We have mentioned our loathing of those sad people that hide behind bus stops pointing speed cameras while wearing yellow vests, quite clearly getting turned on by the power trip! Well the roads are that bit safer, certainly around Riseley as the head camera pointer has just lost his driving licence through to much speeding! This particular group of saddles have packed their camera away!
According to today’s Independent, militant Islamist group Boko Haram have just elected a new leader, no fuss, just get on with it! Now why can’t Labour just follow suit!
I’m spending far too much time these days whizzing back and forth up and down the A1 and other roads hence blogs are infrequent at present but here’s a borrowed one from the Anarchist Federation website which is well worth a visit! The Labour government of 1945 is often regarded as ushering in the “New Jerusalem” the NHS, social housing, education and more. Notwithstanding that successive governments of both kinds (and those fuckwitted Lib Dems) have unraveled much of what has been heralded, the simple reason for what was delivered by the 1945 administration was shaped by two wars and the recognition of revolutionary undertones! Enjoy!
The Myth of 1945
“We must give them reforms or they will give us revolution” – Quintin Hogg, Tory politician in 1943
A whole raft of personalities from Tony Benn to Ed Miliband to Jeremy Corbyn to Ken Loach with his film The Spirit of ’45 have praised the Labour Government of 1945. Of course along with the voting in of that government came the nationalisation of the railways, the mines, Bank of England, electricity and gas, and British Airways as well as the establishment of the National Health Service.
Labour swept to power in 1945 with a majority of 145. After five years of war, many did not want to put up with a class ridden society which meant poverty and shortages for many. But the nationalisation that was carried out, bringing roughly 20% of the economy under State control (the Post Office had always been in State ownership, as had the National Grid), was something that was seen by sections of the ruling class as being essential for reconstruction after the war. In fact in France, the government of General De Gaulle (hardly a socialist in any sense of the word) had nationalised far more of the economy, including most banks and insurance companies, the Renault car company, gas and electricity, mines, Air France.
In terms of the big programme of social insurance brought in by Labour in 1945, we need to look back at the Beveridge Report drafted by the liberal economist William Beveridge in 1942. This report had pioneered the idea of a vast national insurance system, the “cradle to the grave” welfare state.
In fact Churchill, as leader of the Conservatives, was quite prepared to implement this if he had not been defeated in 1945. When it came to healthcare, all three main parties – Conservatives, Labour and Liberals – all had pledged to introduce a National Health Service in their manifestos!
The reforms brought in in 1945 were geared to firstly helping Britain reconstruct after the War and secondly head off any revolutionary movement by offering a package of reforms. The ruling class was fearful of another round of revolutions after World War Two after it had witnessed a similar scenario after World War One.
By 1948 an austerity package and wage freeze was introduced because of the economic crisis that had started the previous year. Sport was banned during the week because Labour believed that it encouraged absenteeism. Unemployment shot up from 400,000 to 1.5 million.
In 1951 Labour re-introduced charges for false teeth and glasses which up till then had been free under the NHS.
Within 6 days of coming to power Labour sent troops into the Surrey Docks in London to break a strike. Three months later Labour again sent troops in to break a national docks strike. They did this again in 1948. In 1950 Labour used the Navy to break a gas workers strike and had some strikers arrested and charged. Labour also used the courts against striking miners in 1947. In fact throughout its term of office Labour repeatedly acted against workers with the key target of keeping wages down.
In foreign policy Labour strove to preserve the British Empire and indeed that of other Empires, helping the Dutch in Indonesia for example. They intervened militarily in Egypt in 1951, threatened Iran in 1951 over oil interests (sound familiar?) shot down demonstrators and used napalm in Greece. They went back on their commitment to the end of military conscription, eagerly keeping it in place.
Labour re-established relations with the Franco dictatorship in 1951, bombed Indian villages in 1946, and applied vicious repressive measures in Kenya and Malaya.
The 1945-51 Labour Government was not a Golden Age. Far from it. The reforms that were passed, and that indeed made working people’s lives a little easier, would have been given just as readily by the Tories or Liberals. They were given because Britain needed to be rebuilt after the War and to head off unrest. To this day however, there are still those who continue to push the idea of a Labour government acting as a pioneering socialist administration.
Like we said this is the “new look” Bedford Bypass and to try and maintain your attention and get the hit rates back up again after our…er…their spring break….and our negotiations to purchase the blog…we are having a great competition. It’s just over a month, maybe five weeks since the Liberal Democrats were trounced, humiliated, leathered, wallied, ridiculed, decimated, battered senseless and general given a good old swifty to the bollocks followed by a repeated pounding in the general area of where their bollocks once were! Lovely wasn’t it! The pain on Cleggs face….oooh! Crawling, bootlicking crack smelling odious TWATS! Ex Bedford Borough Lib Dem Councillor and ex Weightwatchers groupie Dan Rogerson now an ex MP! Punch the air!!!!!
