Archive | February, 2015

Alright Jack Straw

24 Feb

So it’s goodbye to Rifkind the walking cess pit who was as of yesterday going to fight fight fight these scurrilious allegations that hit the headlines with the most scurrilous being the comment about his self employed status. What an elephant size arse he is! Actually he’s an insipid little man.

No movement from Jack Straw as yet but as his nickname some years back was Jack Boots Straw, as atonement I reckon he should stand up straight while everyone who has suffered through the bedroom tax gives him a swifty to his bollocks. He’s allowed a few minutes breather between every 20 kicks to his testicular nether region. He deserves it! Let’s look at some sums. His additional income up to now is circa £115,373.00 (two amounts are predictive rather than actual) plus his salary of £64,000 and then all his other allowances to keep his ship afloat tots up to £163,000 for the last full year so you get £342,648.00.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56i1nwWIvjY

Back in 1998 agit-prop comedian Mark Thomas took a number of disabled people with severe conditions like MS and Crohns to Straw’s MPs surgery to argue the case for more research into the use of cannabis for pain relief and other bona fide medical purposes. Straw acted like a total arse. When one of the visitors took a tin of roll ups out Straw walked out and the next thing the police turned up en masse as if responding to a terrorist alert….but you can’t arrest someone using crutches for having a tin of tobacco. Mark Thomas made the point that there’s an issue that needs debating here. At the time the key person in the UK who could have initiated this debate was the Home Secretary…Jack Straw. And at the time he’d just made an arse of himself on TV by jumping to conclusions and wasting police time. The clip is actually very funny! I have no problems whatsoever with for example someone with Parkinson’s using plant extract to diminish extreme distress and discomfort but I do have a problem with political fu*kwits!

Straw meets the public!

Straw meets the public!

 

Amazing Free Gift in this weeks issue of Bedford Bypass!

23 Feb
Use safety scissors if you are underage of a Lib Dem voter!

Use safety scissors if you are underage or a Lib Dem voter!

That’s right readers, to celebrate Mrs Bypass’s birthday and my surviving the weekend without being told off for being unimaginative we are giving every reader a special present…and here they are!

 

Stolen from the Mark Thomas website by the way!

Stolen from the Mark Thomas website by the way!

Simply cut round the dotted line which didn’t export over for some reason (use your imagination!)

Other stickers telling political donkey’s where to go shove their leaflets are available!

Bedford Skeptics Are in The Pub…or are they?

20 Feb

 

The truth is out there

The truth is out there

Well I have finally come up against a subject that foxes me. Baffled. Gobsmacked. William Shatnered! Philosophy. Over my head by some miles. Last night’s meeting of Skeptics in the Pub featured a very bouncy Clio Bellenis who spoke to a fairly large crowd of people who were either very clever or unlike me were keeping their confused state under wraps. 

Imagine it having "Bedford" at the top!

Imagine it having “Bedford” at the top!

I got slightly animated when a picture of Data from Star Trek came on and I thought I was on safe ground but then matters moved to whether he had a soul or a sentient conscience. He’s a robot. Then we got onto beam technology and I think we were supposed to be talking about whether your soul beams down or whether having beamed down to the planet Zarg are you the same person or just a load of atoms. I was thinking of the seaside. BUT THEN…Riker got mentioned and an episode where he gets split into two identical Riker’s by the beam, that was a good one and he started off a bit bad and then joined the resistance on Deep Space Nine. Then Clio started talking about philosophy again and I was back on the beach.

Now I’ve heard this bit before but apparently when Jason and his Nauts were sailing on the Argo battling giants, winged goblins and those skeletons at the end well they had to keep repairing the ship as they went on. To the point where when they got home all of the ship had been replaced. Now someone was following them picking the old bits up and had managed to build a slighty dodgy but still recognisable Argo patched up with polyfilla. And the philosophical question was “Which ship was the Argo”. Now I don’t remember this from the famous 1963 film but I reckon Clio might want to update this and use the Sugarbabies pop group instead as they changed singers to the point where the final three Sugarbabies weren’t the original.

And to be honest at this point you're not the slightest bit interested in what they are singing....

And to be honest at this point you’re not the slightest bit interested in what they are singing….

And then the original three Sugarbabies got back together again and there was a battle in space or something like that. See what I mean.

