Bloody love my Eric…

Following the lovely Eric Pickles’ recent announcement regarding broadcasting and recording council meetings, Tim & I decided to be the first members of the public to do just that. A few weeks ago we recorded our first meeting and repeated the experience last week at a full council meeting at Chicksands, Shefford.  The agenda item we were most keen to broadcast was a proposal that the council should record and broadcast their own meetings – this policy would serve two purposes, it would enable the public to better connect with them and also give them some protection when/if their decisions or discussions were questioned. The vote was unanimously in favour of going ahead with the plan and so we should be able to watch future meetings online very soon.

As a Labour member, I must admit to feeling a little outnumbered in the chamber – Central Bedfordshire Council is extremely conservative in its make-up. HOWEVER, the staff and Councillors were all exceptionally welcoming and bent over backwards to provide us everything we needed for both historical, successful events.  After the meeting several Councillors came over to meet us and talk about the experience and without exception, they were very happy with how it went.

The meeting itself was a pleasure to be at, local politics is as fascinating as is national – the topics discussed included the Luton/Dunstable Busway (which has proved to be a massive success), Council Tax charges and what help (not very much) is being provided for the thousands of residents who are currently in arrears, a proposed Gypsy & Traveller site and a few other topics. At the end came questions from the “opposition” – the non-Tory Councillors. This was wonderful to watch, like a watered-down PMQs but without all the silly jibes/heckling that takes place every Wednesday in Parliament! Questions were actually answered and as a result, progress was made. John Bercow has done a great job as Speaker but there is still so much to do in this regard. One of my earliest blogposts ( Muppet MPs ) was on this subject and very little seems to have changed since.

We hope to be live-tweeting as well as broadcasting future council meetings so, if you’re as mad about politics as we are – watch this space–>>  (View it through IE not Chrome to get the volume, yes I know its nuts!)

Me & Bobby McGee – #Trolls V #Twitter

I rarely follow “Celebs”, I even more rarely tweet them but recently I broke my own rule and followed the Lizard Lick Towing gang. I have no idea why I enjoy watching their show so much, maybe its that I like shouting “NOOOOOO!” at the TV in a desperate attempt to stop them getting beaten up yet again? Or maybe its because Bobby Brantley is just so darn cute? Whatever you think of the show itself (often described as “Marmite” ) – you can’t help but love the people. Big Ole “Juicy” , Hard-As-Nails Amy (except when she melts like a sappy girl), Ronnie with his bleached, spiked up hair & bible chapter t-shirts, dirty-flirty Jonny (how God loves a trier!), “Craaaaazy Charlie” who is as mad as a box of frogs and of course, Built-Like-A-Shed Bobby.

Bobby was in Ireland this weekend, appearing at “Truckfest Live” so I sent him a wee tweet, not really expecting an acknowledgement – having a large following must be so difficult.  A couple of hours later I checked into the Twittesphere and was delighted to see he had favourited my tweet. Aw 🙂  Then I noticed he had followed me, WHOOOO!!!  I *know* its silly but I was so ridiculously pleased that the smile hasn’t left my face since. I’ve had a really stressful few months setting my new shop up and this simple gesture from a lovely man not only lifted me completely out of the doldrums but had me skipping around like a 6 year old. Whether he ever tweets me, quietly unfollows me (for getting on his nerves) or whether we will ever get to meet in “real life” (he’ll be at the Kent Truckfest in September),  I can’t predict right now. What I do know is that we live in a remarkable age where we can simply reach out our hands and touch a complete stranger on the other side of the world (or the moon for that matter) and make a difference to their lives.  

In the words of Voltaire, with great power comes great responsibility. In the same week that Twitter reached out and made me happy, it flattened a girl completely. I’m talking of course about the daughter of the late Robin Williams. Zelda, should have felt supported, with overwhelming pride for her father and taken love and comfort from Twitter following the sad loss of her father. Instead, the few (and it is only a few) vicious, despicable tweets sent to mock her in her grief were the ones that hit home & she deleted her account.  I really hope she finds her way back and learns to overcome these trolls. I have had a little experience with them myself again of late and they can affect you, as is their intention. Sometimes only by stepping away can you see them for what they are, pathetic little cowards who desperately want your attention.


