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Archive 28 April 2007


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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 29 2007

Forgive Everybody Everything - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

I am no saint I realise everyday. Everyday the judgment I make about so many elements of life, people, places and things. I wish it different and practice like most a form of denial and filtering to get my perceptions to square up to my feelings.

These days I need and hear wisdom from others most days on how to conduct myself on a daily basis, and really and truly I do need their wisdom and good intentions.

Good Intentions

We all have them and wonder often what we may to keep faith with ourselves. And last night taught me great dollops of forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiveness for my judging and judgments past and present, forgiveness for others and their steady progress to a spiritual path. In a judging world the path of spirituality is dogged as are we by perceptions and misgivings.


Well today after a night of wondering and accepting and listening to my inner voice of judgement, a trip out to a meeting of my fellowship helped me greatly. I had been quite judgmental last night, about what is right for me and how I behave. And of course how others have their rights to judge and behave as they do..

"Don’t put my Values on Others"

The most important part of a message at the Flood Street meeting. A person with decades of recovery making a simple one liner in a chair of many elements and this was really what I need to hear.

I do have my values, principles and ethics. My world is about transparency and not filtering and not denials of who and what I am. And in many ways it has been the best learning of last night how easy it is to assume what someone says is how they really are. And actually what they say is what they believe they are and not what they really are. The same is true of me too.

So no one is out of this fugue state in my guess at all of us who endeavour to find this spiritual path of living.

Progress indeed and not Perfection

A night like last night, a farewell event and a real event with much love and care. It was a good to be included and yet inside the inclusion I found exclusion and mishaps. Mishaps as others present themselves and mishaps in my estimation of connections and feelings.


I am better informed all ways today how love spans the decades, how changes and affiliations occur. How indeed families and friends and participants in living can easily assume and fall victim to their own codes and ethics. And of course denials of affiliation made profoundly will always dig deep into our spiritual reserves which in essence are just good for a day.

It is the harshest moment of all when we realise what is said in the spirit of honesty and care and love in its broadest sense is denied and shunned. The exclusion is complete in the intake of one breath, and the desire to be elsewhere is accepted on every level and every wish it were so. Exclusion born of denials and filters, misguided and misinformed, wreaks its gentle and pervasive toll on everything we have come to believe. And is then denied.

Filters and Denials

So deep and turgid, so transparent in a careless act of self preservation and self image, to project a connection which in actual fact is the essence of the truth. When such an event occurs we are best away and separate with cautious haste and disconnection. And suddenly the truth and the lie are the same, its realisation stings with a smack to our inner being, we reel and deny it and accept it all in a moment as we glimpse that insecure and elemental falsehood. And I see no need to repair of filter anymore a misguided lie to self.

So truly a spectacular path these last few weeks, as truth is burgeoning and falsehoods are slipping away.

Judge what is right for me

As do others without a moments hesitation and without the snap to hurt. Indeed they feel no hurt or sting. I have been blessed with truth. And being informed is the good news. I have had many dealings in recent weeks with distorted truths and falsehoods, not about me but around me. Of others trials and difficult moments. I am realising so much so quickly and understanding the nature of vulnerable and people who fear their very own right to a life. And more that some so driven by self obsession cannot break from the false nature and foundations of sand upon which they build their safe keep and castle walls.

Accept and Forgive and Let Go

Indeed the acceptance of the truth as we realise the false premise and deluded nature of some and how integrity shifts. There need be no blame, for we are part of the story. We need not let it continue as the fiction deprives our very being of spiritual growth. And our falseness undo’s any good done before.

We need let go and move on, be forgiving and find acceptance as our journey is made more open and half measure offer nothing but disturbance and inadequate connections. Lies beget and prevail as denial lays a trail to disquiet in our inner path. Sanctuary is complete in truth as we merely make progress to our journey in this one day.

"But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet,
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams"

-/- W.B. Yeats

April 28 2007

Fellowship A way of Living DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Pain, physical and emotional, all part of life. Today has been one of those days where pain from overdoing the walking has really caused me to slow down and be careful. Not a very edifying way to start a journal page maybe, yet true. So its feels right to mention the impact it has had. Less able and less walking and severe back pains.

In the spite of or because of I did get out to meet a friend at the end of the road. At the end of my street is Earls Court Road. Full of places to meet and share time. In a coffee shop not far away, we had a couple of hours to chat about life and things in general. As part of the meet I was asked to cover what the twelve steps of AA do for me, and you can hear all about it on the video.

