Author Archives: thebristolblogger

DESELECTION NEWS

The question on the lips of many Labour members in Bristol – “How the fuck do we get rid of the Reverend Rees”? – remains UNANSWERED by the Bristol Labour Party less than 18 months before the next mayoral election.

Members have been told that any selection process for their mayoral candidate in 2020 will be subject to a ‘TRIGGER BALLOT’. A process where affiliated organisations such as constituency parties, trade unions and other largely mysterious and unknown Labour Party interest groups get a vote to decide whether there should a selection process or whether the Reverend Rees should get another shot at mayor UNCHALLENGED.

Many local Labour members are unhappy with the trigger ballot process, claiming that a decision on whether to have a selection process should be ONE MEMBER ONE VOTE and not left to the Labour Party’s labyrinthine bureaucracies and rule book to decide.

Unfortunately members appear to have LOST that battle already.  Instead, local members are left scratching their heads at the nature of this ballot they do not want after trigger ballot rules, largely used to challenge sitting MPs, were CHANGED at the last Labour Conference. Now, nobody seems sure what that means for a mayoral trigger ballot in Bristol.

Local Labour members have been told that the local party and its regional office is “seeking clarification on what the changes to the trigger ballot process mean for the Mayoral selection”. But the clock is now running down FAST.

Will the Reverend get returned to office due to administrative incompetence and bureaucratic inertia against the wishes of the majority of Labour members in Bristol?

BACKWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

Increasing concern EMERGES from the Council House at the number of evangelical christians the Reverend Rees seems to be surrounding himself with. Critics say Rees can’t cope with the CRITICISM that comes with political debate, so over time he’s shut out the Labour Party and all politicians except his mates.

Among those named as having the ear of the Reverend are HOPE CHAPEL regulars “Thick” Ed Rowberry, Andy “Deadend” Street and Jonathan “Christopher” Lee. Rowberry is Chief Exec at BRISTOL AND BATH REGIONAL CAPITAL, a front for the Merchant Venturers promoting “bespoke investment opportunities” that create “a financial and social return and support local projects”.

In other words, yet another BIG SOCIETY make-a-profit-from-the poor outfit, much in vogue under the Reverend who seems to think his Christian do-gooder cult mates can replace our public services while earning themselves a cut. Being a small world, Street, a waste consultant, is the joint chair of Rowberry’s Big Society investment outfit as well as being on the board of the Reverend’s still-born CITY FUNDS initiative.

City funds aims to raise money from local businesses to spend on what were PUBLIC SERVICES before the Reverend cut them. Although – so far – business appears resistant to handing over money to the Reverend to fund his council. Can’t imagine why?

The final member of the Hope Chapel Three is Jonathan “Christopher” Lee, chief exec of Crisis Centre Ministries, which has a chequered history of providing services to the homeless and the vulnerable alongside a strong and slightly CREEPY Christian message.

FEW WOMEN appear to be in the Reverend’s Christian circle, not least because evangelicals tend to prefer it if the little ladies stay at home breeding and baking. However, the one woman in the mix is Rachel Milano who is some kind of faith sector link person for the Reverend. She was also the admin for his election campaign and officially works one day per week.

So where does that leave the MASS MEMBERSHIP Labour Party in the city? “Marvin doesn’t really like the Labour Party and he hardly ever goes to Labour meetings,” we’re told. “Even the Labour councillor group. He pops in occasionally and then spends all his time on his iPad.”

Has our city been seized in a coup by the Christian right?

RUNNING OUT OF ENERGY

This story was published in our paper version earlier this month. Bristol Energy MD, Peter “High Pay” Haigh, has subsequently left the organisation as we reported yesterday. The reasons for his departure, like everything else about this shit show of a company, are shrouded in mystery.

bristol-energy2

So it’s farewell, then, to NICK JORDAN, chairman of Bristol Energy, who’s quietly sloped off somewhere or other to do something else instead and left behind a cool £30million tab for council taxpayers to pick up.

