POOR SUFFER CULTURE BOOST

Carnival revellers dressed as clowns pedal on the clowns parade in Sesimbra village February 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro (PORTUGAL - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3DNM6

No austerity for clowns in Bristol

Looks like Mayor Luvvie-Dahling and his yes-man sidekick, Cabinet Member for freebies and junketing, Simon “Spend” Cook, have not heard of austerity when it comes to spending money on vital services such as juggling, street entertainers, circus performers, artisan cheese markets and local drama productions.

While environment and waste, planning services, highways and transport, housing services and social care have been hit with cuts of up to 33 per cent to budgets over the last year, the council’s culture budget has shot up 33 per cent from £36.156m to £47.891m!

Isn’t it nice to see Mayor Nepotism and Simon Spend not only looking after their friends and improving their personal ‘international profiles’ but they’re also keeping plenty of freebie tickets for themselves rolling in.
What better way to spend public money is there?

SPUNKFACE SPUNKS IT!

Spunkface
What’s the council’s full-pay, part-time private sector property boss, Robert “Spunkface” Orrett been up to now then?

A brief glance through the council’s draft accounts for 2014 – 15 reveals that operating costs in his Investment Property section have ROCKETED by over 70 per cent in one year from £1.66m to £2.83m.

That’s an INCREASE of over £1.1m in the costs for renting out exactly the same property as in the previous year. So what’s that dubious little ginger shit, Spunkface, doing with all our money then?

Obviously, as it’s a set of Bristol City Council accounts, we don’t really know. Although we do know Spunkface SPUNKING an extra £1.1m in mystery departmental costs only landed us an extra £700k in income for last year.

A net LOSS to us, the council taxpayer during this age of austerity, of at least £400k on the previous year. Feel free to admire that private sector efficiency Spunkface is bringing to the council!

Spunkface, of course, also financially oversees the Markets Service where inexplicable cash losses – listed by Spunkface’s finance minions as “LOANS” – have also been the order of the day for the last few years.

So what’s this private sector property boss up to with our money? Let’s hope it’s all above board, eh?

OLD MARKET THE TWATS ARE COMING

hipster

Look out OLD MARKET – the hipsters are coming! Beards, fixies, overpriced coffee, skinny jeans, organic food, high rents and low IQs may be heading to one of the few shopping streets left in the inner city not yet captured by THE TWATS.
However, the formation of a new company – the OLD MARKET ASSEMBLY Ltd – by the gentrifying goons behind Stokes Croft’s Canteen and No 1 Harbourside, including Mayor Greedy Pants himself, surely spells the end of Old Market as we currently know it?
Although we’re not able to state exactly what ‘The Old Market Assembly’ thinks it is yet. You might as well assume it will involve some artisanal marketing waffle and a craft beer bar furnished with old tat flogging locally sourced food and featuring sub-standard jazz musicians most weekends.
A funeral for Old Market will be held soon.

NETHERLAND: we visit Banksy’s Dismaland so you don’t have to

DismalandUnfortunately The BRISTOLIAN’s exclusive invite to last Thursday’s private view of Banksy’s Dismaland alongside leading art establishment critics like the Sunday Times’ Waldemar Januszczak and the Telegraph’s Mark Hudson went mysteriously missing in the post.

Maybe this goes to show that Banksy’s smart enough to know that pandering to the Murdoch press and elite art critics is a far better career move for the upwardly mobile self-consciously anti-authoritarian street artist than courting half-pissed old radicals who aren’t likely to bother talking you or your work up anyway? Or maybe the postal service is just crap?

For a militant anti-corporate, Banksy’s consistently efficient deployment of sophisticated corporate PR techniques has always been at least as impressive as his art. No doubt people out there who ‘get’ Banksy will explain that his well-oiled corporate PR machine is a prime example of the artist’s highly attuned sense of ‘irony’. As, no doubt, are pisspoor ticket booking systems, absurdly long queues and an entire absence of event management skills.