Even as I typed this, a comment was left on an article about Olly Martins (Police Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire) in response to my support for him : “Hans Hartfiel” says:  “I have not read his tweets as I think Twitter is for chavs, single mothers, people without real friends, the unemployed, criminals and so-called celebrities”.

Not to let the trolls have the last word, I’ll leave you with this brilliance by Janis Joplin, recorded just a few days before she died at the age of 27 from a drug overdose. Me & Bobby Brantley McGee 🙂


YAY! Nadine Dorries is no longer a “number 2” #TheFourStreets




Well done Nadine, the Head of Zeus Publishers and of course to all of you lovely readers who supported this worthy cause. What a triumph for the good people of Zeus to have their faith in a much-panned book restored. This is the cheapest Kindle book in the top ten by a mile, so – if you haven’t already spent your 20p – get in there quick, before they hike the price back up to about 50p!




I know we have had our differences over the past few years but I’m a forgiving soul and my MP, Nadine Dorries really needs our help right now.

Unless you’ve been on another planet/living in a cave/exist in the “Real World” without social media or just don’t really care – you are bound to have noticed that Nadine has a book out. Not just a ‘book’ but the first in a trio – set in 1950’s Liverpool (a literary feat in itself being as Nadine wasn’t born until 1957, what a memory!).  The book is “heartbreaking” according to her publisher ‘Head of Zeus’ who confidently forked out a four-figure sum to secure the rights to the trilogy.

The book was released on April 8th 2014 to massive fanfare including newspaper reviews, a launch party and even a 4-page spread in The Sunday Times magazine.  However, despite all her best efforts, sales are embarrassingly low and (in order to boost sales according to Nadine)  Amazon have reduced the price of the Kindle version to just 20p!  This policy seems to be working as, at less than half the price of any other book in the top ten, its currently number 8 in the “Kindle Chart” (and not in a mere genre sub-category, I hasten to add)! What a bargain! Now, some of you who have paid £10 for the hardback might be a little annoyed that it’s been reduced so dramatically on Kindle in less than 3 weeks since the publishing date but apparently that’s just how things work in publishing.

This book, ‘The Four Streets’, is simply bursting with drama and larger than life characters (many using colourful, authentic Irish prose) including a paedophile priest, wicked stepmother, abused kids Kitty & Nellie and ‘Maura’ – a lady who sounds exactly like Les Dawson’s hilarious roller-wearing, breast-nudging ‘Cissie’ ! Although the book is receiving a lot of negative reviews, please don’t let that put you off. What else you could spend your 20p on that will give you so much in return? Well, lets have a look shall we?



We visited Wilko’s and Lidl and Nisa today to see just what you spend your 20p on. Amongst our haul were mushy peas, cat food, toilet rim freshener, “Oink” crisps, cocktail sticks, paracetamol, cleaning sponges and paracetamol. Although they are all very useful to have around the house, none of these could possibly compare to The Four Streets. In fact the only thing that came close were in the reduced section of Wilko’s  –  TWO snow shovels for 20p! Yes, TWO complete snow shovels for just 20p. But, as it’s not winter and she really does need our help – I’m asking you to do the right thing – buy the book. Even if, like me, you haven’t got a Kindle to read it on, it’s only 20p and it would make her SO happy to be number one in the Kindle charts. I can almost see her tweeting with glee now. Go on, have a heart…

Buy it here: (Note Maureen Lee’s “The Seven Streets of Liverpool” which was published 12 days before. Its set in the same place, even has a “Kitty” in it and is on sale for a shocking £4.49 while Nadine’s bargain book is 95.5% cheaper than Maureen’s! Its a no-brainer!)