Its good to be out and doing. And get away from the frustration of pain. Apparently I was very off colour when I met up with my friend. Unnamed as he is in the fellowship, but you know who you are and will be reading this maybe in the morning!

Anyway we had a great couple of hours and liked time to have my say and so did he. We have common problems in some respects, with this whole notion of letting go of hurts and painful experiences. Don’t we all?

And there is something that Ego provides when we are being made to feel the pain, it offers denials and filters and the how dare this be happening feelings. It’s the "I can’t believe it" moments which are part of the denial of truth when truth is hard to get to grips with.

Truth and Reality, the most important elements we need be aware of, and yet we have processes of denial to help us deal with them. Denial is a very useful process for us to come to terms with loss mostly, when we feel loss of people its intense and so denial breaks things down till we find acceptance somewhere along the way.


A particularly good share from a person doing the chair for the first time, well for me it was. Sharing the truth of what its like to see ourselves in all our good and bad parts. The good of recovery is we live better and deal with life the universe and everything so much more evenly and without outrage or intense highs which are impossible to maintain.

And the "Chair" had been a counsellor like me in some respects and done all sorts to make life work, had become addicted and dependent on alcohol and had similar experiences. And this is the reason for listening, to hear others and what they did, how they made use of getting sober and making life work again. This is fellowship we we hear the way out of the pain of addiction.

Living In Fellowship

When we truly live in fellowship we find peace. We also find some people we are naturally drawn to and others who may want more from us than is good for either them or us.

I have many experiences of life, like so many in the fellowship which involve making life work, and at the same time we may be moving on to new living. Sometimes with the best will in the world we need stop our old living, like counselling and get on with other projects. Burn out for me in counselling and the big life of years ago, well it really does me no good to utilise experiences which led to burn out in the past, and truthfully there is only so much we can do before its detrimental to making our own life work at all.

So gone are some opportunities for engagement, and when this is realised, the nature of connection for some diminishes and the attitude of me being a utility makes the end happen sooner than they may have wished. Often people try befriend not just because its what we believe we are best to do, they do it unconsciously to get help and use others. Using others is enriching from the users point of view, its not much fun for those so utilised, like me in this case. Resentment is in the mind of the "utilisers" still, I have seen these past few days. They are not my friends and can only have so much of me. We need not be dragged down by others and their obsessions. We can assist them out and then maybe see what next if friendship is natural and obvious for both in the relationship.

Friendships in and out of Fellowship

Making friends where it matters are unconditional encounters with purpose and fellowship, not utility, like this morning, two friends sharing and sorting out life. Where we share and find equality. Nothing to prove just banter and chat and some serious stuff, and if you read this GD you know its true, smiles here as GD may read this some hours after writing. You know who you are!

Inside and outside my connections and friendship develop as they do in normal life. Some become closer and some distant. Some just have time and around a particular set of issues. And some distant friends we keep in touch with because of mutuality and outlook. Some who would be friends can join in, when self obsession is less and life becomes more straightforward.

Utility can be so unhelpful when someone wants and another does not need go backwards. We are not commodities and sometimes we are so driven by our imperatives we forget our way of life is just so different connections can be chalk and cheese.

Spirit of Fellowship

In the spirit of fellowship I do help and support as much as I can and then I can only go so far before it is truly detrimental and then as I loose grip on reality so too I loose my connection to life. Burning out is not pleasant and not to be a part of my future adventures I trust. And I get feedback from those who know me well enough.

Why so important for me to share these words tonight. Well someone was present today who ignored me, and is in the category of acquaintance and user. I am relieved I find. As truth often means some connections are lost. And this feels neither good or bad, it does not feel. Knowing the silence is there is acceptance for me. I am sad maybe, maybe not. And tonight is does not make me feel bad or good. Letting go, another element when we have no real connection at all. And more easy than letting go hates and resentments had it continued into day to day living. We can only do so much and there are excellent services out there willing to be engaged as any utility can be. Less so me these days.

Have compassion and good conscience been disturbed in these let go processes? Of course and I am human like anyone and need take account of others pain. I need not live it, and the wisdom is do what makes a difference and be compassionate, and ensure we are not pulled into the murk of confluence. It will feel harsh as the silence is acceptance of dislocations. Life is never easy and we have this one only to make the best of what we may.

And enough for today, silence can be golden…

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Observer OnLine April 29 2007

Palace told Blair aide: beware of honours probe chief April 29 2007

Yard man relentless, courtier claimed

Nicholas Watt, political editor

Buckingham Palace is today thrust into the centre of the 'cash for peerages' affair as The Observer discloses that the most senior courtier in Buckingham Palace expressed deep unease to Downing Street about the Metropolitan Police officer leading the investigation.

