Category Archives: The BRISTOLIAN Says

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THE BRISTOLIAN SAYS …

All across Europe, like PSYCHOTIC MANIACS armed with chainsaws, politicians are slashing away at essential public services. From Bristol to Barcelona, Aberdeen to Athens it is like a scene from some low budget SLASHER MOVIE.

Life is becoming hard for those at the bottom while those at the top are seeing their wealth reach OBSCENE levels. A recent Oxfam report found that THE WORLD’S EIGHT RICHEST PEOPLE NOW HAVE AS MUCH WEALTH AS THE POOREST HALF OF HUMANITY.

The reasons for this are simple. Money buys power. The rich use their money to make more money. They buy off political parties to make sure they don’t have to share their money with the rest of society. They free themselves from all public control. They avoid taxation and they destroy public spending which redistributes wealth. They own and control all television and newspapers so that we never get to understand what they are doing and how the world really works.

The truth is staring us in the face. Their message to us is clear. They do not need us anymore. We used to be the Workshop of the World. We used to have militant unions and organisations which won us a small slice of the pie, however meagre. Today, the poor of China, Bangladesh or elsewhere will do that work for them for a dollar a day. The former working class of Britain is NO LONGER NEEDED and the rich are damned if they are going to share any of their wealth with us.

Well it is time to tell those PARASITES that it is THEM who are NO LONGER NEEDED. If we don’t stand up for ourselves, we stand aside and allow our children’s lives to become worthless. So turn off your TV, put away your drugs, dust yourself off and GET ANGRY.

Forget namby pamby petitions and peaceful protests. IT’S NOT OUR MORAL OUTRAGE WE WANT TO IMPRESS ON THEM – JUST THE SHAPE OF OUR FISTS.

MAYORAL ELECTION: COCK & BALLS

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The BRISTOLIAN has been running stories on and off since 1827. Same old shite really – POWER, CORRUPTION, LIES, THEFT, NEPOTISM AND DECEIT.

One editor in the 19th Century even ended up in the nick for fucking LIBEL would you believe? So it’s pretty fair to say that Bristol and this country have not changed much.

By the time you read this you’ll be electing another pissant (or perhaps the same pissant) as Mayor of Bristol after they’ve made all sorts of promises about housing, transport and whatever else they think will make you vote for the twats.

If anything’s really changed since the 19th century, it’s for the WORSE. Day after day we hear more and more about the state we’re in. One in five kids turning up at school underweight and malnourished. Whose kids? Our fucking kids!

The elderly are dying of COLD or HUNGER. Over 100,000 people in the West Country are reliant on FOOD BANKS. One third are children. Thousands of families go without benefits because they are two minutes late for an appointment with the government.

More people are homeless in Bristol now than any time since the GREAT DEPRESSION of the 1930s. Libraries, swimming baths and children’s centres are closing. The local NHS is cut to the bone. Even doctors are striking over conditions.

Meanwhile we work ’til we drop, get our pensions ROBBED and live in perpetual debt. All the while working on zero hour contracts for TYCOONS buying big houses, flash cars and yachts off our backs.

But we’re all in it together! Are we bollox! The gap between rich and poor is the largest in living memory. Bigger than when Queen Vic lorded it over the Empire.

The Panama Papers and the rich and powerful avoiding tax are the tip of the iceberg. Bankers are getting their bonuses again. And all the local politicians – Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, Green – tell us they’re POWERLESS to stop the austerity measures screwing up our lives.

Really? Is that true? Were politicians in Bristol “powerless” when they voted through a 20 per cent pay rise for council bosses last month? Were politicians in Bristol “powerless” when they kept their gobs shut about the 50 council homes flogged off to property speculators in the last year?

Were Bristol’s politicians “powerless” when they waved through Mayor Crook’s BENT Green Capital accounts? Are they “powerless” to stop our librarians getting shafted? Are they too “powerless” to mention our local academies are run by SPIVS chasing a fast buck?

Are they “powerless” to ask why the mayor’s daughter is being handed hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money? Are they “powerless” to DEMAND the streets are cleaned? “Powerless” to ask why public documents are suddenly SECRET? “Powerless” to ask why their useless housing department can’t answer a bloody phone?