Nick has RUSHED FOR THE EXIT just behind Bristol Energy’s finance director, Laura Flowerdew and he’s replaced by Alex Wiseman, one of the few remaining directors at Bristol Energy and the owner of consultants Alex Wiseman Associates.

Meanwhile, staff at Bristol Energy tell us that the Operations Director, Dave Ford, and the Sales Director Phil Biddle were made REDUNDANT last month and they’ve not been replaced. This comes after three heads of department at the company were made redundant over the summer while others have simply DEPARTED without explanation. None have been replaced.

Bristol Energy staff tell us there is very little funding left and that they are being managed by consultants and very inexperienced managers as the whole operation winds down, apparently heading for BANKRUPTCY.

The only question seems to be when will the business go to the wall? Before the mayoral election in 2020 saving council taxpayers further DEBT. Or after the election? To improve the Reverend’s chances of re-election?

And cost the council taxpayer further millions ….

BUNDRED BUFFOON LIES ON CV

Walsh

The city council’s not so new HR BOSS, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, described by his own staff as “a mentally disturbed twat”, was appointed in June after a year long stint working the post as an interim on a cool £750 A DAY. Bedwetter, however, has form in Bristol as he also worked as a HR consultant at the council in 2014.

“Recognised as an award winner for the quality of my work, my previous role at Bristol City Council was to lead the Transformation work to deliver £83M savings which was achieved within 12 months,” booms Bedwetter from his CV on Linkedin, which he uses to desperately try to grab MORE lucrative public sector consultancy work.

That’s impressive isn’t it? £83MILLION in savings achieved for Bristol City Council? How did he do that then? What award did he win? “I completed an assignment leading a major change project at Bristol City Council. Tasked with leading a 12 strong team to produce in year savings of £82M through restructuring over 120 service areas within the Council, the targets were delivered within timescales with all service areas being realigned to meet customer requirements,” he assures FUTURE EMPLOYERS.

Very impressive. Not least as Bedwetter’s not sure if he saved £82m or £83m. But when did he do all this amazing work in Bristol? Er, in 2014 implementing a major redundancy programme that was later the subject of an INVESTIGATION in 2017’s Bundred Report into crap financial management at the council.

Bundred says this about Bedwetter’s 2014 programme, “It ASSERTED that workforce reductions agreed up to that point would generate savings with a full-year effect of £21.023m but only £15.882m in 2014/15, £6.118m below the budgeted target.”

So, there NEVER was £83million of savings, just £21million and Walsh only delivered £15million of that. Achieving about 18 per cent of the savings claimed on his CV. Walsh then completes his spectacular LYING CV by claiming “Over 800 employees left the organisation but only 9 were made compulsory redundant.”

Not according to Bundred, “The original estimate was that to generate savings of around 15% of budgeted staff costs a headcount reduction equivalent to around 700fte would be needed. The ACTUAL ACHIEVEMENT being proclaimed as a success was 509fte.”

And even these redundancies failed to deliver much. Bundred says,  “A draft audit report issued to managers in November 2015 found that payroll costs HAD NOT in fact been reduced. Auditors believed posts were being deleted that had been vacant for a long time so there was no actual saving and when actual people were released they were often replaced by interims/contractors or casual staff.”

Why’s Rees put an incompetent fantasist who’s already failed once in charge of his HR service?

THE BATTLE OF THE BEARPIT

Layout 1

by Ben Ritchie, communications attaché to the BDF

Pitch your tent and man the BARRICADES! The Bearpit has been taken! Staring down the forces of gentrification, the ragtag militia of the BEARPIT DEFENCE FORCE (BDF) have dug in deep and are preparing with their allies for a long, hard winter campaign.

New Labour’s General Rees holds the eastern front, flanked by his psyops commander Kevin Slocombe and Kamikaze pilot Asher “THE SLASHER” Craig. Pumping out the propaganda, The Slasher has claimed that “the Bearpit experiment is over” and has promised the bourgeois forces a ‘creative hub’, coffee bean mushroom farm and EVICTION of the homeless residents.