‘Ironies’ the Bristolian experienced first-hand having attempted last Friday to buy tickets through Banksy’s pisspoor web-based booking system. Then instead having to queue on Saturday for four hours to get in to country’s most talked-about visitor attraction because the booking system had ‘ironically’ gone tits-up.

How we laughed at the brilliance of all this ‘irony’ (a crap theme park with a crap booking system, geddit?) Especially hilarious when ordinary punters with shit to do get pissed about while a small band of wealthy establishment critics, journalists and hangers-on from West London – with sod all that’s important to do – get to swan around and leer out of newspapers and TV sets at you from the heart of this radical, anti-corporate attraction sporting their ‘I’ve-brownnosed-all-areas’ passes.

Here at the Bristolian we were particularly delighted to watch that dangerous radical Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Chanel 4 News, armed with one of those incendiary PPE degrees from Oxford University, wandering around an empty Dismaland helpfully explaining its complexities to us. Krishnan even managed to slip into his prime time news package that he knew who Banksy was! Very cosy.

If you’re not a posh bloke off the TV from West London then getting into Dismaland is a lot more difficult. Queue two hours to get a ticket from a pink fibre glass shed weirdly encased in a pointless framework of 4 x 2 (no doubt people out there who ‘get’ Banksy can tell you whether this is ‘ironic’ or not) then wait another two hours while staff let punters in ten at a time.

The extra wait is so that you can experience a comedy security routine created by Bill Barminski from California. Consisting of cardboard cameras, X-ray machines, metal detectors and a team of game security staff asking daft questions, it’s all a bit weird as you’ve already been searched by proper security and had your biro confiscated. Which makes the installShrekation more a satire on Banksy insecurity, paranoia and losing the plot – underlying Dismaland themes – rather than on the intended target: this country’s ludicrous security obsession.

Once inside the ‘Bemusement Park’ the visitor is presented with a dilemma. When the artist’s chosen medium is crap, what’s the deliberate crap and what’s just crap? In the former column we can safely put the main exhibit, the Princess’s Castle. A fully realised three-dimensional Banksy with obvious nods to Disney.

Aficionados of fly tipping, municipal tips, urban river pollution, rundown industrial estates and inner city blight will love this. Well executed with a fine attention to detail, you can’t help but stop to admire the carefully unarranged distressed corrugated iron, top class rusted barbed wire, the lovingly arranged turds, shopping trolleys, litter and half-sunken boat in the moat and a spectacular cop meat wagon water feature. Inside, we’re even treated to a decent Banksy gag. A wry comment on media and celebrity, which, although more relevant to the artist and his celebrity buyers than us, sits nicely in the Banksy canon.

The only problem with it is that it appears to have consumed the whole Dismaland budget. Look around the rest of the show and nothing gets close. OK, there’s three galleries of contemporary art where you can find some Damian Hirst, Jenny Holzer and something totally fucking mental by Jimmy Caunty if that’s your thing. There’s a few interesting sculptures strewn around the park too.

But much of the rest is half ideas and desperate one-liners by Phil Space. The Mini Gulf, “an oil caliphate themed crazy golf course”, says nothing about big oil or anything else for that matter and is an unexplored pun. A selection of unwinnable fairground attractions – hook-a-mucky-duck, the shooting gallery and knock over an anvil – are half worked ideas. While the much-vaunted refugee themed ‘Mediterranean boat ride’ adds very little new on the subject although, in fairness, it is quite smart-arsed.

No doubt people out there who ‘get’ Banksy will tell you that these exhibits are ‘ironic’ and ‘subversive’. And yes they are. But no more ironic or subversive than, say, the ‘Shrek’ movie, which shares many similar themes. Is Dismaland basically a Hollywood production with fly tipping?

Even Banksy’s leisure worker drones in their pink hi-viz working to a corporate script are an aimless cock-up. When we visited later in the day, many had already thrown away the ‘witty’ corporate script and instructions and were interacting with visitors normally. This should be applauded. Whether yoalg-nose-jpgur boss is Banksy or Bob Iger, Disney Chief Exec, not doing what they tell you is a genuinely subversive act.

