Tag Archives: Alistair Burt MP

Life on Mars! We are Not Alone….or are we?

23 Jun

Yes readers your new look Bedford Bypass aims to be fourth or fifth with news! And we have a hot story with Bedford Bypass being the first bringing you an exclusive of sorts….or least exclusive as far as being the first low rate blog to repeat the story several days after the Daily Express!

It’s true….the NASA Curiosity Rover has sent back a number of intriguing images from Mars which certainly make you think that (to quote Star Trek) “We are not alone”.

Here’s the one that’s causing a fair bit of fuss and to give it its dues I can’t argue that its a pyramid shape. Some of the nationals have referred to it as a UFO. It’s not flying and its not particularly unidentified. Its a big rock and its stationary. So its not a UFO! But it looks good! And its got people going!

Well I'm convinced! That's a pyramid, no doubt about it!

Well I’m convinced! That’s a pyramid, no doubt about it!

But coming hot on the heels of the “pyramid” and the photo shown here has been rejigged a bit (not by us) as the original showed the whole thing to be on a slope and with a proposed scale of about 2cm, there’s more!

Later photo’s appear to show something that could at a push be said to show or at least intimate some kind of ancient settlement. Yes siree, enough evidence in vague lines, shapes and shadows to suggest hat while Mars may be devoid of life now, that may not always have been the case!

Now its all very subjective and some people might look at the image shown below and see something, others may not. And that;s the main problem, if you study the image long enough and if you really want to believe that we are not alone then it’s not hard to make shapes where they don’t exist! We were talking about last week at Bedford Skeptics in The Pub although we were talking about ghosts and not life on Mars so I don’t know why I mentioned this to be honest. Anyway, study the image! Be objective, don’t just “believe” this isn’t X Files, it’s a serious issue, are we the only form of sentient life in the universe, in fact do WE actually count as sentient life or are we merely fooling ourselves! (p.s. Does anybody understand what the fuck Agents of Shield on C5 (Fridays) is about, it started off straightforward but the went skyward…probably to Mars!

Lines in the sand!

Lines in the sand!

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Bedford Corn Exchange! An increasingly non profit making venue!

28 Jan

The latest brochure for Bedford’s Corn Exchange has just landed on my desk. I wish it hadn’t. I was feeling quite positive up until this juncture. Go on then I said to myself, let’s have a look!

To save time there’s a sort of “At a Glance” page at the end called “Diary At A Glance at which point I’ll confess that as there’s sod all of even the remotest interest in the brochure I’m padding this blog out with random thoughts!

Tough if I wanted to see “New Year in Vienna 2015” or the Philharmonia Orchestra or Bedford Comedy Club as all the dates have gone although the new brochure has only just appeared in the tourist info rack. The first two events appeal to me as much as root canal surgery and I’ve heard very mixed reviews as to the calibre of the comedy to the point where it was suggested a complaint be made to Trading Standards but let’s have a look what is still to come!

Ebola comes across as more fun!

Ebola comes across as more fun!

There’s a night of “Songs that Won the War” on Feb 4th though I always thought is was soldiers and huge loss of life, the photo is enough to make you wince and turn the page over where you will see a Mister Buster Bloodvessel of group Bad Manners and boy does he look rough. No thanks. One…maybe two at a push hit wonders with “Lip Up Fatty” and The Can Can from 30odd years back. Welcome back to Bedford.

Buster is coming to Bedford, that's why he's terrified!

Buster is coming to Bedford, that’s why he’s terrified!

Wow! Talking Quality…Alan Carr tops up his pension plan with a tour of every Crap Town in the UK (& Ireland). Bedford on 22nd Feb and if you miss this one or can’t get enough of his sense of humour which is on a par with sciatica he’s also coming to Cambridge (twice), Milton Keynes, Northampton (twice) and most bizarrely the post apocalyptic Dunstable which really is a shit hole of such spectacularly low quality! So much so that it puts Bedford on the same level as Florence!