After hearing this news the residents have used BDF support to OCCUPY strategic areas on the battlefield. The residents now have access to water, shelter and security.

New Labour’s proxy zealots ‘THE CIRCLE’ corporation are spread across the Northern front, cutting off supply lines to the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft and hoping to intercept new recruits.

New Labour Circle puppets Miriam ‘Carbs’ Delogu, Simon ‘Fundsurfer’ Green and Robin ‘Spent’ Halpenny have sought resupply from TRIODOS BANK and RESONANCE to continue their fight, despite closing their Bearritos command centre three times in 2018 (it was dissolved at companies house in August 2017).

The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft remain engaged in street fighting within their capital, dragging out pitched battles near HAMILTON HOUSE and TURBO ISLAND. We hope that PRSC freedom fighters will soon break the northern lines of the Circle and deliver much-needed paintbrushes and decorative ceramics to the cause.

On the Southern front intelligence suggests that The GOLDEN KEY, a shady multi agency placeholder for the homeless will be holding a meeting with Broadmead Improvement District’s (BID) Gruppenfuher John ‘thehomelessareaterroristthreat’ Hirst and Golden Key’s own Nick ‘TENTSNATCHER‘ Hooper at John Wesley’s Chapel, 36 The Horsefair. Heavy artillery is moving into place to ensure that there will be no treaty signed between the Circle corporation and BID.

We call on the people of Bristol to stand on legs that have rested for far too long and fight with hands that have for too long been held behind our backs. Homeless, renting, squatting, boating or whatever your situation, STAND UP NOW! Stand up to neoliberal New Labour politicians, stand up to developers taking a slice of OUR city, stand up to unelected fundraising children who throw a tantrum at the sight of a rough sleeper!

Get your dirty hands dirtier! Join the BDF and gender-neutral pronoun the barricades

Rotten Comrades: “Equalities Champions on the March!”

Human Resources have been in a flap recently. Not only has the issue regarding underpayment of “scores” of staff (see Smiter passim) been reaching boiling point but the fur has been flying regarding racial discrimination as well.

Now, I haven’t written much about racism in The BRISTOLIAN – if at all – but issues regarding race have cropped up from time to time at the council and have been painfully slow to resolve.

The fact that we have a black mayor, that we have a duty to promote equalities, that we have an old and well-organised community of BME citizens and that it is illegal to harass or discriminate on the basis of race should make it pretty unlikely that anyone will get away with doing that sort of thing at Bristol City Council. Or at least, if someone felt like engaging in a spot of racism they would, at least, hide it really well so that they wouldn’t get their arses kicked out of their jobs.

Well, it would seem some of our more dumber managers haven’t given it much thought and have carried out their innately resentful and hate-filled agendas anyway. So much so, they have attracted the attention of Bristol City Council’s equalities ‘self led groups’ who in turn have contacted HR and the Head of Paid Service, Mike “shh-mo” Jackson. “Scores” of incidents have been quoted as having taken place and very little has been done about them.

HR is not happy at this new source of interference in their strategy of keeping a lid on everything. This has been especially galling as they have spent years controlling, diverting, and in some cases “letting go”, the more uncontrollable middle-ranking trade union reps – what I call your experienced barrack-room lawyer. Instead, cultivating the more useless and amenable trade union reps into positions of high influence, where it can all be jolly-hockey-sticks and fluffy kittens.

Anyway, a new form of barrack-room lawyer – the equalities champion – has arisen, as if from nowhere, to pick up the baton the unions have dropped. A bit of competition can only help, don’t you think? The unions don’t like this at all. It is – at least theoretically – their patch. Well, our equalities champions want to know: why have the unions been ignoring desperate people with just grievances begging them for help?

And the answer seems to have come back: well, they didn’t fill in the right form and other such useless excuses. A “frank exchange of views” reportedly broke out after that. And then, when it was asked, why are the unions not supporting staff at stage one of the grievance process, Unison’s reply was: they weren’t sure they should be doing that anymore. The exchange of views got franker.

