Monthly Archives: April 2013

At last night’s post-Thatcher Death Street Party public meeting at Easton Community Centre, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson announced an unexpected new platform to his administration – COMPULSORY RIOTING.

The millionaire mayor unveiled the policy after explaining that he’s a big fan of Bristol’s history of radical politics (“as long as it’s not upsetting other people”) – though not such a fan of anything that might actually change how things are now, unless it involves giant solar-powered inflatable vegetables.


Riot at the right time, and in the right way.

George’s statement last night has left many across the city wondering what would pass as an acceptable riot in our Glorious Mayor’s libertine eyes. The BRISTOLIAN understands that he is not yet able to release a comprehensive ‘riot guide’ on appropriate disorder etiquette.

In the meantime we call upon him to indicate on a ‘right riot’/’wrong riot’ basis which of the following chapters in Bristol’s social history would meet his criteria for a FERGO RIOT KITEMARK?

  • QUEEN SQUARE, 1831
  • OLD MARKET, 1932
  • ST PAUL’S, 1980
  • SOUTHMEAD, 1980
  • HARTCLIFFE, 1992
  • STOKES CROFT, 2011

At the meeting IL PUCE regretfully also railed against your favourite super, soaraway scandal sheet when questioned by audience members about his numerous business interests, at one point snapping:

I think you must have read that in The Bristolian – Don’t believe anything you read in that.

We have been unable to confirm whether this slip of the tongue was caused by inappropriately-prescribed medication.


Welcome to the Hoyty-Toyty World of Bristol Politics!


My amazing plan to transform Neighbourhood Partnerships into MODERN SUSTAINABLE DEMOCRATIC MOOTS OF THE PEOPLE where they can have a proper inclusive say in how this fine city is run has taken a great leap forward.

The very nice people from the consultation team have set up an excellent online survey for people to have their say about their Neighbourhood Partnerships – and judging by the smashing comments we have had from all seven people who engaged with this inclusive process, it’s all looking really positive and exciting indeed for democracy in this city.

Not long now before every neighbourhood from Stockwood to Henbury will be able to ‘cry freedom’ and decide everything from which potholes they want repaired to what colour they want their park benches painted (well, if there are any park benches left once we start chopping them up and burning them in the City Hall biomass boiler to save on fuel bills). Because as the lovely and clever Parks supremo Mrs Morgan explained to me when I bumped in to her in the corridor, “the parks amenities furniture transformation sub-budget has been reabled for cultural regeneration initiatives, and the transformated budget will be expended on the long term place making objective of delivering a contemporary continental green capital streetscene scenario through the promotion of non-permanent sculptural practice.”

I was confused too but then Mrs Morgan said, “George is going to spend the money on large inflatable vegetables, dear”.

Sometimes it’s all really bananas at George’s City Hall!


Had hoped to get started on my brilliant plan to transform equalities in the city today, so I popped down to the Equalities Unit at about 9.30am but no one had arrived for work yet. When I popped back at 1 o’clock they had all gone to lunch, and then in the afternoon they were all on a training course. Still, it is good to know that we’re investing so heavily in equalities training. It really underlines my commitment, don’t you think?

Even without my amazing equalities plan to make us all more equal I think there’s the buzz of equality in the air right now in this city. I saw two black men across the street in St Paul’s yesterday who looked perfectly happy. They even stopped and greeted me with some of their traditional street jive moves. One I had not seen before. They both raised their right arm and flicked their wrist from side-to-side while chanting “KING ANCHOR, KING ANCHOR”. Not sure what it means? Probably traditional patois? Or is King Anchor a popular dancehall artist?

We’re nothing if not streetwise hepcats at George’s City Hall!


Went over to the Create Centre today just to breathe some amazing sustainable air. Touched base with lots of the green sustainable thinkers this council has. It gives me a lot of hope for the future when I meet a staff team where hemp clothing’s the norm and who think nothing of still wearing their bicycle clips in the office.

While I was staring out of the window with not much to do, I saw the Property Services guys from the sixth floor all heading out for lunch. Does anyone know why so many of them take their golf clubs when they go out to lunch?

Sometimes it’s a confusing place, George’s City Hall!