Another oddity is a protest politics department stuck in the corner of the site. No doubt people out there who ‘get’ Banksy will tell you this is not ironic. Which leaves you wondering if Banksy really thinks staring at a couple of Damian Hirst’s and taking a ride on a rusty ferris wheel is going to get people demanding the immediate overthrow of capitalism and rushing on to the streets to protest? Or will they be heading to one of the well-stocked bars to upload their Dismaland selfies to Facebook?

More bizarre is a roving group of placard-waving anarchists protesting ‘reality’. What’s that all about then? The concern here isn’t even with the bunch of confused youngsters doing a performance of a protest in a satire of a fake but for Banksy himself. Because Dismaland isn’t really about art or protest or corporate leisure or capital at all. It’s a wealthy international celebrity’s fantasy theme park made real. And the last international celebrity to create his own theme park was?

And how did that work out again?

MARKETS: THE PERSISTENCE OF UNEXPLAINED AMOUNTS OF MISSING CASH

The Markets FileThe City Council’s Audit Committee chair MARK “NO” BRAIN’s presentation of his yearly report to Full Council in July proved to be hugely entertaining for public and councillors.

Sporting a dazzling Salvador Dali tie, perhaps to highlight the surrealism of it all, a visibly wriggling, flustered and confused No Brain finally had to come up – publicly – with an explanation as to what’s been going in the council’s MARKET SERVICE for the last three years and what his committee’s done about it. And what a gem of an explanation we got!

No Brain confirmed that at least £41k was indeed MISSING from the service. Although he creatively upcycled and rebranded this embarrassing and inexplicable disappearance of cash from his description last month of it as “A DEBT” (owed by no one) to a “NOT QUITE A LOSS“!

He then claimed – WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE – that the money definitely hadn’t been “misappropriated” and this “not-quite-a-loss” was the result of “mismanagement and bad accounting”.

Raising the immediate question of what the hell is “BAD ACCOUNTING” and how does it make £41k disappear into thin air?

Can we all do that? Or is it only city council middle managers who are allowed to run a set of accounts so shite that CASH CAN JUST RANDOMLY DISAPPEAR without any explanation and then get formally explained away by an idiot in a Salvador Dali tie as a “not-quite-a-loss”?

At least we’ve all now learned how to rip cash off the council. Just generally fuck up your accounts by inaccurately recording any cash going into those accounts; pocket the cash; forget to reconcile cash in the bank with your accounts and wait for the council’s Internal Auditors to formally sign it off as a “not-quite-a- loss” due to “mismanagement”!

This is all a change of tune from April, however, when finance bosses led by their Service Director Peter “What Crisis?” Gillett told No Brain and his committee of gullibles that the missing cash was “NOT thought to be the result of misappropriation or BAD MANAGEMENT

What’s changed since April? When did they decide that it was the fault of BAD MANAGEMENT? Are we seeing the wheels slowly coming off a poorly executed cover-up here as the excuses run out?

There’s plenty more questions to ask about all this too. Why are the council announcing this “not-quite-a-loss” now while a formal, FORENSIC AUDIT, announced in April, is still taking place? Until this audit is complete can the scale of their “not-quite-a-loss” really be officially confirmed?

So are council bosses still conspiring? This time to disguise any potentially bigger “not-quite-a-losses” from us?

An explanation is also needed about formal statements made on this matter over the summer of 2013 when both Mayor Bent Accounting and his sidekick Sir Gus Hoyty-Toyty publically insisted NO MONEY WAS MISSING from the Market Service.

Another, further, outright lie came in 2012 when the BBC were assured ON THE RECORD by the council’s PR department that NO MONEY WAS MISSING in markets and the whole episode was entirely down to an “antiquated” accounting system (even though the system was only a few years old!)

Council PR boss, Tim “Zombie” Borrett then briefed this exact same LIE to the Nazi Post in March 2014 when the bent little fucker bravely tried to blame The BRISTOLIAN for the suicide of his dubious colleague, Facilities boss Tony Harvey. The man DIRECTLY ACCOUNTABLE for the accuracy and coherence of the Market Service’s accounts.

