Category Archives: From Our Correspondent…

Colston Hall Name Change – Hally McHallface?

From our history correspondent…

It’s official, last week the board of the Bristol Music Trust (BMT) announced the Colston Hall will be changing its name. The Hall which has been in public hands since 1919 will be renamed in 2020 as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment.

Some history…

Before we start, we should get the history straight, as the fake-history from the Bishop of Bristol to the Merchant Venturers’ spin, plenty of porkies have been told about Edward ‘The Enslaver’ Colston.

From 1680-92 Edward Colston was an investor, official and eventually deputy governor of the Royal African Company (RAC), the premier Atlantic slave trading organisation in the British Empire. Under Edward Colston’s management and leadership of the RAC, approximately 84,500 enslaved Africans were branded and forced onto the company’s ships. Only 65,200 Africans survived the trip, a death toll in the region of 19,300 over the twelve year period. Of the 9,000 or so enslaved children under the age of 10 on Colston’s company slave-ships, more than 2,000 died, their bodies along with the adults were thrown overboard. The survivors, who were sold to plantation owners in the Caribbean, faced a short and brutal life of hard labour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it wasn’t just Africans that businessmen like Colston and the Merchant Venturers forced into labour. They were quite willing to coerce thousands of vulnerable Bristolians and others into working in their plantations through poverty (indentured servants) and legal (POW’s, ‘criminals’, orphans) and illegal (spiriting) bondage.

The profits of this ‘vile trade’ and the labour of hundreds of thousands in the plantations flowed back to wealthy investors like Colston and other Merchant Venturers. Colston wanted to be remembered as a ‘moral saint’ (sic) so he bequeathed some of his fabulous wealth made off the backs of Africans and others, to selected groups in the city that conformed to his religious and political bias. And the rest was history…until now. Finally, we can start to get Edward ‘The Enslaver’ off our backs.

Havin’ a laugh…

We have been chuckling in The Bristolian office over the last few days reading some of the reactions from right-wing nobs who are in love with ‘Eddy the Enslaver’

Bunter Eddy showing his class

Apparently Tory Councillor Richard ‘Bunter’ Eddy will now be boycotting the Hall because it is not named after Colston! Is this because he will only go to venues that are named after slave-traders? Message from The Bristolian to Richard Eddy…Bristol is not named after a slave trader, so please try and boycott the whole city….in fact why don’t you fuck off altogether.

City Council Conservative group leader Mark Weston claimed it was a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction…tell that to the Reverend H. J. Wilkins of Westbury-on-Trym who began the campaign against the ‘cult of Colston’ nearly a century ago with his scathing biography of Edward Colston in 1920!

Obsessive Nazi Post letter writer R. L. Smith (the ‘know all’ from Knowle) ranted on about Counter-Colston campaigners ‘erasing history’ and ‘burning books’ until it was pointed out he had been campaigning to shut Bristol’s libraries for years! Twat.

Some have said that Bristol Music Trust are ‘pandering to a tiny minority’; it was actually a tiny minority of powerful merchants and politicians that put Colston on the pedestal that he sits on today. The majority of Bristolians never had a say in the naming of buildings, statues or streets. The tiny minority that the city should stop pandering to are the Society of Merchant Venturers who, since their Royal Charter of 1552, have been dictating who should or should not be memorialised – it’s for the people of Bristol to decide who is remembered and why – and there are plenty of great candidates.

Changing names and places… what about our history?

So what’s next for a Colston name change?…Colston Boys and Girls Schools? How awful darling… and how ironic considering the Merchant Venturers and their education buddies have been changing the names of our schools like confetti over the last few years. What ever happened to Whitefield, Withywood, Speedwell and St George schools let alone Hartcliffe and Monks Park? Seems like when it comes to our schools the names can be changed without debate by posh wankers from Clifton. And none of these schools were named after mass-murdering slave traders!

The same goes for buildings of historic interest. It has been pointed out to many of the opponents of the name change that, for fucks sake, it is only the name of the Colston Hall that is changing; the building is not being demolished. Unlike half of Temple Way and the historic Methodist Ebenezer Chapel and Avonvale School in East Bristol which were flattened without any debate by rich property speculators. It seems Bristolian working class history is worth shit compared to the history of murdering profiteers like Colston and the Merchant Venturers.

