Archive | October, 2012

Skip goes to Bradford!

26 Oct

Yup folks! Skip Hunter is off to Bradford next week! Now why is the resident skip hunter of Bedford Bypass who happens to be appropriately named Skip Hunter off to Bradford?
Well I’ll tell you. I’m getting into this “anarchy” thing and learning all about autonomous collectives, people that organise independent film nights, gigs and more and I’ve been quite captivated by people and groups that rescue old letterpress equipment and use it for printing anarchist themed newsletters and posters. Now if you wonder what I mean it’s the old style printing plates with each word and designs being composed of metal letters and cut images.

Now these don’t use cartridges from Office World or wherever, they need ink, proper ink in pots and cans and guess what Skip found in a skip a few weeks back…yes! a shedload of useable ink in cans so as ever it was oiked out with permission from a grateful owner who wanted shut of it but was pleased to hear that it would see further use. Taken away with a jolly wave and then another when we realised we’d gone the wrong way and had to go back, we set of to the Bypass Bunker and then the hunt was on for a home.
Fairly easy in this case so several large cans of black ink have been consigned to those wonderfully talented scribes at The Cunningham Amendment, originally from Lancashire they carried their printing presses via Bradford over the Yorkshire moors and wooded areas of Nottingham, across the M1 at 2.37am (that’s morning) and then to Norfolk some two years back for reasons best left unquestioned and have been printing since, with Northern vocal twangs.

But back to Bradford, there’s a community initiative called the One in Twelve Club who apart from hosting community space, gigs and events, likewise produce nice stuff using equipment from a bygone age and the whole point of anarchism is to do all you can to support such ventures which is why Skip is taking the contents from a skip to Bradford to be put to good use and also to see their printing press in action! And maybe joining the rest of the Bypass team at the final Chumbwamba gig in Leeds on Wednesday.
Here’s what was rescued, much better than filling up a landfill site!

Off to a good home!

Off to a good home!

Happy skip hunting and if you see anything in a skip that might be put to good use particularly in an anarchist fashion then you can email me via the very stylish Gill at:



25 Oct

At one time there was a comment that went along the lines of “Today’s news is tomorrows chip paper”. In the good old days you’d nip down the chip shop near the Everton football ground and get your Friday feast wrapped up in old Daily Mirror, maybe if you were lucky you’d get The Morning Star.
Yesterday’s big topic falls by the wayside. Take the story of April Jones, the missing young five year old that dominated the headlines at the beginning of October. It’s an unwritten but known fact that April is presumed dead, the whereabouts of her body unknown and suggestions that she may never be found. All quiet in the tabloids. The rag has been rung dry pending the discovery of where her remains are then it will all start again. For a while.
The killing of two female police officers on the edge of Greater Manchester, in itself a prolific symptom of a long running gang feud with a litany of deaths and vicious woundings across the city. It’s been going on for years but occasionally things burst into the national arena for a short time, a brief candle! National outrage at the killing of two community beat officers (and respected amongst their community) set against the background of other disclosures that put the police at a higher level in a totally different light and by that I mean News International, Hillsborough and recent disclosures about the 84 Miners Strike.
Headlines for a while then replaced. It’s interesting timing how long a news story remains “live”. A few years back there was a story on the 1.00pm ITV news about a young black girl murdered in a part of Birmingham that I’m familiar with. Not catching all the facts I specifically watched the later 6.00pm only to find that the stabbing of a young kid on busy city street didn’t warrant a prime time viewing slot.

Total Shite!

Total Shite!

I never saw any value in Jimmy Saville. John Peel was an iconic legend, Andy Kershaw a troubled pioneer of world music and not without his faults, Alan Freeman and the other émigrés from pirate radio, Ed Stewpot, favourite of mine although he supported Everton, us kids gathering round to listen to Junior Choice in the 70s, but Saville was the epitome of total shite, obnoxious self indulgent shite. Pushed up the ranks by people who felt obliged to force feed us shite each Saturday evening. What’s worrying about the current explosion is that the BBC although complicit in keeping shhtum seems to be as guilty as Saville depending which paper you read or which MP crowbars him or herself into the light, everyone is queuing up to kick the Beeb and there’s an internecine war taking place that’s based on indecision and a potential cover up though I see it as incompetence. But who’s among the main critics? Step forward The Sun which as we all know was and remains a really popular newspaper across Liverpool for the way it reported the Hillsborough disaster. The Sun’s main complaint is that whilst all this was going on down at Shepherds Bush no one noticed or said anything. Does this sound familiar. It should do and for the life of me I struggle to understand why anyone reads this crap.

