Tag Archives: The Cunningham Amendment

End of the road for Bedford Bypass?

6 Sep

No blog for over a year! Simple answer…we’ve moved away to Norwich as some of you will already know and it seemed somewhat fraudulent to keep blogging about the dire state of Bedford. We lived there since 1991 and did what Mancunians called a flitt last October although I’d spent much of that year up and down the A11. As far as moving house goes it started in Jan 2015 with a new job and ended in May 2016 when we moved into somewhere we knew as home after kipping under four different roofs! Wiz who became known as the Bedford Bypass dog was actually called Wispa and came from Beryl at Albery Dog Rescue and a very nice person she is! Wispa died in June 2015 and I still miss her!

Bloody stupid says Wiz of Bedford Bypass.

Much lovedWiz of Bedford Bypass.

I have often made mention of one of this fair islands longest running Anarchist publications The Cunningham Amendment formerly of that place called “the North” but now in Norfolk. Their help in our move to this fine city was incalculable and they are, along with a smattering of folk back in Bedford true friends in every sense of the word! As is Mr Tug Baggins of Now or Never magazine.

Debs remains in Bedford, no surprise as she was born there and is family. Period! Skip Hunter moved house as well although in his case about five doors down from his previous abode. Gill (McClinton) remains Clan Chief and can be found back in the family homestead in Carrickfergus near Belfast although Gill was over a week or so back and having a sister with a light northern Irish accent confused a a few folk.

Bedford is a small provincial town going nowhere. Much of my rage at the abysmal state of affairs over there fueled Bedford Bypass although its all gone and I cant be bothered writing about it anymore. I went to University at the age of 34 with the sole aim of getting a job where I could stroll in at 11.3oam and spend much of the day whingeing. Eventually I ended up at xxxxxxxxx where thanks to an inept manager with no social skills or managerial capability come to think of it I made a conscious decision to do as little as possible for the best part of three years which gave me all the time in the world to create blogs, draft them out, have an hour or two for lunch and then load several per day whilst on the payroll.  Well who wouldn’t! Eventually bored witless, slowly going stupid and with my partner having got a much better job in Norwich i decided (against the odds) to part company from my tedious boring as fuck job but working a pay out from them to do something I was going to do anyway. BINGO! …..and so that’s it! The main reason for Bedford Bypass was that I lived there and now I don’t!


But there’s still a sense a freedom and expression from blogging and when I take a dip into the Bypass archive there’s some good stuff in there! And plenty of rubbish! At one point your best chance of working for Bedford Borough Council was if you had a parent there. Bollocks to fair recruitment! I had people on the inside feeding all manner of gossip. I had Councillors buying me drinks and asking me to do the dirty on other Councillors and even staff. Mmmm? A very loaded letter landed by post at my private address which was so good I couldn’t make it stand so it went down as a lost blog…written but never posted! Bollocks, I’ve spent 20 minutes trying to import a suitable pic and ended up with a load of snowdrops….See…I can’t be arsed changing it!

Likewise numerous blogs were drafted in Word over the last 12 months but never posted. Some good ones but the fire for Bedford Bedford has gone out, apart from that I don’t have the time to do it! Actually I do but I’m too busy enjoying exploring a new City. But things in Bedford remain bleak and dreary…there was a meeting of the Borough Council’s General Licensing Committee a month or so back which lasted for all of three minutes! It gets better…the one in June groaned on for two minutes. And all those Cllrs in attendance claimed their money and either fucked off home or down the Kings Arms on St Mary’s. There was a big pre-election story about a new road bridge over the river into town. The Mayor and Charles Royden were pictured. I said at the time it was a “£$%^&* fucking stupid going nowhere idea and a press stunt and then after the election it got knocked on the head. That’s what the half witted people of Bedford pay for and that’s what they get!

So I’ve decided to keep Bedford Bypass live whilst I work out a new form to soak up my spleen ventational requirements…I think a new name has been agreed and the option is to start a new blog or just transfer this one. Whatever…thank you for reading, sending snippety bit and bobs…thanks to Debs for her ramblings on Bedford’s past history which much to me my equal delight and amusement were the most popular pages of Bedford Bypass and er….well I’m off to my new local! Now GO AWAY!


The Cunningham Amendment 2015

27 Oct

After something of a cloak and dagger / spies in the night series of clues and red herrings I was met outside a Norwich chip shop and escorted over various fields and a playground complete with a slide, then through a gap in a hedge and into a large basment / garage where I was greeted by…the team of anarchists who keep us all aware not to take life too seriously by publishing The Cunningham Amendment three times. It’s a spirited little tome packed with witty comment, absurdity, quips, pages that you have to pull out on a string, issues held together with a lolly stick and an elastic band…wonderful stuff and some natty cover art!  The Cunningham Amendment is like no other magazine as it is composed and produced using rescued type (little metal letters) and ink from yesteryear and then printed up on Letterpress that you operate with your arms rather than a plug. I had assumed that the Good Doctor who acts as chief compositor i.e. putting the type into printing plates while the other folk write material down in large books would keep all the pages set up to print further copies if say during Anarchist Bookfair season they ran out of the latest edition but no! each edition is limited to X amount of copies, once a particular page is printed the plate is stripped down, the little metal letters placed back in their box and when the latest issue is gone that’s it!  I did rather foolishly ask if there was a back issues department. And there wasn’t. However the Good Doctor did dig a few spares out from across close on 40 years of printing!

