Tag Archives: David Amess MP

Celebrate Mothers Day in Style

11 Mar

It’s Mother’s Day coming up so don’t forget! I’ve forgiven my Ma for putting me up for adoption and arranging for me to be shipped out from Liverpool to Manchester just as the Beatles and Merseysound was kicking off. Mind you I was in Manchester when punk happened so it all ended well!

If strapped for cash just cut and give to Ma!

If strapped for cash just cut and give to Ma!

Oedipus* liked his mum very much and to express his love he married her, killed his dad and then poked his own eyes out! Now that’s a bit extreme. Some flowers would do, maybe do the washing up, take her out for a garden centre Sunday lunch at that place near the landfill site! That sort of thing! (*from the set of Theban plays by Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone**) ((*Not that I’ve read them I just nicked this bit from Wikipedia)) ((( When I say “this bit” I meant the bit about the set of Theban plays by Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone))) Why has it come out in red?

Make your old lady feel special!

Make your old lady feel special!

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Chancellors Autumn Statement Explained Simply!

4 Dec

Confused by what you have heard? Stamp duty? Meaning what when you live in rented property, working in public service? Well let us explain what the whole thing will probably mean to you…

And where’s Nick Clegg when all this is going on?

Coming soon to a street corner near you!

Coming soon to a street corner near you!

Charity…All in a good cause!

19 Nov

Don’t you just love charities? And we’ve just had our biannual opportunity to dress up for the children whilst looking forward to wearing our red noses again.

I’ve had a number of dealings over the last few months with a national UK charity that has a small presence in Bedford however one of the oddities is that the Bedford arm is a totally separate charity to the national head office as are all the other city versions so close on 30 individual charities using one name and a central charity effectively managing the copyright over how they use the name, with increasing force. Now to a degree this is understandable as it counts as “wounded limb” practice and by that I mean if one charity fails through lack of funding or whatever it doesn’t pose a liability to the others.

What exactly are you funding?

What exactly are you funding?

But it’s when you look closely at the accounts for both the HQ charity and then those doing the donkey work, something that I imagine not many people do then you start to realise that despite the collection tins, the very worthy cause, the legacies and substantial grants from bank related foundations (Lloyds being one) there’s a corporate structure that’s sapping money away from front line work, paying substantial salaries i.e. £40,000 for development workers and media hypes while someone in the trenches working with ex street addicts and people who have experienced trauma are getting by on £20,000 and in one case £12,500 for what, again having done the sums seems like approaching a 70 hour weekly working expectancy on an odd form of zero hours contract.

Back to the HQ charity. For the most recent set of accounts the charity took in over £2.5million all in a good cause. It kept most of this but was kind enough to give ££350,000 to the related field charities. It spent £1.8million maintaining its own operation of which the biggest slice, over £950k went on salaries and staff expenses like travel etc. It also took in £150,000 from the member charities and at which point the whole things becomes a very confusing mess with Peter paying Paul. But it’s all in a good cause.

How much goes to corporate structures?

How much goes to corporate structures?

There’s a similar situation happened in London lately with a much respected charity called St Mungo’s which you may recall is a homeless charity that has made much PR of its willingness to accept people from the streets with pets. They recently merged with a related charity Broadway, the Chief Exec got a £30,000 pay rise, made a seriously crass comment about them paying for quality by adding £5000 to the wages of HR advisors whilst slashing £5000 from the salaries of the new frontliners. Typical F**ked up way of thinking.

Back to the local charity which does sterling work and has much local support, like its counterparts it is managing on public goodwill but it seems that when it comes to grants it’s up against the national HQ which cannot survive without big semi corporate donations so that same dog eat dog “Apprentice” style of winning is evident. Unrest is fermenting and by copying the tactics of private enterprise it’s having to deal with all the negatives! And it’s all in a good cause!

Public relations disaster but the boss gets a £30,000 pay rise!

Public relations disaster but the boss gets a £30,000 pay rise!

Thai Murders! Special Crack Police Squad Brought in!

18 Sep

The time to act is upon said the third one from the right!

We will find those responsible....eventually.

We will find those responsible….eventually.

The Most Influential Photocopier in History

9 Sep

Feeling a bit drained at the moment so I’d like to set you dear readers loose on the below article about a wonderfully bonkers book called the Principia Discordia and the anti religion Discordianism. Without knowing it we were following the general principles of Discordia most of our lives so when we chanced upon a joke masquerading as a religion lots of things started to fall out of place and dealing with life becomes a whole lot more fun! Enjoy and Hail Eris and remember don’t take anything too seriously!