Of course, the next battle will be over the new name for the Ex-Colston Hall. A sensible solution would be to open it up to the people of Bristol to choose a name (what like Hally McHallface? ed). More likely is that some wealthy scumbag or a Corporation will buy the brand off the cash-strapped Council and it will end up as ‘Sir Rich Bastard Hall‘ or ‘Carphone Warehouse Hall’. Just like in the olden days when wealthy scum like Edward Colston and the Merchant Venturers had the run of the city and named everything after themselves…

BOOMTERRAGATE: MORE STINKS IN AVONMOUTH!

From our Avonmouth correspondent

For once it’s not a product from one of either Boomeco, Churngold, New Earth Solutions or Wessex Water’s latest ventures with the Evading Agency that’s creating A STINK down in Avonmouth but it might be closely connected.

It would seem that our old friend Councillor WAYNE “DEE” HARVEY, protector of the faithful and lickspittle to ‘the boys in the boardroom’ at his other employers the BRISTOL PORT COMPANY, might have misinformed the public about his involvement in the recent VICTORY by Avonmouth residents who stopped the Nexterra biomass plant from getting planning permission.

Even local MP “CHARDONNAY” CHARLOTTE LESLEY congratulated Wayne for his spandex stretching heroics in apparently forcing planning supremo “KING PRAWN” CALABRESE to stop dealing with this matter under his self-awarded delegated powers. And knowing Chardonnay’s penchant for bandwagons and publicity, we applaud her selflessness in standing slightly out of the limelight to allow Wayne some much needed glory before he blunders toward his next POLITICAL DISASTER.

Admittedly Chardonnay had been crowing about her own efforts to get permanent air quality measurements in place at Avonmouth and her success in getting some form of analysis for “another year”. So she probably thought she could chuck a bone to Wayne before he commits POLITICAL SUICIDE the next time someone lets him out to play unsupervised.

Residents understand that BCC will only be extending the monitoring for NINE MONTHS at ONE site yet to be identified. And after listening to the woeful air quality study put forward by BCC’s in-house ‘air quality expert’ at the Nexterra planning meeting, residents expect this study to be handled with the same forensic, laser-like focus as the current one.

We therefore anticipate the project will run thus; FUCK it up, COVER it up and SHUT UP about it.

However, unfortunately for Wayne, as the chair of Planning Committee ALEX “DEAD” WOODMAN indicated before a packed Council House last Wednesday night, his claims are, er … utter bollocks! Tweedle Dee had NOTHING to do with getting this application before a planning committee as the time for a councillor to do this had lapsed. The plans were called in by a council officer, possibly ‘KING PRAWN’ although we await clarification about that.

BCC are truly amazing in their depth of knowledge though aren’t they? The peasants of Avonmouth should feel privileged we have the gigantic minds of people like DR MARK “NOT QUITE” WRIGHT (what’s he a doctor of? Ginger beards?). He told the planning meeting that wood dust was fine because his experience of constructing flat pack furniture that weekend after a week designing an incomprehensible IT strategy for the abysmal telephony and data management systems in place at BCC, indicated that BACON, yes BACON, was far more carcinogenic than the tonnes of unsuppressed dust settling on any unfortunate Avnomouthonian daring to eat a butty between zero hour contracts.

To be fair, another Councillor did point out that you have a choice about eating bacon, which might skew DR NOT QUITE‘s expert analysis of respiratory cancer anomalies and the huge variance from the national average of heart attacks and strokes in in non meat eating and non-christian or multi-faith but no-bacon-thank-you Avonmouthians in the coming decades. Until then, we suggest he can sod off and stop belittling the absolute nightmare his policies are causing far from his own leafy ward.

Outstanding questions that need to be asked around this bizarre planning application episode include:

