Archive | February, 2014

Bedford Borough Council Living Wage

24 Feb

Prize local cabbage James Valentine (Labour) has been in the papers again. He’s also been on the telly. He was in the free paper saying how pleased to have been on telly!

Various other Labour types have also been busy letting us know what they have been up to! In fact everyone is claiming a unanimous victory. This concerns the Living Wage which is higher than the Minimum Wage. Now normally I’d be happy with this, in fact I am but as ever when our local politicians open their gobs you know to be cautious.

The Living Wage (very welcomed) applies to all Borough EMPLOYED STAFF below a threshold. Did you spot that? I said “EMPLOYED STAFF” and not “employed staff” so as to draw your attention to it.

James Valentine. It's not his fault he looks a dickbrain!

James Valentine. It’s not his fault he looks a dickbrain!

So far as I can tell it doesn’t apply to the vast bank of agency workers throughout Bedford Borough, they aren’t Borough employees so they don’t count! So there!

Now you might expect given all the cutbacks and so on that the amount of money spent by Bedford (our money) would have gone down but, well blow me down with a waft of a voting slip…it’s actually gone up. And not by a little bit! In 2012 and I’ve used Jan to December it was a fair whack at circa £6.55million. And for last year it weighed in at £8.2milllion after taking into consideration a blank month for last December but a bumper one in January. (full spreadsheet available if anyone interested).

Now one might caustically expect the Agency Workers Regulations to have an effect but I can’t find any proof whatsoever that this applies to them. So if the spectacularly gormless looking Cllr James Valentine would like to get that hat trick of local paper, telly and Bedford Bypass if he drops us a wee note telling us what’s happening we can give the dopey looking sod another pulpit to preach from!

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Make your Own Job Up!

23 Feb

I win! Five of us and was the first to make it back from Paris. By about 3 or 4 seconds. I ran from Skip’s car. We return to excellent news about our friend “J”. Now you remember that “J” has a major brain tumour, suffers fitting and has opted to hang around at home with a panic button rather than do the decent thing and find work. So he’s a candidate for Chanel 4 style scapegoatism, lets queue up to boo him the scrounger.

Anyway just to show that the system works, “J” was summoned to the job centre two weeks back after those nice Atos people deemed him fit to work on presumably the basis that if he turns to the left you tend not to notice the scarring from the last operation. Now “J” was once a user of industrial cutting gear, its all he’s done for 14 years but no one wants him now as the risk is to high. Apart from that he can’t get insurance. Apart from that he’s got a fairly large scar from where they removed a big part of his skull to get in. Enough of this but you hopefully get the drift!

Twigging the root cause of the problem the Job Centre chap suggested (somewhat off the record) that in situations like this self employment and working from home were options to consider thus getting “J” of the debtors to society list. Job Centre Chap told him about his mate that bought a container load of “designer” jeans and then slowly whittled the stock down by flogging them on Ebay. Now I try my best to end blogs with a cutting or formal ending but on this occasion, for once, just for once, I’m actually quite lost for words! Here’s Wiz who didn’t get to come to Paris! She’s got the hump. She’ll get over it when she wants feeding.

Bloody stupid says Wiz of Bedford Bypass.

Bloody stupid says Wiz of Bedford Bypass.

The Brits 2014

19 Feb

Wow! Wasn’t James Corden brilliant..give it up for James! Ellie Goulding showed us all her tummy and wasn’t her bum nice! Bloomin eck…Jimmy Carr, where’s my ribs, how they ache with laughter. One Direction…swoon, oh Harry..and the others whatever they are called, Billy, Willy, Ricky and Dicky. Lots of lights. James Corden was absolutely fantastic and his control of the audience was…well…absolutely brilliant.

NO IT WASN’T ..it was bloody awful tripe. Self congratulatory mutual back slapping. 20 odd years back the KLF machine gunned the audience (blanks) where are they now! The KLF…Live…no blanks!

Its an age thing I guess. No I don’t want to download stuff I want to buy CDs, I still like vinyl (discs not clothes but I’ll give anything a try). I’ve got about 8 people asking me to join them on something called LinkedIn and if you are one of them I’m sorry for not getting back to you but I don’t know how it works but that fact that roly poly has been Cllr Richard Stay (Conservative and as attractive as a fatal head wound) has been looking at my profile doesn’t give me much faith that its any good.