Vote for us not to vote! #UKIP

So, just saw this new UKIP poster whilst driving to Bedford. (This whole euro campaign is becoming something of a farce with their use of staff pretending to be “ordinary British people” and even immigrants to promote their anti-immigration views).



Anyway, I digress. UKIP say 75% of our (British) laws are now made in Brussels. They think that’s a bad thing. After all, who wants transparency, fairness, human rights etc anyway…? Ok. So, their answer to this is  “Vote UKIP 22nd May” in the European elections. Hmm, so – they don’t like laws made in Brussels, which is why we must vote to give them voting power in Brussels, by giving them *more* MEPs.

Ah but our MEPs (classed the laziest political party in the whole of Europe) don’t vote (say UKIP in response).

So, what they’re *really* asking for in these posters is for us to financially support their MEPs to the tune of almost £1million over 5 years – £6500 per month, per MEP PLUS expenses, office, travel and food/hotel allowances and in return, we get a big, fat ZERO.   Hell yeah, I’m up for that – where do I sign? 



There By The Grace Of God, Go I… #foodbanks

All over Twitter is today’s Sunday Mail “story” about a reporter visiting a Trussell Trust Food Bank & conning them into giving him a parcel “WITHOUT ID”. The thrust of the article was supposed to show that of the 913,000 food parcels given out by the Trust last year, some of them may have gone to people “abusing the system”. Worse still, they might go to people who AREN’T EVEN unemployed… Thousands of employed people are experiencing food-poverty. 93% of new Housing Benefit claimants are IN WORK. The right-wing media and government are desperate to cover up the truth of what is happening in Britain, pushing their ‘immigrants & scroungers’ agenda at every turn.

The Trussell Trust will allow just 9, yes 9 parcels per YEAR. Which will feed a family for just 27 days.  These are not people “taking advantage” but desperate, extremely poor people who are doing what they can to feed their children and themselves.  What the article didn’t point out is that the Trussell Trust are only responsible for up to one THIRD of all Food Bank parcels given out every year. The true figures of how many Britains receive the parcels are not available as the government (not surprisingly) no longer wish to collect data on this.


Desperate people do desperate things. Being poor is not a crime, nor should it be treated as such by the likes of Ross Slater and his colleagues at the Mail. For there by the grace of God go I.

Ross Slater of the Mail On Sunday, posing with his Thrussell Trust food parcel

Ross Slater, posing with his food parcel.

Extract from the Thrussell Trust Mission Statement

Whilst we are a Christian organisation, we serve people of all faith groups and beliefs or none. We are passionate about inclusion and being non-judgemental is central to what we do. We believe that everyone has the right to have food on their plate, dignity, skills, a chance to work and hope for the future”

I have today launched a petition, calling for the 5 reporters to sign up as volunteers for the Thrussell Trust  in order to open their eyes as to the real situation Britain is in. Please sign and tweet this petition:

You can volunteer for the Thrussell Trust here:

What Price The Good Samaritan? #HelpForKeeley #FindTheDriver

In late November 2013 Keely Adams was travelling with her partner Matthew Shaw in a taxi along Stanbridge Road in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire when they spotted an upturned car in the middle of the road. They immediately stopped and went to help the screaming couple trapped inside.  What happened next is a tragedy that could have been avoided. Keely saw a lorry travelling at speed towards her, she said ‘I noticed two big white lights coming towards me. I shook my phone from side to side, hoping the driver would see the light. I realised he wasn’t going to stop – he didn’t even slow down. I started to run towards the grass verge but tripped or fell. I felt two impacts as he went over my leg. I was fully conscious the whole time. There was silence and then I started shouting that he’d hit me.’ This moment of heroism cost Keely her leg and has had a dramatic effect on her life and livelihood

The 18 ton HGV had ran over her right leg, causing so much damage that it had to be amputated below the knee. The driver has never been found.  Keely has undergone 9 operations and 7 blood transfusions to date and thanks the Luton & Dunstable and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals for the wonderful care they gave her. 

