WHY PRIVATISATION MATTERS TO EVERYONE…

Writes The BRISTOLIAN‘s Social Care Correspondent:

So what’s this privatisation of public services thing all about, then?

Well, If you believe the papers, it’s the improvement of services because the workers who deliver them presently are lazy, incompetent, uneconomical and probably have a better pension than you. What a load of arse!

For starters most of the companies that are bidding to run our services also have shares in the media companies that peddle this one-sided MISINFORMATION.

The privatisation of public services means that large companies are providing services for the sick, elderly and vulnerable for financial gain. They have a legal duty towards their shareholders to MAXIMISE PROFIT – a duty that outweighs the rights of the service users or staff, who are often untrained, under resourced and on zero hours contracts with few checks on their background.

We are told that quangos like the Care Quality Commission monitor privatised care Well, they’ve inspected Holmwood House on numerous occasions and the home has FAILED EVERY TIME but they’ve been allowed to carry on regardless and people have died in the meantime.

After you’ve worked all your life and paid your National Insurance, you’d be hoping for some kindness and care with dignity. Tough. In all likelihood you’ll be laying there with your pyjamas round your ankles waiting for some sixteen year old on the Minimum Wage to perform a bowel evacuation on you. Her first time… Just like yours!

After all, they don’t want you being a nuisance and SHITTING YOURSELF because you’re in bed all day with nobody to take you to the toilet.

Meanwhile all that money you raised by selling your house to pay for it will wing its way to the Cayman Islands accounts of a private ‘care provider’. Fucking perky!

Let’s get down the Council House and do a bowel evacuation on those that are flogging off our care and see how they like it.

Anybody fancy some BRISTOLIAN-branded rubber gloves..?

“LIVES AT RISK” IN BRISTOL’S DAY CENTRES AS ‘COST CUTTING’ BY BARMY BOSSES SLASHES SERVICES FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE

After The BRISTOLIAN blew the lid on the dangerous understaffing in Day Centres – which have seen service users with dementia and learning difficulties being lumped together despite the clear risks (see issue #4.11) – you would have thought that the BUNGLING BOSSES responsible would do something.

We stated that centres were running at nearly 50% staff absences. Things have now got even worse, with dim-witted managers making more than twenty people redundant!

Many of those ‘restructured’ out of their jobs were glad to be out and away from the CHAOS – yet also very concerned for those left behind and expected to work miracles with nowhere near the resources necessary.

Sources we have spoken to describe “a tangible fear that someone will die soon”.

Meanwhile management has started to realise that it will have to get casual workers in to plug the gaps, as even the lamentable Care Quality Commission won’t let them get away with such CHRONIC UNDER-STAFFING.

But here’s the kicker: the casual workers brought in – costing the council more money than the permanent staff – are likely to be the exact same people they made redundant only last month. That’s right – whilst they DEVASTATE the service, the idiots in charge can’t even save money.

It’s enough to make you wonder who has the learning difficulties.

GREEN GUS GETS THE GLOBE TROTS (AT YOUR EXPENSE!)

What’s this curious spreadsheet all about that’s arrived in The BRISTOLIAN‘s inbox?

Why, it’s only the foreign travel expenses for that formidable Green Party anti-car campaigner and supposed environmen- talist SIR GUS HOYTY-TOYTY.

Clearly the Cabinet member for hot air and gaffes has taken the austerity message to heart and confined himself to just the SIX European trips at our expense between April and September 2013 and he’s only taken a plane TWICE.

Total cost to the council taxpayer for these jollies is a mere £2,135 in travel costs (excluding accommodation) and he’s burned around 550 kilos of carbon.

Can there be any doubt Sir Gus’s vital international environmental and humanitarian work to save our children’s futures more than justifies these planet-wrecking plane trips?

And no way does he look like a big fat gormless buffoon…

GAGA’S ‘ENTERPRISING’ RE-RELOCATION SEES HENGROVE SNUBBED!

Looks like Mayor Fergo’s increasingly isolated and absurd Chief Exec NICOLA ‘LADY GAGA’ YATES has managed to piss of a lot of her staff who’ve been dispatched to ABU GHRAIB, her ugly new City Council headquarters on Temple Street.

Now Gaga has announced that 155 of these staff, having been forcibly removed from the so-called Park View Campus in Hengrove to this new hellhole HQ, are to be MOVED BACK AGAIN after just a few months to make way for Gaga and her entourage who’ve decided they want the space temporarily while the Council House is refurbished.

The BRISTOLIAN understands that horrifying snob Gaga rejected out of hand a temporary move to Hengrove, insisting she needed to be near the ‘Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone’ (see issue #4.5) and what she calls the “business community”. Although an insider told us, “to be honest, I think she just likes hanging around wealthy people, and there’s not many of them in Hengrove.”