I’ve still got VHS films, not many mind but when I mention this to the younger ones they look perplexed. We have a Breville toasty thing somewhere. And a stash of singles that I can’t play as last time a bought a turntable from a shop on Greyfriars (long gone) all they had was one that played LPs. LPs…remember them. No!

I’m having to get my head round the fact that CDs are in intensive care and won’t be around much longer. I wish I could say the same for Jimmy Carr. Bloody One Direction. Bloody people pretending to play keyboards and guitars.

I’ll think I’ll go to Paris. Le Autre Bout Le Monde.

I wish there was a Class War candidate standing for Bedford!

I wish there was a Class War candidate standing for Bedford!

Lordy..it’s…it’s…it’s Skip Hunter our skip hunter!

19 Feb

Well Howdy Skip Hunter, hunter of things in skips how ae you and where have you been!…

Not that far actually and you missed an r out up there, just not really found anything of any use that I can mention without certain people asking questions about unpaid tax but it all changed a few month back when I intervened and prevented a rather odd black box thing from being junked. Cautiously I opened it up and figured out it was an “ultra violet light box”. Not much use as far as I was aware but I figured out that Kerry our resident spinner of discs and DJ at Bedford Bypass events might have a use for it! It’s quite pretty when you plug it in!

Blue soothing lights

Blue soothing lights

And what happened Skip did you find it it a good home?

Well you know what happened to it, it went to…

Look Skip I’m trying to tell the readers what happened to it…

Oh..I didn’t know this was for real I thought it was a run through… are we boadcasting live… Right then, I held on to it and then when we went on our Bedford Bypass Autumn bus trip to see the latest Cunningham Amendment being made and Mr Peter the Printer said he was looking for an untra violet light box to use in making printing blocks and I started grinning and smirking like Richard Fuller thye MP that earns £1/4million a year. Peter must have thought I was being rude till I told him that I had one and wasn’t real clued up as to what it was. Anyway said blue box has been transported over to Norfolk and was seruptitiously handed over to the team from the Cunningham Amendment in the car park of The Red Lion!

All turned on in the presence of Skip!

All turned on in the presence of Skip!

Wow Skip you always manage to find a good home for stuff that otherwise would have been skipped! You really are great big altrusitic teddy bear!

Yes I totally agree with all you say, well that’s why they call me Skip Hunter, skip hunter.

(do a deep voice) Tune in next week as Skip shows us a “magnetron device” that looks pretty good. Its a big foldy magnet sort of thing. I’ve had a play with it! Not so much found in a skip it was actually rock solid stuck to the side of it and took some effort to get it off!

When Tony Met Rebekah

19 Feb

Here’s war criminal Tony Blair (multi millionaire) catching up with Rebekah who’s up before the law over phone tapping and more (best read Private Eye if you want to know the full murky details). Lets see who can come up with a good lewd suggestion for that hand gesture that Rebecca is making to orphan maker Blair. Something funny with direct explict reference to blowjobs or the size of Grant Mitchells knob!

 

blair-offered-to-advise-brooks-136387744323914201

Apparently Blair a few years back offered to advise Red Reb when the phone hacking scandal and shite newspaper News of the World came under the spotlight and here’s what he said

“Form an independent unit that has an outside junior counsel, Ken Macdonald, a great and good type, a serious forensic criminal barrister, internal counsel, proper fact-checkers, etc in it. Get them to investigate me and others and publish a Hutton-style report.

Publish part one of the report at same time as the police closes its inquiry and clear you and accept your shortcomings and new solutions and process and part two when any trials are over”

Good old Tony. Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Neuro Linguistic Programming: Make it work for YOU!

19 Feb

Should we take our scepticism about NLP back having seen this book that you can buy off the web?

Use NLP to shag shag shag!

Use NLP to shag shag shag!

If you believe this you will also believe in goblins, the Loch Ness Monster and more! Thing is..people want to believe that buying crap like this will sort all their life defects  (real or imagined) out and won’t it be the best $27 you have ever spent. And if you are clever enough not to go down the NLP route then how about this astrology version, in fact buy the two for the discounted price and make Ben Dover look like he’s struggling!