At that time Zombie Borett was PEDDLING A LINE for shadowy senior council bosses and the mayor that butter wouldn’t melt in the mouths of any Market Service managers. They were poor innocents and unfortunates who had been horribly hounded by unscrupulous forces on the internet!

Zombie Borett also “forgot” to mention during his briefing to the Post that any money had gone missing in the Market Service. Now the very same markets bosses Zombie was aggressively defending are being fingered by senior figures within the council for “MISMANAGEMENT” and “BAD ACCOUNTING“.

It’s all slowly coming out isn’t it?

That Mark “No Brain” explanation of missing Markets money to Full Council on 21 July 2015 in full:

The issue of markets has been of some public interest in, er, some quarters.

Um (pause). Basically (pause). Um, er, we had an issue around management in the markets and the, er, loss, er, or not quite the loss (pause). The fact that £41,000 of marketing money. Er, rather markets money was unaccounted for.

Um (pause). Internal audit have investigated. They are of the view they will never find the £41,000. Um, er. They are of the view it hasn’t been misappropriated. It was just mismangement and bad accounting and that’s the reason we can’t find it. Rather than it’s actually been stolen … um.

 

 

LABOUR’S BULLY BOSS UPDATE

Following our revelations last issue about Labour’s new councillor for Brislington West, Eileen “MEANIE” Means, and her notorious BULLYING boss past, a reader has been in touch to draw our attention to a couple of newspaper articles.

The first is from the ‘Get Reading’ website of the Reading Evening Post in Berkshire from 26 April 2006 and is headlined, “Investigation into town hall department”!

And the story goes: “The director of housing and community care in Reading has taken leave of absence while an INVESTIGATION into her department is carried out.

EILEEN MEANS took over the top job as director of social services in Reading three years ago …

” … The social services department under Ms Means’s management has hovered between one and two stars and currently rates a “POOR” one-star performance.

“This was blamed by Ms Means in January this year on incorrect statistics given by partner bodies.

“However, it is not thought to be the performance of the department that has led to the current investigation which is being handled internally.”

Dearie me, what can it all (Meanie) mean?

Well, an article in the Berkshire News dated 20 June 2006 and headlined ‘Social Services Chief Quits After ‘Style’ Criticised’ might be able to help us out here.

This story tells us: “The director of Reading Social Services has QUIT after her managing skills were criticised. Eileen Means, director of housing and community care at Reading Borough Council left her post “by mutual agreement” …

“Ruth Allman, spokeswoman for the council, said: ” … her approach to the management of people in achieving change was NOT ACCEPTABLE. As a consequence, Eileen has moved on by mutual agreement.

“And deputy leader of the council, Joe Lovelock, said: “It became clear that her style of management was not that acceptable to us …”

Blimey. What have those USELESS TWATS at the Bristol Labour Party foisted on us now? A notorious local authority bloody bully that’s what. And an incompetent one at that!

SUPER SLEUTHING TWAT LOOKING FOR TROUBLE?

247bla

Bristol 24/7 have appointed a new super exciting investigative journalist, Louis “YES BOSS” Emmanuel – the Nazi Post’s old office boy – to their hapless team of has-beens, inadequates and deadbeats.

Just a few days after starting at the richman’s vanity operation, the super-
sleuthing buffoon burst into the HYDRA BOOKSHOP on Old Market loudly demanding in his posh twit voice, “where do I find an anarchist”.

After the HILARITY had eventually died down, someone stepped forward, happy to tell the hack all about his chosen subject – “police oppression”.

Alas, barely five minutes into the conversation a confused, bemused and terrified Emmanuel turned and scarpered out of the shop never to be seen or heard from again!

So far, his heart-stopping EXCLUSIVE police expose is yet to appear. Did the mayor redline it?

Instead, it seems, the expert hack has now turned his attention to another huge public interest story – BRISTOL NEWS. A Facebook page run by a local resident that’s highly criticalof Mayor 24/7 and his dodgy antics that consistently go unreported by, er, Bristol 24/7.

Louis, for some reason, has bravely delivered a threatening ULTIMATUM by email to the owner of this Facebook page. “This is your last chance to work with us,” barked 24/7’s attack puppy.