Our politicians are not “powerless”. They’re IDLE, PATHETIC and WEAK. Voting for any of them is a waste of time. They will not help you or your family or your friends. They will help themselves whilst kowtowing to thieving corporations.

Once elected, local politicians will give away the power we give them and hand the running of the city to ELITIST council bosses on big wages working to the instructions of the Tories in Westminster. The politicians, meanwhile, will keep their heads down, enjoy the perks of office and simper that they’re “powerless”.

So what is to be done instead? Because if we don’t do something sharpish, we’ll all be well and truly fucked.

We need to get organised as a city NOW. We need to UNITE the city and start FIGHTING the Tory government in Westminster. We must CHALLENGE the property speculators and off shore property owners in Bristol. We must STAND OUR GROUND against greedy CAPITALISTS making money out of privatisation of public services. We must DUMP the politicians who say they’re “powerless”. We must REJECT the thieving bankers dumping debt on us. We need to fight back.

Organise. Prepare. Kick off. They’re coming for us. We must get after them. Sticking an ‘x’ in a box every four years just isn’t working any more.

BRISTOLIAN BENEFIT GIG! THIS SUNDAY! RED LION IN WHITEHALL! LOADSA BANDS, AND ONLY A FIVER!!!

Benefit gig for ‘The BRISTOLIAN’, Sunday 18 May, Red Lion, Whitehall Road, BS5 9BP. £5 entry to help support your super, soaraway ‘Smiter’!

Benefit gig for ‘The BRISTOLIAN’, Sunday 18 May, Red Lion, Whitehall Road, BS5 9BP. Five bands for just £5 entry – and all to help support your super, soaraway ‘Smiter’!

Come one and come all to the Red Lion in Whitehall this Sunday 18th May, where a dazzling array of talent will perform their popular music songs for your delight, and all in aid of helping us keep The BRISTOLIAN a free paper full of the news you won’t read in the Nazi Post (until three months later)!

It all kicks off at half seven, and for a mere five of your English pounds (none of Fergo’s funny money, thanks) you’ll get five fine acts performing for your discerning enjoyment: Hater UK performing as Cider Riot, local militant ska-punk stalwarts Spanner, West Country cider-folk lunatics Surfin’ Turnips, the rocksteady stylings of The 1 Tones, and of course, big friends of the ‘Smiter’, Bristol’s own black bloc rap squad QELD.

And did we mention that it’s only a fiver?

If you don’t know it, the Red Lion (postcode: BS5 9BP) is on Whitehall Road at the junction with Lyppiatt Road, which runs between Whitehall Road and Church Road in Redfield.

There’s bus stops on both sides of the road right by the pub (Centre-Kingswood 6 & Centre-Speedwell 7), and more stops a two minute walk away on Church Road (Centre-Keynsham 42; Centre-Cadbury Heath 43; Centre-Kingswood 44; Centre-Longwell Green 45).

So get thee down there!

THE GREAT SCHOOL UNIFORM DEBATE: MAKING US EQUAL?

A number of contributors to this site have claimed the state forcing children to wear uniforms at school will make them equal.

In an age of ever increasing inequality the claim is, of course, laughable. Although it’s a nice fit with the current corporate and technocratic “free market” agenda where evidence-free lies, artifice and appearance are promoted over simple facts or reality as our money is openly shoveled to the wealthy in exchange for worthless equalities waffle and cheap meritocratic drivel from posturing politicians and patsy bureaucrats.

But what about the children forced to be “equal” by these education bosses and their military agenda? Do they buy it? Are they as thick and gullible as the well-healed education bureaucracy making these claims?

Tony Dyer is the Green Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Bristol South. He attended Hartcliffe School in the late 70s and early 80s. Here’s his personal view on school uniforma:

When I started at Hartcliffe School there was an uniform code (blazer, school tie, etc) and the argument always used was that having an uniform meant that all the kids started from a level playing field and it reduced the pressure to “keep up with fashion”. The implication was that the kids from the poorer parts of the Hartcliffe estate (i.e me) would not be made to feel deprived because the “rich” kids from Whitchurch would be wearing the same uniform.

