MEANIE MEANS

Eyebrows are being raised among some of the city’s social workers at the selection by the local Labour Party of Eileen “Meanie” Means as a potential mayoral candidate. Meanie used to run North Somerset Council’s social services department where she was a notorious workplace bully.

A reader tells us, “We used to hide in the ladies when we knew she was coming. She was blatant. If your face did not fit she would quiz other staff to get the goods on you and then try and get you sacked.”

Then suddenly she was paid off and cleared out. There was, of course, a gagging clause to stop anyone discussing what might have happened and she got a pay-off – “some say £50,000,” claims our reader.

Meanie then took off for London where there’s further rumours of gardening leave and pay-offs. Our reader told the-powers-that-be in Labour Bristol all about this and they did nothing and so they’ve quit the party.

Vote Labour get arseholes!

Drooper’s retro modern flop

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Winchester: nerve centre of Bristol City Council’s housing operation.

When he’s not HARASSING working class environmental activists in Avonmouth on behalf of the TORY PARTY, housing boss Nick “Drooper” Hooper is busy “modernising” his housing service. And by all accounts he’s doing a grand job of pulling the department into the late 1970s.

The BRISTOLIAN has now received a number of reports from the poor sods trying to get a council house who have tried to phone Hooper’s new-fangled ultra modern service to find out what’s happening with their application.

Only to be subjected to a USELESS answering machine message that gives NO ANSWER to any query and provides NO WAY of communicating with an actual person.

Drooper’s also conveniently REMOVED any trace of an email contact for the department, which means housing applicants are left with that famously high-tech solution of writing to Hooper’s cutting edge bureaucracy at an nearby address in, er …  Winchester!

With a commitment to modernity like this, can it be long before Drooper is looking to introduce that new-fangled fax technology?

Drooper’s loopy vendetta

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Council housing boss, Nick “DROOPER” Hooper’s efforts to nail Avonmouth independent politician, environmental campaigner and friend of The BRISTOLIAN, Steve Norman, on behalf of the local Conservative Party get more and more ludicrous.

Drooper’s Estate Management team recently threatened to EVICT Steve from his council flat for running a car repair business from the car park of his home. A claim with just the two GLARING FLAWS.

First, Steve is too disabled to get under a car to repair it. Second, as a former merchant seaman, Steve knows fuck-all about cars.

So what kind of investigation did Drooper’s gormless Estate’s team conduct to reach the conclusion Steve was running a NON-EXISTENT car repair business then?

This nonsense comes hard on the heels of Drooper’s attempts to ASBO Steve for hand delivering a letter to his local Tory councillor. How long before Drooper attempts to get Steve arrested for ‘looking at a Tory funny’ or failing to stand during the national anthem we wonder?

But is Drooper’s Götterdämmerung approaching? We hear some street-fighting no-win no-fee lawyers are sniffing around Drooper’s conduct and they’ll be moving as soon as Drooper finally releases official paperwork related to his blatant and unseemly vendetta against Steve.

Watch this space …

Gardeners’ World Part 1

In the world of thick populated by Bristol City Council middle managers there’s always been a very special country called ‘stupid’ run by useless parks boss Tracy “BEAKER” Morgan.

Most famously, Beaker decided to try and SELL OFF swathes of Bristol’s park land to property developers in 2008. A plan so risible she got told to fuck off by just about every Bristolian alive at the time.

So it comes as no surprise to learn that having moved all the parks maintenance team back in house from Quadron Services – as no private sector firm could maintain our parks on the budget offered – that she’s fucked it up already.

Barely a month into Beaker’s BRAVE NEW PARKS WORLD and we hear reports that the fleet of vans supplied by Tracy to the new parks maintenance service aren’t fit for purpose and it’s not possible to load any machinery on to them!

The parks maintenance team are therefore driving lawn mowers all over the city at speeds of about 8 MPH to get any grass cut.

Be sure to give the lads a wave if you see them trundling past. They would also like to apologise in advance for the all the added congestion and pollution they’ll be indefinitely creating across the Green Capital ’til Tracy sorts out her latest mess (at our expense).

GARDENERS’ WORLD PART 2

Always one to lead from the front, Tracey personally greeted the entire parks maintenance team on their first day back at the council at a special staff meeting.

With the niceties out of the way, Tracy then shoved some worthless GAGGING ORDER devised by the council’s new nut job legal boss and secrecy obsessive Sanjay “Under” Prashar under the staffs’ noses and forced them to sign.