 

 

astrologyseduction

“It worked for me” Says John Merrick aka The Elephant Man “I bought both and now I’m humping away everyday and fighting them off”

It worked for me says John Hurt wearing some stunningly good make up!

It worked for me says John Hurt wearing some stunningly good make up!

So if you believe anything you read and don’t mind making your credit cards details avalable to the kind of people that sell stuff like this then go ahead!

Study at the University of Bedford Bypass

19 Feb

The Bored Board of Bedford Bypass are pleased to offer a certificated Master of Science Degree Course in Group Business Management. This 18 months course will enable all successful students who attain this prestigious qualification to attend brain stewing tedious meetings incessantly. Purgatory to the power of ten!

Employment opportunities Bedford

Employment opportunities Bedford

Attending and taking part in meetings has over recent years become an essential aspect of certain sectors like local government, the Health service, local government and education and so on including local government. In conjunction with leading experts in the field of ADHD, mental fatigue, plain irritability, fidgeting and daydreaming this course will give you the necessary skills to show varying degrees of attention throughout the mind numbing eternity of your meeting schedules, to use facial muscles that allow you to yawn without it being obvious and how to simulate proactive use of hand held devices for enthusiastic note taking when in actual fact you are looking at Ebay.

You will learn essential techniques like ensuring you attend each meeting with one “hot” topic that you can raise at the appropriate time clearly demonstrating to higher management that you are indeed paying full attention without interfering with your online purchasing. Or selling!

Module 1: Meeting demographics and geographical location. In this you will learn the art of sitting out of the way where your doodling, shopping list compilation or looking at vids on Youporn can’t be seen!

Module 2: Active Thought Processing. The skill of appearing interested whilst you are actually bored beyond comprehension. In fact your mind is wandering the galaxy!

Module 3: Integrated Auditory Inputting. The highly desirable skill of being able to say something really sarcastic whilst making it appear to be either a misunderstanding or profound statement.

Module 4: SYIT. Which stands for Seven Years in Tibet, a film starring Brad Pitt. Look if he can spend seven years with a load of blokes in bed sheets then an hour listening to someone talking about paper clips is a piece of piss!

Module 5:  Exit Strategic Interface. This module shows you how, by use of a second concealed mobile phone or through a pre-arranged signal with a colleague you can if the meeting overwhelms you create an emergency call allowing you to make profuse apologies before heading down to the pub!  Use this skill sparingly! Sort of thing that Derren Brown does!

Module 6: Written Assignment. You will produce a 5000 word assignment in no more than three hours which will be total and utter tripe but written in such a way that anyone reading it won’t get far beyond the impressive and confusing first page before they put it down and agree with whatever you say. This together with £500 cash will get you your certificate and passport to a better life from our associates The Singapore Academy of Singapore Flat 2, 18 Balls Pond Road Islington. That’s Islington. Not Hackney. We like Hackney. Pat from Caddington Village News is from Hackney. We like Pat!

Module 7: Useful Accessories: A review of bits and pieces to help you sail through even the most tedious of meetings imaginable! We sell these and attendance on this module is compulsory unless your prefer mail order.

As worn by Michael Gove when he listens to good ideas!

As worn by Michael Gove when he listens to good ideas!

 

Remember a new future is yours, our qualifications will be a passport to the job of your dreams (quite literally) if you come to Bedford Bypass University, we are located behind the garage down London Road. Ask the chap that takes the petrol money to pass on your details if we are in a meeting!

Study with us in confidence that you WILL pass!

Study with us in confidence that you WILL pass!

 

Bedford Borough Council: Where Your Money Goes

17 Feb

I’ve been getting promotional emails for over seven years now from a training company called G Wiz. I went on one of their training courses when I worked for the local authority and it was a reasonably interesting diversion to the grind but being honest about things the main benefit was that it brought me into contact with fellow employees from across the council!

Her blueprint for a better self!

Her blueprint for a better self!

