Archive June 19 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.





Ghandi

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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June 20 2007

Self Will - Will Self Destruct - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

Today has been a good day for getting about by bicycle, after Sunday and the time it took with public transport it took me two and a half hours extra to get to my fellowship meeting. And the results of walking too far were apparent yesterday with severe cramps in my legs as a result. I am to have further check ups to check causes.

This morning

I went to see a friend of mine at the end of my road at Café Milano. Its just a very short walk there, and I took the bike along so I could then go off and visit the Town Hall.

I spent more time there than planned and got involved in a very interesting debate about ethics and politics. The truth is I felt impatient to get on and at the same time felt it was necessary to stay a little longer.

As the debate broadened to even bigger subjects, and the existence and presence of a God in the universe, it was making me feel somewhat at a loss what to say.

Faith

We learn faith as much as we learn anything, by our life experience and what life shows us as we endeavour and journey. An we also listen to many in society who have faith and beliefs and are committed to a way of living as a result.

I have never really wanted to persuade anyone to falter or change their outlook or faith and beliefs based on anything I might say. And the problem is once we start to ask and dig some more, we hit blanks and brick walls as we see our understanding of the world and what makes it tick along can and will remain a million miles apart.

Faith Defies Argument

In deed faith is reliant on belief and where we learn our beliefs is where it is. In my short experience of trying to persuade anyone of a faith to a different point of view, I gave that up decades ago as absolutely none of my business.

Its not for me to judge another human being on their faith, and feel the need to be respectful especially when faith may be all there is. I have nothing to offer in return to a powerful force like faith. I may commend good conscience as my guide and need not challenge what I cannot understand beyond Nature and Providence.

Nature and Providence

Is a mighty force. The universe infinite. Much of what we know we can explain. And what we cannot explain in our purpose often leads to faith in and belief in powers which guide us.

God made Man - Man Made God

Is it that we are endlessly challenged in living, then assume we are here with purpose beyond this one life? It may be so. Yet the derivation of God and how this world works have been changing as we evolve and as we understand the complexities of this one life we have now. For many the purpose of this one life is uncertain and for many, belief and faith maybe keeps many going and endeavouring or they might expire too soon.

Spiritual

I get spiritual, which is to see and experience this world as it is today and right now in this one moment. Mind body and breath in this moment.

I am smiling just now I feel I have been quoted by another person tonight and then realise it would be arrogant indeed to suggest anything I might say here is unique or authentic, or has not been felt or thought before.

It was to do with the imperfect, perfect moment of now. To experience this world as is without filters or denials, or at least as we may with our capacities.

Ego’s Drift

As we develop an outlook better able to see reality as it is, or appears, we let go our curious habit as common to all humanity and every living element on this planet, that we are in some way important, and particularly important from our own human perspective.

We need to feel right, and every instinct is gifted to every living element, we are all forces of nature driven to survive, adapt, get on and eventually end.

Ego’s drift and self importance has managed to gift us all with survival instincts. And as we have emerged dominant in the forces of the natural world so far, we are truly likely to believe that there is more than this experience and there is another purpose.

Nature and Providence

Changes us as each generation grows and another follows. From living in a world created by God in seven days we now understand much more than our ancestors and of course those who felt the world was flat and Rome was at the centre of the Universe. Or Egypt, or in a jungle in South America, or Washington DC currently.

We are globalising our experience and in a short two thousand years, its taken mankind to the brink of self destruction, other forces of nature across time let the dinosaurs live for millions of years. And modern man has sat on the edge of self destruction many times, because of faith intellect and instinct. And worse hatred and prejudice born of ignorance and fear of diversity.

God and Human Endeavour

It would without doubt be simpler to trust in a benevolent higher power. As my comprehension is still limited to what I can understand spiritually, here, now and in this moment… Well my relative importance extends no further than the tip of my nose.

In truth and real terms good conscience and developing peaceful ways to live life, endeavour and be a part of creation does me fine so far. Ego’s drift, that is my ego’s drift to another level of consciousness is under construction, and may be needs another lifetime? As some believe and actually the gift is what is left which influences our civilisation to the good and not to self will run riot…that I may experience heaven is where my self importance fails to go, or am I just stuck in a malady as I lack faith to believe. I do not know and may never know.

Temptations and Capitulations

Where faith is strong there is no need to change outlook, challenge to faith and living often makes us at war with each other. And we humans are equipped to fight hard for any cause and faith leads the way in self destruction across the centuries.

The answers my friends…

Well they probably are blowing in the winds of time. As we turn to dust and have lived and hopefully have enjoyed a useful existence, what follows remains an uncertainty for me, and a welcome transition for many. As we go, I hope we find harmony on the journey and respect and understanding. Not so close in this world yet. And yet my faith in human nature is restored one day at a time. Just for today.

Fellowship

And here I am back with fellowship. That I can respect faith and diversity as my diversity is respected. As I am yet to understand, that I may make progress and not absolutes and imperfect, is actually the perfect. That indeed perfection is forever an unfinished work. Or there would be no purpose to anything at all.

And in this perfect imperfect moment of now, till tomorrow



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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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Revealed: secret talks over Lib Dems in Brown cabinet June 20 2007 June 20 2007




Chancellor wants to bring in era of bipartisan politics - Leaders did not discuss coalition government

Gordon Brown and Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, have held private discussions in recent days about a plan for one or two senior Lib Dems to join Mr Brown's first cabinet, the Guardian has been told by a well-placed source.