After spending yesterday helping my good friend Dr Jon sort out his bottle recycling (it soon mounts up), today I met with finance boss Mr Robinson again. I wanted him to go through the figures for my brilliant plan to save the Homeless Prevention Fund by scrapping adult education. He must have been there for ten minutes punching figures in to his calculator, scratching his head and swearing under his breath. Eventually he got up, said, “I won’t be a minute” and disappeared. He reappeared ten minutes later with a sheet of paper full of figures and confirmed it all added up. He also told me he thought it was a great idea and A FINE EXAMPLE OF CREATIVE THINKING from a politician and made a funny little laugh.

I also asked him why we couldn’t collect the £165,000 worth of market licence fee arrears the Lib Dem administration were responsible for, and then spend that money on the homeless. Mr Robinson went very quiet for a minute while his mouth open and closed like a goldfish before explaining that this “wouldn’t be possible for all sorts of reasons”. He then had to go as he was attending a house warming party for Mr Morris the Market Service Manager at his big new house in Weston-super-Mare and he was already running late.

Reflecting on Mr Robinson’s explanation, I must say it’s very convincing. We’re right on top of the accounts at George’s City Hall!


Can anyone tell Steve Comer where he is?

Spotted in a café in Redfield recently was monk-haired Lib Dem councillor for Eastville, STEVE ‘IN A’ COMER, furtively in conflab with an unknown man.

We understand that the two had an intriguing conversation, the highlight of which was Comer quietly pronouncing that:

Of course, you don’t need to have compulsory redundancies…

Just what could that enigmatic comment mean? And what was Comer’s erstwhile pie-loving, one-man seventies TV cop show tribute GARY HOPKINS doing in the same café a few days later, so far away from his own stomping ground in Knowle?

Far be it from us at The BRISTOLIAN to suggest reasons why Comer, a former member of the national executive of civil servants’ union PCS, might be so keen to point out easier ways of making people jobless – but certainly his colleagues in the UK Border Agency might like to ask him…


Ian Collinson: Bristol's impartial eco-voice

Great news. Our local regional quango, the WEST OF ENGLAND PARTNERSHIP – made up of the four ‘CUBAN’ (Counties that Used to Be Avon) councils – has appointed a new CONsultant! So give a big warm Bristolian welcome to IAN COLLINSON, who’s been put in sole charge of the West of England Nature Partnership on a consultancy basis with the strapline “doing nature differently”.

And he’s not wrong there. The WEST OF ENGLAND NATURE PARTNERSHIP is one of 48 Local Nature Partnerships set up by the ConDem government. They’re supposed to safeguard local natural environments and advise local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships, such as the one here in Bristol running the stillborn Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, on the environment and nature conservation. Particularly on matters arising out of major building developments…

Most of the Partnerships across the country, therefore, are being run by environmental, conservation and wildlife organisations who have the necessary experience, expertise and skills in environmental and nature conservation matters. Former Bristol City Council town planner Collinson, however, has an entirely different skillset. A brief glance of his CV reveals his experience is in large-scale corporate development!

Among the highlights of a resumé that has earned him this CONsultancy, we find the former BCC senior planning officer boasting of “delivering consents for some of Bristol’s biggest city centre regeneration schemes” such as Temple Quarter and the £255m Finzels Reach development on the old Courage Brewery site. While a further undoubted environmental highlight of Ian’s career is his work for, umm, HINKLEY POINT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT!

So be sure to keep an eye out for Ian’s highly objective and insightful environmental advice whenever any developers come calling with a new plan for the city.

After all, there’s no way he’s just a corporate developers’ patsy, is there?


‘No poor people’ housing development for rich liberals Chocolate Factory back from the dead after secret meetings?

Mayor Fergo: planning to resurrect Greenbank deal previously agreed with BCC's Bishop through Isaacs & Generator Group?

Mayor Fergo: planning to resurrect Greenbank deal previously agreed with BCC’s David Bishop through his pal Paul Isaacs and the Generator Group?

Information about what His Royal Mayorness George was actually doing at the MIPIM conference in Cannes [see ‘JUNKET GEORGE’] has been suitably vague. He’s variously been described as “attracting inward investment”, “banging the drum for Bristol”, and – so says the great man himself – “increasing our international standing”. Conveniently for SUPERFERGO, none of this wishy-washy PR babble is provable one way or the other.

However, The BRISTOLIAN can exclusively reveal that high on George Ferguson’s list of priorities at Cannes was the attempt to restart a controversial high class housing project with which he himself had originally been closely – and financially – associated.