I’ve been told the equalities people came away with the impression that the unions were in some way compromised, which I think pretty much sums it up. Which is not to say that there aren’t good barrack-room lawyers in the unions – I could count ten or so across all of them – it’s just a waste of time seeking help from the unions if you are given the wrong rep, as sad as that might sound to all of us.

The underpayment scandal update.
I had actually drafted an article announcing that management had seen sense over this and done the right thing. But then it seems a lack of common sense had intervened at the last minute.

I was told that one of our better reps was ambushed in the Count’s Louse by some of our worst reps, on his way to deliver a list of names of people prepared to sue the Council over the underpayment scandal. Our protagonist’s opponents – the three stooges (as I like to call them) – were reported to have staged a Dick Turpin style corridor intervention where they made it clear our protagonist was showing them up and it was their case now.

Our hero cried out: ‘no justice, no peace’ and brushed them aside. But he was not quick enough – the three stooges made their own offer to HR based on the sort of insane formula made up by people who don’t know anything about contract law.

In essence, they screwed it up, making the sort of offer that led to HR leaning back and rolling their eyes into their heads. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, our useless, “rotten comrades” will now no doubt flap their arms about a bit before losing interest, thus letting our hero have another go.

Well, hopefully …

DIPSHIT’S FAKE NEWS TROLL BULLY SMEAR

Having openly solicited donations from the wealthy of his Bristol North West constituency for an “independent election fund”, turncoat MP and Macronist moron, Darren “Dipshit” Jones, has launched a remarkable attack on his own constituency’s Labour Party members.

Dipshit denies any wrongdoing, despite breaking Labour party rules, and instead claims that his members that rightly brought his disreputable conduct to public attention are “trolls”and “bullies” peddling “fake news”.

Nowt fake about it Dipshit. You’re trying to set up an independent election fund from your publicly funded Labour office and your members ain’t happy.

For godssakes resign man. The Lib Dems  and obscurity await …

 

From: Darren Jones MP <darren@darren-jones.co.uk>
To: X
Sent: Sunday, 16 December 2018, 15:44:29 GMT
Subject: Leaving the Labour Party?

Dear Member / Supporter,

Friends of Darren Jones

A supporters network has recently been set up called “Friends of Darren Jones”.

Established off the back of some local residents who wanted to support my work as their local MP, but who didn’t want to join the Labour Party, this informal group is essentially a list of local supporters (who can, if they wish, donate to my campaigning costs as the local MP).We only win marginal seats like Bristol North West when we persuade people who might not always vote Labour to do so. I therefore welcome their support.

Fake News

Some of our fellow Labour Party members are using their own political motivations to undermine the work that I do on behalf of our party and for my constituents.

This is because that significant minority of members have made it clear that they would rather I wasn’t our Labour Member of Parliament here in Bristol North West.

They have therefore turned what is a good news story about winning the support of residents who don’t normally vote Labour into a fake news story that I have decided to leave the Labour Party to become an Independent.

I don’t normally respond to trolls, but I know that this rumour has worried some of you who I have campaigned with shoulder-to-shoulder over many years.

As you all know, I have been a member of the Labour Party my entire adult life and a dedicated Labour Party campaigner continuously at each and every election for over a decade.

So let me be clear: I’m not going anywhere. 

I respect the rights of members to decide who to have as our Parliamentary Candidate and – with good fortune – as our local Labour MP.

And if local members wish to trigger a re-selection process when that process starts I can confirm that I will put myself forward once again and campaign to win your support in order that we win the next General Election.

We don’t welcome bullies

At a time when these few members are trying to bully elected local party leaders, councillors and MPs out of office, I want to make it loud and clear that that behaviour is not welcome in our party.

As your Labour Member of Parliament I am a leader of our local party and the public face of it in our area. I won’t just stand by and not call out bullying when I see it.

I know that the vast majority of you reading this are loyal, dedicated and positive members of our movement. I ask that, together, we call out the trolling and the arm chair bullying for what it is and focus once again on seeking to change the country for the many.

I remain committed to that cause and, with your support, we can carry on helping local residents in Bristol North West and contributing to changing the country too.If you do have any further questions, please just reply to this e-mail and I’ll come back to you.