26th Feb..a Neil Diamond tribute. I thought the basic element was that the tributer had to carry a passing resemblance to the original but not in this case. £20.00! And on it goes…zzzzz! Then another tribute, this time it’s Michael Jackson and according to the blurb it will have you believing for just a moment…that it’s really him. No it won’t. He’s dead, not coming back..not even as a zombie with bits of bone showing through..which reminds me, there was a programme on telly a few weeks back called The Autopsy of Michael Jackson which sadly I missed but a very radical opportunity to see Jackson being dissected I imagine. I hope “his” kids didn’t stay up as they might have found it distressing but much more interesting than when they cut the elephant up.

Buster tribute act! Can you name the film?

Buster tribute act! Can you name the film?

And that’s about it! No Hawkwind which we enjoyed and no Psychic Sally although she’s still doing the other venues and will turn up in the autumn when Bedford is bleak and miserable instead of now when Bedford is bleak….And they wonder why the Council is losing money and takings are far less than what they promised!

Bedford Borough where time stands still!

18 Dec

And here we go with another instalment telling you how those noble Councillors elected by you (if you live in Bedford that is!) are spending their time in exchange for £10,000 each plus an extra £10,000 if they are on the “A” Team!

This week we are looking at the Licencing Committee which has met four times this year and what an action packed series of meetings they have been!

ZZZZZZZZZZZ!

ZZZZZZZZZZZ!

The first was back in January (2014) and after burning the midnight oil they finally wrapped up after a staggering 10 minutes which kept nine of our brave and the bold busy. After that was one held on May 17th and I had to do a double take as it finished at 7.15pm. Now these meetings usually commence at 6.30pm but unwilling to believe that the meeting could have droned on for 45mins I looked again and was mighty relieved to see it actually started at 7.11pm so just four minutes. Phew!

Next one was 3rd July with nine councillors plus officers waxing lyrical for ten minutes and then after a staggering gap of a few months the next meeting on 6th November scraped home in five minutes and just seven councillors.

Now stay close! The meetings above are the Licensing Committee. There’s also something else called the Licensing Sub Committee but I’m saddened to say that for whatever reason they don’t tell you how long these last and all I can say is that the agenda is somewhat shorter than the marathon sessions listed so there’s actually a real possibility in a DR Who style that these meeting are negative i.e. Minus 4mins. And…Ok I’m actually talking total rubbish here but writing this blog from start to finish including research and a quick wee took me exactly 19mins which is near enough the same amount of time that that well reimbursed gang on the Licensing Committee spent talking about thermally induced atmospheric environments (hot air to me and you!)

Man in the Shadows

21 Nov

It looks like the Conservatives round Bedford are struggling to find the enthusiasm to engage with the great unwashed even though they aren’t on the current Mayor’s cabinet and therefore not on the payroll. The chap with the turban is Jas Parmar and he’s the Conservative Mayoral candidate for next year scrap. Despite my extremely jaundiced view of and hostility towards Cameron and his cut-throats Jas is actually very affable. But he’s not going to get anywhere if all he can do to generate publicity is grin in the background when a total donkey like Boris Johnson calls into Bedford.

Bystander Jas just in the picture

Bystander Jas just in the picture

The bloke in the middle is current MP Richard Fuller who’s probably going to lose to be replaced by the embarrassingly dull Labour candidate Patrick Hall. Maybe?  Richard looks set to return to his full time business in the financial industry. Something he will find easy as despite being an MP he’s carried on working his socks off for huge sums of money despite being an MP.

Talking of which despite the town and surroundings being littered with closed down pubs and no end of evidence that the breweries are shafting their tenant landlords both Richard Fuller and Alistair Burt MP who cover much of North Bedfordshire voted against a recent bill that having been passed will prevent breweries over charging for cheap lager.

Photo-shop presents wonderful opportunities!

Photo-shop presents wonderful opportunities!

The comical thing about Bedford is that there are two tory MPs yet a Lib Dem Mayor. Labour may win the Bedford seat but will struggle to make a dent against the Lib Dem Mayor, an increasingly likely option given that they don’t have a candidate. Jas Parmar should in theory stand some chance of giving the current Mayor sleepless nights but given his track record up to now…well! All three sides have succumbed to mind rotting apathy.