Its a facinating process, a genuine labour of love and produced by people that care about producing and sharing the written word and something to be treasured. More than that The Cunningham Amendment shows that if you play your part, by appreciating something and letting it be known that the output of others is valued you too are doing your bit. In itself an act of subversion in some eyes. You might have to read that a few times to get my drift…I certainly did!

Plied with tea from a bone china cup with the Anarchist symbol on the side, we chatted for a nice hour or so before other duties beckoned and I made my complex and totally fictitious route back to where my 1970s Spacehopper was moored before commencing my journey home! But here as a sort of filler item are a few words from the Good Doctor Himself! Actually they are a bit lower down but here’s a nice bit of TCA artistry! And if interested in opening your own copy of The Cunningham Amendment you might want to start by emailing us for more details!


Letterpress involves long hours alone. Every part of this ancient craft is unique. And it’s only the compositor who can sort the problems that crop. There are no help- lines, software or replacement parts. However, once the problems have been sorted, a lot of the work can be repetitive. Like lone yachtsmen and desert hermits it is work that has an effect on the psyche. It’s easy to get lost in day-dreams. I rely a lot on music for company. I discovered years ago the magic and the complexity of opera. I can sometimes plan an act of an opera to coincide with a particular printing task.

Extended repetitive movements continue to cause damage to a variety of my bodily joints. Music helps in the physical breaks.  At particular points in the opera I can begin vigorously conducting along to a heartily sung aria. As far as I know no one sees me doing this and share it with you under conditions of confidentiality.

But the music is not always classical. Taste and mood change with the work.  I always say that if you don’t like rock n’ roll then you haven’t got a soul. My sound system dates from yesteryear and I occasionally visit charity shops where it’s possible to pick up cassettes for 10p a go. Once when printing I was pondering over a storyline about a church whose tea urn had been laced with something special. In my head I had the vicar chasing the lady on flower rota; the choir adopting the lotus position; and then, on a cassette playing rock from the 50’s, I heard “Happy Organ” by Dave Baby Cortez (try it on youtube!). Wow. I was immediately into Miss Timpson doing an imaginative striptease down the church aisle.

Life can be pretty exciting in the garage.

—The Good Doctor
The R. Supward Press Spring 2012

From the annals of The Cunningham Amendment!

13 May


1) The maximum amount of taxation it can get away with

2) Our silence

Pssst! It doesn’t want you running around the streets causing bother

It doesn’t want you asking awkward questions

It wants you sat quietly on your sofa in your mortgaged shoe box up to your arse in debt watching TV, swigging down six packs with fingers smeared in pizza topping…

Gotcha! Gotcha! Gotcha!

(Reproduced without permission as they a) won’t mind and b) would be amused i I did from latest issue of The Cunningham Amendment dated and timed 9.20am, Monday 21st April 2014. If I recall it was trifle damp from rain the previous night)

It is your choice in its entirety if you wish to be treated like a mushroom although we would suggest extreme caution dear friends!

It is your choice in its entirety if you wish to be treated like a mushroom although we would suggest extreme caution dear friends!

Further details about where you might obtain your own copy of this and future editions of The Cunningham Amendment can be provided by sending a stamped addressed email to mcclintongill167@gmail.com


The Cunningham Amendment

24 Sep

Just a shamless plug for a super duper little publication called The Cunningham Amendment Volume 12 number 4 of which was waiting on the mat as we returned from a five day sojourn to austerity hit Portugal. I’ve put a little review in the Anarchism for Beginners page!
I’ve also waffled on about our chums “Now or Never” over in Norfolk!

As a postscript to The Cunningham Amendment note, sitting amongst its pages is a very excellent article by Ellie Mae O’Hagen from The Guardian of May this year. It starts with a nod of respect to Colin Ward, a writer and dedicated anarchist who managed that rare fete of crystalising anarchist thought into easily absorbable text. Several examples adorn the shelf of the Bedford Bypass bunker. Ward’s anarchism wasn’t smashing shop windows or gobbing on people the reason being that this isn’t anarchism. Ward’s passion was directed towards inspiring people to say no to bullies by forming co-operatives and increasing community cohesion.

The Guardian article then gives a very precise description of what we personally believe anarchism is and why the state simply adores it when it manages to associate the term with mob rule and violence.

Thanks to the Cunninghams for repeating the text of the original Guardian piece, to Ellie for taking the time and effort to concoct it and for full effect it has been included as an addition to the Anarchism for Beginners page.