 

In the mid-1960s a photocopier was state of the art technology, and having access to one was something of a privilege. The act of using an office photocopier after hours for personal projects, without the boss knowing, was therefore a far riskier and more rebellious act than it is today. This was certainly the case for Lane Caplinger, a secretary for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison.

Hail the Goddess of Chaos

Hail the Goddess of Chaos

In 1991 Garrison was portrayed by Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, a film based on Garrison’s book On The Trail Of The Assassins. But this was 1965, a year before he became involved in Kennedy conspiracies and two years before the Summer of Love thrust hippies, psychedelic drugs and alternative lifestyles in front of an unprepared public. Things had not yet begun to ‘get weird’, in other words, and for a respected public figure like Garrison, there was little to indicate what surprises the future had in store. He would have been quite unprepared, then, for the book that Caplinger and her friend Greg Hill were clandestinely producing in his office.

This book was the original version of what would become known as the Principia Discordia, or How I Found The Goddess and What I Did To Her When I Found Her, by a writer named Malaclypse the Younger. They made a first edition of five copies. At the time it was little more than a joke for some of their friends, but its influence is now scrawled in a haphazard, and frequently illegible, manner across the history of the late twentieth century.

There was some debate in the 1970s, when the book’s influence began to spread, as to just who this ‘Malaclypse the Younger’ was. Some believed that the book was the work of Timothy Leary. Others claimed it was written by Alan Watts, or by Richard Nixon during “a few moments of lucidity”. It is now generally accepted that the book was largely the work of Caplinger’s friend Greg Hill, although large chunks were also written by Hill’s old school friend Kerry Thornley.

The ideas behind the book can be traced back to the late 1950s, when Hill and Thornley attended California High School in East Whittier, a rural Southern Californian town that was then nestled amongst vast orange groves. In school they were viewed as nerds. Hill was short, squat and introverted, while Thornley was tall, very thin, and bursting with a nervous energy. They both shared an enthusiasm for pranks and strange ideas. They were also both keen on bowling alleys, largely because they served alcohol and remained open until two in the morning.

It was in one such bowling alley in 1957 that Thornley showed Hill some poetry that he was writing. It included a reference to order eventually arising out of chaos. Hill laughed at this. He told Thornley that the idea of ‘order’ was an illusion. Order is just something that the human mind projects onto reality. What really exists behind this fake veneer is an infinite, churning chaos. For Hill, an atheist, the failure to understand this was the major folly of the organised religions of the world, all of which claim that there is an organising principle at work in the Universe.

It all makes perfect sense!

It all makes perfect sense!

Hill also told Thornley that the Greeks were an exception to this rule, as they had had a Goddess of Chaos. Her name was Eris, which meant ‘strife’ and which is translated as ‘Discordia’ in Latin. Clearly, if anyone wanted to worship a deity who could be considered real, in that they were genuinely and unarguably active in this world, then Eris was the only sensible option. All that was needed was for someone to create a religion around Her which, naturally, they decided to do. They called it Discordianism.

Slowly Hill and Thornley recruited a few like-minded friends into their new religion. Their aim was to undermine existing belief systems by spreading confusion and disinformation with as much humour as possible. To this end they each adopted a host of new names under which their Discordian endeavours were credited. Hill became known varyingly as Malaclypse the Younger, Rev. Dr. Occupant, Mad Malik, Ignotum P. Ignotious or Professor Iggy. Thornley became Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, Rev. Jesse Sump, Ho Chi Zen or the Bull Goose of Limbo. Many different Discordian chapters were founded – the majority of which contained only one member, and some contained none. Discordians would then write essays and letters under these aliases, only to then follow them with completely contradictory essays and letters under a different alias. Gradually this process spread and, by the time it reached its height in the late Sixties and early Seventies, it had become known as Operation Mindf**k. The aim of Operation Mindf**k was to lead people into such a heightened state of bewilderment and confusion that their rigid beliefs would shatter and be replaced by some form of enlightenment.

That was the aim, anyway. In practice it rarely worked out so well, with those heavily absorbed in Discordianism proving as likely to succumb to paranoid schizophrenia as to any form of enlightenment.