This seems to have become a high profile (understatement) story not because it was Saville the slimy weirdo that hung around hospitals at night and lived with his mum, but because he got away with it for so long. There were rumours years ago, he brushed it off. There were complaints to the police long before the BBC became public enemy number 2 but they were ditched. Her appeared on TV with Louis Theroux some years back and it was quite clear that he was under the spotlight for more than just novelty value, something was known but not said. And now there are people coming out of the woodwork that raised concerns who were sidelined.
A newspaper that could hack the phone of a missing girl later found murdered, that had all manner of resources and contacts to dig dig dig and it never once got anywhere close to wanting to investigate what has now become a story of monstrous proportions. But with the main “defendant” dead and gone the story in itself has a limited life expectancy probably when the numbers of complaints reach the 1000 mark. In the meantime the papers seem to be hoping that someone still breathing will turn up, then we can really have go!
People in Liverpool would have been affronted if their chips had come wrapped up in The Sun! Seriously affronted!

Gill McC

Gill McC

Assault of the Week (2)

24 Oct

Hello and welcome to this weeks episode of Assualt of the Week! Its been a bit quiet on the town centre assault front for a week or so, our spies down Kempston tell us there was a stabbing down near Adamson Court but this wasn’t newsworthy enough to hit the headlines.
We’ve had a real bingo of an assault this week at Club Krystal down on The Broadway near the VD clinic, this kicked off big style on Sunday night. Reports suggest five persons received multiple lacerations, a punctured lung and the winner of the award for the most serious injury goes to the chap with a 10cm deep wound. That’s close to meeting angels that is, follow the light, all systems down. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep! He was a good lad, never hurt no one!

As ever the Police are relying on anyone who might have seen anything suspicious (like people waving knives about) to put their neck on the line and spill the beans!
What we need is a Police Commissioner elected from the ranks of the political elite to come along and sort this out. Yes!
And so till next time on “Assualt of the Week” Its goodbye from the team. Remember assaults like this are regular so if you go into town at night, YOU could be next!

Saville link to murders!

24 Oct

Jimmy Saville has been named by a work experience teenager known as “Benners” at the Bedford Gazette as highly likely to have been linked to the Whitechapel murders of the late 1880s.

Following painstaking research at the High St branch of Weatherspoons the link was unearthed when the sleuth spotted a very vague and tenuous resemblance between Saville and an image of a man lurking in the shadows down a foggy street discovered on a DVD cover  of a crap film about Jack the Ripper. Not the Michael Caine one, that was quite good!



After all these years the truth has come out said Albert Noggins President of the Whitechaple Murders Re-enactment Society speaking from his mums house in Grimsby. “We always felt it would and its a credit to all the people that have become obsessed with the graphic details of the murders”.

A source within the Police said “this will allow us to finally close the case on Jack the Ripper or should it be “Jim the Ripper”. Anyway case closed!

“Benners” is hoping to become a professional journalist after his short stint at the Gazette which ended when he was caught emptying the Guide Dogs for The Blind collection box shaped like Sooty into his hood.

Police wannabe gets nicked!

22 Oct

We have four candidates vying for the post of Bedfordshire Police Commissioner. I desperately wanted my mate Gordon to stand as we could have ended up with Commissioner Gordon. Some of you might get that joke! No we have four candidates after the only independent failed to bank her deposit before the cut off time. Imagine them running with bags of cash, images of Phineas Fogg!