Staff who are being forced to make way for Gaga and her growing gang of OVERPAID HANGERS-ON are said to be fuming. We’ve heard of at least two who sold their cars once they no longer needed to travel to south Bristol every day. What happens to them now? Will Gaga compensate them?

And how much has this pointless escapade cost the council taxpayer?

BALD-FACED VOTE RIGGING AS HILLCREST HEAD NIXES POLL: ‘ANTI-UNIFORM PARENTS ARE REVOLTING’!

All is not well in the once boho suburb of Totterdown… Or rather, all is not well among the parents of the local Primary School, HILLCREST – one of the last schools in the city not trussing up young kids in nasty nylon uniforms for their own good.

As reported in The BRISTOLIAN #4.10, the promised referendum of parents has now taken place at the school on the vexed issue of introducing a uniform and, in a small victory for the area’s dwindling liberals over the gentrifying corporate hordes, 52% of parents said ‘thanks but no thanks’ and voted against. Alas, this wasn’t good enough for the school’s bosses, Headteacher Tim ‘Baldy’ Browse and chair of governors Julia ‘Thick’ Skinner. They immediately announced that they planned to INTRODUCE A UNIFORM ANYWAY!

Cue uproar, Facebook spats, playground rows and fuming complaints as Thick and Baldy were besieged by outraged parents.

Matters then took a turn for the worse when Thick Skinner published a post on her widely-read blog condemning complaining parents as “school bullies” whose complaints were “pointless” and full of “aggressive, intimidating vitriol”! When this predictably stirred up even more anger, she then pulled it down, perhaps not realising that nothing is every really deleted from the web… You’ll never pass your ICT exam with clangers like that!

Meanwhile, presumably not wishing to get left behind in the total nutjob stakes, Baldy Browse has started issuing DARK THREATS that he may be investigating parents comments about the school on Facebook. Oooerrr missus!

What kind of city do we live in when primary school managers with support from council bosses start compiling secret intelligence dossiers on parents who oppose school uniforms?

‘NO FUN’ PARK BYELAWS BROUHAHA BACKFIRES ON FERGUSON & HOYT!

BRISTOL BIGWIGS HAVE HISTORY FOR THIS SORT OF THING…

If our illustrious millionaire mayor George Ferguson and his idiot boy wonder Councillor Augustus Hoyt have it their way, it’s soon going to be illegal to climb trees, play ball games or skateboard in Bristol Parks.

The LUDICROUS BYELAWS these nobs tried to rush through council the other week hit the national press and threatened to trash Bristol’s reputation as a ‘fun city’. The nationally publicised backlash frightened Fergo, who then bottled it like the cheap snake oil salesman he is. He pulled the byelaws out from a vote (at least for now) and forced his ‘Assistant Mayor’ Hoyt to appear on the local telly news to defend the policy – just as he was putting it on hold!

Ass Mayor Gusty Hoyt - a shaved chimp who hates kids, ball games and free family fun in the park?

Ass Mayor Gusty Hoyt – a ‘shaved chimpanzee’ who hates kids, ball games and free family fun in the park?

But whilst amusing to watch Gusty sweat like a PARTIALLY-SHAVED CHIMPANZEE with glandular problems in the face of a mild probing from Ian Axton, the whole fiasco also underlined an age-old point. When nobs who think they own our city bang on about ‘public freedoms’, they mean that there are only two types of ‘fun’ allowed in our streets and parks: stuff organised by them (like the boring official ‘street festivals’ in town); or commercial events they can profit from, like the Arc Festival.

If you don’t fit into these categories then at best you’ll be nicked and fined, at worst riot police go in and you’ll be kissing truncheons (like in Easton at the impromptu Thatcher’s Dead street party).

Bristol’s international reputation for free, self-organised fun is based on things like the original Ashton Court Festival, St Paul’s Carnival and ‘free parties’ in general. But it will always be under threat from posh tossers like Fergo and Hoytie-Toyty, who just don’t get it, and never will.
None of this is new. For hundreds of years Bristolians have been fighting over control of public space.

Back in the 17th century after the Church had stopped a land grab by GREEDY CLIFTON MERCHANTS (things don’t change), College Green became a popular place for recreation. Trouble was Bristolians weren’t interested in going to Church but just wanted to hang out and have a laugh.

In 1634 a report sponsored by Archbishop Thomas Laud stated:

…it is made a receptacle for all idle persons to spend their time in stopball and such lyke recreations, even of times from morning until night, the time of divine service not excepted.