Bedroom Tax….Yes Nick Clegg, austerity rammed up our back ends and you just looked sad and nodded it through!
Anyway back to the fab competition with the top prize being a bag of Vegan chocolate Ooojah Boojah chocolates from Norwich. Or it might be a box! But what a prize it is….All you have to do is study the below photograph and in there you may be able to spot Nick Clegg and his remnants of his Liberal Democrats party. They are there but be warned, to make things a tad harder we asked 100 of Bedford Bypass pals to wear Nick Clegg masks and shuffle about looking gutted, lost, defeated, searching for Prozac and the rest of it! So go on and have a go! Just circle Nick Clegg and the rest of the insignificant TWATS!
Remember only one entry per person, remember to write your name address, burglar alarm code and credit card details on the back. We regret that we can’t return your entry unless you include £5! In case of a tie break please list your favorite three regular characters from Bedford Bypass! And another £5. Good luck!
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!
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!
Yes Indeed! After months of negotiation Bedford Bypass is under new ownership! Out with the old and in with the new! No more of this “anarchist” rubbish and dissing our beautiful vibrant town center at every opportunity, the new look Bedford Bypass will be a “down your throat” celebration of all that is good about our pretty riverside town, the one that is beautiful and vibrant!
So what can you expect? Well up and coming features will include interviews with people that make our town what it is and we have lined up on street chats with the rather bored looking traffic warden (or civil enforcement chap) that is assigned to hanging round the bus station waiting to pounce on car driving people that dare stray into places that are forbidden, and we hope to go out on patrol with the Dog Squad that are now fining evil dog walkers who sneer in the face of the law and let Fido wander about! AND IT GETS BETTER… we are like all of you hoping that ex Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Prescod is acquitted of allegedly sexual assaulting someone by allegedly inserting something somewhere and when his innocence is proven we will be leading the charge to have him reinserted onto the council! Or should that be “into”? Apparently he didn’t turn up for his court appearance last week!
We will also be showing our support for all our local councillors who do a fantastic job of agreeing with whatever the Mayor says and does, this includes Doug McMurdo who retained his seat despite twatting some young kids…teenagers actually and we all know what they can be like don’t we! We won’t be constantly going on about Councillors expenses…you don’t want to know about Colleen Atkins being paid £16,000 grand for her “job” chairing fire brigade meetings on top of her £20odd grand for supporting the Mayor! No you want good news, like how fantastic the new bus station is now that they’ve fastened a new plastic bit on top that says “Welcome to Bedford”, and the new Tourist Information Centre that is there to say goodbye to all the people going shopping somewhere nice! It’s much better now that they’ve got rid of all the leaflets and historical tat, making it much more functional by concentrating on telling people where to get the bus to Milton Keynes as to be honest it’s not all that clear which bus you have to get on! And one of the X5 Stagecoach Drivers is a bit of a misery guts!
And it’s all change at Police HQ as Chief Constable Paul is moving on after a grand stint in charge of just under two years, almost as long as the one before! Now then, the last sarcastic dole faced proprietors of Bedford Bypass made the not very funny comment that the Chief Constable changes more frequently than Dr Who which is frankly…very true but misses the point which is that er….well, we will miss her so bye bye Collette (check that this is the right first name before you publish this or you are sacked you zero hours (and zero pay) trainee!
And we will be publishing your pictures as it saves having to write stuff and anyway if we promise to publish your pictures the hit rates should go up. Pictures of cats are nice and if you have a nice picture of your nice cat, or your nice neighbors nice cat, or just any random nice cat you come across (preferably alive and not flat at the side of the road) send it to us marked “Nice Cat of the Week” competition and you could win an invite for afternoon tea for two at the Swan Hotel (terms and conditions apply*)!
So there we are, remember there will be updates daily or maybe weekly depending on numerous external factors, and IT’S GOING TO BE GOOD NEWS from now on (or until further notice) so keep coming back!
(Competition Terms and Conditions: If you win with a nice picture of a nice cat we will send you the invite but the actual cost of the afternoon tea is down to you. It’s a bit pricey, I took Abigail there when she left, you get a brew, a few biscuits that looked to have been made by under fives and that funny lumpy sugar, and where we sat stank of chlorine from the spa)
And welcome back to Bedford Bypass! We have been very busy…Actually we haven’t. Just slouching about, watching the odd film and nipping back and forth to various bits of Norfolk. Truth is a malaise set in as soon as the election bandwagon started to make its presence felt. Big names slinking unannounced into town for hush hush photo opportunities to selected guests with the voting public finding out that so and so has been in town! It was in short a mind numbing seven weeks!