Discordianism is often described as being either an elaborate satire disguised as a religion or an elaborate religion described as a satire, a description which wrongly assumes that it cannot be both at the same time. It certainly was a joke, of course, at least to start with. The whole concept was an atheist satire or, at most, a way to deal with nihilism by wrapping it up with a Goddess and a sense of humour. As events unfurled and strange synchronicities began to stack up, however, it became harder and harder to claim that what was going on was ‘just’ a joke.

For those early Discordians it became increasingly tempting to believe that when Greg Hill used D.A. Garrison’s photocopier to produce the first edition of Principia Discordia, something, some spirit of Discord and Chaos, emerged, or returned, or arrived in the world we know. Of course, Greg Hill was an atheist who intended Discordianism to be a satire of religion. He certainly did not start out taking the idea of Goddesses or spirits seriously. By the late 70s, however, he was convinced that his Discordian adventures had stirred up something that he was unable to explain. As he told his friend Margot Adler:

If you do this type of thing well enough, it starts to work. I started out with the idea that all gods are an illusion. By the end I had learned that it is up to you to decide whether gods exist, and if you take the goddess of confusion seriously enough, it will send you through as profound and valid a metaphysical trip as taking a god like Yahweh [the Jewish/Christian/Muslim God] seriously.

The effects of invoking a made-up god, in other words, were no different to sincerely invoking a ‘proper’ one. This was going to be an eventful realization for those that invoked Eris. As Thornley once remarked to Hill, “You know, if I had realised that all of this was going to come true, I’d have chosen Venus.”

Much better than singing in church!

Much better than singing in church!

 

A Spiffing Night Out in Glasgow

4 Aug

And after Saturday’s viewing of Night of the Demon I thought I’d never find TV as riveting again. How wrong I was. The Commonwealth Games totally eclipsed it. Topped and tailed by Lulu (Scottish) and Kylie (Australia via Wales) The two biggest stars were botoxed midgets but the real thing…Little Jimmy Krankie was nowhere to be seen. Awww!. Coincidence?

Casually observing while making casual observations I’m sure pint sized poppet Lulu was chomping on chewing gum whilst pint sized poppet Kylie’s headdress defied all health and safety rules and could easily have taken someones eye out. Royalty was initially represented by the fact that the keyboard  bloke from single hit single band Deacon Blue was a dead ringer for King George V although the real McCoy in the form of the Earl of Wessex although he’s getting to resemble Jeremy Hardy.  In fact, are they the same person?  After all, you never see them in the same room together.

A spiffing night out in Glasgow

A spiffing night out in Glasgow

I’d failed to make the Kylie connection..it’s because the next lot of games (not the Olympics) in 2018 will be down under. The Gold Coast to be exact. That said geographers will know that the Gold Coast used to be the name of the country now known as Ghana.  Therefore, to avoid confusion, The Gold Coast should change it’s name to the Surfing Coast or something. But back to jiggling Kylie she was rather flat..ooh er missus..no it was the Locomotion and then her most recent memorable hit from ten years ago. Good stuff for nostalgics. Or insomniacs..I was waiting for the news and the latest condemnation from the UN.  Can’t get it out of my head! To add a bit of edge, there should have been a live link up to Rolf Harris in his prison cell.  After all, he’s Australian and was a swimming champ before he came to Britain.  He could have given us a quick blast of “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport”, after all his incarceration is costing the British tax payer a packet- he should pay his way a bit.  Actually, is he still an Australian citizen? if he is, couldn’t we send him over there to do his time? Bring back transportation! Never did Australia any harm and they get much better weather!

Everyone they asked said the same thing and I never want to hear the phrases “everyone’s been so friendly” and “Glasgow’s made us feel very welcome” again. And again. And again.  I can’t get it out of my head.  Chances are I won’t – need to now the games are over, they’ll all be back to their surly selves. The Commonwealth wall to keep the locals out of the way will come down and all the promised jobs will vanish but by that time we’ve twigged it’ll be the build up to Brazil, grinding poverty once again swept out of the way.   Chucking out time at the Glasgow stadium was a speedy affair and by the time the news came on the cleaners were in there looking for dropped money. I bet it was funny outside but they didn’t show this.