In those few seconds, the life as she knew it was torn away from her but despite that, Keely has no regrets about going to help. Brave Keely desperately needs our support now. Not only must her home must be renovated in order to suit her new needs but her income has been severely affected by the accident. Despite her employers holding her job open for her, shockingly she is only currently entitled to Statutory Sick Pay until she returns to work as her injuries are not deemed serious enough by the DWP to prevent her from working. Nerve damage to the leg could take months if not years to heal before a prosthetic can be considered and she needs time to come to terms with her new circumstances and indeed, grieve for her lost life before being pushed back into work.

Her friend Stephanie Rogers has set up this Go Fund Me account to raise money to help Keely and is hosting fund-raising events, please help if you can and spread the word.

This video of Keely shows her telling her story in her own words and appealing for to the driver to come forward. Were the driver to be found, criminal proceedings could proceed and Keely would be entitled to compensation from his insurance company. I would love Twitter to use its remarkable powers to #FindTheDriver as somebody somewhere knows who he is. Anyone with information about the accident or the lorry driver should contact PC John Speers of the Beds roads policing unit on the 101 non-emergency number. 

This photograph show Ms Adams with her partner, Matthew Shaw, at a friend's wedding before the accident

Keely with Matthew at a wedding before the accident that changed their lives.


“Gnome Make-Up Selfie”… #kickcancer #hahahaheeheehee

All day yesterday I saw nothing but “No Make-Up Selfies” in my Facebook stream. Some offered a link to Cancer charities, some declared it is “for Cancer awareness”, others just posted them for the sheer fun of it.  When I was nominated to post one myself, I thought I’d have a bit of a giggle with it so here is my “Gnome Make-Up Selfie”..


If I made you smirk/giggle or clutch your sides like the Laughing Gnome in the Bowie hide it under a rock and pretend it never happened classic, then please text “BEAT” to 70099 to donate £3 or click here to donate online


Many thanks, I’ll leave you with the joy that is “The Laughing Gnome” by Sir David Bowie.. (cute animation by Olivia Broome


Continue reading

Nadine’s Adventures in Makingitallupland #Dorries

[In this episode, the role of Alice will be played by Nadine Dorries]

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever going to get to bed.

“Having given up claiming expenses, I’m blowed if I’ll pay £300 for an hotel!! I’d rather sleep in an car. London, get your act together!” said Alice. 

Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged alibi, all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!

“Also found flat key under desk in office, so, no more hotels. #thingsarelookingup” said Alice (8 days later)


Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest London flat garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head though the doorway; (as her ego was SO massive) `and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, `it would be of very little use as I haven’t got a brain without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the pub table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules or a police constable for shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle of red on it, (`which certainly was not here before,’ said Alice,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words `DRINK ME‘ beautifully printed on it in large letters.

It was all very well to say `Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was not going to do THAT in a hurry. `No, I’ll look first,’ she said, `and see whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by STALKERS wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, all because they WOULD not stop finding stuff out about Alice remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if your hold it too long; and that if you cut your finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked `poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

However, this bottle was NOT marked `poison,’ so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished herself off it off.


With thanks and apologies to Lewis Carroll

Occasional Table sourced from Occasional Flat. Key of Convenience to Room of Sudden Alibi Requirement appears courtesy of Imaginationland Industries, a subsidiary of Averbrook & Avinalaugh

“Purely Business Partners” is an anagram of “BFFs” #nobodychecksanagrams #Dorries

Poor old Nadine Dorries MP is in the doo-doo again, she seems to have forgotten who her friends are. Yesterday’s Sunday Mirror exposed a bizarre triangle between Nadine, her “landlord” (and previous local party chairman), the millionaire Andy Rayment and one Romanian “Ramona Ladin”, a mobile hairdresser who it transpires may not just offer blow-dries.  