So it came to pass that we have Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dem and last and also least the EDL. Now as of today three of them can say that they have experience of front line policing, the Labour bloke has worked for victim support, the tory is an ex cop and the EDL bloke got nicked in a swoop yesterday as him and the boys headed to a ruck in Bethnal Green.  53 arrested and bailed, no actual crimes committed but reports suggest the holding charge is conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

One of the worrying things about the top cop election is that the turn out is going to be so abysmal results are easy to hijack and you end up with plod being partially directed by someone with less than say 10% public support. I don’t expect the EDL to be able to muster “across” Bedfordshire support and if Labour’s Olly Martins keeps flying the EDL flag by putting his picture on Labour leaflets he won’t really need to!

Olly’s “I’m a soldier” pictures might gain a few votes but potentially lose a whole lot more particularly round Luton where people dressed in combat fatigues don’t go down well though I’d be very interested to see if a different leaflet is being distributed down there!

Olly's Side

Talking of which Linda Jack (Lib Dem) starts many of her campaign statements by saying she’s been in the special intelligence forces which again is a double edged sword.

Jas Parmar has had his picture taken with Cameron a real vote loser although on the positive side there’s no sign of Jimmy Saville and Lord Ian Blair (Brazilian shot on the train fiasco) has advised us all not to vote. Or at least that’s the way it’s being interpreted, what he actually said was I actually hope people don’t vote because that is the only way we are going to stop this”

That way he can claim he was misquoted and I have no intention of viting even though he’s suggesting it, I’ve not taken voting seriously since 2003. By voting all you do is give credibility to a failure to engage with people. Take the last Mayor Election for Bedford, only 47% of people found the enthusiasm to join in so in the first round 19,966 voted for Dave the Mayor and knocking on for 100,000 either opted out or chose someone else but as Dave The Mayor said to me a few weeks back, “that’s democracy”.

Our Etienne / Paula / Tim /

22 Oct

Apparently according to last week’s free paper those hard working selfless Councillors were debating whether or not to give Etienne Stott the Freedom of the Borough in recognition of him living in Bedford (If indeed he does). He’s into slalom and won a medal a few months back.
The idea of them all sitting round a big table and weighing up the pros and cons of giving Mr Scott something that is worthless is rather laughable. At least in London you can take your sheep over the river and into the city.
We get damp trousers at the slightest brush of celebrity. We have the Paula Radcliffe Stadium and Paula Radcliffe Way and as I have said before she’s “our Paula” despite not being born in Bedford or living here. She’s got the Freedom of the Borough which is just as well as her mum and dad still live here so she can just breeze past the border crossing points. She can poo live on the telly but try weeing in a plantpot round here as a result of most of the town’s loo’s being closed and you’ll cop it like that 72 year old homeless man with bowel cancer did last month.

Alright for Paula!

Alright for Paula!

That rowing bloke Tim Foster has got the Freedom thing as well which must come in handy as he lives in Switzerland.
Shock horror…”Council tell Etienne to sod off, no freedom for you, get in the queue with everybody else”. It’ s not going to happen is it! If you broke the record for the worlds loudest fart you’d get some sort of award from the council so desperate are they to convince us that by merely living in Bedford, all the goodness just seeps into you and makes you brilliant.
I guess it happens across the country so just to squeeze the last drop from the Olympic rag everyone that won something or didn’t get anywhere near winning for that matter, carried something, helped shuffle people through turnstiles or whatever is being given a pat on the back, we all played our part. All we have to do is keep the flame in our heart and minds for a year or so and then we can start looking forward to the next one. Diverts our attention , keep us cocooned in a cosy warm blanket!
Etienne wasn’t born in Bedford he’s actually from Manchester and they are claiming ownership, maybe they are planning to present him an Irwell Salmon from the river. He’s based in Nottingham so and according to the Notts paper’s he’s as good as their Saint! Don’t ask what an Irwell Salmon is! Or at least the one that I’m suggesting!

Nor more Singing?