Ironically in 2001, the Dean of Bristol Cathedral complained about disturbances to his services by skateboarders on College Green (who weren’t interested in church, funnily enough) and started a campaign to get a byelaw forbidding skateboarding to be enforced. In the summer of 2007 the police served a ‘dispersal order’ on College Green and the surrounding area for the period of the school holidays.

The order was aimed at the SKATEBOARDERS and other youth who had gathered on College Green for many years. Bristolian youngsters reacted in style with demonstrations and an active media campaign protesting against the order.

The fight over College Green continues to this very day, but in nearby Brandon Hill the battle was lost over a century ago.

Overlooking the whole city, Brandon Hill in the 17th and 18th centuries was symbolic as the ‘PEOPLE’S HILL’, where Bristolians came to play, party, meet and demonstrate.

However, after the 1831 ‘riots’ – essentially a violent attack on Bristol’s wealthy elite – the rich began to move in droves up to Clifton as they were too scared to be near the working class areas of central Bristol. The last thing these posh types wanted was a free party or a working-class demonstration going on just up the road.

It comes as no surprise that one of the first police stations in Bristol was built on Brandon Hill in 1836 to keep an eye on working class Bristolians having a party, whilst the real colonial thieves and SLAVE-TRADING CRIMINALS lived right round the corner.

In the 1840s, the People’s Hill was the scene of mass Chartist meetings and demonstrations, calling for democracy for everyone not just the wealthy. This frightened the rich Cliftonites, who began a long campaign to stop the demonstrations and get control of the People’s Hill.

In the late 19th century, after a series of sneaky legal manoeuvres, they managed to get the top of Brandon Hill covered in rock gardens to stop any parties or gatherings, and celebrated their victory by planning to build a massive statue of slave-trader Edward Colston overlooking the city!

In the end they settled for Cabot Tower, a monument to their robbing and enslavement of the New World. Brandon Hill was completed sanitised and has so many byelaws that most Bristolians don’t bother with it. It was transformed from the People’s Hill to Nobs’ Hill in just one hundred years.

So, bollocks to their byelaws – The ‘Smiter’ says ‘Fight for the Right to Party’, just like Bristolians have done for centuries!

EMPTY PITCH SHOCK AS G.F.A. WASTES MONEY ON WHITE ELEPHANT NO ONE USES WHILST COMMUNITY FOOTBALL REMAINS UNDERFUNDED

Bristol football clubs have been astounded by the activities of the Gloucestershire Football Association (GFA). Last year the GFA opened a new 3G astroturf pitch COSTING NEARLY ONE MILLION QUID at its Oaklands Park headquarters in Almondsbury.

The GFA have been crowing about their new ‘Real Madrid’ standard pitch, which replaced a perfectly good grass surface. The problem is that the Almondsbury HQ, seven miles outside the city centre, normally only hosts cup finals and one or two other games a year. So what’s the point of this expensive luxury when the city’s football clubs are suffering from under-maintained grass pitches and changing rooms?

In an article in the Nazi Post last December the GFA openly admitted that their 3G pitch was so underused they had resorted to getting Aztec West office workers to have a kick about on it during lunchtimes.

Why did the GFA make the decision to build it in the first place, rather than spreading the money around the hundreds of amateur clubs who make up their association? Many of these clubs desperately need money to improve their grass pitches and changing facilities, especially with all the council cuts.

Instead the GFA have turned their backs on their members so they could modernise their own facilities using the Bristol clubs’ subscription money and grants for ‘community football’ from the Football Foundation. How does this benefit Bristol football clubs and the ‘community’?

Looks like Bristol footballers’ money has been squandered on a criminally underused and massively expensive white elephant….

BRISTOL ARTS SECTOR DOWN THE SHITTER AS INFAMOUS ‘URINAL BOSS’ BRINDLEY SLASHES OVER ARNOLFINI!

Following The BRISTOLIAN‘s report last month about the city’s crisis-hit upper class gallery-bar-cinema Arnolfini, it seems that the management team there has decided the best way to right the good ship Analphoney is to appoint KATE ‘SLASHER’ BRINDLEY as Interim Director.

Slasher, a contemporary art bullshitter of the highest order and a former director of Bristol City Council’s Museums Service, is popular among Bristol’s arty-farty/luvvie nexus for her role in bringing the Banksy exhibition to Bristol in 2009 – and because they’ve never had to actually work for her.

However, she is less fondly remembered by staff in the Museums Service, where she FIRED MORE THAN THIRTY WORKERS and downgraded and de-skilled the whole of the expert curatorial staff to save a few quid.

After all, who needs any knowledge or expertise to care for the load of crap created in the modern art self-promotion industry?

