Queen's Birthday celebrations - Trooping the Colour and High Praise as Honours List is Announced
The creative and witty, if not flamboyant Boris Johnson is usually original, if nothing else, when talking about his city, London.
It was that phrase "Kosovo-style social cleansing of London" that made Boris' comments about the housing benefit cuts so inflammatory in the eyes
of many. It was the same controversial and emotive language used by Labour's Chris Bryant in the Commons two days ago in remarks that infuriated Nick Clegg during questions to the DPM. Most unusual for Boris to steal a phrase from
a Labour Member, but we know that Boris didn't really upset number 10, after all.
Common sense will no doubt prevail when it comes to housing benefits on Boris' turf. If someone has been out of a job for twelve months in a well to do part of London, then they'll have to move to a more reasonable area outside Central London, where countless landlords will be delighted to take £400 per week off the Government.
This was just Boris in one of his semi-neurotic pre-election PR jaunts hoping to make the Yuppies feel he's the right man for London.
It was purely dear, loveable, mischievous Boris was in a caustic mood.
BORIS TELL'S BENEFIT CLAIMANTS:
"Not to get On Your Bike!"
David Cameron flew back from Switzerland to fight off an attack from Ed Miliband on the government's economic policies. The prime minister was almost unilaterally considered the winner in the debate, but he later signalled a significant U-turn over school sports, leading to renewed questions over the competance of education secretary Michael Gove.
Looking for devine attitude
The Labour leader used this week's PMQs to highlight the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) figures suggesting the British economy would experience its most sluggish growth from recession for 45 years.
The Labour leader then attacked the prime minister with information from the Wikileaks releases, suggesting Mr Cameron, George Osborne and William Hague were children of Thatcher.
Mr Cameron replied. "He's not waving, he's drowning," "I'd rather be a child of Thatcher than a son of Brown."
For every aspect of life
Prince Andrew: The Kasbar, the camels and the many humps along the way.
Prince Andrew has not been exactly receiving the greatest of press lately. And, let's face it, his air of arrogant entitlement probably get's up most people's nostrils, even if
the proboscis in question
is rather minute.
He has been Britain's Business envoy which allows him certain 'perks'
along the way, and 'these perks' are the things that are under the microscope.
His wife, the Duchess of York, last year, committed the ultimate sin in trying to secure payments for herself, 'pimp,' if you like, her ex husband for a £500,000 fee, just in order to get a 'Royal sitting.' Denials were made by the Royal household
that Prince Andrew had any part in such an
'under-handed' scheme, but the air is still rife
with a grey cloud.
His dealings with a Billionaire American who appears to take pleasure in under age girls and the sale of his Surrey mansion a few years ago for millions more than it was worth, shows an opportunism that goes beyond the bounds of his post.
Latest protests again bring out the worst
in the under belly of Britain
Ed Miliband, the leader of the shadow party, was correct when he said that Saturday's protest march would bring chaos to the streets of London. It is almost as if he had an epiphany.
One wonders why this special insight could not have prevented the previous Labour governement
from taking the country into such a bankrupt state in the first place whereby, the reigning coalition government would not have had to take such drastic measures by cutting back on public sector workers. There is a failure to understand, 'you can not spend what you have not got.'
While close to 250,000 people peacefully marched on the streets of London, voicing their opinions by way of holding billboards and signs - showing their solidarity in the face of these government cut backs, few saw the irony in the fact that the previous Labour government would have made similar cuts themselves, however, Mr Miliband and the unions, seeing a political opportunity, saw fit to make the most of the situation.
Whether 'Red Ed's' speech helped to incite the antagonists and anarchists amongst the union set, or it gave a 'Carte Blanche' starting gun nod to the militant, masked thugs who pelted police
and ran rampant, causing utter mayhem to historical landmarks
and shops, one will never know.
Age can be no secret in the House of Windsor
Once again the crowds turned out in full force to witness the Queen Elizabeth's 11 Birthday celebrations. Even though the monarch turned 85 in April; the custom, dating back to 1748, is to celebrate it with a public party and a "Trooping the Colour" procession on a Saturday in June when the weather is more pleasant.
The procession with Prince William taking part, riding his grey charger and wearing his red Irish Guards tunic with blue sash. Barely recognisable to the massive crowd watching as they rode through Central London to Buckingham Palace under his bearskin hat, while his new bride Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge sat beside other members of the Royal family in a horse-drawn carriage. Riding with her was Prince Harry, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
This is a traditional gift giving period for the Queen to award honors on actors, sportsmen, academics, civil servants and members of the public who are judged to have made an exceptional contribution to society.
This year the long awaited tribute went to 83 year old Bruce Forsyth, 'arise Sir Bruce' who announced afterwards that it has capped off his life - didn't he do well! Also, British actor Colin Firth, who won an Oscar for portraying the queen's father King George VI in "The King's Speech."