And then whales can recognise themselves in mirrors begging the question as to how they discovered this. And in science to prove this wasn’t fluke or a very clever whale they would have had to do say 20? Maybe more…

dcb9a4674d627beb6b9054aa61e5aa51

I asked about Schrodinger’s Cat (I changed the subject matter from philosophy to Quantum wot not and she was too polite to tell me but I knew already) which debates whether a cat in a box is dead or alive and my tip is if you hear it meow that’s a good sign. A rotten stench is a bad sign. And Schrodinger never played the piano with Snoopy in Peanuts that was his son Schroeder!

Schrodingers Oiano

Schrodingers Oiano

Philosophy, physics, psychology…it’s all a bit much on a Thursday evening when you’ve spent all day wading through lists of hazardous chemicals while simultaneously waiting for news as to whether your cars passed its MOT test but despite being both impressed and confused by the subject matter, with emphasis on the latter I enjoyed the evening with the Skeptics and at least I know now when it comes to philosophy to give it a wide berth. I asked Debs if she understood it having told her that I didn’t , she pondered a minute or so and said rather philosophically “Nope me neither”.

Skeptics in the Pub meets monthly at the North End Social Club which is Bedford’s premier” Phoenix Nights” style venue and rather good! And as it’s a club not a pub that explains the title. I think! Therefore I am!

http://bedford.skepticsinthepub.org/

 

 

Put Him in the Van, Nice and Gentle Now!

13 Feb

So I go running into a branch of a major supermarket that nationally isn’t doing that well and bump into Olly Martin the Police Crime Commissionaire chap who’s locally isn’t doing that well. It started off bad with a lacklustre 18.2 turn out for the concept of elected Police managers and then went downhill. Keen to know what he’s up to a conversation ensues. He’s trying to get support for an increase in the Police precept so he’s asking us to make up the shortfall for the money that the coalition have taken off his budget. In return he’s going to put an extra small army of new police people back into the community.

Karaoke Sing Along...with Olly Martins

Karaoke Sing Along…with Olly Martins

I asked him about confidence in Bedfordshire Police seeing as how of late they seem to be getting a reputation for their involvement in cases where black and Asian people have been assaulted, seriously injured and killed while in Police custody. The sort of thing that has in other locations led to mass protests on the street but not here. Julian Cole aged 21 was involved in an incident on Mill Street in Bedford and handed over to police officers by doormen, dragged unconscious to a police van and carted off to the cells, an ambulance was called and he was found to have suffered a broken neck and brain damage, this was two years back. Faruk Ali, an autistic man from Luton with a mental age of five was again involved in an incident with two officer who ended up being charged with and cleared of assault although both remain suspended. Leon Briggs died in police custody after being detained under the Mental Health Act. There’s a TV reality show filmed in Luton Police Station. I haven’t watched it. These cases are still trundling through various mind numbing stages of investigation and in a very valid point Mr Martin stated that the police can turn arrests to convictions in around nine months but not the IPCC  system. Olly was I’ll admit a consummate professional giving answers that he had clearly used or rehearsed before and he appeared not to hear when I said the best way to keep violence towards ethnic people with mental conditions down was to reduce the number of police on the streets. OK it’s sarcasm at its worst but with an element of truth.

I recalled the good old days of community policing and what we have now is helicopters, flashing lights and action car chases that turn up on Channel 47. Olly seemed puzzled when I said I wasn’t prepared to pay more for a return to the good old days, as far as I’m concerned I’m paying enough already. I think he was relieved when I had to leave but after about 15 minutes of his time (which I’ve contributed to wage wise) I felt justified. Various officers have been suspended for misconduct however by coincidence the family of Julian Cole (pictured) have called on Chief Constable Collete Paul to suspend those involved in the incident that has clearly had a devastating impact on Julian and his family.

Julian Coles and Family

Julian Coles and Family

What do you do with a pissed up councillor?

10 Feb
Anyone fancy a swift one?

Anyone fancy a swift one?

In case you haven’t heard Bedford Borough Councillor Doug McMurdo seen here after being found guilty of really getting stuck into some yoof has been found guilty of really  getting stuck into some “yoof” up at Sharnbrook Village Hall. Now I said that twice for comic effect!