Traditional good quality Scottish music was represented at one point by the golden voice of Karen Mathieson from Capercaillie who I will admit to having liked since 1988 when as youngsters (as was I) they provided the music for a TV series called The Blood is Strong. I’ve traced my McClinton surname back to a loyal arm of the McDonald Clan crofting near the Kyle of Lochalsh (Speed Bonny Boat) but I consider myself as Scottish as the Isle of Wight. As the fireworks went off the crowd all seemed deliriously happy. I don’t think they could have coped with “Donald where’s your troosers”.  It would have blown their minds. I so missed the swinging Krankies though!

And so another day dawned and the descendents of all those responsible for first World War, those warmongers that stayed well out of the way  gathered to commemorate the fallen, those that didn’t start it, didn’t understand it and couldn’t get out of the way! It’ll be all over the TV for the near future in documentary’s starring Claire Balding!

Gill McC

Let Skirmish Commence: Dorries and Burt Challengers Announced!

3 Aug

First weekend of August…and soon the first hints of autumn. The Labour Party across Bedfordshire have selected their two candidates to contest the Bedfordshire North East seat where Saqhib Ali takes on Alistair Burt and Mid Bedfordshire where Charlynne Pullen goes head to head with telly D lister cash queen working class spawned ex nurse Nadine Dorries. Both seats are rock solid Tory. A blue rosette in a pile of horse shit would get elected so I can only assume Saqhib Ali and Charlynne Pullen are either very hopeful or using this as a trial run before they start going for nominations in winnable seats. Dorries has said as much in a barbed comment about her adversary! I’ve always mistrusted people who sell their “working class” origins whilst quite clearly having sold out to mix with their betters

About twelve reasons why Alistair Burt need have no concerns!

About twelve reasons why Alistair Burt need have no concerns!

 

What I can be certain of is that this time next year it won’t really matter which party is in power, certainly not in Mid and North East Bedfordshire and the only real way I will know is from the direction of the headlines in the media. In practice it will be either a left wing or right wing branch of the same political thought process albeit with enough difference to distinguish one from the other. In general the majority of voters are surplus to requirements as the vast majority of seats remain unchanged and our only use is to pay as much tax as can be squeezed out of us without breaking us. What it doesn’t want is me, you or anyone else for that matter running round the streets getting uppity.

To keep me quiet I can watch telly on well over seventy channels showing much the same thing. I can vote for dancing goons, boy bands, farting dogs each weekend and maybe win a holiday for my efforts and my premium rate phone call or text but when assisted dying comes up I’m excluded. Others have the “right” to decide on my behalf. If I die through excruciatingly painful bowel cancer I don’t get a say in how I end my days. Alistair Burt does.  We the governed passed our right to have a say about our future when we voted it away  back in 2010.  If I want my say on the situation in Palestine I’m restricted to the letters page in the free papers or this blog. Much better to have a few beers and watch telly, shout at the news, Paxman or Evan, maybe I can spend my days dreaming of a conservatory!

Novelty value Dorries! The new breed of Tory?

Novelty value Dorries! The new breed of Tory?

Did you dream when you were a kid? MAybe you still dream of some preferable. It’s this belief in Oz, Over the Rainbow, cupboards to Narnia, Island of Lost Boys, flying with Peter and Wendy join Alice, Alan and Melinda in the adventure of The Lost Girls. Our middle earth utopia that can be achieved simply by accepting or believing in our democracy and that by playing our part in the five year vote we can collectively exert force over our direction. I can’t get my head how people can remain “Labour Stalwarts” after repeatedly being sold out almost from the time when Labour came into being and I now see it as a sort of an acceptable breathing spot for the Tories while they regroup and wash their hands!

Or have I long accepted that we’ve fallen for the glued down penny or the pea under the cup trick on Westminster Bridge before the old bill comes along!  Providing we keep believing that our vote counts for something and will lead to effective change or that our quid on the cup with a pea might land us a pay out they are safe!

Goodnight children…everywhere!

Carry on Nurse Nadine

Carry on Nurse Nadine

Nash the Slash no more!

28 Jul

I’ve moved steadily from being a hip rock on reader of Q magazine to Mojo mostly because I find a lot of todays music quite bland and inane but also because Mojo do a monthly list of famous names in the music world who have swiftly moved from composing to decomposing!