I digress.. under pressure from the Mirror to talk about their relationship, Nadine denied “I do not believe I have ever met anyone called Ramona Ladin” (who calls Nadine her BEST FRIEND – although to be fair, “Ramona Ladin” could be a made-up name, sounds too working-girl to be true) and stated that “Andy and Ann Rayment are two of my closest friends.” – Hmm, funny just a few weeks ago Nadine told the Standards Committee that Andy & Ann Rayment are ““My business partners, who have nothing to do with me personally-he is just a business partner, with his wife-were very clear that, in going into business, they did not want to be brought into the public domain via my political position.”

I thought I would help Nadine out by refreshing her memory..  Andy & Ann Rayment have been your friends  for many years, as far back as 2009 the Rayments held a party for you at their home in Westoning, inviting 125 guests. Much fun was had by all and the photos were proudly posted to your blog for all to see. You also invited the Rayments to a “Dinner with Davis” in 2011 where this charming photo was taken of you two BFFs.  I’m sure you will be *so* happy to be reminded of this wonderful photo, you may even like print and frame it. They also “rent” you their specially purchased large detached house in Westoning, the one that your dog & daughter reside in, you remember the place surely? You moved in just after your relationship with another best friend’s millionaire husband went belly-up. Andy was also your local party Chairman for several years, he supported you 100% through your many expenses scrapes and –  some would say, “saved your bacon” with the local party on more than one occasion.  He also ignored pleas for help from one of your victims critics on your behalf, so he is clearly a good and loyal friend.

Hope that has helped, I’ve no doubt you will send the police round again thank me in good time, Humph

Nadine and Andy 15th March 2011cropped

Nadine Dorries & Andy Rayment March 2011

(I am certain that this must be an “inadvertent” error that the Standards Committee will be informed about immediately by Nadine. If she’s too busy, I’m sure there will be plenty of others lining up to help her out..)


** UPDATED 20/11

Dear Nadine, I’ve found another for your album! This is you with Ann Rayment in 2009, what a lovely pic of you both 🙂

Nadine and woman party

Nadine Dorries & Ann Rayment 2009

You’re welcome, Humph

Trust me, I’m a Copper.. #LeonBriggsRIP

I’m annoyed tonight, it takes a lot to rile me up these days but some things just need saying. As a young girl princesses and air-stewardesses did nothing for me, I was happily brought up on the stories of Enid Blyton and Wonder-Woman, I dreamt instead of becoming a police woman when I grew up.  Entranced by tales of smugglers, evil uncles, kidnappers and thieves – I imagined myself chasing burglars, investigating crime scenes, whipping out my gold lasso and, like in the stories – always bringing the “Baddies” to task.  The police were to me, heroes – the good guys and I have always had tremendous respect for them – my heart still beats fast when I meet one and I panic, less I’ve done something wrong!  I never joined up in the end as, being a *massive* 5’3, I wasn’t tall enough and so I tried out many other professions, finally settling on catering. A far cry from apprehending masked intruders but its a lot of fun (and I wear Wonder Woman pants and a bespoke “Ker-Pow” apron to work!)

Over the past few years my faith in the police however, has been shaken to the core. I’ve discovered that on just a local, personal level, my police force can bend rules and release personal data to suit the whims of an MP. We recently heard that the “Plebgate” police lied in their statements, costing the police force far more in lost trust than the £237,000 inquiry. (I still think it was right that Andrew Mitchell resigned however, you can’t admit to swearing at police and expect to keep a job that commands respect!). Then tragically just this week in Luton, a 38 year old, healthy man who found himself in emotional difficulties, ended up dead in police custody. Leon Briggs’ death is now the subject of an IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) inquiry as “potential criminal offences may have been committed” against Leon. Latest from BBC News here.  How can it be that an innocent person can be forcibly arrested and end up dying at the hands of the very people who should protect us?  Facebook pages are calling for calm in Luton, we still vividly remember the Marsh Farm riots of 1995, which were sparked by the heavy-handed arrest of a 13 year old boy. Lessons should have been learnt.  Clearly, in Luton at least, they have not. 

RIP Leon Briggs and may those responsible for your death be brought to justice promptly. 



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