Tracey then solemnly issued firm instructions to the meeting. “What I don’t want to see is anything in The BRISTOLIAN,”  she intoned.

Nice one Trace, another milestone achieved

Wealthy twats ban ‘Spoons

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Bishopston prats were in an advanced state of excitement back in the autumn after plans for a Wetherspoons pub, used by normal people who don’t ride Bromptons, drink coffee hand ground by cheery exotic native virgins or spend three quid on an artisan sourdough loaf every day, were withdrawn by the business.

The pub group’s plans for a cheap and cheerful boozer on the old Co-op supermarket site on Gloucester Road  were slammed by the ridiculous Nigels and Jocastas of the area as a “blight”  that’s part of a “current trend to ‘alcoholise’ the Gloucester Road” and “disrupt the gentle character of the area”!

Now the plans have reemerged. So standby for another round of plummy-voiced whining from a bunch of over-privileged enviro-looney consumers in Bishopston. But treat any press claims that ‘Spoons is a sign of the imminent demise of our civilisation with caution.

It’s no secret that Wetherspoons sell a decent cup of endlessly refillable coffee for as little as 85p a cup. This is in stark contrast to the majority of the glorious planet-saving independent ‘ethical’ businesses on the rest of this three mile stretch of shops that starts at Stokes Croft.

‘Ethical’ businesses, owned by Merchant Venturers and Mayor Red Scrounger among others. Including an assortment of wealthy local business people, many with freshly-minted shares in the new enthusiastically pro-’ethical’ business media outlet, Bristol 24/7.

These ‘ethical’ businesses will currently charge you around £2.50 for a cup of the black bitter stuff with some frothy milk.

So who really benefits from keeping Wetherspoons, a cheap, convenient family-friendly business, out? The local community or a load of profiteering local businessmen?

WE’RE SUNK!

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Stark scenes confronted the dock staff on the morning 23 March this year.

Where once a fourth emergency service vessel sat moored there was now a partly sunken walkway with an even more sunken Harbour Master’s engineer’s boat, The Albion, attached to it.

Several members of the dock team reported back in September that The Albion was holed above the waterline but docks boss Cap’n Tony ‘Ahab’ Nichols, in his infinite wisdom, decided not to fix it until its anual service due in May.

Since then the docks have laid off their experienced, qualified and ticketed team in preferring inexperienced managers, who left the damaged boat loaded over the weekend. Presumably getting home early on a Friday afternoon is a priority for managers, not the safety and security of out boats and harbour?

It beggars belief that while we’re being force fed rising tide and flood risk stories the City Council can be so blase about our safety.

We’re pretty sure it says somewhere in Cap’n Ahab’s job description that he’s supposed to keep the boats afloat. Are we getting value for money from council cuts? Certainly the Albion has cost us an extra bob or two and the essential vessel was out of action for weeks.

The mainstreme press – A reality free zone

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5 right-wing billionaires own over 80% of the UK’s newspapers along with huge swathes of our TV and radio stations, book publishers, cinemas, film and TV production companies. Almost everything we see, hear or read in this country is shaped and distorted by their propaganda machines.

As covered by this issue of the Bristolian, when the public are exposed to genuine socialist ideas as they were at Exeter’s General Election hustings, they are shockingly in favour of them.

The sad demise of Bristol’s 24/7 news website into yet another load of business-friendly drivel is one more example of how the mainstream media is a reality free zone.

Voices for radical change are either ignored or ridiculed. Their agenda is to keep us distracted with trivia while the social gains achieved by our grandparents, such as the NHS or the Welfare State, are dismantled or sold off to their wealthy friends.

However, the media barons are increasingly worried. From local papers such as the Bristolian to the hundreds of alternative voices which can now be found on the internet – they know their days are numbered.

Socialism still relevant shocker!

Over to Exeter’s local rag, the Express and Echo’s packed election hustings, which generously featured all the candidates for the city’s parliamentary seat including socialists, Left Unity.

Here in achingly trendy Bristol West, however, Left Unity have been persistently refused access to hustings organised by among others the BBC and community paper the Bristol Cable.

This is because these nannying media organisations have decided for us that socialism just isn’t important any more and doesn’t need to be presented to their audiences.

Instead the left wing tradition in Bristol West has been allowed to be represented and traduced by Lib Dem voting Green Guardian reader, Darren “Fruitbat” Hall and his naive on-the-hoof, out-of-the-Grauniad hipster drivel.