On spying the youth on a bench after asking if they had any drugs punches were thrown and when one of the yoofs picked Doug’s glasses (eyesight not beer) up and tried to return them safely to him…..well Doug punched him. Then Doug’s drinking mate (13 pints between the two of them) dragged one of the yoofs about and generally had a typical Bedford night out! The beak has hinted at a holiday courtesy of Liz! Doug says he can’t remember any of it but they still found him guilty which might appear unfair!

Doug McMurdo in happier days!

Doug McMurdo in happier days!

Now prior to the case coming to court Doug stepped down from his position as Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture as it would appear that it was incompatible scrapping with teenagers. I shall say no more. Even though I could. No I won’t. I know Doug and it’s both hilariously funny and sad.

I did wonder amid strong suggestions that one councillor turns up for meetings straight from the pub having supported the local economy with his ample expenses whether the council couldn’t introduce breathalysers on the front door just to make sure they are fully with it. They come in all colours. shapes and sizes just like the breathalysers shown below.

Will these work at reducing drunken councillors?

Will these work at reducing drunken councillors?

Bloomin eck! I can’t think of a title….

10 Feb

They were once called The Midland Bank, a lion for an emblem and a jingle that said they were the listening bank. They are now HSBC and with 7000 UK clients putting £21.7billion into Swiss accounts it’s causing bank plus government  embarrassment and headaches so quite clear who the bank have been listening to.

Many pundits have made the point that when it comes to getting stuck in the powers that be much prefer easy targets, dim people that have over-claimed benefits rather than a known individual that has spirited £millions away with the banks help.

Still listening?

Still listening?

There’s a grim story from Saturday’s Independent of 66 year old Malcolm Burge who owed £800, was faced with a wall of intolerant bureaucracy and threats which overwhelmed his recognised vulnerability and ended with his suicide. He set fire to himself but this act of immolation for the most part went unnoticed. The Dept of Work and Pensions hold files on 49 persons who hounded for overpayments took a violent option to escape persecution. The Government has absolved itself of any link.  Diabetic David Clapham disturbed our local viewing schedule a few weeks back when the inquest into his death reported on TV showed his hounding and death through starvation after his benefits were cut. No electric in his flat so nowhere to keep his insulin cool, £3.44 in the bank. Bleak!

Bedford Bypass has highlighted two local cases, one where a single parent who’s son has a life limiting condition was subject to a “gotcha” by the council after over-claiming benefits in what they conceded was a genuine oversight but the tone of the correspondence was determined and ruthless and it was only after the (tory) MP got involved that a softer stance came about. No such luck for a Kempston woman who after suffering an aneurysm fell behind with council tax payments and was “gotcha’d” by the council and into bankruptcy. There is a happy ending… her husband died of a massive coronary and she managed to sort out at least some of her debt to society!

Dirty washing!

Dirty washing!

I’ve got no truck with benefits cheats but I don’t have this middle England desire to see them swinging from trees, I’m more amused at how they get caught as they all appear to be a bit thick. I get riled when I see councillors berating people when their own track record isn’t pure. How about being off sick from your teacher’s job and being shown on telly at a political shindig or being long term sick and enjoying a bit of fishing! It all stems from that personal line in the sand.

Every year Bedford Borough Council have to write over £half a million of unrecoverable debt off and  these publicly available papers show that despite their best efforts to recover their money they have had to give up …because Mr D who owed £10,059.62 and Mrs H owing £21,283 both went and died. The full circumstances aren’t disclosed so I don’t know if they were with the HSBC or not!

Regarding Henry

9 Feb
Probably the best publicity he's had for some time!

Probably the best publicity he’s had for some time!

You might have picked up on my conspiracy theory (of sorts) which suggests that the Bedford Lib Dems are just going to go through the motions as far as the Bedford and Kempston Parliamentary seat is concerned. It’s a two horse race between Labour and Conservatives, a dullard and a freeloader and the Lib Dem strategy would appear to be to concentrate on their power base of ensuring the Lib Dem Mayor is returned plus his coterie of councillors. The Labour group are behaving themselves and not lifting a finger that might upset the Mayor thus ensuring that they retain the ability to influence policy and bag rather tasty expenses.

I was wondering as to the Lib Dems candidate for the 2015 general election and when they’d get round to choosing the sap, I must have either blinked, been watching telly or otherwise distracted as it seems they chose some fresh faced typical laboratory cloned chap called Mahmud Henry Rogers about five months back but as far as can tell they’ve been keeping him under wraps since and his single utterance has been to “campaign” (i.e. in a press release)  against the closure of A&E up at the hospital along with all the other MP hopefuls plus a talk with the local CND Group. Wow!.