G Wiz formerly based in the Bedfordshire village of Moggerhanger and recently relocated just down the road to East Sussex offer life coaching and so on and have an impressive list of customers! Amongst a variety of personal development courses their bread and butter is something called Neurolinguistic Programming, NLP for short and since last April (2013) they have been paid £5750 by Bedford Borough Council and £6275 by Central Bedfordshire Council. That’s over £12,000 for some form of training whilst both councils shed employees at every opportunity. Try not to get confused but there’s another training consultants called just “Wiz Training” and “Alison Ashley Enterprises” pops up in both councils suppliers lists. The two Wiz’s have historical links and Alison Ashley is listed as an associate of G Wiz. It appears that all three are offering to sort out the sad faced staff of our local councils! Wiz Training and Development were paid £10,532 by Bedford and £2910 by Central since last April (2013). What I don’t know as yet is exactly what training was delivered, who the lucky recipients of this training were, maybe the street cleaners? Nah…and more precise how the two councils measure value for money which pervades every other aspect of their output!

How do they deal with people with eye injuries. Just thought I'd ask!

How do they deal with people with eye injuries. Just thought I’d ask!

Back to NLP, if you read the blurb it uses terms like “empowering” and “life affirming” but the best way to describe NLP is that you reprogram yourself by adopting alternate speech style, mannerisms and desirable attributes, in other words you mimic the styles of inspiring people or put simply you pretend to be someone else.  Some people claim that it’s radically improved their lives, others that its unqualified nonsense and of the same dubious benefit as Angel Therapy, ear candles, drinking your own piss and self-induced hyperventilation.

Apparently only one in five people with the word “manager” in their job title have received training in people based management practice, it’s easier to send them on something that’s ill defined. Some people use the imminently sensible strategy of catching more flies with sugar than vinegar whilst other castigate and belittle their staff at the drop of a hat then wonder why morale is rock bottom. For the most part training equals common sense,  removing people from the work environment and introducing people based development skills can be beneficial especially if your job is brain nullifying. Most if not all the training courses I went on while a local authority employee were totally useless if not at times hilarious funny. Apart from the actual cost!

I know you're in there, pulling strings I know you're in there, somewhere deep within I know you're digging, digging through my brain Paranoid they said, get out of my head

I know you’re in there, pulling strings
I know you’re in there, somewhere deep within
I know you’re digging, digging through my brain
Paranoid they said, get out of my head

No if anyone who has been on any of these courses wants the right of reply please feel free to get in touch via mcclintongill167@gmail.com

Richard Fuller MP Does Make Exceedingly Large Amounts of Money!

17 Feb

Richard Fuller shown here standing by the Thames is Conservative MP for Bedford and Kempston. He snatched the seat from Labours nodding donkey Patrick Hall (standing by the river in Bedford) who’d held it since 1997. Back in 1996 I had a letter in the paper pointing out that the seat was a two horse race between Labour and Conservative and that after the election one candidate would vanish into a life of relative obscurity…and the other one might get elected next time round!

I'm Richard Fuller MP. Hurry up I have a meetings to go to!

I’m Richard Fuller MP. Hurry up I have a meetings to go to!

It sort of happened in that Richard Fuller stood for the Bedford seat in 2005 and lost but bagged the prize next time round. The seat is seriously marginal, likely to go back to Labour in 2015 and being blunt no one but no one is going to usurp the established order. Not the Lib Dems, not the Greens. What could very likely happen is that the minor parties and mavericks could disrupt the core vote from either Labour or Tory and that would result in either Labour or Tory getting the seat. In short different face same result. Militaristic fiascos, cuts and rich bankers! That’s why anarchists don’t in general vote!

I hear people say that despite his politics Richard Fuller is very very nice. Sure whenever I see him he’s got a smile etched across his face. Whether its linked to his enthusiasm for serving the good folk of Bedford and Kempston or if its influenced by the rather impressive sums of money he’s pulling in is a moot point but here’s a bit more detail about Mr Fuller.

Patrick Hall. Patrick wants to stand next to the Thames.

Patrick Hall. Patrick wants to stand next to the Thames.

On top of his MPs salary of £67,738 he also claimed £18,384 for rent in London and £1,863 for travel. Then to add a bit more to this in the last reported year he earned £130,000 for a variety of directorships and the like! Now it gets better in that for this huge second sum Mr Fuller only worked 162 hours so he’s on £800 an hour. The year before this he raked in £103,000 from external opportunities!