Whilst sunning himself on the Côte d’Azur at our expense, our Glorious Mayor Redpants had at least one private meeting with PAUL ISAACS from property developers GENERATOR GROUP. In its own words, Generator Group “comprises a specialist developer, funding partner and advisor that exercises both its intellectual capital and financial knowledge to deliver effective and innovative solutions to a full range of property related matters.” And it just so happens that Generator Group and Mr Isaacs have produced “a due diligence report and advice on a strategy to take the site forward” for an unnamed “strategic development site in the south west”. The site in question? The so-called CHOCOLATE FACTORY in east Bristol’s Greenbank, on the site of the old Elizabeth Shaw production line.

The Chocolate Factory is a site that the mayor has had both a significant personal and commercial interest in down the years. Those with longer memories may recall Ferguson was at the forefront of a campaign to have planning permission refused for the original site developers, Persimmon – only to pop up as the architect of a new “sustainable” scheme when Persimmon then sold the site on to local developers Squarepeg.

The Squarepeg-Ferguson project – basically a housing scheme for wealthy liberals – quickly unravelled when it turned out to be totally unaffordable. Despite securing planning approval, they then had to go cap-in-hand to council planners and explain that they couldn’t pay for any infrastructure costs (such as roads and education, in an area with an acute school places shortage) due to the huge cost of their upmarket scheme. Squarepeg also refused to include any more than 25 affordable homes in the 252 dwelling development, having grudgingly upped their initial offer of 14 – still short of the council’s call for 10-30% to be suitable for lower income families.

Further controversy came when it emerged that somehow George had managed to “improve” his scheme by purchasing a piece of public land next to the Greenbank section of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path. He managed this coup in a private telephone call with the City Council’s then Head of Planning, DAVID ‘BASHER’ BISHOP – against all stated city council procurement rules and regulations – in a manner never fully explained.

However, even with the granting of massive favours by his little council helpers, in 2009 George’s ridiculous scheme collapsed under the weight of its own stupidity, never to be heard of again. Until now, that is, with the declaration by Mr Isaacs’ company that the Ferguson/Squarepeg scheme “is neither deliverable nor viable” and the news that Generator Group has apparently produced a report on the site “offering various exit strategies based on appetite for risk and preferred timelines.”

At which point George – now Mayor – reappears holding private meetings in Cannes with this major stakeholder in the site. Should our mayor really be holding meetings with developers regarding a site in which he’s had a commercial interest? And what is the mysterious second project that Georgie is cooking up with Generator Group?

It’s looking murky already…


Bristol Mayor takes taxpayer-funded jaunts to Dublin and Cannes to help cultivate sense of self-importance

The Mayor sends his regards

With £35m of unachievable cuts randomly delivered across council budgets, now MAYOR GORGEOUS can get on with the more serious aspects of his role … Like enjoying jolly ‘junket’ outings abroad at our expense.

The year’s first freebie trip overseas for George came in February when he spent a couple of days in Dublin at the ‘World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty’. A stop-off on the INTERNATIONAL POVERTY INDUSTRY grand tour, the event was themed around technology and cities, and attracted mostly faceless EU and UN bureaucrats with fat expense accounts and plenty of time on their hands.

Gushing publicity offered lucky attendees the opportunity “to marry practical experience to blue sky thinking” and hear words of wisdom spouted by self-important bigwigs from the Big Four accountancy firms. They, of course, are famed for their robust approach to preventing poverty by, erm, creating it on a grand scale across the entire western world by signing off dodgy bank balance sheets just prior to their collapse into bankruptcy and creating the need for mass public bailouts.

See the pattern here? Those that have caused mass poverty are now selling solutions to it back to governments. Other speakers included the aptly named Patricia Bastard of Yellow Window Design Consultants and the Queen of the international poverty scene, former Irish premier Mary ‘Antoinette’ Robinson.

But this was a mere warm-up for the main event that Junket George attended a few weeks later: the MIPIM PROPERTY CONFERENCE in Cannes, delightfully situated on the Côte d’Azur. And what was this conference all about? Public relations people will try to tell you “MIPIM provides a unique opportunity for industry decision-makers to meet, develop long-term relationships and showcase their latest development projects.”

However, a more honest appraisal is available from Clare Barrett, managing editor of Property Week magazine, who helpfully explains, “It’s basically a FOUR-DAY PARTY WITH LOADS OF LOBSTER AND CHAMPAGNE ON YACHTS.”