Look! I’m not taking sides, I don’t care who wins but I want to see them work for it. It’s good to watch a bun fight from the wings and it’s also somewhat funny watching them squirm and screw things up so the next six months or so should be far better than the crap served up on telly.

Penny, Dullard Patrick and some anonymous MP at Bedford Station.

Penny, Dullard Patrick and some anonymous MP at Bedford Station.

Anarchist Secret Plan to Infiltrate Bedford Borough Council

19 Sep

Piece of cake actually! Seriously….simply follow these instructions!

1) Go to Borough Hall, go up to the desk on the right, best when it’s busy, sign in and pick up a badge from the box on the counter, sign in under Vlad Marcos, Sir Nathan Cuthberty is something daft! Nobody batted an eyelid when I did it!

2) Go up the stairs in front of you, whilst pretending to be on your phone chatting away just wait until someone comes down and swipes the glass “half door” barrier open, smile and go through. Turn right into the lounge and hang around to go in the members lounge OR…stay near the glass barrier and when ready turn left, up the stairs towards the double lift!

3) Wait near the lift and again whilst pretending to be talking to someone simply wait till the lift doors open OR if feeling energetic wait till the doors to the staircase are open by someone coming through.

4) You are now in the main building. Floors one and two, a bit scabby and tired! Floor three, Where Phil Simpkins and the Mayor are to be found by turning right. Very posh, they have their priorities right don’t they! Floor four….yawn….Floor five, marginally better. You are now on the top floor so turn left and head all the way along to the second lift, look as if you have every right to be there and when you get to the lift head through the doors and up the stairs( there’s a service floor above the lift) and hey presto through an unlocked door I’m on the roof! They have solar panels…and dead pigeons No one’s batted an eyelid. I could be a terrorist but I’m just a plain old lady anarchist! Jolly and sweet, nice enough to eat! I pretend I’m slightly lost so ask a nice young man how to get to the members lounge and he offers to take me down!

5) Leave by either ground floor exit points or take a detour via a service corridor in the basement (I’ll try this next time) but don’t hand the pass card in, there’s no number on it anyway. Go past Stewart Briggs on the way out! I hear his pension will be quite tidy when the time comes!

Guards, barriers, doors, but still so very easy to wander about last xxxxday afternoon at 2.30pm!

Guards, barriers, doors, but still so very easy to wander about last xxxxday afternoon at 2.30pm!

A Word or Two From Boff Whalley

4 Sep

I’ve been trying to articulate the hostage situation in Iraq, blending today with what has taken place over the last eleven or so years. I struggled whereas Boff formerly from Chumbawamba managed it quite well so with a nod to Boff’s excellent website and blog here’s what I might have said if I could have gotten my head round too many things…

A few years ago, when it was made public that these fanatics were not only beheading their captors but were videoing themselves doing it, I decided to watch YouTube footage of one of these atrocities. I thought long and hard beforehand, knowing that I was going to fill my memory banks to bursting with something vile and saddening. Thought long and hard and decided to watch, in an attempt to translate the stark headlines into their tangible, appalling truth. And what stuck with me wasn’t so much the horror of the act – which I won’t go into – but its soundtrack. For along with the utter cruelty was the constant yelling, by every one of the armed Jihadists present, of the blood-curdling cry of ‘Allahu Akbar’ – God is great, God is great, God is great, God is great, God is great. This absurdity, this cruel juxtaposition, will always sum up for me what religion looks like from the outside.

You might be aware that my / our MP is Alistair Burt who is always nipping off to the Middle East on paid for trips. He claims to be quite knowledgable about the region but despite a need for experts of Iraq and Gaza I haven’t seen or read anything of any clarity or note from him!

Who are The Friends of Israel?