19 Oct

As the Bedford Bid team swoop in with £50,000 to revitalise Bedford town centre news comes in of another shop closure, this time it’s the Singer Sewing Shop on Lurke St. I’ve put the circular letter from them below and it’s fairly self explanatory. It’s a quirky little place, niche market, been there for thirty years but it looks like the tax man got them! Sad days for Bedford

“D” (Bypass Office Manager)
Hello to all our valued customers

We don’t send many emails so you know when we do it will be important information. Today in the Midweek paper you will see a new report that we may have to close, so, firstly we would like to say thanks for your support over the last 30 years. This week we have had to say goodbye to our 15 staff, some of which have been with us for over 10 years. This is due to threats from the HMRC (the VAT man) that they wish to force us in to liquidation despite having previously made arrangements to pay them each month for outstanding debts. If they follow through with their threat then we will be forced to close in the next few weeks or months and we will hold a closing down sale.

Whilst we continue to look for a positive solution I will be opening the shop on less days and less hours with the assistance of some volunteers on some days. One solution we are looking at is selling the business to a new owner so any help finding a potential buyer would be gratefully received. We would also love to be able to continue serving you as long as possible so any support will also be well received.
We will continue with our Saturday classes as normal and if we have to close our primary tutor has already made arrangements for a new location for anyone booked for the future.


Another one bites the dust?

Another one bites the dust?

We never shy away from the big topics!

18 Oct

No sir, we will never take the easy option…Bedford Bypass is here to tackle the controverial issues that keep us bogged down. We have been arguing about Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion and Daktari. Agent H insists that Clarence was in Daktari, I said it was a separate film. After much research we are both right. Clarence was the star of a film named after him which became the TV series Daktari which starred Erin Moran who went onto play Joanie in Happy Days and who apparently ended up living in a caravan after her work as a cute kid dried up. This all started when people started seeing a lion hanging around the Goldington Rd area of Bedford although its all gone quiet. So that settles it then! Anyway for whatever reason when we do a blog about the lion hits to Bypass go up substantially so ever eager to please here’s another picture!

Another lion!

Another lion!

Its also worth us pointing out that that litle box at the bottom called “Tags” helps search engines find us. Note I’ve put Bedford Lions in on the off chance that if anyone is trying to find out about the real Bedford Lions that raise funds they might stumble across Bypass. After 12 months if you are trying to find out info on the physical Bedford Bypass (the road) we pop up as well which explains why new people like Gerry stumble across us and send us nice emails telling us about parking problems at Bedford station. More soon on this!

Finally a big thank you to Monsieur Pierre (Pete) for organising last nights trip to the o2 Academy Islington to see Kosheen and to Karen for the £3.00 quid for the cloakroom. Its actually just up the road from Kings Cross Station so not really Islington I suppose.

More of the same!

17 Oct

We all have our point at which we do something we see as acceptable or personally beneficial that others might not, something we see as necessary that we know might cause mutters and grumbles. Conscience it is said is the fear of getting caught.

Taking a tip from BBC 2, this blog is almost a repeat of one from last year. Cllr Shan Hunt has been in the local paper again blowing the trumpet against two more local scoundrels who have been caught fiddling. One of them claimed £11,700 in housing benefit and the other £12,475. Naughty boys! Cllr Shan apart from a four year gap after being snubbed by her people has been a councillor since 1986 and is very pleased that two miscreants have been named and shamed. It’s embarrassing when you get caught out I imagine. You might for whatever reasons feel justified in what you’ve done. Shan’s husband Cllr Will Hunt must have certainly felt there was nothing wrong when the same paper ran a story about him a few years back when he was off sick from his council job and was getting better by fishing whilst still being a councillor. Now I saw the funny side of this, if you can’t unwind when you are off sick by dragging fish out of the river with a hook it’s a sad state of affairs. There was little political hooh hah at the time and then the story was added to the recycle bin.