Museums insiders have told The BRISTOLIAN that if the ‘Phoney’s in financial trouble and Slasher’s at the helm, then the gallery’s 24 staff will inevitably be TARGETED FOR CUTS. They have been warned.

So what has Slasher been doing with herself during her five years away from Bristol? Well, she’s been the boss of Middlesborough’s controversial Arts Council-funded contemporary art gallery, MiMA – so any hopes the ‘Phoney has that Brindley will be increasing their visitor numbers may be premature.

Whilst at MiMA Slasher actually oversaw A DRASTIC FALL in visitor numbers at the unpopular gallery, and in 2012 a group of Middlesborough residents branded her gallery “THE MOST EXPENSIVE PUBLIC URINAL IN THE WORLD”.

The claim was made after a group of residents sat in the gallery’s cafe for a week and counted visitors to the white elephant. They discovered that more people visited the gallery to use the loos than to see Slasher’s boring exhibitions!

Middlesborough Council later published their own visitor figures for the week, which were much higher – but included 212 visitors on a Monday when the place was closed. They later had to admit that this was because they counted people who walked through the gallery’s car park as visitors!

The latest fun and games at the Analphoney began on 1 April (when else?) when Slasher took up her post. It remains to be seen who the fool is – the ‘Phoney’s trustees for hiring her, or us for footing the bill come the inevitable bail-out…

BRISTOL’S MISSING MONEY SCANDAL CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM AS CASH LOSS BOSS QUITS

Who’s this manager urgently clearing their desk at Bristol City Council – and collecting a large wedge of redundancy cash?

Why, it’s only the Head of Security Services, PETE ‘PANSY’ PARKINSON, whose department is at the centre of an on-going and seemingly endless investigation into missing cash-in-transit money at the council (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.8). That’s now more than six months and counting…

No doubt it can only be purely coincidental that one of TONY HARVEY‘s subordinate bullies should choose this difficult time – just as a financial investigation breathes down his neck – to jump ship?

Meanwhile, dark rumours from within his department that all was not well when auditors searched Pansy’s computer recently can now, presumably, be quietly disregarded?

WOTTA DOCKER SHOCKA! MORE BULLYING EXPOSED AT BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL…

TOP COUNCIL MANAGERS TURN A BLIND EYE TO BONKERS BOSS’S BIZARRE BEHAVIOUR ON THE DOCKS

The BRISTOLIAN can reveal that the city council’s DOCKS SERVICE is at the centre of a BULLYING SCANDAL stretching back years.

Bristol City Council's docks boss Tony Nichols considers how to keep the scurvy sea dogs under him in line

Bristol City Council’s docks boss Tony Nichols considers how to keep the scurvy sea dogs under him in line

Staff at the docks service, based at Underfall yard, have been persistently bullied by docks boss CAPTAIN TONY ‘AHAB’ NICHOLS and documents seen by The BRISTOLIAN reveal that he has even been openly targeting union representatives, apparently with impunity. As usual, senior council bosses’ response, despite a huge amount of evidence against Cap’n Ahab, has been LIMP AND PATHETIC.

Last year staff even uncovered an email from Ahab to his supervisory team (or “wankers” as he calls them when they’re not around) that openly attacked highly skilled and knowledgeable docks staff and union reps by name for being lazy and incompetent.

He accused them of “sitting on their backsides doing nothing”; “doing next to nothing for £17k a year” and claimed “99% of [people] would make a better job of it after 2 weeks training”.

He even had a pop at the public trying to use his increasingly poor and inaccessible service, saying we “need to plan our lives a bit better” to suit his crappy timetable! He then rounded off his email by explaining how he was dumbing down his staffs’ jobs so he could cut their paltry wages and benefits further!

When staff complained last year, Ahab’s bosses finally agreed to launch an investigation into this MAD MANAGER. However, the investigation lasted so long that the boss running the investigation retired before it was complete!

Council bosses then held a DISCIPLINARY HEARING IN SECRET for Ahab, which called no witnesses and decided that the best course of action was for staff to attend an equalities workshop and for Cap’n Ahab to deliver an apology to his staff and then let him to carry on as usual!

Staff are reported to be less than impressed with this outcome and tensions within the department are reputed to be “very high indeed” while there’s increasing evidence of “reduced performance in the service” while “sickness levels have soared”.

Our expert in workplace psychology says, “it’s pretty clear to any objective observer that Nichols is unfit for purpose and cannot do the job he’s paid to do. He appears to be suffering from a personality disorder of some kind and maybe other untreated mental health problems. He is simply NOT FIT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for his staff or even to behave in a socially acceptable manner.”

“Basically long-suffering dock workers are being managed by a nutter and no one’s doing anything about it.”