And then what happens we wonder? Are Louis’ inept bosses Mike “Cunt” Bennett and Fat Dougal losing so much money and getting so thoroughly TROUNCED by competition from a Facebook page they’re going to run a smear campaign against their rival written by an idiot?

Will this boost their DISMAL circulation figures then? Or will it just promote their part-time, superior competition a little bit more?

VIRGIN ‘CARE’

BARISTOLSAYS

After the suffering and sacrifice of World War 2 the British working class were determined not to return to the poverty, humility and ill health which were their lot before the war. Flexing their political muscle, the people achieved the nationalization of many industries, the establishment of a welfare state and a National Health Service providing free health care for all. Although not perfect, these were great advances for the British public. However, since the 1970’s the wealthy elite in this country have successfully fought a relentless war to overturn this social progress.

The Health and Social Care Act (2014) is the latest offensive in that war, designed to destroy one of the greatest achievements of that era – the NHS. Waiting to suck the lifeblood out of its destruction is today’s generation of profiteering spivs such as the smug, ego-maniac billionaire Richard Branson. As this issue of THE BRISTOLIAN highlights, Virgin Care (sic) are favourites to take over a large chunk of children’s health services in Bristol in the near future.

Virgin ‘care’ about siphoning off your money into offshore tax havens and into Richard Branson’s bank account, but they care little about our children’s health. By their nature, corporations such as Virgin exist for one purpose only – to make the maximum amount of profit possible. They achieve this by minimising every cost and maximizing every charge, regardless of the impact this has on human lives.

If we relinquish the running of our society to these uncaring organizations, then an uncaring society is the predictable outcome.

MARKETS: THE LATEST LIE

Web ExclusiveIt’s the story that never dies! Minutes finally published in late June for a meeting that took place on 24 April reveal that the council have discovered £41k in CASH is MISSING from their Markets Service. Just like The BRISTOLIAN’s been saying all along!

But how can this be? Didn’t Mayor Cover-Up and his trusty sidekick, Sir Gus Hoyty-Toyty, publicly assure us all in 2013 that NO MONEY WAS MISSING from Markets and that the Bristolian needed to stop making unsubstantiated insinuations? !


Well, that’s now officially a load of bollocks – and not at all – according to Mayor Foot-in-Mouth’s own Audit Committee. They heard ADMISSIONS from the council’s over-promoted bog cleaner-in-chief Charlie “Gutbucket” Harding, the Chief Internal Auditors and the council’s finance boss, Peter “What Crisis?” Gillet, that, despite strenuous DENIALS stretching back over three years, at least £41k of CASH has in fact gone astray.

Not that sensitive council bosses put it quite as crudely as that. Instead they referred to “A DEBT” of £41k. Albeit a rather unusual cash “debt” that was authorised by no one and is owed by no one!

Indeed, most of us would say that this money is “unaccounted for” or “missing” or, even, “STOLEN”. But what’s some deliberately misleading SEMANTICS between senior council finance managers covering arse and councillors?

This motley collection of expert finance bosses, who have taken just three years to uncover a “debt” that was first pointed out to them by a whistleblower all that time ago, were also quick to assure councillors that the “debt” was “not thought to be the result of MISAPPROPRIATION or BAD MANAGEMENT“.

Really? So how did the cash disappear then? Did it float out of a safe and up to heaven one day? Did it spontaneously combust somewhere in St Nicks Market? Or perhaps their Market safe is a portal to another dimension and our money now lies safely beyond everyone’s reach?

These latest excuses from council bosses are RIDICULOUS. How the fuck can £41k of public money not be accounted for and it not be the fault of anyone? Do they take us all for fools?

Indeed, when pressed, the council’s USELESS pair of Chief Internal Auditors were forced to admit that they were “not able to determine what had happened to the money”! So quite how the pair of COVER-UP merchants can then state categorically that it’s nothing to do with “misappropriation or bad management” is anyone’s guess. Mainly theirs!