When now-disbanded quango the South West Regional Development Agency attended this piss-up a few years ago, they managed to run up a £61k bill for running a press conference and two cheese and wine parties. But it is suspected that George and the large entourage he assembled for this must-go event managed to smash that pre-austerity record with a WHOPPING £100K+ TAB. George even forked out for his glamorous assistant Zoe to attend and to provide him with her late night ‘list-ticking’ services, as well as dragging along a local artist to flaunt – just to show people how wacky he is.

No doubt Cannes echoed to the question, “Qui le fuck est la poshe idiote Anglais avec les pantalons rouges”?


Bristolian #2 - NOW OUT!

Ahoy there, shipmates – the latest issue of Bristol’s finest muckraking newspaper is now being distributed across the city as we speak!

This edition is packed full of exposés of the overpaid mediocrities running our fair town, with the focus on ‘hands-on but light touch’ MILLIONAIRE MAYOR George Ferguson and his scuttling around overseas at our expenses cooking up development deals with his old business cronies.

There’s also the scoop that Bristol City Council has brought in KILLER COMPANY ATOS – notorious for throwing disabled people off benefits – to manage its workers’ occupational health; a report on shady Facilities Management accounting and MISSING MARKETS MONEY; and news that senior officers don’t know how much of our money they’re spending on CUTS CONSULTANTS.

Throw in a round-up of how UNION BUREAUCATS are betraying ordinary Bristolians, a look at some of the candidates in the upcoming council elections, the story of the POSH NIMBY who tried to shut down a popular pub, and of course the latest entries from SIR GUS HOYTY-TOYTY’S CABINET DIARY, and you have yourself a super, soaraway scandal sheet!

Currently available from:

In addition there are copies around St. Nick’s Market, with St. Paul’s, Bedminster, Windmill Hill, Totterdown, Southville and Kingswood all being covered today or in the next few days. Precise locations will be added as they are confirmed.

More outlets will be added to the distribution list as they are confirmed, and further drop-offs can also be arranged – just get in touch.


Our street team reports back that this edition of The BRISTOLIAN has flown out of their hands so quickly just one day in that they’ve completely run out!

To satisfy the city-wide hunger for real news you can trust, we’ve put ordered a reprint, which will be ready for us to hit Hartcliffe, Knowle West, Sea Mills, Cotham, Hotwells – and other areas not yet covered – next week.

In the meantime, if you can’t wait to get your hands on a paper copy – or your local stockist has already run dry – download a digital version here.


This issue of The BRISTOLIAN was sent to the printers at 4am on Monday. At 11.28am Margaret Thatcher was found dead whilst “reading in bed”.

Coincidence? You decide.


It’s been little more than a month since The BRISTOLIAN was relaunched, and already we are seeing a lot of search engine activity on some of our new best chums…

Currently in the lead – if we bundle together searches for ‘Malfoy’ as well – is baby-faced out-of-his-depth council counsel LIAM NEVIN. He nudges just ahead of ‘acting up’ City Director ANGIE ‘PAIDWELL’ RIDGWELL.

Then in joint third place come buffoonish former council boss GRAHAM SIMS, and slash-happy Mayor HIS ROYAL GEORGENESS.

Meanwhile, pulling up the rear we have a three donkey race: accounts-troubled BCC Facilities Manager TONY HARVEY, incompetent ex-top cop COLIN PORT, and in a surprise re-entry, Nevin’s predecessor STEPHEN MCNAMARA.

Of course, we have no idea how much of this frantic googling is down to the individuals concerned making constant vanity searches on their own names – perhaps a Freedom of Information request is in order..?


Thatcher party

Millions rejoiced as the news came through of MAGGIE THATCHER’s demise yesterday.

The ex-PM, responsible for the deaths of thousands of working class people, the destruction of the mining industry and a clampdown on all things fun, died following a stroke at the Ritz in London yesterday.

It wasn’t long before plans were in place for parties across the country. Bristol was of course included and the texts were soon flying around; ‘Chelsea Road, Easton, 8 o’clock!’

To start with the crowd outside the CHELSEA INN was a little thin, but after about an hour it grew to contain several hundred revellers of all ages – and sound systems too!

The mob was in great spirits, with hours of singing, dancing, drinking and chatting, with the newly renamed ‘Thatcher’s Cold’ the cider of choice.

