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There's a public perception that Henry VIII created the Anglican church in anger over the Pope's refusal to grant his divorce, but historical records indicate that philanderer, Henry, spent

most of his reign challenging the authority of Rome, and that the divorce issue was just one of a series of acts that collectively split the English church from the Roman one in much the same way that the Orthodox Church had split off from Rome 500

years before.

 

Over the centuries, Archbishop Of Canterbury's have come and gone, some docile, some arrogant.  Myself, I've always believed when religious groups control, or too strongly influence governments, the results are not good. History's full of examples: the Dark Ages in Europe, the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, the Taliban in Afghanistan.

 

Dr. Rowan Williams has never been one to avoid publicity, in fact, he seems to thrive on it. His political criticisms are

as well-known as the pubic nest on

his pious face.

 

Retiring to Cambridge to teach has surprised me and I'm not sure how he'll live so far from the limelight?

 

Methinks, dear Rowan will find a way!

Unite is the largest union in the UK. It boasts of having 1.4 million members in the UK and Ireland.

 

It's leader, Len McCluskey, a dedicated left wing socialist whose actions, apropos strikes during the Olympic Games and the forthcoming tanker's strike, have drawn comments and

ridicule from both sides of the  house in Westminster. Any indications however, that McCluskey is being unpatriotic and self-serving, is like water off a sea urchin's back to this former dock-worker from Liverpool, as he arrogantly shrugs off any and all criticism as though totally unaffected - even judgement by Labour leader Ed Miliband - which in a way, is mighty weird, as the Labour Party's main source of income derives from the pockets of Unite, the 'People's Union.'

 

Union General Secretary's like McCluskey, are usually chosen by their members because they have a gift of the gab and therefore have the ability to sway members into whatever direction they personally want to go in.

 

McCluskey is as left wing as one can get in the UK without actually being branded as a Communist agitor.  Myself, I see little difference. Holding the public to ransom seems second nature to people like McCluskey. His obvious knack of asserting his influence doesn't make him a mental giant, but a rather bullish and foolish fellow.

 

As prices of fuel near the £1.50 a litre mark, actions like this - demanding a pay rise for Tanker Drivers - when those same drivers already get on an average, £45,000 a year, on the grounds that they have a dangerous job, is a rank insult to the soldiers fighting for the Uk in Iraq, Afghanistan and other far flung lands, who are lucky to get even half that per year, plus come home in one piece!

Unions play an important role in any democatic society. Perhaps more so in Britain than any other country. Without their presence and fighting will during the Industrial age - with ruthless empoyers getting away with slave labour and calling all the shots - particuarly in mines and factories - things would have been grim beyond imagination.

 

All workers deserve to be paid a fair wage for a fair day's work. And while the socialistics believe that all members are equal, they do not practise that belief, otherwise, they'd be asking for the same wage for all drivers who carry dangerous cargo. We all know some jobs deserve and get higher pay than others. Just as the more highly skilled do in any professional position. Fair.

 

The difference here is; when any Union goes too far, exceeding its boundaries while becoming greedy and militant in its ambitions, taking away the public's life blood when they are already being bled dry from every direction, then sooner or later the masses will tolerate the abuse and unfairness no longer. As our daily lives and incomes - plus rising costs - are eroding away our savings, then we all will UNITE ourselves against the radical, militant, over-zealous bullys and put our heads out the window and cry out;  'We've all had enough and we aren't going to take it any more!'

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- Anne Hunt -

- Anne Hunt -

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Has 'The Crocodile' been tamed or, will he come out baring his well worn teeth?

James Murdoch is again being questioned infront of the  Leveson Inquiry select committee. He will be probed to give evidence regarding press ethics and standards.

 

His father, Rupert will be giving evidence Wednesday. This new set of questioning will be aimed

at the cozy relationship between the press and politicians, whereby, the previous set of evidence given by the two senior Murdochs highlighted the relationship between the paper and the met, as well as getting to the bottom of what and who instigated the phone hacking incidents that came to light on a whole.

 

There will be no getting away from the actual scandal, or the supposed culture that existed within the shrouded walls of News of the World. The inquiry wants to lay the blame in its entirety on the doorstep on one - if not two people. It will be a case of, who knew what -or what, if anything, was done about it. Or, was a blind eye turned for the sake of the news that was gathered in the process.

 

There has already been a lot of mud slinging and unsuported claims in the form of testimony by journalists and (NOTW) executives pointing the finger at both James Murdoch and former editor Rebekah Brooks for not removing any 'cancers' that existed within the bowels of the paper.

 

For years secretive back-door meetings into number 10 Downing Street went on, which has always been seen as a sure fire way of getting a particular party in favour with the press re-elected. The current Prime Minister, David Cameron will also have his diary for such meetings probed.