Going back to the two evil doers who have been caught fiddling, anyone with any ounce of knowledge about how society in the new millennium functions will know that this is the tip of the iceberg and it applies across social class from people working cash in hand to keep the kids fed , tax avoidance by multinationals and the Duchy of Cornwall who seizes all the financial wealth of anyone down there that dies without a will or relatives, it’s called “Bona vacantia” and is a perfectly legal opportunity for Prince Charles to add to his personal coffers . If anything the two fiddlers should be reprimanded for being thick enough to get caught, not being part of the royal family or not being a local politician!
Like I say we all have our point where we push the boat out, take liberties to add to our quality of life. For many years I had a dubiously upgraded council pass card that meant I could turn up HQ at any time of the day and park for free. While I worked for Bedford Borough Council I spent three years without anyone giving me any serious work to do so I’d spend the day shopping, reading, downloading stuff from interesting websites and nipping to the Town Hall for a cuppa and biccy. I also entertained myself digging up old skeletons (metaphorically speaking before Skip Hunter rings me up) and watching how easy it was for local government to squander money at all opportunities with my wage being a prime example. To this day I can park my car smack bang in the middle of Bedford without paying and I’m not saying where this one is. As recently as a fortnight ago I was wandering around a Borough Council building all by myself!

I have a particular gripe against Councillor expenses and dead wood, by that I mean certain elected members that get on the council and just rot away, ageing, crumbling, blocking the way for anyone else to take part whilst taking serious amounts of public money home. Now this is all above board but it’s down to perception and I still come across people that are oblivious to the sums involved. It’s freely available, together Cllrs Shan and Will Hunt were paid a total of £36,439 last year for their civic duties. It’s not so much the money that annoys me, it’s the fact that for the life of me I can’t work out what they actually do and with a fair whack of my working life spent in local government I think I know my subject. Mayor Dave Hodgson is directly elected so he’s a sort of “Super Councillor” on £60,000. Now fair play, he’s got a defined job remit and he’s also a virtually full time unpaid Liberal Democrat flag flying campaigner, a sort of political Jehovah’s Witness and a feather in Nick Clegg’s threadbare cap. He’s still got to work with and is dependent on council officers many of whom don’t get anything like that sum although a fair few get considerably more!
Also in receipt of public dosh to the value of £22,000 is the Lib Dem Vicar of St Marks up Brickhill who presumably also gets a paid to say goodbye to old folk and wed young people and lives in a vicarage. Cllr Sawyer (Lib Dem) wins with £22,590 and Sue Oliver (Labour) received £21,371.
As I’ve said before in recent history, the Labour and Lib Dems in Bedford have had a vitriolic relationship but we now exist in cosy times, snuggles and done deals. Stay quiet and get circa £20,000 whilst cutting services, making “vote for me” comments in the papers, holier than thou and generally being part of a system that is totally rotten to the core.
Now the big corporations are all above board, the Duchy of Cornwall can’t be touched, it’s all legit, Councillors across the UK are all entitled to expenses and many refuse to budge until they are carried out in boxes, or in one case by paramedics. When they get voted out they writhe with anguish and hurt till they get voted back in and it’s all a matter of how you view things and interpret what you see!

Confused Messages!

16 Oct

There’s a big election coming up for the Police and Crime Commissioner. Basically someone will get voted in albeit with an abysmal turnout, she or he will then be able to have a word with the Chief Constable and much like the relationship between councillors and Chief Executives apart from posturing and the odd soundbite they will need to work very closely and within well defined budgets and parameters.

Now here at Bypass HQ we take an interest in what the three main parties are saying if only for a jaw dropping grin. Here’s one that dropped through Deb’s door a day or two back. As you can see there’s a picture of the English Defence League candidate and another saying “no more mosques”, beneath it is one of tory candidate Jas Parmer and a quote from him.

Vote for...?

Now I showed this to a few folks and asked them to suggest the source of the leaflet and they all said “EDL” going off the imagery and use of Jas Parmer’s image.

Now when you produce material like this you are sending a message to be received. One of the biggest mistakes is to confuse the receiver and this stands out as a massive own goal in that one political party appears on the face of it to have given the racist EDL a real boost, the sort of thing that given the costs of mounting a campaign like this they couldn’t have afforded in a year of Sunday’s let alone a month! Have a look!

Look carefully for the hidden message!

Now who could have possible been behind this blunder> Well step forward Olly Martins (Labour) with help from Patrick Hall who wants to be an MP again after getting cobbed out two years back and also Colleen Atkins who were quite happily shoving “vote for all of us” stuff through doors near Hartington St where once upon a time Patrick and Colleen shared a house!

With under four weeks to go we are underwhelmed with the way things are going!