, trays and cartons made from finite natural resources such as oil.

In a sign that pressure on the issue is increasing, two MPs who have signed are now threatening to table private members' Bills to eradicate unnecessary packaging once and for all.

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine News April 27 2007

Call to stop children's drinking April 27 2007

Parents who give alcohol to children aged under 15 should be prosecuted, a charity has said.

The call comes in an Alcohol Concern report on the government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy.

The study highlights figures that suggest a large increase in the amount of alcohol being drunk by 11 to 13-year-olds.

Public health minister Caroline Flint told the BBC she did not agree with the proposals.

Alcohol Concern also wants a 16% rise in alcohol taxes, a ban on brewers selling to retailers at a loss, and a crackdown on under-age alcohol sales.

It is currently illegal to give an alcoholic drink to a child under five except under medical supervision in an emergency.

'Stronger message'

The charity would include meal times at home in the ban on giving alcohol to young people.

Frank Soodeen, a campaigns officer for Alcohol Concern, said: "We are facing a new social reality where children seem to be adopting older behaviour at a younger age.

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BBC OnLine History April 27 2007

April 27 1945: Russians and Americans link at Elbe

Russian and American troops have joined hands at the River Elbe in Germany, bringing the end of the war a step closer.

Statements have been released simultaneously in London, Moscow and Washington this evening reaffirming the determination of the three Allied powers to complete the destruction of the Third Reich.

According to a statement issued by Downing Street, the commanders of a United States division and of a Russian Guards division met at Torgau, south of Berlin on 26 April at 1600 hours local time

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There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.

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