- Anne Hunt -

David Cameron faces his critics

- Sam Watts -

David Cameron comes under fire this week from one of his own. Nadine Dorries, the Tory MP for Mid-Bedfordshire called the Prime Minister and the chancellor, George Osborne "two arrogant posh boys" saying they had "no passion to want to understand the lives of others."

 

She was explaining to the BBC's Daily Politics show that their "real crime" was showing "no remorse" for the lack of insight beyond their little inner circle.

 

Whether this is another sign of a 'woman's

scorn' rearing its ugly head or are there valid points surrounding her emotional accusations, one can only surmise. Ms Dorries has never been quiet about the fact that government policy is "being run by two public school boys who don't know what it's like to go to the supermarket and have to put things back on the shelves because they can't afford it for their children's lunch boxes." She reiterated, and "what's worse, they don't care either.'

 

Some have spoken out in David Cameron's defense saying that Ms Dorries has had a vendetta towards David Cameron for the way he responded to her in 2011 over a question she put to him at PMQ's and that this out-burst is a way of lashing back. David Cameron himself insists that she is incorrect in her accusations and that he was very passionate about the problems that existed in the UK.

Barry Gibb, the elder brother with the unmistakeable falsetto singing voice, has paid a touching farewell tribute to his younger sibling and Bee Gee bandmate Robin.

 

The heartfelt remembrance clip, set to the Bee Gees ballad 'Heart

Like Mine,' features never-before-seen home video footage of the

Gibb brothers as children, as well as career highlights and live performances. The montage, which Barry posted on his YouTube.com page, is titled Bodding - which was Robin's nickname.

 

Born on December 22 1949 in Douglas on the Isle of Man, the

singer lost his battle with cancer at the age of 62 on Sunday. His

twin brother Maurice died in 2003 from complications to a

twisted intestine. His younger brother Andy also died in 1988

from an inflamed heart muscle. Barry is left to carry the Bee Gee mantle. Said to be the second only to Lennon and McCartney as

the most successful songwriting unit in British popular music,

one thing's for sure, the music lives on.

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TOUCHING FAREWELL TRIBUTE  TO ROBIN GIBB

FROM ONE BROTHER TO ANOTHER

The soul surviving brother of the prolific composing and singing partnership that took shape in the 70's disco era, has paid tribute to his brother Robin who died this week from an 18 month battle with cancer.

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Pound takes a tumble and the British economy takes a hammering

Putting aside power bills, wallet attacks on your fuel at the pump and the

inflated price of little Mary's nappies at the local convenience store, you still thought your pound wasn't going anywhere near as far and that, frankly, your pay packet was taking...well, a pounding? So yes. We can now safely say, you're not only on the ball (not Ed's) but you were right and earlier forecasts were wrong!

 

It has now been officially declared that the British economy shrank more than

first thought between January and March 2012, after the deepest fall in construction output in three years, while government spending made the

biggest contribution to growth, official data showed today.

 

Britain is in its second recession, well a double dip recession - to be more

accurate, since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, not to mention, that the

escalation of the euro zone debt crisis poses a significant threat to the

economy going forward in the foreseeable future.

The Bank of England even looks set to pump more money into the economy, having paused its £325 billion quantitative easing programme earlier this month. This, all amid growing worries about a break-up of the currency union.

 

The Office for National Statistics said the economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in

the first quarter of this year, a downward revision from an initial estimate of a

0.2 per cent decline, and confounding analysts' forecasts for an unchanged reading. The decline would have been steeper were it not for a 1.6 per cent quarterly rise in government spending, which was the biggest increase in four years and contributed 0.4 percentage points to GDP. The figures showed

that exports also suffered. The trade deficit increased to 4.4 billion pounds,

with net trade shaving off 0.1 percentage point from GDP. Wow, now doesn't

all of this misery just take the sting out of our newly arrived Summer!

- Anne Hunt -

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Queens Diamond Jubilee over, but the warm memories live on

With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations now all neatly tucked away, with only the cleaning-up to do, and, more than likely, the final tellying of that rather annoying little thing called...'The Bill,' left to pay.

 

One can only smile and surmise as one absorbs the memories left trailing behind, like the perfectly choreographed and colourful red, white and blue smoke path that emanated so effortlessly from the tails of those magnificent WWII Red

Arrows as they brilliantly cut the four day weekend in true diamond style, with a formation flypast salute to the Queen for her enduring service to the country and her Commonwealth. As she gazed proudly, yet humbly over her Buckingham Palace balcony at the scores of fervent well wishers.