He has a flat near Bedford Train Station as well as his London pad, plus part ownership of a house in Warwickshire so it’s anybody’s guess which one he prefers to call home. Oh…and a flat in New York that he rents out! And you wonder why he has a clown like grin carved into his face!  So in case you missed the point in the last year Richard Fuller MP for Bedford and Kempston brought the bacon home to the value of £215,985! A conservative estimate!

Together with fellow Bedfordshire MPs Alistair Burt and Andrew Selous he was questioning local ambulance staff quite pointedly last week about how much a frontline paramedic costs in salary and I can only assume that he intends sponsoring an ambulance team or something! I can’t see him being jealous!

Centre parcs, Pontins…music and laughter..by order!

12 Feb

My work colleague regularly takes his tribe to Centre parcs in Nottinghamshire. Nottingham Forest! I asked him if he would be paying a visit to the new Centr parcs near Woburn when it opens. “I don’t think so” he said as the tribe are quite happy with their trips up the M1 to Nottingham.

Now I’ve had a look at the pictures of all the Centre Parcs and I may as well have been looking at Dalmation puppies. No difference. Totally interchangeable. I’d be bored rigid if I went there. Root canal surgery has more appeal and I’ve got plenty of woods round Bedford that I can cycle through. I don’t understand why they don’t rethink things and have a themed “Nuclear Apocalypse” Parc where everyday of your seven day stay is a bloody battle for survival. Like Hackney with a few special effects. Assassin Parc where if you hear the shot you are safe or a “Jailbreak” special short weekend where you book in and then have to escape. If you make it back home without being tazered you get your money back. Now there’s a fault in this idea in that why would you want to go there in the first place but that’s what I keep asking my colleague.

Pontins MIddletn Tower. Happy memories come flaoting back!

Pontins MIddletn Tower. Happy memories come flaoting back!

I went to Pontins when I was a kid. Middleton Towers near Morecambe. Not far from the Lake District but still affected by its proximity to Liverpool. Like an open prison with the option of renting roller skates or having a go on a trampoline. Weekly Fancy Dress and a mass mob of bored scouse kids chasing someone dressed as a pirate. Boy did he run! It rained and when you reached the beach the first thing you saw was a sign saying “Unexploded Bombs: No Digging”. I was seven, bored and carrying a bucket and spade.

The days were just packed!

The days were just packed!

At least Hi De Hi could be occasionally funny. There was a huge chain linked fence to keep freeloaders from getting in although when the sea went out you just had to walk around it. Well, you didn’t HAVE to.  I don’t think anyone ever did. It would have been the opposite way about if anything. The centre piece of the camp was an enormous concrete building roughly resembling a ship (shown above)  and they equated the Pontins experience to cruising on dry land, if so then I’m currently water skiing on a comfy chair!

One amazing souvenir that you could clutch as you queued to get out after your weeks incarceration  of enforced joviality was a picture taken having your breakfast and sealed in a plastic viewing thing.

Life couldn't be more exiting!

Life couldn’t be more exiting!

Wow..but you had to buy it! I still have one. I’m the only person alive from the photograph today! One Scottish family we met were staying for three weeks which must have been purgatory. Never was the thought of going back to school more enticing!

Pontins Middleton Towers, deserted as from 1993 one future as a secure prison fell through although from memory you wouldn’t have known the difference. After standing derelict for over 15 years it’s now a retirement village which seems to be pitched at old but affluent people that want to live in Centre parcs till the light fades. There’s a retirement home on site for when your bowels fail and the kids want to sell your house but the big concrete ship has gone.

 

I'm getting nostalgic!

I’m getting nostalgic!

Maybe the traumatic memories (either real or imagined over time) of Pontins and also Butlins at Pwllheli (pronounced Pithelli) a former army camp in North Wales have put me off any holiday where you are effectively locked in or at least going out reminds you of your everyday existence. I suppose if we did take the Clan McClinton to Centre Parcs Bedfordshire assuming it has a club that stays open till 6.00am for the young ones,  I’d be able to nip into Milton Keynes! What a horrible thought!