Tag Archives: David Anderson 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!

GOTHAM? Riveting Viewing On a Monday Night!

28 Oct

Well then…did you see Gotham last night? Channel 5 at 9.00pm Nope!!!! Well neither did I. I intended to. I really did! But I thought I’d watch Panorama on BBC which started at 8.00pm. It usually lasts an hour. Perfect!

A dark city where even darker deeds occur!

A dark city where even darker deeds occur!

Riveting. A two hour dissection of the Haringey Council and the Baby P affair with more villains coming out of the woodwork than anything Gotham could offer. Dodgy misinformation from the Police. Ed Balls clearly trying to wriggle his way out of any responsibility. ZOK! The Sun organising a witch hunt, blame, violent anger, broken lives, David Cameron using the opportunity to his advantage and talking utter dribble and a small number of people being hounded by a mob who preferred to go for the easiest option of accusation rather than seeking out root causes (chronic underfunding) and rectification (increased funding). KERRANG! That’s putting it very simply and in amongst this melting pot was the earlier Victoria Climbie case the fall out of which made working for social services in Haringey as appealing as hand washing ebola safety clothing. BAM!

A kick to the Balls!

A kick to the Balls!

Highlight of the programme was the Met Police having failed to fulfil their obligations and ignoring obvious warning signs being exposed as having briefed ravenous journalists that the real bogey men were social service. KAPPOW! Posh boy Cameron popped up going on about a feckless 17 year old mum on benefits and incompetent social workers. She was 28 and OFSTED had just found Haringey to have made substantial improvements. Ballsy had a go at Cameron and was then shown trying his best to stay mates with The Sun! Sycophantic parasites the both of them! And The Sun..well!

Kerrack!!!!Worst of all was that Doctor (wearing a head scarf) so clearly not one of the gang as far as The Sun was concerned ! BIFF! She examined Baby P and failed to…FAILED TO notice he had a broken back. She failed! Ooooh it got Sun readers lathered up. But then a highly qualified doctor comes along and states categorically that having examined Peter’s small corpse the spinal damage occurred after the doctors examination. That nugget escaped the Sun pitchfork wielding mob. The doctors life collapsed. Total! It woz that Sun wot dun it! WHAM! Also ignored was the fact that an Ofsted report praising Haringey for the turnaround of its care service was conveniently shelved in eventual favour of one that was much more lurid and damning. Cue more anger from The Sun.

Twat! Serious twat!

Twat! Serious twat!

And then a heavily compromised and rushed report on potential failures of Haringey turns out to have been through 14 re-writes with the final versions being worked on by people not involved in the investigation. And all to suit one purpose. Ballsy turns up at a press conference and “sacks” Sharon Shoesmith. THWACK! Even though she doesn’t work for him. I’ve been told not to use bad language but Ed Balls really is bag of luke warm cow shit!

The previously highly regarded Mrs Shoesmith without any help from Batman and having to put up with death threats from Sun readers digs away at the mountain of lies and in true superhero fashion starts to be able to play a part in exposing a whole series of lies, deceptions, atrocious attempts to denigrate and boost paper sale. KERRUNCH! Sharon Shoesmith admitted failures in an open manner and she emerged from the sad story as having integrity which is more than can be said for Balls!

OOYAH! And that was it. Two hours of exceptional high quality investigative journalism giving people damaged by vested interests and a culture of connivance the chance to be heard. I recall at the time feeling overwhelming sadness but aware that people who may have been able to help identify corporate failures were being hung out to dry when it was very clear that they had gone into Haringey at a time when most people were leaving. SPLATT! Some agencies like the Govt with Balls in departmental charge and the Police clearly aware of their failings sought not to sit round the table but to stitch others up and retreat into the wings. Saddest of all was the fact that Sharon Shoesmith and colleagues were able to state that what happened to Baby Peter wasn’t an isolated incident from the view of front line professionals. Neither the first nor last! And as the credits rolled after an absorbing two hours the basic facts and figures on how many children had died in similar circumstances just made me numb!

Sharon Shoesmith! Integrity, commitment and compassion there for all to see!

Sharon Shoesmith! Integrity, commitment and compassion there for all to see!

Gotham is repeated on Friday. This Panorama needs top be repeated every night till we all realise the extent to which we are misinformed!

Media / Drama Queen Nadine Nadine Nadine!

19 Sep

Local MP Nadine Dorries is in the media again, local and national on account of her being seriously rattled by an unnamed stalker. I’m afraid that if I saw a headline informing me that Nadine Dorries was an MP with three daughters I’d be sceptical because much of what Ms Dorries says seems to be a complex mix of jumble made all the more palatable by gullible journalists!

Here’s an excerpt from the Guardian from a few years back. Make your own mind up, I implore you! If this grabs your attention have a look at www.bloggerheads.com for more info on the type of person chosen by Mid Bedfordshire Conservative’s to help direct the future!

One reason why anarchism makes perfect sense!

