Tag Archives: Richard Fuller 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!

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 rated safest place in England

23 Jan

What’s happened to “Kicking of The Week” I hear you say! Has Bedford improved, is our safety assured? Well the answer is NO! In fact duffings of varying intensity, broken eye sockets, stabbings and random robbing seems to have increased with one vicious attack even getting on the telly and in the national papers last November! So fast and thick have reports about flailing fists, street muggings, sharp implements and the odd punctured abdomen come in we couldn’t keep up with things!

Before and slightly after. Most certainly NOT halloween make up!

Before and slightly after. Most certainly NOT halloween make up!

Here’s one from a Halloween night out when a nocturnal young lady and her pal were on the receiving end of a seriously good duffing up at 4am on the Embankment! We have a town centre ringed with CCTV yet these almost weekly incidents rarely seem to get followed up with arrests! I wouldn’t be seen in Bedford at 4am, in fact blink and you’ll miss me at 4pm!

The good news is that one assault that resulted in four squad cars racing to the scene was soon resolved with lightening speed when the suspect withdrew the complaint! Probably out of fear of a worse battering I’d suggest! That’ll keep the crime figures down a bit! Not much but we like to be positive!

Bedford Labour Party Issue Press Release! Shock News..

22 Jan

Councillor comes with his battered old suit and his head all filled with plans Says it’s not for himself nor the fame or the wealth..But to help his fellow man!

Ten years later where is he now? He’s ditched all the old ideas   Milked all the life from the old cash cow  And now he’s got a fine career!

 I don’t know why but when I see the amount of expenses that Bedford Borough councillors pull in compared to their visibility I just go apoplectic . I want to pace about shouting rude words and waving my hands about..in fact I’m going to do just that! Back soon… !!%$^£$%^&*()%$£.     That’s better. Just! 

I don't know what they've got against that shop behind them!

I don’t know what they’ve got against that shop behind them!

Have a look at the picture! There’s quite a few councillors holding little placards saying how we are all £1000 worse off under the tories. And the rest! But I don’t need these goons to tell me and the funny thing about several of these fine upstanding people namely Labour dinosaurs Cllr Colleen Atkins and Cllr Sue Oliver is they are both over £101,000 better off under the Lib Dem Mayor since they last got elected. That’s because they have opted to support the Lib Dems in Bedford and the rest of the Labour gang seemed to have opted to watch telly!

The latest Labour news is that after the last Mayoral candidate Penny Fletcher threw in the towel last September, with just over fourteen weeks to go before the big day and wasting time and money promoting Penny they now have a new bloke prepared to give current mayor Dave Hodgson a run for his money. Although as I’ve said before with various Labour stalwarts in the Mayor’s cabinet and earning circa £21,000 a year for the privilege I don’t see much challenging going on. In fact I don’t see anything going on. But at least Tim Oliver has met the two local Labour candidates for parliament one of whom, the very dreary Patrick Hall might get back in and another who stands no chance!

So determined are Labour to save us from another five years of coalition ruling and more vicious cuts they have opened up a HQ somewhere in town and are in the free paper to prove it! Although I’ve studied the picture and can’t see the Mayoral candidate amongst the hoards!

Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull: Let there be light!

Dull Dull Dull Dull Dull: Let there be light!

Maybe he hasn’t got his working class flat cap on! I did look to see if Lib Dem Dave H was there as he usually crowbars himself into any gathering! (that’s satire for the benefit of the councils legal people who read Bypass!)

I have this suspicion that a tactical decision has been made to concentrate on the parliamentary seat and go through the motions for the position of mayor which will keep the current mayor sweet and boost the very dull and monotonous Patrick Hall’s chance of becoming an MP again. And then if Labour grasp a smidgeon of power we can look forward to another five years of serious austerity and more coalition malarkey!

New Labour Flat Cap Working Class Bloke seeks to become Mayor!

New Labour Flat Cap Working Class Bloke seeks to become Mayor!

How much excitement can we take?

How much excitement can we take?

Creating your own landscape!

15 Jan

We are anarchists, we do not embrace day to day political structures but we know people who do. We have a soft but maybe radical edge, you can decide on this, the pen, the jape, the occasional shout and a cup of tea are our preferred options, they may or may not be yours. We are sometimes dreamers, doodlers and psychogeographers, sometimes not. We all share a passion for the edgelands and urban green routes that are a place for reflection and dreaming. Places where for a short time we can breathe and become more than just economic entities, where structures of the nearby town fade for a moment and you discern the past!

Where you are not allowed to exist!

Where you are not allowed to exist!

We are merely a small band of urbane enthusiasts, renegades from northern climes, born in Bedford types, amateurs and latter day wanderers, passionate observers of urban living, surviving alleys, forgotten walls from deceased building to the green fields beyond, the social cultural and built environment punctuated by sirens and screams and forgotten children playing with forgotten toys. We believe that none of these singularities exist in seclusion but rely on each other to flourish and foster and create the living pulsing backdrop that is our home. The effects may be positive or negative and we believe that ridding society of its malaise requires simple cooperation not votes. We strongly recommend you think for yourself!

Although seek and ye shall find a way in!

Although seek and ye shall find a way in!

