Archive | August, 2013

From Olly Martin, Police and Crime Commissioner!

30 Aug
Shouting..jammy jammy jammy jammy dodgers!  (instead of lager, lager lager)

Shouting..jammy jammy jammy jammy dodgers!
(instead of lager, lager lager)

You are feeling safer already aren’t you? I’m talking about that warm comfortable feeling now that we have a Police and Crime Commissioner. And two Deputy Police and Crime Commissioners. And his nine support staff! Olly Martin the main chap is paid £70,000, I don’t know about the rest!
Olly’s job so far as I can make out is to balance the books and make us even safer by cutting police officers, those community officers, squad cars, increasing what colloquially called “Hobby Bobby’s” or Special Constables and he’s not impartial to providing a very compliant and easily pleased media with press releases. Aren’t we getting a good deal for our money!
Way back at the beginning of July I asked Mr Olly what the force policy was towards illegal raves,this stemmed from one last year in which the only inconvenience and disturbance that I was aware of came from the police helicopters and the tinkers don’t seem to want to tell me the cost of this. I received a reply from one of his nine staff telling me that they would provide me with a response. Last week (over six weeks since I first asked) I had to jog their memories however by this time I’m getting quite excited at the prospect of a juicy bumper reply. And..tada! It arrived two days back, brimming with info..in fact I’ve opted to reproduce it here in full. Are you ready! Here’s what Olly had to say:
“I believe that in general Bedfordshire Police takes the right approach to policing raves, which can cause a considerable impact on communities due to anti-social behaviour and disorder. Most of the time working pro-actively and in partnership with local communities the force is able to prevent planned raves occurring.
As the matters you raise about a specific incident are essentially operational I have passed them on to the force. Furthermore, if you wish to make a formal complaint you will also need to address this to the force itself as complaints are not a matter in which Parliament has given me a locus, other than ensuring that the strategic lessons arising from complaints are heeded.
Yours Sincerely
Olly Martins: Police and Crime Commissioner”
So I’m really enlightened by the response and would like to thank Olly Martin who earns £70,000 of public money plus his entourage for his time!

Incidentally lots of people round our way got worked up last Saturday after a tip off from the police that another rave was heading our way but it failed to show!

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A good read!

30 Aug
Slim but heavy!

Slim but heavy!

Here’s a very sharp very precise liitle tome that packs a punch! For the most part the debate about global warming is a mess of arguement and counter-arguement with the vast majority of us having to form a decision based on gut instinct unless you have the capacity to wade through endless scientific papers!

I’ve always gone along with two established facts at the fore. The first is that globally our climate has always been unstable, think coal deposits, wine making in the Northumberland, fairs on the Thames, the second is that the two biggest contributors to CO2 in the atmosphere are solar activity and the oceans. As for anthropogenic contribution I’m prepared to say its undeniable and there’s one theory that this might be acting as a tipping point following the the scientific principle of “chaos”. That said as billions of £ have been spent driving van loads of recycled plastic bottles about the UK and so on I have waded through books supporting man made activity and then alternate scripture and I can see why the masses like Big Brother and X Factor!

By far the biggest global threat is the one that we all know and can understand but choose to ignore is that of population growth together with resource depletion which gives us a real double whammy although its a least 100 years before we start to see the full effects so no worries!

This book is short on rhetoric and delivers a liller blow on the last two pages at which point Emmott tells us what he thinks the future holds for us and what he suggests as a survival strategy! It’s available for less than £10 so I won’t ruin things even though I’d really like to!

By the way has anyone seen a film called The Road by any chance?

Good news from Syria!

29 Aug

Bypass

Good news as result of the Syria situation! As MPs have been recalled early to vote on whether to have a vote on something quite confusing they are all eligible to claim £3750 for having their hols disrupted!

The Hotel Inspector gets her kit off!

29 Aug
No! Not a porno!

No! Not a porno!