Against the odds (most local Conservatives had written off his chances) Richard Fuller retained his seat and the ever so dreary and tediously boring Patrick Hall (Labour) is still unemployed after five years in the wilderness! Here’s Patrick with fellow loser Ed Balls at some Bedford event to rally the troops not that it did him any good.
I did get a missive from Mahmud Henry Rogers who was the wannabe MP sacrificial lamb from the Lib Dems. He wanted to correct something that I didn’t say as he suggested that I’d suggested that he’d suggested he had dropped his opposition to tuition fees so I reproduce his comment here :
“You are mistaken. I said in the debate that I had forgiven Nick Clegg for making a mistake, which the Deputy Prime Minister admitted he had done. I did not say I had changed my mind on Tuition Fees.I remain against tuition fees, as I have always been”
The real gist of what I said was that Mahmud came across as a bit of a crawler of high degree although his wonderful ability to forgive Cleggy was heart warming and brought tears to my eyes, almost as Paul O Grady and the puppies! Mind you doling out pardons to turncoats didn’t do Mr Rogers any good. Or Clegg for that matter! Better luck next time Mahmud! Piss off Nick Clegg!
On the local council front Independent Doug (lights out) McMurdo retained his council seat despite being convicted of twatting representatives of his wards local youth! I like that, very amusing! All the carpet baggers on huge expenses retained their seats and it looks like the Lib Dem Mayor will once again team up with local Labour to run the show but at least this time they will have something very much in common, both parties got a good kicking from the electorate! But does that really matter when a Labour councillor keeps her seat and gets £21,000 plus £13,000 extra for being chair of the local fire service committee!
Meanwhile apart from a a few new faces nothings really changed, Labour will rebuild and the pendulum will start ticking back. Some grinning gooning charismatic type will lead them to victory and the whole sorry process starts again, the government will always win!
Eagle-eyed readers of the Sunday Times will have spotted Bedford’s modest entry in their 50 best urban places to live in Britain 2015. I thought of doing a blog about this until I realised that no one would believe me – but now it’s all over the front page of local paper the Times & Citizen, so here goes.
The original article starts off cautiously, stating that Buckinghamshire has the cash, Cambridge the brains, and Bedford is the less-favoured piggy-in-the-middle. The local university is so-so and the architecture is humdrum, but we ought to pay more attention to this overlooked market town. Not exactly bigging the place up, there’s usually a good reason why a place is overlooked – and the Sunday Times has just given several. However – it only takes 40 minutes to get to London by train, Castle Ward has cafés, gastropubs, museums and desirable Victorian housing which is cheaper than the Cambridge equivalent – a five bed house here is the price of a three bed there – and Bedford School has climbed from 180th to 154th in a ranking of private schools. The local paper baulks at the Sunday Times use of the word “gentrification” – Castle Ward has always been regarded as a good place to live, never exactly a post-industrial hell hole – but apart from that, it’s all good. The Times & Citizen misses out the cautious beginning, and lists all the features that the Sunday Times has carelessly omitted, like a growing cultural scene, green spaces and attractive surrounding villages. You know, stuff that no other town has. So – the reasons Bedford has made the list:
- it’s quick and easy to escape to London if you have to work there or when you can’t stand Bedford any longer.
- The brainiacs of Cambridge can buy up comparatively cheaper housing in desirable Castle Ward, leaving less for the locals and pushing up average house prices higher than the already ludicrous £261,879.
- Bedford School is slightly less of an also-ran than it was last year. Never mind that it is a private school for boys, so of no interest to people who don’t have school age sons or who don’t have the means or inclination to go private – league tables are sooo vital.
The Sunday Times ends with the damning with faint praise – “The perennial wallflower is gradually coming into bloom”. Will all this make the slightest bit of difference? Last year, one of the Bedfordshire villages made the list of 50 best rural places to live in Britain. A similar song and dance happened in the local paper, then it soon died down. I tried to Google it as I’d forgotten the name of the village, but only subscribers to the Sunday Times are allowed to access the site, so that was me scuppered. Never mind, it’s all good clean fun and Bedford really could be one of the 50 best urban places to live in Britain. We won’t let it go to our heads.
(Apparently our usual Editor is Wales somewhere!)
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!
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?