Some dressed as miners, some wore Maggie masks, some were so overwhelmed with emotion they just didn’t give a flying picket what they looked like! Chants such as ‘I would rather be a miner than a scab’ and ‘MAGGIE, MAGGIE, MAGGIE – DEAD! DEAD! DEAD!’ filled the night air as the flames from the bonfire danced to her death.

One local resident told The Bristolian:

It was a great night, with everyone in high spirits. Loads of people of different ages there, various levels of drunk and overriding community spirit and large disdain for the Tories.

But later on, things turned sour…

The crowd had thinned quite a lot and it seemed like the party was winding down.

Then it all got a bit nasty just after midnight. About ten vans full of Thatcher’s Boot Boys turned up to piss in our champagne.

Getting into formation further up the street, in full riot gear, it was obvious what was coming.

They started advancing down the street with riot shields and batons in hand. A lot of people left then, but some obviously weren’t gonna hand the street over to them and let this blatant act of intimidation work.

Bottles rained down on the advancing police line for a bit. A few people came away with bloodied faces after blows from the police, but you won’t read that in the Post!

The police eventually pushed people up Chelsea Road and past the Plough. Most people left here, but some stayed around arguing with the boys in blue, and each other which was disappointing to see.

There were a few idiots, as there always are at any parties. I think people at the party could have dealt with them though; nobody needed dozens of tooled-up, mobbed-up thugs coming in to kick things off properly.

I did read reports elsewhere after saying that most of the people there were from outside the area. That’s rubbish as far as I could tell – loads of faces I recognised from pubs around this way. Seems to be a case of people trying to blame what happened on these mysterious ‘outsiders coming in to start trouble’ that we always hear of, rather than locals. What I saw was an angry reaction to an obvious act of provocation from the police, it’s just a shame that the night ended in violence as a result of their actions.

According to other news reports, there was just one arrest. 6 police officers were reportedly injured, with one staying in hospital overnight.


While ordinary Bristol City Council staff who do all the actual work have now gone without a pay rise for over three years and are dealing with the personal consequences of an effective THIRTEEN PER CENT CUT to their wages, no such hardships are happening at senior management level. Up there, it seems, pay rises continue to be dished out willy-nilly to any old passing public sector trougher capable of knocking out a persuasive Power Point presentation to gullible councillors.

First at the trough we find that not only has the city council created yet another new senior post – Commercial Director for Energy – but that, even before anyone’s in post, it’s been decided that this manager needs too have their pay UPPED from £71k a year to £85k!! A pay rise of twenty per cent for doing nothing!

Then there’s another new post – Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods and City Development – combining the two old posts of Strategic Director, City Development and Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods that used to pay a mere £102k a year for little in return (one postholder came up with the crap £150m Bus Rapid Transit white elephant; the other has overseen the creation of a major housing crisis in the city). But no worries here because the new postholder instead will receive £130K A YEAR!!!

That’s a rise of over 25 per cent for doing absolutely nothing beyond successfully navigating a recruitment process that continually dredges up hopeless deadbeats that have to be quietly pensioned off to Wales at a later date to save the council from further embarrassment. Still, this utterly undeserved pay hike should help ease the pain of austerity for the lucky postholder shouldn’t it?

Next on our troughers list of glory comes our new best friend, ANGIE PAIDWELL, the new Director of Corporate Services who turned up in January to clear up the former-Director, Will Godfrey’s mess and give the long-suffering staff on Shitty Hall’s third floor some respite from the sight of a useless dickhead wandering around the place with trousers flapping around his ankles. Angie started in January on a salary of £120k but lo and behold! Within two months she’s been given an entirely undeserved 25 PER CENT PAY HIKE to £150k to “act up” as City Director.

Now, this is an interesting one because councillors at the recent budget meeting voted to stop all “acting up” payments to council staff. Instead long-suffering staff are expected to do more work and take on more responsibility for nothing!!! Although obviously this new rule applies only to the little people at the council, not wannabe union-busters with top-of-the-range BMWs to keep on the road and KPMG on their CVs.

The Bristolian also learns that a post of Service Director for Strategic Property has been created recently with the job of selling off the council’s property portfolio. The plum job has been awarded to a very posh glorified estate agent called Orrett who used to work for corporate property firm BNP Paribas. And it must be said, Orrett’s come up with a very imaginative ruse to top up his £65k a year pittance – he’s simultaneously working as a CONsultant for his old firm BNP Paribas who might just be in the market for buying, er … Bristol City Council property!

The Bristolian will be on the streets later this week …