This was absolute nonsense of course. The fact of whether you were from the Hartcliffe council estate or from the Whitchurch private estate was the dividing line not what clothes you wore. We were always made fully aware of “our inferiority” and that there was no change in that when the school abandoned its uniform code a couple of years later.

What did change was that my parents no longer had to spend (with or without a grant) part of their limited budget on items of clothing that were only available from a restricted number of stores at prices that were higher than we would normally pay. Meanwhile the application for a school uniform grant was yet another means test that allowed some supercilious clerk to look down their nose at my parents for not being able to bring up their family without the support of the state.

I don’t have particularly strong feelings on school uniforms (although have always found it rather odd that we want to put kids into uniform as if they were all budding military conscripts)

What I do feel more strongly about is that there should be a dividing line between what teachers should have the strongest say on (i.e how to teach) and what parents should have the strongest say on (what their children should wear).

Unless teachers can demonstrate that putting on school uniform improves a child’s IQ and ability to learn, then I see no reason why school uniform should be imposed against the majority wishes of the parents who have to pay for the uniform in any case.

“WE ARE WINNING!” HOW CONFIDENTIAL SOURCES, TIPSTERS & WHISTLEBLOWERS HELPED ‘THE BRISTOLIAN’ BREAK THE BIG NEWS IN THE CITY…

It’s been a bumper few months here at The BRISTOLIAN as we’ve set the city’s news agenda. telling you the stories no one else would. Our successes include:

HORSEWORLD

We originally exposed £80k-per-year HorseWorld boss Mark ‘Not That One’ Owen’s madcap plans to fund his ailing equine charity by building on the greenbelt back in May.

We’ve subsequently reported how his plans were rejected by a BANES planning committee and how the overpaid and under-performing charity boss now plans to stay put – despite his DISASTROUS MANAGEMENT – whilst making dedicated animal welfare staff redundant, closing  the revenue-generating Visitor Centre, and generally running the whole operation down.

Hopefully this story will not end on that note, though…

CITY ACADEMY

Also in May we revealed that a row over racism was breaking out at the city’s most multicultural school.

This was confirmed in January when an employment tribunal found that a black member of staff had been refused a management post for a project to raise attainment among black kids at the school due to INSTITUTIONAL RACISM. The £43k  job instead went to a white teacher – thus maintaining an all-white management team at a school, 70% of whose pupils come from a BME background.

HOLMWOOD HOUSE

We exposed this privately run for-profit ’HOME OF HORRORS’ back in December.

Since then the care home’s multiple problems have been reported by BBC Bristol, the Nazi Post, Bristol 24/7 and now nationally on BBC Radio 5.

WELLINGTON HILL PLAYING FIELDS

Following our report in November about council managers using outright lies to try to block this open space in Bishopston from being protected as a public amenity, the council has executed a rapid u-turn and registered the land as a ‘Town Green’.

Clearly senior council bosses decided that sending junior managers in to a quasi-judicial setting to tell porkie pies on their behalf was not going to work any longer.

We have also learned that hold-ups in the voluntary registration of land at Laundry Fields in Fishponds have vanished since The BRISTOLIAN highlighted them.

…So a big THANK YOU to all of the whistleblowers, well-placed sources and tipsters.

Without your inside information we would not be able to EXPOSE Bristol’s bent bosses, incompetent council chiefs or hypocrites in high office.

Together we CAN make a difference and build a better city for all!

WHY TRAVELLERS SHOULD GET RESIDENT PARKING SCHEME (RPS) PERMITS

Web ExclusiveBy an Ashley Ward resident.

Ashley Ward has a long history of offering refuge to many ‘socially marginal’ minority groups such as ‘travellers’ and ‘New Age Gypsies’. Some have been ‘resident’ before and since the infamous Battle of The Bean Field in June 1985 and are an integrated part of the community.

For many years this groups’ legal difficulties in the area were assisted by a specialist solicitor Brian Cox (now retired), an associate of Bobbetts Mackan Solicitors of Queens Square Clifton. Bobbetts still have Solicitors who do pro-bono work around civil liberties issues like travellers.

Living and working in a van is not illegal. Current road traffic regulations permit converted vans subject to weight and internal re-arrangements to be zero rated for Road Fund Duty and exempt from MOT regulations dependent on a ‘satisfactory’ mechanical inspection.