In a move that highlights the royal household's discomfort with Assistant Commissioner John Yates, the courtier described him to Number 10 as a relentless investigator who turned the royal household 'inside out'. The Observer understands that the warning was passed to Jonathan Powell, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, by Sir Robin Janvrin, the Queen's private secretary. Yates was appointed last year to investigate allegations that Downing Street offered peerages in exchange for loans to the Labour party.

Read The Observer OnLine

Times OnLine April 29 2007

Blair finally backs Brown as next leader April 29 2007

David Cracknell and Isabel Oakeshott

TONY BLAIR is to endorse Gordon Brown as his successor as prime minister after he officially announces next week his intention to resign.

The prime minister, who will fire the starting gun on the leadership race on May 9 or 10, made his decision in the past few days after David Miliband made clear he would not be challenging Brown for the premiership.

Blair will support Brown, his long-time friend and foe, even if Charles Clarke or John Reid decides to embark on a “kamikaze”mission to prevent the chancellor having a smooth coronation. Brown will face a challenge anyway from a left-wing MP, either

Michael Meacher or John McDonnell.

“If David Miliband had stood it would have led to a real dilemma for Tony,” said a Downing Street insider. “Miliband standing aside has made it easy for Tony to endorse Gordon. He will do that now, but couldn’t have done if David had stood.”

Read The Times OnLine

Independent OnLine 'Indy' News April 29 2007

Respect! Good manners to be taught in schools April 29 2007

Classes to combat rudeness and anti-social behaviour

Children to be given lessons in 'emotional intelligence'

By Marie Woolf, political editor

Children in secondary schools are to be taught "emotional intelligence" as part of the national curriculum in an attempt to combat a growing tide of rudeness, violence and lack of respect.

With the debate about the lack of civility among young people reaching a new pitch, ministers are planning to roll out "social and emotional" intelligence classes to help children to cope with anger and frustration without resorting to violence or swearing.

The programme will be integrated into the curriculum, and will teach pupils about fair play and dealing with adversity.

The new moves to instil good manners in young people is the latest attempt to deal with what many politicians and commentators bemoan as a blight on British society, making streets, schools and communities unsafe and unpleasant. The worry is that children no longer have the authority figures to look up to and that the state has to an extent take on the responsibilities that belong to parents.

From September secondary school children will learn basic values and "golden rules" such as: "We are gentle, we are kind, we work hard, we look after property, we listen to people, we are honest, we do not hurt anybody."

Jim Knight, the schools minister, is to announce the plans to introduce the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning Classes (Seal) in secondary schools after pilots found that it had a dramatic effect on improving behaviour in primary schools, including on attendance records and marks.

The policy is likely to provoke accusations that this is the latest example of the nanny state, and that the Government should leave it to parents to drum into their children moral values.

Nick Gibb, the shadow schools minister, said he feared the programme would dilute academic teaching. "This kind of stuff is ghastly. Schools have really got to focus on the core subjects of academic education and teaching children how to learn," he said.

Read The Independent OnLine

BBC OnLine News April 29 2007

Earthquake town assesses damage April 29 2007

Hundreds of people in Kent are assessing the damage done to homes and businesses by an earthquake.
Homes in Folkestone were evacuated and one woman suffered a neck injury when the 4.3 magnitude tremor struck on Saturday morning.

Several families spent the night in emergency accommodation and police said 38 homes had been assessed so far.

Beach huts in Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire, were cleared after a 1,000m (3,280ft) crack appeared in the coast cliff.

BBC OnLine Full Story

BBC OnLine History April 29 2007

April 29 1992: LA in flames after 'not guilty' verdict

Fierce rioting has broken out in Los Angeles following the decision by a jury to acquit four white police officers accused of

beating black motorist Rodney King.

The decision, made by an all-white jury, caused a political outcry, and provoked fury in the predominantly black neighbourhoods of south-central Los Angeles.

An angry crowd, chanting "Guilty! Guilty!", tried to storm police headquarters in the business district, before setting fire to shops and vehicles.

Motorists were dragged from their cars and beaten, cars were overturned and set alight, and at least five people were shot dead.

The violence is the worst in the city since the Watts riots of 1965, in which 34 people died. The Governor of California, Pete Wilson, has declared a state of emergency, and called in reinforcements from the California Highway Patrol.

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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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