Meanwhile back in Exeter, socialism, when allowed in front of an audience, seems to be showing some remarkable signs of life.

As the public arrived at the meeting, they voted in a straw poll. Labour’s sitting MP Ben Bradshaw came  top, followed by Dom Morris for the Conservatives while Left Unity were the least popular ahead of the hustings.

However, when a second straw poll was conducted as the audience left, the shock winner was – wait for it … Left Unity’s Edmund Potts!

The full results were: Left Unity 83, Labour 37, Conservatives 26, Green Party 10, Lib Dems 6, Undecided 5 and UKIP 3.

Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but a manipulative local media!

Playing out at our expense?

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Well done to Alice Ferguson and Naomi Fuller, Director and Communications Director respectively of the hopelessly middle class Southville charity, PLAYING OUT, for delivering one of the best self-inflicted PR disasters we’ve ever seen.

A sort of Reclaim the Streets for the Cath Kidston set, this ridiculous charity blocks upmarket residential streets for a few hours every month so kids can get to play in the road “like we did in the old days”.

The two lovely Southville gals behind the charity, one of whom just happens to be Mayor Bent Trousers’ DAUGHTER, were given some space recently in the mayor’s new personal propaganda machine, the Bristol 24/7 website, to “set the record straight”.

What record ? Why was this record ever bent? What’s going on?

Playing Out wanted to assure us that the fairly LARGE SUMS of public money that have come the charity’s way from the council since daddy arrived on the hot seat at the Counts Louse is purely down to their brilliance and an overwhelming public need for middle class kids to access boutique retro play experiences.

What better possible way is there to spend public cash in this age of austerity? Especially while the mayor personally cuts real public services – where his relatives don’t work – to the bone.

“It’s funding which was ring-fenced for this kind of initiative. It doesn’t all just come out of one big pot, that’s not how it works,” the pair bleated to Bristol 24/7 while not bothering to explain how it did work.

“It’s two years before Bristol as a city even decided it wanted an elected mayor that Alice and Amy held their first playing out session,” the site wailed neatly sidestepping the issue of when their generous levels of funding began.

And then the coup de grace. A Bristol City Council PR is rustled up to RUBBERSTAMP the vacuous claims: “The Mayor has never been involved in a funding decision relating to Playing Out. He took office on November 19 2012, meaning the majority of funding decisions pre-date his time in office.”

Alas, within two hours of this bizarre PR manouevre – randomly denying any nepotism exists between the mayor and his daughter for no apparent reason  – an article had appeared from the mayor-watching Bristol News team rebutting the council’s and the charity’s claims.

Up to the Mayor’s election in 2012, Playing Out were paid by the council the fairly reasonable amount – for what they do – of £12,000. By the end of the Mayor’s first year in office that figure was £92,000!!!

That’s, almost, an EIGHT-FOLD increase and none of it from especially ring-fenced council funds for middle class mums with daft ideas in Southville so far as we can see.

So did this £92k not “come out of one big pot at the city council”? Who knows? Neither Playing Out nor 24/7 provide evidence one way or the other. Although the council’s published expenditure records do nothing to disabuse the public of the notion that Playing Out’s money did indeed just come out of one big pot at the council.

Now 24/7 and Playing Out have set the hare loose, this hugely embarrassing issue for the mayor looks set to run and run in the lead-up to next year’s mayoral election.

So who’s idea was it for Playing Out to go to the local media with a load of  partial information for us to pick over then?

Councillors procure a buffet

Adding to the sense of surrealism surrounding city council procurement deals, comes the COUNCILLORS of the Business Change and Resources Scrutiny Commission.

While their legal boss Sanjay “Under” Prashar, his lawyers and procurement oafs are running up and down to London spending TENS OF THOUSANDS to justify handing a local contract to an organisation in London, the committee members held an all-important Procurement Scrutiny Enquiry day.

What was that for then? Er, to “look at ways to improve Bristol City Council’s procurement process for local small businesses and social enterprises”!

Obviously this day of mutual backslapping, pompous speeches, empty promises and fluffy PR rounded off with a FREE BUFFET is far more useful to our councillors than doing their jobs and dragging Sanjay and his oafs in front of their committee for a bollocking.

Council officer arses could then get KICKED and loads of money SAVED in relation to an actual unfolding local PROCUREMENT DISASTER that these councillors are directly responsible for overseeing.

Can’t have that can we?