    • Why did Councillor Wayne “Dee” Harvey claim to have intervened in a planning process which he had previously endorsed despite multiple objections from residents? In fact neither Wayne, the local MP nor the other Councillor Matt ‘Dumb’ Melias objected to the application in the first place despite strong objections by residents. This begs the question of whose interests they actually serve if not the residents of the ward?
    • Was the original attempt to rubberstamp the application through delegated powers legal or lawful? As we understand it, the application should have by its content and impact on the community been put before a planning committee for scrutiny and not been considered under delegated powers in the first place. We await BCC’s response about the ‘extra training’ or other such outcome from their investigation into ‘King Prawn’s’ professional conduct as a public servant in this matter.
    • Why have the Bristol Evening Post not printed a retraction of their story despite their own reporter being present at ‘Boomterragate’ last Wednesday evening and witnessing the exchange with her own eyes? A serving Councillor seemingly misinformed the public via a newspaper article. This was clarified via a formal question by a member of the public to the chair in the public chamber. The public record needs to be corrected. It would be nice if the Post could devote the same size content and position within the paper to allow Wayne to clarify his position but we’ll settle for two sentences sandwiched between Gimp costume suppliers in the small ads if that’ll help. A conversation with one of the reporters at the Post promises to bear fruit so we’ll give them the benefit for the meantime.
    • Is the appointment of an employee of the Port, as a non-executive director looking after BCC’s (and therefore residents) interests ethical or legal? Doesn’t the Councillor have a massive conflict of interest? Another recent incumbent non-executive director also had some interesting business connections and held positions of public office whilst presiding over the introduction and development of the wood chipping industry that sprang up at the Port during her tenure. An industry with such stellar names as Boomeco, Churngold, Stobarts Biomass, EGNI International, A&A Recycling and AW Jenkinson forest products. An industry that was prised tooth and claw from their positions of near immunity granted by the Evading Agency and BCC pollution control staff. Regulators who seem more interested in killing off fledgling businesses on the other side of the city with actions that could be construed as malfeasance in public office, rather than taking on multi-million pound industry players to protect the health and wellbeing of the public they are paid handsomely to serve.

Planning law seems to be a hot topic in CHERNOBYL, sorry Avonmouth at present. It has now emerged that Councillor Dee Harvey’s latest PET PROJECT to shore up his woeful performance in building community spirit after the civil unrest in the summer may be going off piste at an alarming rate.

It seems that Tweedle Dee has neglected to consult with the community he apparently serves and has decided that he will personally ensure that Avonmouth is put firmly on the map, well Google Earth at least ,with a MASSIVE XMAS TREE parachuted into an Avonmouth park probably by Chinook at 3am.

We understand that this Avonmouth Park, or the ENCHANTED WOOD as it shall be known going forward, will require a hard standing and electrical supply to be installed to support the illuminated tower of power Councillor Harvey has helped to secure via an anonymous benefactor from the Port.

However, it seems this development hasn’t been near the planning department and no public consultation has taken place as far as we can ascertain. Given the short space of time before the event is scheduled one wonders if ‘King Prawn’ will be called upon to grease the wheels of government after his recent successes with power stations and highly toxic ash storage within meters of residential homes,

We’ll have to wait and see. BCC officer APRIL RICHMOND of some local partnership quango or other indicated that because ‘it would be hidden’ in some sort of Tracey Island kind of way, the advice she had been given was no planning application or lawful process needed to be served; we can only hope the advice didn’t come from ‘DR DEATH’ MARK WRIGHT after a weekend building a shed.

Although, if they’re wrong, it sends out a very poor message indeed if the city’s planning authority doesn’t see the need to bother getting planning permission.

On a positive note for the west country, Swindon got twinned with Disney, Avonmouth gets BHOPAL.

Anyway, time to sign off from Avonmouth as I need to decontaminate my kids before bed.

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..?

THE RAIN IN SPAIN FALLS MAINLY ON THE… ASTROTURF?!

Commentary from The BRISTOLIAN‘s Football Correspondent…

While politicians and many fans cling to the belief that stadiums on the greenbelt for pros are the key to success, a GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL CRISIS unfolds before them.

Over the last two months, virtually no competitive youth football took place in the city. Poorly maintained pitches with poor drainage were waterlogged after heavy rain.

Our man not on the touchline but inside playing PlayStation with the kids says, “if a child missed eight weeks of school, they’d fall behind. WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT FOOTBALL?

Young people have sussed this. An under-14 at Rockleaze Rangers FC, told The Guardian recently about Spain’s youth, who rarely play on grass, so “learn from a young age to play well”.

He’s right. A grass pitch can hold three games a week. Artificial pitches can host 60 teams for training plus matches and they’re usually floodlit for play at night.

The technically extravagant and tactically sophisticated Spaniards will be competing for a fourth consecutive major title in Brazil this summer.

Meanwhile, England has not won a trophy for 48 years.

So, what’s your stance on grass versus artificial surfaces? Is astroturf the thin edge of a privatising wedge that will rob us of our last open, free-to-all green spaces, as happened at Packer’s Field? Let us know!