We believe that the recent past and its rich variety of the grand and the ordinary, cherished and neglected buildings, bridges, underpasses, lost nooks and crannies continue to play a part in our shared consciousness and sense of identity, continue to influence who we are and remind us of how we worked, rested and played. All towns and cities have an unwritten history, ghosts yet to be born, rhythms, secret places with secret heartbeats.

We will continue to create a real space for discussing, engaging and enjoying, perhaps occasionally even campaigning for, the multilayered complexities of life, comfortable and egalitarian for some harsh ruthless and destructive for others.

We will continue to meet, gather, speculate, mooch, amble, flaneur (look it up) drift / derive (and this as well) collaborate, connect, gently protest and point at naked kings when we see fit. We will speculate, agitate, ruminate, publicize, dream and dream again over afternoon tea on walks, talks and various outings.

Where wonders wait to be rediscovered! Squalor as art...

Where wonders wait to be rediscovered! Squalor as art…

All we need is for you to keep looking at what we have to say, get in touch but only if you want to, make us believe you exist, keep us informed of your events and activities across and around Bedford and its majestic Bypass that countenance reveries of better places and we promise to create some of our own for your appreciation. Did I tell you we are anarchists?

Gill, Debs, Steve, Mon Pierre, and Skip!

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!)

Choose Your Friends Carefully!

17 Sep

John Kerry is currently talking up the coalition against Islamic State (ISIS) and the strong cordial relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia with all parties denouncing the video-taped brutal executions of two Americans and a British hostage!

Now I’ve long since given up on trying to find salvation in what the US says and does but here’s a brief introduction to Saudi Arabia’s track record!

  • More than 2,000 people were executed in Saudi Arabia between 1985 and 2013. 
  • At least 22 people were put to death between 4 and 22 August 2014 alone – more than one every day. 
  • The death penalty in Saudi Arabia is used in violation of international human rights law and standards. Trials in capital cases are often held in secret and defendants rarely have access to lawyers. 
  • People may be convicted solely on the basis of “confessions” obtained under torture, other ill-treatment or deception. 
  • Non-lethal crimes including “adultery”, armed robbery, “apostasy”, drug-related offences, rape, “witchcraft” and “sorcery” are punishable by death. 
  • Three people under 18 were executed in 2013, and so far in 2014 one has been sentenced to death, in blatant violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
  • In some cases, the relatives of those on death row are not notified of the executions in advance.
  • Foreign nationals represent a disproportionate number of those executed, largely because of inadequate legal representation and translation support. Almost half of the 2,000 people executed between 1985 and 2013 were foreign nationals.
  • People with mental disabilities are not spared the death sentence. 
  • Most executions are by beheading. Many take place in public. In some cases, decapitated bodies are left hanging in public squares as a “deterrent”. 
The Saudi version of Morris Dancing!

The Saudi version of Morris Dancing!

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!

 

Richard Fuller MP for Bedford: Please Give Generously!

15 Jun
Richard Fuller finds his way to Bedford Hospital

Richard Fuller finds his way to Bedford Hospital

We all know what venture capitalists are, don’t we boys and girls? They are rich people who gamble by investing their own money in your fledgling private scheme, hoping to get back their original investment plus a tidy sum when you eventually start turning a profit.
(People whose companies have been bought out by venture capitalists will have a slightly different definition, but we’ll not go into that here).
So why would a venture capitalist make personal money available to someone wanting to be an MP?
That’s the question we’re asking ourselves here in Bedford Borough, where Tory MP Richard Fuller’s unsuccessful 2005 campaign was bankrolled to the tune of £4,000 by one Ali Habbas.

Ali Habbas. Proud to support Bedford MP Richard Fuller!

Ali Habbas. Proud to support Bedford MP Richard Fuller!

Mr Habbas (a UK citizen) made his donation as a private individual, and that is how it was listed in Mr Fuller’s declarations, but  quite co-incidentally Mr Habbas is also CEO of mega-money-making Palma Capital.
Palma Capital is based in Dubai, alongside Mr Fuller’s other sometime employers, InvestCorp Bank.
For some reason, Mr Habbas’s donation to Mr Fuller’s unsuccessful 2005 campaign (channelled via Bedford and Kempston Conservative Association) wasn’t declared until the following year.
Tut tut!, said the Electoral Commission (but of course, did nothing).
While venture capitalists are not noted for giving money away unconditionally, it is important to note that  Mr Habbas’s donation to Mr Fuller were made in a private capacity and we applaud this. Yes we really do!.
However, try as we might, we here at Bedford Bypass cannot find any record of any reason why a private banker based in the Arab Emirates might have the slightest interest in the goings-on of one of England’s smallest counties.
Perhaps it is simply that he and Mr Fuller are good friends from their Gulf days … but with Mr Fuller’s personal fortune in the unknown millions of pounds, perhaps Mr Fuller is simply so busy filing his numerous expenses claims that explaining what appears to be a personal ‘investment’ has simply slipped his mind.
No doubt, unlike many of his constituents, Mr Fuller could easily lose £4k down the back of the sofa and not even notice it had gone till his housekeeper did the spring cleaning.
No doubt, if someone were to bring this article to Mr Fuller’s attention, he would have a perfectly innocent explanation for Mr Habbas’s apparently inexplicable generosity and his special interest in Bedford. God knows, if he’s still feeling philanthropical about the town, Bedford Bypass could use a bob or two…

Richard and another of his close pals!

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!