One reason why anarchism makes perfect sense!

Dorries has also used her blog to wage personal vendettas against people, most notably fellow blogger Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads, who she smeared as a stalker. More recently she’s taken against one of her own constituents, the disabled tweeter Humphrey Cushion, who she’s vindictively tried to label on her blog as some kind of malingering benefit fraudster who should be reported to the DWP for tweeting too much or something equally ludicrous (and I make no comment on the irony of Dorries titling her blog post “She writes fiction … but not very well”). And then, of course, there was the campaign she waged on her blog against John Bercow’s election as speaker, which Martin Salter described in the Telegraph as “a bizarre fiction in which she casts herself as a campaigner for the traditions of the Speaker’s office instead of being honest and admitting that it’s Mr Bercow’s politics she can’t stand, alongside a personal loathing she displays of anyone who disagrees with her.”

To be honest, there isn’t enough room in this post to detail every single incidence where Dorries has been caught out peddling fiction, although I think I can safely say this is the first time she’s actually been prepared to admit to having done it. But her admission that most of what she writes is made up, while shameful coming from a political blogger (and a complete breach of the unwritten code of bloggers’ conduct) is absolutely staggering when you consider that she’s also an MP, and a Tory MP in the coalition government. Aren’t there some parliamentary standards she’s supposed to abide by? Isn’t there something written down somewhere about not deliberately and knowingly lying to your constituents and then bragging about it on your blog?

Dorries’s career has been a complete farce since the day she took office. Let’s not forget this is the woman who, while taking part in a reality TV show about the difficulties faced by those living on benefits, hid £50 in her bra, presumably because she was worried how she’d manage once the money ran out. She’s proved time and time again that she’s not to be trusted, that her word is unreliable. Still, at least she’s finally admitted she has a tendency to tell whoppers – although that wasn’t exactly news to most of us.

 

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!

 

Free Parking for Council Vans?

26 Aug

Now I know a bit about this. For a few years I was in the pay of Bedford Borough Council on a reasonable whack (over £30k)  with nothing to do so I’d take a little Borough van and tootle into town often parking wherever I wanted but not in anyone’s way. Only once did I get a parking ticket for parking on the pavement behind Lurke Street car park and I was told by a council chap called Dave Lant (since made redundant) to send it to head honcho and bag carrier Stewart Briggs who would get it cancelled. So I did and…he did!

Now if your recall a blog from last year titled “Bedford’s Very Own Twat in the Hat”, I snapped one of the traffic blokes booking a lorry that was unloading a single pallet of paper to the Magistrates Court and having spoke to the driver who had said he’d be no more than five minutes I found the warden to be acting like a total TWAT of the highest order. TWAT squared. Ancient Order of The Twat!

Bedford's very own Twat wearing a silly hat!

Bedford’s very own Twat wearing a silly hat!

Hence the blog which started a real flow of information about the traffic wardens, what they get up to, who the decent ones are but plenty of gripes about the TWAT and his general appearance which is at times very “Clint Eastwood”.  Now I’ve seen this traffic warden numerous times one of which was in a very odd location which I won’t go into too much detail, another time he seemed to be hiding up waiting for his late shift to finish so he could go home. Fair do’s.

And here he is again, or it certainly looks like him. This time he’s booking motorbikes for parking up and transgressing. Those evil motorbike people.

He wears really stupid sun shades that make him look a TWAT!

He wears really stupid sun shades that make him look a TWAT!

One thing I don’t see is any attention to Bedford Borough Council fleet vehicles parked where the driver sees fit which I guess leads to accusations of double standards? Here’s one (below) parked in the loading / unloading bay at the side of the Corn Exchange so when dross tribute acts, Sally and Sweep and Psychic Sooty come to town they have somewhere to park. This van wasn’t unloading in fact for the twenty minutes or so that I was hovering (sad person I am) there was no sign of the driver. It was market day so maybe he was getting his fruit and veg?

The point here is that the Council in their wisdom have fenced off the large motorcycle parking spot near the town bridge and the goon-squad or at least one of them is now doing his trick of doling out tickets to easy targets.

Meanwhile you can spot Borough vans dotted around parked up for no obvious reason with care free abandon. As ever I have raised this with Phil Simpkins with the ultimate being if he says this van (shown below) has an exemption to park up I’ll be asking a few select questions as to why this status is not applied to non Council vehicles! Councillors humph and grump about parking but nothing happens. Lard Arse Eric Pickles comes to town and gets in the papers cos he’s going to sort parking out then waddles off and nothing happens! Bedford..where nothing happens…..

It'll be alright here...no one will notice!

It’ll be alright here…no one will notice!

 

Your vote and where it takes you…

29 Jul

Under capitalism, elections are used to divert us into political dead ends that won’t fundamentally change our conditions.

(with thanks to Stephanie McMillan for another wonderful cartoon)

 

Anarchy is the only system of development that makes sense

Anarchy is the only system of development that makes sense