There is one household where age can not be concealed nor
can the thought of retirement be the next word on your lips, even though, the years are forever increasing. Duty-bound to the very last drop of blood.
With a Birthday in the Royal household comes special rewards and tributes, and as Prince Philip marked his 90th Birthday, so did The Queen reward his loyal services to the Crown by making him Lord High Admiral of the Navy. A rather grand tribute indeed, as it is usually a title held by the monarch herself.
While Britain's Prince Philip, known more for his colourful, dry and sometimes controversial quips, than for his 10 years serving his country in the
Second World War.
On reaching the rank of commander before retiring, his unwavering stoic support for his wife and designated charter, has never been in question.
He said during an interview where he demonstrated how sharp and coherent he still is at his 90th milestone, that he would like to cut back his official duties, taking a little time off to enjoy his remaining years.
When men, half his age, are putting little white balls into equally minute holes and throwing baited rods into rather bleak parasite infected lakes, I am sure a little bit
of time to pontificate upon
one's life and achievements in peace, is not terribly
much to ask.
Given the pressures of having to be somewhere at any prescribed moment can wear a little thin on most mere mortals.
- United Kingdom's Highlighted Stories -
Andy Coulson the former News of the World editor is suing the Murdoch machine after it stopped paying his legal fees in relation to the phone-hacking scandal.
Lawyers for Coulson have filed papers at the High Court against the mighty News International subsidiary News Group Newspapers.
Coulson left out in the 'Cold' by his former employers, News of the World
Although Mr Coulson has always denied knowledge over the phone-hacking allegations, there have been plenty who say otherwise. The case has had wide reaching implications even to the point where US attorneys are
exploring all avenues against the media group when it emerged that NoW went to the depths of hacking 9/11 victims and their families.
It has been reported that - "Even though Andy Coulson hasn't worked for the publishers of the now-defunct News of the World for more than four years, the paper's owners were still paying his legal fees in relation to the hacking investigations. But following Rupert Murdoch's appearance at the Home Affairs Select Committee in July the arrangement ended."
It could be argued that Mr Murdoch on becoming more aware of the severity and scurrilous nature of the scandal, took the only decent step possible. By cutting all ties from - what could be seen as the instigators of the 'hacking philosophy.'
Mr Coulson went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications but resigned after a few months as the heat of the scandal was taking it's toll, putting 10 Downing Street in an unwanted spotlight.
Neil Wallis, Coulson's former deputy, who replaced Coulson when he left was paid for stories by NoW when he worked as a PR consultant for the Metropolitan Police. Not only was his lawyer fees paid by NoW but it has emerged that payments in excess of £10,000 was paid to him for the leaked Scotland Yard stories alone.
By Adrian Knotts
It's now been 4 years since little Maddy McCann was taken from her hotel room in Portugal while on holiday with her parents. Everyone and their dog - including the parents - have at some time been accused, by the media and the Portuguese Police, of everything from kidnapping to murder.
Millions have been donated to help track her down and it's all been spent in the sad and heart-rendering hunt. No child in the world has had more publicity in similar circumstances since a Dingo supposedly snatched Azaria Chamberlain from a tent near Ayers Rock, in Central Australia in 1980.
Although the parents of Maddy McCann have been to hell and back in their attempts to find their missing child, many who have followed the case had almost given up hope of Maddy ever being found, alive or dead. However, this last week Scotland Yard detectives disclosed they, like Clouseau, were still hard on the case and had flown to Spain on several recent occasions to follow up on leads.
While the Portuguese Police who were handling the case from the beginning acted in a very similar manner to Blake Edwards fictitious and bungling sleuth, Inspector Clouseau, Scotland Yard's best 'Investigative Peelers' are known for their thoroughness in such matters, which means,
they were not chasing shadows.
We all know that old saying 'Hope springs eternal' is part of the human psyche and one cannot help wondering how those poor and often accused - and even abused - parents have endured these occasional moments of 'hope,' and I am sure there are millions around the world who, like the McCanns, pray that a miracle may just happen.
There's no doubting for a moment that if the poor child does emerge from the darkness and gloom of this horrible afair and prove to still be alive and well, that the tabloids yet again will have a field day. They thrive on personal tragedy.
Personally, I can only hope that if such a miracle was to occur, that one of those highly sensitive High Court Judges we often see putting gagging orders on rumour, scandal and innuendo has the intestinial fortitude to shut
up those heinous and hyena-like tabloids, just for once,
from causing the traumatized McCann family
any more grief and agony.
Four year anniversary of the taking of little Maddy McCann and all that bungling
Minister's 'passionate' about keeping the United Kingdom 'United' and 'Strong.'