 

Like the resounding echoes of the still galant, Sir Tom Jones who also shook the skyline with his pop singles from a bygone era, 'Mama Told Me Not To Come' and the sure-fire crowd pleaser, his flamencoed version of 'Delilah.' His taylored renditions hit a home run with a nostalgic essence of the precise feeling of what the global mood towards the Queen was all about.  And, Tom Jones' very own endurance proved, that if you have what it takes in your well laden pantry, you can still stand the test of time.

 

But of course the usual naysayers were out - all 50 of them - with their banners of blame and shame, grief and negativity. Pointing stubborn, hardened fingers at anyone with an ounce of fair play and jolly royal support - for their own plights in this world. But they were well and truly out-numbered this weekend. The happy flag wavers and painted Union Jack faces were too big a mountain to have any influence. The Joie de Viver swallowed up any cynical republican sentiment and flicked it away like a piece of dislodged chewing gum, as if it weren't even there. The  Royals had won the day, and this was grand.

 

Britain showed the world this weekend and demonstrated to itself what class, loyalty, stoicism, fortitude and admiration is all about. And therefore, announced in no uncertain terms, why, without the Royal House of Windsor, this United Kingdom would be an unceremonial fading light.

- Anne Hunt -

The grandeur and historical State of Play it represents is like the proverbial church on top of the hill. Everyone feels they must kneel, or at least take a bow. A deep signature of respect for something of a higher regard. Something one can't quite put one's finger on, but you know it exists.

 

And, why not indeed. It is like one's own moral compass, it

represents where we have been and where we are going. Plus, it keeps us in our place.

 

With the Queen's endearing trusty companion, Prince Philip not at her side for the latter part of the ceremonial weekend, we allowed ourselves to steel upon this most human element of vulnerability to life and love itself, and the possible inner turmoil that this unplanned separation represented to a woman who has held her ground and shown few public emotions, all the while, looking over her country and commonwealth with a steadfast, unwavering resolve, giving tirelessly and unselfishly of her time and energy for her entire adult life.

While the weekend was a celebration and a giant 'THANK YOU' to a still rather shy and most humble servant of the people, it was also a tribute to the historical and monumental characters and events that have gone before. Those who have made Great Britain what it is today and with a reverend salute to what it could represent in the future.

 

So, doom merchants take note: "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

affiliated news

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams announced he will step down as the highest clergyman of the Church of England in December 2012 after 10 years in office

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Boris Johnson: Buffoonish Boffin or

Charismatic Tory Passport to the People?

- Anne Hunt -

There's no denying that when it comes to charm, buffoonery and likeability, 'Boris' has it all in spades. All this wins hearts.

Very few politicians can get away with virtually anything, but the erudite and masterful wordsmith - with a look that says - 'I need looking after' appears to have his finger dead square on the pulse of what the 'People' are looking for. Whether by chance or cleverly designed tacticle maneuvering, Boris is always

able to put most things into proper focus and that's even when he's waffling on, and there's likely to be a great deal of that. Logical, yet sometimes abstract, laconic and often taunting, but absolutely always irreverently tongue-in-cheek.

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Boris J, a perfect example of Britain's elite educational system, that is, boarding school, Eton and Oxford, through to his untamed hair and often dishevelled appearance. The quick witticisms, along with the sly put-downs, are unique to the 'Boris Brand.'

 

But, perhaps it is because he gets amongst 'the people' that puts him streaks ahead of his opponents and on the right political course to the top job. Whether steering his ancient Boris Bike through the harried streets of Central London, grabbing an opportune photo call along the way and then getting unceremoniously caught hanging mid-air in the process, or, sprouting out his quick quotes to the peons who read his journalistic quips. The guy is believable, likeable and represents everything that used to be 'great' about Great Britain and in todays day and age of transparency or desired transparency, that is what counts. 'Dialogue with Humour.'

 

A YouGov survey revealed recently that 34% of people would vote for a Cameron-led Tory party, with 40% voting for Labour  under Uncle Ed's leadership. However, if Boris swapped places with Cameron,  support for the Tories would rise to 37%, with Labour falling to 38%.

It also appears to be the case amongst the 'hallowed halls' of the Conservative grass-roots establishment, with Johnson being the favoured 'Captain on the Bridge.'

 

Whether it be a rabble-rousing speech to the people emphasizing the need to rise up and get on their 'Boris Bikes' and go forth, or, chasing after would-be-muggers in Hyde Park, the united church chorus is clear. "Boris, Boris, Boris."

 

As Cameron himself ruefully commented about his blonde-maned rival, "If any

other politician anywhere in the world was stuck on a zip-wire, it would be a disaster. For Boris, it's an absolute triumph." This says it all.

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Damien Lewis, the winner of the 2012 Emmy for most outstanding actor in a TV drama series.