11 Jul

When I was a kid I would run off to Sunday School and come back full of stories about David and Goliath, the good Samaritans, Israelites and Philistines (biblically hostile to Israelites and pre Islam). We were told the Israelites were god’s chosen children, promised land and so on but since I walked out of gods house after querying why he killed all the animals off except two of each species I’ve come to regard Israel as overbearing military aggressor of international disorder, a pariah state that at the drop of a hat will bomb, maim mutilate and destroy anyone that dares get in its way. Any action whilst morally repugnant like the tragic murder of three Israeli teenagers will be treated as a green light for more slaughter that for some reason that I fail to fathom, and I’ve been fathoming for some years no, would if it were anyone but Israel have resulted in sanctions and direct intervention. But Israel has many friends! 220px-Alistair_Burt_(4606004237)

I’m still waiting for a reply to a letter I’ve sent to Alistair Burt (MP to three Bedford Bypassers) about his good fortune to get a part time job paying £800 an hour. Burt prior to his former job in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel group which has stated its aims as supporting Israel, promoting the British Conservative Party and promoting peace in the Middle East. He wasn’t on his own as according to their website at one point before the 2010 election over two thirds of Conservative MPs were members and between 2006 and 2009 more than 30 tory parliamentary hopefuls were lucky enough to get funded trips to Israel presumably to see how they promote peace. Why did he resign from the Friends…well I might hazard a guess that going into the Middle East on behalf of the UK PLC having that on your CV might not be that helpful. maybe?

Here’s an article from the website  http://www.deliberation.info/it-rains-rocket-from-gaza-never-bombs-from-israel/ and a piece written by Stuart Littlewood. Its slightly historic dating back to 2012 so accept some change notably Burt being effectively sacked from his FCO job but nothings really changed as far as the long standing pounding of the Gaza strip goes. Enjoy the ride…

It rains rocket from Gaza, never bombs from Israel

Israel_Gaza

Alistair Burt is the UK Foreign Office minister in charge of Middle East affairs. He is also a former officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby group. He resigned from that position when he became a minister, but leopards don’t suddenly change their spots. Judge for yourself.

I sent a question through my MP asking why Government ministers such as Burt quote exact numbers of rockets fired from Gaza without also giving the corresponding numbers of bombs, rockets, shells and other ordnance poured into Gaza by the Israeli military.

In his letter of reply Burt says   “there are no reliable statistics on the number of bombs and other ordnance fired by the Israeli Defence Force on Gaza and Israel does not make public this information”. In that case, should he not make it clear when quoting Gaza’s rocket numbers that Israel refuses to provide numbers of their own vastly superior missiles used to bombard Gaza?

Yesterday in Parliament David Amess, another officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel, was playing the familiar game of planting Parliamentary questions designed to deflect attention from Israel’s malodorous reputation. He asked Mr Burt what recent reports the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [William Hague] had received on the number of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel since 30 October; what recent discussions he has had with the government of Israel on such attacks; and if he would make a statement. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121126/text/121126w0004.htm#1211275000020

Mr Burt obligingly replied: “We have received reports that 287 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel between 30 October and 14 November. According to Israeli Defence Forces figures, 1,443 rockets were fired during the period 14-21 November.” He added that Mr Hague spoke to Mr Lieberman on 17 and 21 November and he, Burt, spoke to him on 21 November and again on 22 November.

Gaza. Indiscriminate bombing!

Gaza. Indiscriminate bombing!

Such precision is of course commendable but grossly lopsided and plainly calculated to mislead Parliament and public. It is astonishing that in all its discussions with Israel’s ministers the Foreign Office hasn’t managed to extract data on Israeli bombing and rocket attacks.

Mr Burt, I venture to suggest, ought to paint a balanced picture and not simply regurgitate Israeli propaganda without caveats and facts from the other side. He should inform the Israeli authorities that British ministers will not in future quote figures for Palestinian rockets unless accompanied by corresponding numbers of Israel’s. These should then be cross-checked with Palestinian and independent sources for proper monitoring.

The same goes for any remarks about Iran’s so far non-existent nukes. There should be equal emphasis on Israel’s vast arsenal of WMDs.

It’s an interesting piece and if, by any chance Alistair Burt MP has the inclination and wants a right to reply I will happily publish it. If you want to see the size of land referred by the term Gaza strip here’s a picture from todays Morning Star which carries on its front page a tag line of “For Peace and Socialism”.

Might put things into perspective!

Might put things into perspective!