One name in the current September issue (*?) is that of Jeff Plewman who few will be familiar with. Slightly more may know him by his alter ego of Nash the Slash and the key thing was that 30odd years back he was ploughing his own furrow of very dark slightly disturbing electro music whilst at the same time as never (ever) being seen without his trademark totally bandaged face and accompanying white tuxedo and top hot!Nash the Military Slash

He supported a post Tubeway Army Gary Numan in 1980 and 1981 which introduced him to the UK where Steve Hillage produced his first album to hit the European market! Detective work eventually outed Nash the Slash as Jeff Plewman mostly because Plewman was the legal tax paying entity behind the Nash company so to speak although for decades there was much guesswork, red herrings and false trails i.e. strong suggestions that Nash was in fact xyz only for the two of the them to appear on stage or at a do together. The only certainty was that he originated in a Laurel and Hardy film from the 30s in which the duo were pursued by a psychotic killer called…Nash the Slash!

Like many he fell out of favour to that awful Kylie bland pop period but carried on working at low level before he eventually started to garner a core respective audience outside his native Canada playing regularly in the UK up to 2012. The music still chilling with a touch of the sinister, the on and off stage garb a bit more surreal and theatrical rather than thrown together i.e. a telephone engineer with a facial sarcophagus like appearance!

If you’ve never heard of or for that matter heard Nash the Slash you have now and here he is with “Swing Shift”

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_R3OyMu7a8A

It’s What You Know AND Who You Know! My MPs second job!

22 Jul

Bedford Bypass recently advised the world or at least those that chanced upon the blog about Alistair Burt MP for Bedfordshire North East and how he’d obtained a lucrative consultancy paying circa £833 an hour for his services (£6666.64 for eight hours). Since then we presume through embarrassment maybe he’s dropped his rates and done another ten hours for paymasters PLLG Investors Advisors of Leeds for the paltry sum of £1,666.66 which we work out brings his hourly rate down to a mere £462 per hour although all the payments are £1666.66 or multiples thereof!

Worth every penny! I really hope he gets elected next year!

Worth every penny! I really hope he gets elected next year!

He’s done very well and achieved the same status as local MPs Richard Fuller and that totally awful Nadine Dorries in putting their fingers up to all of their constituents who count the days to payday in order to balance the books! I asked Mr Burt how his fortunes allowed him to nab this nice side-line and it seems the following applies!

Alistair by his own admission uses his knowledge and relevant experience of international politics and economics gained over many years (whilst being paid as an MP). Unfortunately whilst Mr Burt was a Government Minister and officially visiting numerous oil producing companies he wasn’t allowed to have outside interests, he could only harvest the knowledge and now that he’s been cast aside he’s free to trade himself on the open market like any other MP and has been snapped up by PLLG of Leeds. I asked how this offer came about…

The Chairman of PLLG is one Peter Levine and luckily for Mr Burt he’s known him since University with both qualifying as Solicitors from Oxford. Levine is the sole owner of PLLG Investments Ltd which is his family investment fund and PLLG is stated on the President Energy website as owning 25.6% shares in this South American Oil and Gas company. PLLG are based in Leeds, using the postcode LS15 8ZA and share this bit of land with 77 other companies. I must visit this hub of productivity when I’m next up there. I’m a bit thick when it comes to this sort of thing but after looking into PLLG’s financial statements they only appear to have £736 in the bank and net assets of £117,000 so for the life of me I can’t work out what they do although Mr Levine did do a marvellous introduction to the book “Doing Business with Kazakhstan”, he’s honorary British Consul to the Republic of Kazakhstan in England (!) and he’s chuffed with something called the British Kazakh Society who list Prince Andrew Duke of York as honorary patron. That’s the same Prince Andrew who made such an embarrassing total baboon shaped red dangly arse of himself as a trade envoy!

A valuable commodity

A valuable commodity

Back to Burt I asked him about his paid for jaunts to various parts of the Middle East and I am enlightened to know that these paid for trips ensure stronger relationships and better understanding between respective politicians. I am also advised in Burt’s reply that he has a good track record of raising human rights [issues] in the less tolerant countries however despite several days worth of work on this blog while there’s no end of peripheral stuff about PLLG I can’t for the life of me find out exactly what they do, nor can I find out exactly what Alistair Burt does for them, nor can I find out any evidence to support his assertion that he has a good track record for raising human rights but like I said earlier when it comes to complicated stuff like this, well I’m a bit thick and much prefer watching the telly! In fact I only write stuff like this coz I get paid £800 an hour, £400 if I’m feeling flushed!

The information in your head is priceless. I don’t think you realise what valuable property you have become. A man like you is in great demand on the open market. (Number 2 speaking to Number 6, Arrival the opening episode of The Prisoner).

dancedead03