Alex Polizzi the Hotel Inspector had a real job on her hands last night as she tried to rejuvenate a hotel for naturists. The actual property was more a big house (overlooked by neighbours which has caused problems) and suffered from two things, firstly it was in Erdington near Birmingham which isn’t exactly the New Forest or some stretch of unspoilt coastline and the limited clientele seemed to be slightly overweight men aged 40 upwards. A difficult job! Made even more difficult by the fact that Alex had to interview the owner and what guests there were in the buff. Not Alex though I gather she sampled the delights of sitting about with owner Tim in the nip off camera! Plenty of one liners like “bottom line” “trimming a bush” and “semi flaccid cock” (I made that last one up!). Clever “Calendar Girls” camera work ensured that our sensibilities weren’t affronted and so we saw bot bots, lower tums, occasional boobies and an ever so quick flash of pubic hair but no knobs or furry front bottoms although as I had my reading glasses on I may have missed it!
Luckily for the owner who had invested a £million in his dream hotel things all worked out in the end and thanks to Alex and the camera crew by the time the credits rolled the hotel near Birmingham was full of slightly overweight men aged 40 upwards from the look of it and the odd lady in the nudey tudey!
Maybe female naturists just want to get on things without their flesh being broadcast on Channel 4! Those displaying their wares were staff. The owner’s wife was certainly absent as she’s not a naturist and apparently thought that her hubby came across as a bit of a twit!  I sort of half watched the programme it as I was doing some paperwork and it varied between a lost cause and a spoof until owner Tim mentioned the £million and then I came over all sad for him!
The programme itself is odd enough, one of a rash where some expert that you’ve never heard of goes on board what is often an ill thought out “sinking ship” and manages to turn it round within an hour’s broadcast time! And that’s the last you hear of it unless they go back in a year or so. I imagine most of the hotels / shops / eateries featured in these shows get a burst of visitors after their time in the spotlight and I’m sure there’s a hotel in Birmingham taking bookings from people who fancy walking round a reasonably spacious suburban property with “nowt on” but in terms of an advert, having ten lardy blokes wandering about with champagne glasses in hand didn’t really do it for me!
A quick word for regular readers Rich and Will who have the hots for Helen Mirren and various other unattainable A listers, I note that Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas are trying to save their marriage by separating and apparently she’s been seen in the Mumbles area of Swansea where her folks live!

About Mr Fishall!

28 Aug

Fishall You’ll probably have never heard of him but he died last year, Mr Fishall, a Mr R T Fishall. He wrote two wonderful little booklets that poked bureaucracy in the eye over 30 years back. Mr Fishall, I never did discover his first name got on his high horse when the local gas board sent him a threatening letter demanding payment for £10.37p and a painful death if he didn’t stump up!
Now Mr Fishall took a pragmatic view and reasoned that he didn’t owe the £10.37 as…well…he didn’t have a gas connection where he lived. What did irk him somewhat was the tone of the demand and he also reasoned that many elderly and vulnerable folk might easily succumb to such a letter and pay up regardless when faced with the threat of the courts.
The book is an invaluable guide to the machinations of the system how to fight back and how to make the bureaucrats work. If its dated it’s only because of the advent of the internet. He suggests hand writing letters rather than phone calls and I still much prefer a good old letter rather than an email because if anything you make someone at the other end have to send a hard copy letter back!
I had a serious threatening red letter some years back from the local authority where I once lived chasing unpaid poll tax. This threatened me with bailiffs and the Witchfinder General himself. I eventually settled but overpaid them by £3.42. I then spent some years haranguing them until I got it back. It wasn’t the money that set me off it was the style of their demand! I later received a legal letter from British Waterways solicitors in Leeds and following Mr Fishall’s advice I nailed them to the wall, got an apology and a financial settlement so because they cocked up in the first place it cost them £300 plus all their legal costs. They also gave up on the person who did owe them the money!
I do quite well these days helping few and very select people tackle the workings of local councils and the utilities, you could call it a hobby. I don’t charge but a cuppa a biccy is always accepted.
As for Mr Fishall, or Mr RT Fishall, if you study the name you’ll work out the joke. It was a pseudonym and his real name was Sir Patrick Moore OBE! It’s just a shame that in later life he made more than few “old school dickhead” racist and sexist comments and he was pilloried for it and I guess it was generational as heard much the same from my late father in law but as R T Fishall he earns a place on the Bedford Bypass bookshelf!

Richard and Colleen

28 Aug
Colleen Fuller and Richard Atkins

Colleen Fuller and Richard Atkins

It’s hard to know what the difference is between the three main political groups round here these days. The Labour group have been enjoying snuggles with the Lib Dem Mayor since he was elected on a magnificently low turnout, the Conservatives break cover from time to time but seem to on half power (and that’s being generous) and as for the Independent group they are seen as much as the elusive big cat round the graveyard!
One thing that does unite them is the need to bag space in the free papers and here’s an interesting one! There’s a car park in town which seems to be run by hoodlums where even though you’ve paid to park you still run the risk of getting a ticket through the post. Everyone’s up in arms about it and as ever, anyone with a public profile to maintain wants their share of the booty!
The latest to jump on the car park bandwagon is Richard Fuller MP for Bedford. He’s spoke out so the paper has given him a mention however in an usual twist the picture they’ve used shows Labour ultra-loyalist Colleen Atkins waving a placard which she’s quite good at. That and pointing at things. And receiving over £20,000 a year for both although in this case they seem to have her down as supporting the Conservative MP!
I bet both of them were bemused by this! The thing that neither Fuller or Atkins seem able to do at this stage is actually stop local shoppers being fleeced! Maybe I have the Labour group wrong and they’ve twigged that Blair set them all up!

Syrian Attrocity: Obama and Cameron talk TOUGH!

27 Aug

What was that? Did someone say something?

What was that? Did someone say something?