What is also noticeable is that whilst we have had the odd low key Lib Dem MP popping by for the photo opportunity we haven’t as yet had any big names. The insipid Clegg himself has visited in previous years but as his popularity is on a par with Somali pirates I would imagine his telephone calls asking to be invited to Bedford are being ignored.

Anyway here’s Mahmud Henry Rogers doing what Lib Dems do best and posing for a photo! If anyone spots him lurking around trying to get his pic taken anywhere else please let us know!

Islamic State Tourist Board

5 Feb

No matter how hard you try to get your head around some global situations it’s impossible. Sometime back acclaimed journalist Robert Fisk attempted to draw the world’s attention to the slaughter of captured Syrian soldiers by Islamic State using the brutal mediaeval method of burning them alive and desecrating the remains, an act forbidden under Islam. It didn’t get much coverage but the world continued to turn. And now it’s all over the media in a manner that leaves you numb with some highly refined media manipulation that many Governments must envy. There’s nothing specific in the Koran about death by fire although if you stretch things it sort of allows for any form of grotesque “punishment” and the question of whether this punishment should be administered by god or by his earth bound advocates becomes immaterial.

It’s hard to find anything that diverts human thought from the subject matter. Following that Jihaddams Family skit from a week or so back I’d come up with the following…..ISIS..One minute they’re offering a nice way for people to invest their savings with guaranteed returns the next thing they’ve gone off the rails and are butchering people! You just can’t trust financial advisors! That’s the last time I buy an Islamic State fundraising calendar! The Islamic State Tourist Board really has an uphill struggle! Let’s send Middle East Peace Envoy Tony Blair to have a chat with them as he’s responsible for destabilising the whole region! They’ll probably say thanks mate and honour him as their co-founder!

Didn't he do well?

Didn’t he do well?

It’s the last one that I cling to. This fervent view that at some point they’re going to dig Blair’s back garden up and then do him for mass murder! Or I’ll settle for a game show called A Seriously Rich Idiot Abroad (my idea telly people) where they drop him off on the Iraqi / Syrian border with water, Kendal Mint Cake, map and compass plus several years worth of Robert Fisk columns from the Independent  and he’s got 24hrs to get to the rendezvous point!  While we wait for the phone call from Channel Four here’s a nice website with admirable aims!

http://www.arrestblair.org/

 

Bedford Councillors show us the way forward!

5 Feb

Up the top of the High St old buildings are being tarted up to restore their heritage. Around St Paul’s Sq the Old Shire Hall is receiving a similar spruce and they have just discovered that there is a much older wooden framed structure beneath a later exterior although the folk at Albion Archaeology and many others  knew about this some years back. Meanwhile an application has gone in to demolish the Tavistock Café near where Tavistock Street meets Roff Avenue. 8789779

Now you can’t just knock a building down and replace it without asking permission and circumstances dictate if it’ll be a yes or a no. Such trivial matters like listed building status can get in the way and councils employ experts to offer advice to bone headed councillors who have no particular expertise other than spouting rubbish most of the time and promises when the time comes to renew their place on the gravy train.

Officers recommended that the Tavistock Café application be refused on the basis of it conflicting with numerous council policies and the vague nature of how it would impact on the listed early 19th houses next door which without knowing the exact date puts it on the cusp between the Georgian and Victorian period with all the construction features of the former!

Cllr Will Hunt. Foremost expert on listed buildings!

Cllr Will Hunt. Foremost expert on listed buildings!

Now the Georgian Society is probably going to be interested in this nugget as despite the recommendation for refusal councillors opted to allow it with one of our fine noble community spirits Cllr Will Hunt saying  “The building next door may be old but it’s of no architectural merit”.

Now with urban architecture we are on a subject that I’m very familiar with and Cllr Hunt really is talking through his Hugh Janus here as Listed Status depends on not only architectural quality but general historical background and associations and then its position as part of a composite area. The Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool is relatively recent but is Listed as Grade 2* so while age is material it doesn’t follow that something has to be old and falling down to receive a grading. Tavistock Street is part of a conservation area and Hunt has just shown himself to be a total ignoramus of spectacular quality but like the Old Shire Hall a lot of us knew this some years back!

A Real Muppet

A Real Muppet