The Scottish first minister and SNP leader, Alex Salmond declines to bow to any pressure from Downing Street on when to set the date for any Scottish referendum regarding the decision of its independence, and has opted instead to name the date for 2014, which will coincidently mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.
A rather canny and ironic manoeuvre that warrants a victory all on its own. There are very few times when you see adversaries who normally take the greatest of pleasure in tackling each other's failings, rising up in unity in the defence of a common belief.
During Prime Minister's questions both Prime Minister David Cameron and his opposite number, Ed Milliband joined forces, stating in no uncertain terms, that their wish for Scotland, is to be whole with the rest of Great Britain.
The theory being, that there is safety and strength in numbers. And, it goes without saying, that this is why the United States is such a force to be reckoned with. The European Union - while it is struggling economically at present - is only as strong as the close company it keeps. The same most definitely could be said of the United Kingdom, which, if Scotland does gain its independence any time soon, will be a definite shinking violet.
Both the Prime Minister and the Scottish First Minister are at loggerheads over the timing of such a referendum. Cameron feels an early timescale would be best for all parties.
Salmond obviously feels the date he has set will pull at the Scottish
heart strings over its symbolic reference and the country's
independence would be sealed.
However, this is not just a war of independence but a war about
fairness, legality and being dictated to - yet again by Westminster - regarding the timing of a historical event.
Therefore, there is no denying the fact that together Great Britain still has a great union, apart, a rather dwindling little island.
By Anne Hunt
Salmond stays upstream
By Anne Hunt
By Adele Simms
By Anne Hunt
By Sam Watts
By Jan Mosse
By Anne Hunt
By Anne Hunt
(C 2015) Affiliated Press International Foundationl/Admin/infoUS/Canada/Paris-Europe/Geneva/Australasia/Dubai/Singapore/Hong Kong/Japan
Unions are uniting in numbers in the distinct hope of bringing Britain to it's knees in the biggest industrial action since 1926 While the national economy struggles to a putt... putt standstill, and we see unemployment figures hitting the roof, 'bullies in suits' wave their fingers and strut their stuff waging war on the government who are already taking low blows from all quarters.
Everyone in the country has had to take cuts - it is called, 'pulling in the reins on spending' - however, it is obvious that the 'Union Hierarchy' think they are beyond cutting back and guffaw at the mere thought of tightening their ever ballooning fat cat belts - as enormous as their girths are - judging by the outrageously extravagant banquet dinner they gorged into the other evening.
Forget the cucumber sandwiches and mince pies, this was Cordon Bleu at it's finest. £10,000 was shelled out just for the hire of two luxurious rooms at the Trafalgar Square 'Inn' - don't even mention the pocket change it cost for the four course dinner and beverage. Attended by what appeared to be, the entire Shadow Cabinet Brigade keeping up the tradition of supporting their 'Brother's In Arms' and allowing themselves the fine pleasures that many a Labour voter - one would assume - could not even fantasize indulging in....Whether it is keeping up appearances or just 'rubbing people's faces in it' the Union Brotherhood really don't care, their arrogance knows no bounds. The Porky Hierarchy.with the customary reseeding hairline, thick necked, bullish and red faced, who trade on threats - as well as actions - and always with the greatest disruption to the general public as possible. Unite, Unison and GMB, the country's three largest trade unions have teamed up with the Fire Brigades Union in threatening industrial action in protest at proposed changes to their pensions. This could see civil servants across Scotland and the UK putting down their hoses, tools, biro pens in the classroom and even ambulance drivers abandoning their posts come one cold late November day. All tied nicely in a neat little bow for when the Chancellor George Osborne is expected to give his pre-Budget report.
This August saw the 30 year Anniversary of President Ronald Reagan who in 1981 ordered the firing of 11,359 striking air traffic controllers. During a press conference regarding the PATCO strike, President Reagan stated: "They are in violation of the law and if they do not report for work within 48 hours they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated."
Reagan was immediately branded a hero by squashing the Unions even though prior to becoming President he was a strong supporter of the unions and although a rather foreign stand for his apparent Conservative leanings, he was once the President of a Labour Union. So maybe this all speaks louder than words to all the Union minded heavy-weights concerned when one highlights the fact that Union bosses are paid annual salaries, as well as perks, in excess of the obscene sums like £100,000 and £200,000. Scary figures when one summarises the fact that these 'burly blokes' are supposed to be out there supporting the good old defenseless under-dog.
Take Arthur Scargill for instance who repeatedly drove up to 'his' striking miners in 1984 in his Rolls Royce giving them support and chanting for them to continue their battle. He who has claimed more than £250,000 in expenses for a luxury flat in London despite stepping down as head of the NUM miners’ union eight years ago.