Yours as ever

Darren

Darren Jones MP
Labour Member of Parliament, Bristol North West

EN HONNEUR DES GILETS JAUNES

IN PRAISE OF LES GILETS JAUNES

from our Paris Correspondent

The BRISTOLIAN supports and celebrates the people’s movement in France called the “Gilets jaunes”, the yellow vests.

This movement started as a response to President Macron imposing a fuel tax, supposedly to cut CO2 emissions. The working class correctly saw this as an attempt to pass a cost to them rather than to wealthy corporate polluters. Many people live in rural areas in France and use their cars to commute. Already they are spending a significant amount on just getting to work.

Here lies the real issue: falling living standards, rising cost of living and working long hours to pay the bills and then having nothing to show for it. Your kids are going without, local services are closing and prices are rising while the political and economic elite carry on filling their boots. Sound familiar?

Let’s not kid ourselves; the French political system is in turmoil. The French right, with the face of Marine Le Pen, has grown in the last two elections and some blame migrants. However, during the disturbances there has been footage of right wingers being beaten off the streets by the gilets jaunes. The crowd are clear about who their enemy is and what to attack.

Banners called for a cull of the bourgeoisie as the cops were run from the Arc De Triomphe. Protestors were on the Champs Elyses turning over Porsches. They were running amok down the Boulevard Haussmann. A bit like Bristolians attacking Clifton Village and Park Street and, of course, Shitty Hall.

Macron, at the beginning, treated the protestors with contempt. The first major protests were on November 17 but you did not read that in the British press. Now, nearly the whole country is affected.

As the movement grew there were videos of ambulance drivers blocking roads, firefighters walking off parade in contempt at their managers and, even, the old bill on one Paris street taking off their helmets. Showing that they would not fight the people.

Macron and the elite got nervous after major riots in Paris in early December and offered to meet with a delegation. But who to meet? This had truly come from the people. There was no political party or trade union involvement and there were no leaders.

A “delegation” was eventually warned that they did not speak for the whole and, instead, Macron was forced to announce that the government would suspend the fuel tax.  “Not enough,” replied the Gilet Jaunes, “it’s the whole fucking system that’s the problem”.

Similar movements are building in Holland and Belgium. Spain and Greece have been in dispute with their people for months. People have had enough of being lied to, robbed, polluted, poisoned and worked to death while living in perpetual debt.

Meanwhile, the elite are avoiding tax, pocketing mega profits and increasing the wealth gap daily.  Enough is enough. The gilets jaunes are absolute proof that direct action can get the goods.

So what now? Full-scale civil disobedience in Europe is a possibility. Who knows what will be achieved? But Europe is heading in the right direction. The question is, what are you going to do?

Time to defend your families and communities … to the streets!

INDIE MP JONES AND THE LEAFLET OF DOOM

INDIE MP JONES

Labour Party members in Bristol North West are FURIOUS with a leaflet their moron MP, Darren “Dipshit” Jones, distributed in Henleaze and Westbury on Trym recently.

Apparently coming from “FRIENDS OF DARREN“, not the party that selected him, the leaflet ditched Labour’s usual red branding and logos for some fetching GREEN branding instead. Dipshit then informed readers he supported the so-called ‘People’s Vote’, a second referendum on Brexit, an, er, Lib Dem policy – and invited people to donate to his “INDEPENDENT ELECTION FUND“.

The leaflet went on to say, “For those of us who support Darren but don’t want to donate to the LABOUR PARTY, we can now donate to his Independent Re-election Fund. Donations will be held independently by Darren and all donations are welcome.”

These leaflets were targeted and distributed in Henleaze and Westbury-on-Trym. Apparently solely for the benefit of the local Waitrose crew as not a trace of these leaflets can be found in the WORKING CLASS AREAS of Dipshit’s patch such as Avonmouth, Southmead and Lockleaze.

What’s going on here then? Is this a middle class coup in Bristol North West? Members have been expelled from the Labour Party for far less …