It is being emphasised that the discussions have not been about a coalition and may not have been conclusive.

But it is known that Mr Brown is thinking of launching an all-party initiative on the future of the British constitution, and it may be that he would like a senior Liberal Democrat involved on a specific basis. He may also make a move on Iraq that could require the help of other parties.

If Mr Brown was to go ahead with such an audacious plan the Lib Dem candidates might include Nick Clegg, the shadow home affairs spokesman, or Vince Cable, the shadow Treasury spokesman. Mr Brown is due to announce his cabinet next Wednesday after he takes over as prime minister from Tony Blair

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Times OnLine June 20 2007


Insults fly as Britain feels the heat June 20 2007




Philip Webster, Political Editor, David Charter in Brussels and Fran Yeoman

Britain and Poland were accused of being the obstacles to a deal on Europe’s future last night as the preparations for tomorrow’s crucial summit became increasingly rocky.

The head of the European Commission told Britain directly that it was not being “intelligent” in threatening to block parts of the revived EU constitution.

But Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, accused most of the EU of being “in denial” about the failure of the previous constitution.

The angry exchanges came as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown presented a united front to the rest of Europe. In a joint telephone call with President Sarkozy of France, they made plain that there would be no retreat from the “red lines” set out by Mr Blair on Monday.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 20 2007


Tax and the City: Four private equity chiefs appear before angry MPs June 20 2007



One rule for the super-rich, but another for everyone else

By Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor

It is a long time since Gordon Brown pledged to end "the tax abuses which reach to the heart of our public finances by indulging the super-rich at the expense of the rest of us". More than a decade later, there is a growing sense that the Brown promise has not been kept. Today will see the latest phase in a ferocious row breaking out over the privileges of a select group of multi-millionaires who dominate the financial affairs of London.

Damon Buffini, 44, head of the private equity group Permira, is to appear before the Treasury Select Committee to defend his industry from allegations of excessive profiteering. Three other senior members of the industry will also be required to testify before MPs. The interrogation comes as the Liberal Democrats call for the abolition of a series of tax concessions currently exploited by some of the wealthiest businessmen in Britain.

Mr Buffini is thought to be worth about £150m, while Permira has bought businesses ranging from New Look to Little Chef and Holmes Place and made a 600 per cent return from its £900m sale of a revamped Homebase group.

Apart from the sheer disruptive scale of modern private equity activity on big employers - J Sainsbury and Jaguar/ Land Rover have recently been real or potential targets - Mr Buffini, and three other representatives of the industry, will have to satisfy MPs on two counts. First, he will be required to address the advantageous treatment given to companies that borrow money rather than raise it through issuing shares. Although such tax reliefs are available to all, private equity is often funded by huge levels of borrowings to take advantage of low interest rates, and thus has been the most spectacular beneficiary of the current rules.

Second, and less defensibly, private equity has exploited a measure introduced by Mr Brown in his 1998 Budget aimed at rewarding small businesses by allowing them to keep 90 per cent of the capital gains on their assets after only two years. With a little financial engineering that can be converted into an effective income tax rate of 10 per cent. This was not intended to apply to the vast fortunes generated by private equity.

Nicholas Ferguson of SVG Capital candidly remarked that he was concerned at the low rates of tax paid on large deals in the City. He said he felt uncomfortable paying lower taxes than his cleaner.

The private equity boom is only one source of income for the super-rich who are turning London into one of the most expensive cities on Earth. According to property experts, a tiny number of extremely rich individuals is having a disproportionate effect on the London property market, helped by the exploitation of another tax loophole.

More than half of London's multimillion-pound houses are being bought by "non-doms", that is technically "non-domiciled" persons who are resident in this country and whose anomalous status allows them to avoid taxation on their non-UK earnings, usually the vast bulk of their income.

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BBC OnLine News June 20 2007

New Dando appeal 'to be granted' June 20 2007

Barry George, the man serving a life sentence for the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando is to win the right to a fresh appeal, the BBC understands.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is expected to announce that it will refer the case back to the Court of Appeal.

The decision is thought to be based on doubts about forensic evidence concerning a speck of firearms residue.

George was convicted in 2001, two years after the BBC presenter was shot dead on her doorstep in Fulham, west London.

A convicted rapist, 47-year-old George was jailed for life.

He has always denied the murder and in 2002 he took his case to the Court of Appeal and lost.

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BBC OnLine History June 20 2007

June 20 1976: Westerners evacuated from Beirut

1976: Westerners evacuated from Beirut

Nearly 300 Westerners, mostly Americans and Britons, have been moved from Beirut and taken to safety in Syria by the US military.
An American navy ship rescued about 270 people, including 97 Britons, from the war-torn Lebanese city after attempts to move them by road were ruled out as too dangerous.

Most of the refugees on the beach were Americans responding to their government's call to leave Beirut following the murder of the American ambassador Francis Meloy.

The operation was originally planned to take the form of a road convoy to Damascus, organised by the UK.

The British embassy in Beirut had been the assembly point for Britons, Americans and other foreigners wanting to get out of Lebanon after 14 months of civil war.

But on two occasions the convoy was held up by the British Charge d'Affaires, Geoffrey Hancock.

He said: "We have heard from the escort element the conditions along the route today are insufficiently secure for the journey to be made safely".

When the convoy was postponed for a second day after the Beirut perimeter came under heavy fire overnight, the American navy took control of the operation.

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Ghandi

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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