You naughty naughty man, bad naughty man, horrible nasty man, go to your room, now!!! You heard me…and no telly for you! Bad Bad naughty man, you will learn to behave! Do as you are told or we will give you …”the look”! The one that says no cream cake for you after dinner!
Naughty naughty Assad! Go on, stand in the corner and if I see you peeking I’ll just have to shout even louder! What did I tell you about peeking? Right this is your final very last chance!

Lounging About with Skip!

27 Aug

“Skip…pick the phone up..it’s me…I need something for the blog, what have you had out of the skip Skip” “You’ve been quite of late, spill the beans!”
Well how could I resist? Here’s two lovely bits of nostalgia rescued from certain death from the Biggleswade Recycling Centre next to Sainsbury’s, down the A1.
Now everyone’s into “vintage” these days and if you were brought up on regular trips to the seaside it doesn’t come any better than this, two rather glorious cloth deck chairs circa 1950/60s.

Very comfy they are as wel!

Very comfy they are as wel!

Now standard practice at recycling centres is to shaft the staff with a low wage and then they have to top it up by increasing recycling so anything made from wood goes for crunching. These two Items were destined for such a fate when common sense prevailed and they were…placed aside till Skip Hunter ambled by.
They have now been donated to an equally lovely 1960s vintage wooden boat and the two go together like a boat and deckchairs! I look forward to relaxing in them with maybe a glass of Chardonnay!
What worries me is with a new authoritarian attitude from the management that sees low paid staff dismissed for putting common sense into practice how much stuff like this is simply being eradicated!
As an interesting aside we had a pow wow last night and we have decided to make these two deck chairs our emblem!

Viking Invation!

24 Aug
Coming to Pillage!

Coming to Pillage!

Bedford Bypass is back! Oh yes! We are going to be a little softer as of now, less caustic, less of the piss taking…here goes!

There’s a Viking Camp taking place on the riverside just up from the Bypass. Its a re-enactment thing with staged battles. From what I’ve seen the Vikings were nothing like I’d been led to believe, no Kirk Douglas types!.

No..these Vikings called the Clan Wurfhal (see pic) appear to be in their early 20s, slightly podgy with long hair and have uniforms made from adapted pyjamas. This being the case when the original Vikings landed the population of Britain must simply have keeled over with laughter. That’s the only explanation I can think of!

[caption id="attachment_3079" align="alignright" width="150"]Yippee, first a royal sprog and now this! Yippee, first a royal sprog and now this!

Jubilation has hit the streets of Bedford. We have somewhere new to shop in the form of Morrisons so all the people that got excited when Waitrose opened last year can again praise the lord for giving us somewhere else to spend our time! The Mayor seems to be claiming its all down to him, new jobs and so on. Meanwhile lets see how long it takes for the long standing corner shops down Ampthill Road to keel over!

Proof the Borough council is having a laugh comes in the shape of a very expensive double page advert in the free paper. It explains in a very tedious fashion how the council intend to march its traffic wardens beyond the town centre. I’ve included a pic and I’ve placed two banana’s there to make the thing marginally more interesting!

Mind numbing, quite likely devised to make sure no one reads it!

Mind numbing, quite likely devised to make sure no one reads it!

The leader of Central Bedfordshire Council seems to not want to enter the taxing question as to how one of his Conservative Councillors (Richard Stay) got his paws on documents obtained by deception, the Police apparently aren’t interested either. The Police and Crime Commissioner has (to date) not provided a response as to what exactly force policy is towards raves and on a similar theme Plod doesn’t want to provide costs for mobilising two helicopters for the best part of 12 hours (they say it was five). So we’ve been away for a week and a bit, spent three days loafing about and nothings really changed that much.

So there we go, Bedford Bypass is back on line and incidentally we are two years old! I am to computers what Ed Miliband is to decisive leadership but at least I have room to improve and can’t really be dismissed. I now have a smart phone and have been learning stuff on it!

Thanks got to Peter the Printer, Lady Caroline, Oswald and Mrs Oswald, Tug, Lib and Libs mum!

We’ll be back!

17 Aug

Don’t ask me to explain this scientific trickery but this Bedford Bypass blog is coming live from a bench near the seaside! Yes indeed!!! I didn’t believe it but it is possible!

Bedford Bypass has been rejuvinated by a week watching the sea go out and come back in and like Robert the Bruce watching his spider we are here to stay!

On the good news front we have seen the next volume of The Cunningham Amendment being produced using the very physical and wonderful letterpress system, on the bad news front, more embarrasing news front Bedford Bypass were trashed in the annual Anarchist Skimming Challenge on the beach earlier. I was never that good, well done to Tug from Now or Never for (a) winning and (b) not laughing when my contribution went straight down!

Still trying to work out how this alien science of blogging away from HQ works, back soon!

(p.s. note to Mr E of Bedford Skeptics, I meant Captain Clegg not Kidd, £3.00, it looks like a bootleg copy but how could I resist!)