Mayor Cash Loss’s Tory cabinet finance chief, Geoff “Cods” Gollop, was even forced to wade in at the meeting. Blustering that “accounting systems have been changed to ensure that this situation is rectified for the future”. But what “situation” is he referring to? How exactly do you rectify an INEXPLICABLE OCCURRENCE?

At least councillors on the Audit Committee, after spending three years staring gormlessly into space listening to increasingly WILD EXPLANATIONS from finance bosses while their Markets Service was ripped off, may have finally woken up.

They’ve demanded a further report from their BENT finance chiefs by the autumn and demanded an update on the so-called “debt” for their next meeting.

But what happens next? Will anyone call the POLICE to investigate where our money is as it’s obvious our council has either no idea or is covering up what’s happened to it?

DON’T MENTION THE WAR!

 

holwod hosue

The publication of a report into the death of Kathleen Cole who passed away within days of leaving “THE HOUSE OF HORRORS” – Holmwood House care home – in 2013 (BRISTOLIAN passim) saw our posh Green councillors go on the attack … Criticising, er, WORKING CLASS Bristolians for their use of language!

The recently completed independent report commissioned by Bristol City Council upheld FOUR complaints by Mrs Cole’s daughter, Annette Whiting,  arising from her mother’s death.
Bristol City Council also had to APOLOGISE to Annette for failing to explain to her how their care system operated and how she might have effectively complained to them to get something done while her mother was still alive.

Instead Annette was allowed by council bosses to be SHUNNED by Holmwood
House who depicted her as a “TROUBLE-MAKER”. The home then restricted her ability to visit her mother and her movements around the care home while the home basically set about killing her mum through disgraceful mistreatment and neglect under the noses of indifferent council bosses.

In 2013 Bristol City Council wholly accepted Holmwood’s House’s view of Annette as a “troublemaker” and her efforts to communicate concerns to the council were THWARTED by the council bosses’ refusal to respond to correspondence or to return phone calls. By the time the council did respond and agree to move Mrs Coles from their hell home, it was too late and Mrs Coles was DEAD within ten days.

It should also be noted that FOUR safeguarding concerns were raised to the council by professionals with regard to Kathleen in the space of EIGHT months in 2012-13. And the home FAILED seven CQC inspections in two years (2011-13) while Kathleen lived there. Surely this should have given credibility to Annette’s complaints and concerns, not led to her being ostracised?

Given these startling facts, a member of the public, our old friend Steve Norman who originally exposed the scandal in 2013, took it upon himself to send councillors a copy of this report to highlight what has been happening in their elderly care service.

The email to councillors used some COLOURFUL LANGUAGE comparing council bosses and Mayor Murder’s illicit elderly care policies to genocide. Or more specifically to Adolf Hitler!
So it didn’t take long for a response to come from snooty green cabinet member Dani “HELL” Radice. “I find your reference to the Mayor as Adolf Hitler deeply offensive, along with all your comments about council officers, and so will not be entering intofurther correspondence,” she stormed.

She was supported by the Green’s latest posh Lib Dem turncoat Fi “LA-DI-DAH” Hance who spat back, “I concur with Cllr Radice’s comments. Please do not contact me again.”

So a big defence on pretty slim grounds of Mayor Kill-The-Poor and his culpable bosses here and no sign of any concern whatsoever that a working class Bristolian has been consigned to their grave by the conduct of the council they run. What a pair of charmers!

However, if this pair of gormless posh cows ever get their thick heads out of their politically correct arses they might want to think about this admission from their own managers in the report: “Bristol City Council does not have a threshold which would stop the Council commissioning care.”

In other words once these councillors have let their managers dump our elderly into their shit privatised death homes they have no way of getting them out again, regardless of what is happening to them.

And let’s remember that Kathleen Cole was sexually assaulted – effectively tortured – by pervy nurse, CECILE JOSEPH, who had a fetish for administering enemas to the vulnerable elderly.

But obviously institutionalised abuse resulting in DEATH is a mere trifle compared to mentioning Adolf Hitler in an email or being a bit rude about our posh mayor and a couple of useless middle managers.

Nice to see what the Greens’ priorities are, isn’t it?