If a designated Living Van is seized it is effectively a ‘forcible eviction’ and should require a court order.

The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLC) recognises the difficulties ‘travellers’ have with registered addresses and have posted the following advice isinresponse to a Freedom of Information Request made on July 9 2012

From: FOI, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, 13 July 2012
In recognition of the difficulties involved for some keepers, (for example, travellers) in providing a permanent address, DVLA will accept a care of address. This address may be a friend, doctor, hotel, hostel or similar providing the resident gives permission for the keeper of the vehicle to use the address. PO Box addresses are not accepted for individuals.
**************************************************

If the DVLA, a government agency, accepts a ‘care of address’ as a suitable registration address for travellers then so should Bristol City Council when considering permit allocations for their proposed Resident Parking Schemes (RPS).

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOLMWOOD: WHY THE BRISTOLIAN HAD TO ACT

Microsoft Word - NO SECRETS IN BRISTOL 2010.docSo, how did the Holmwood House scandal come to be plastered over the pages of The BRISTOLIAN and featured in gruelling detail at last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting?

Web ExclusiveAs usual, distant, arrogant council managers who refuse to be accountable to the public – even in the most extreme cases such as the unexplained death of an elderly woman in their care – are the authors of their own public humiliation and downfall.

Rest assured, the Holmwood case did not come out of a clear blue sky last Thursday: Kathleen Cole died in July and her daughter Annette Whiting has been asking questions ever since then and not getting any answers.

A key figure in the scandal is DAVID TOOLE, the Bristol City Council Health and Social Care Manager who oversaw the six safeguarding reports into Kathleen’s care. It was he who worked closely with the home’s struck-off nurse ‘consultant’, ISLA MEEK, to play down the dangerous quality of care at Holmwood House. By September, he simply stopped taking Annette Whiting’s concerned phone calls over the circumstances of her mother’s death.

So did he think she’d just go away? On the basis that when some middle manager plonker at the council stops taking your phone calls that’s the end of any matter? How wrong can he be?

It was at this point, Annette sought the only immediate help at hand, which was seasoned care campaigner Steve Norman and The BRISTOLIAN. She was immediately put in touch with firebrand lawyers Irwin Mitchell, specialists in public law, while Steve tackled the council privately and requested a meeting with the Social Care Strategic Director ALISON COMLEY.

Fat chance. Apparently Comley – herself an ex-social worker, but now a six-figure salaried City Hall boss – was far too busy at strategy meetings to worry about suspicious deaths on her watch. The actual  response from Comley’s PA was that her boss was “too busy” and that Annette would need to complete a ‘Fair Comment’ corporate complaint form!

Because obviously the best way to deal with a bereaved relative – with a series of highly compelling issues to raise regarding the care your organisation provided –  is to get them to fill in a form and force them through a useless  bureaucratic process!

It was at this stage that The BRISTOLIAN took the decision to go public with Holmwood House immediately. It was plainly apparent to us that none of these managers gave a toss about Annette or her mother and were behaving as if they were not accountable to the likes of us.

Just how stupid and arrogant are these council managers? What planet are they living on, which makes them think they can treat ordinary Bristolians with utter contempt and get away with it?

Well, things have changed a bit now haven’t they? Rest assured Comley, her sidekick MIKE HENNESSEY and that lamentable safeguarding manager arsehole DAVID ‘WATTA’ TOOLE are now running round like blue arse flies trying to explain their bizarre conduct and lunatic decisions. And this is just the start …

To steal their own soundbite – “There’s no secrets, no cover-ups, no hiding places in Bristol”.

» Be sure to keep an eye on The BRISTOLIAN: there will be further Holmwood House revelations this week…

 

 

BRISTOLIAN #4.9 NOW ON THE STREETS!

The BRISTOLIAN #4.9 - hitting the streets NOW!

The BRISTOLIAN #4.9 – hitting the streets NOW!

It’s been another busy month in Bristol, with no shortage of graft, payola or all-round incompetence to cover – but the latest paper (The BRISTOLIAN #4.9) is now on the streets, featuring…

» BRISTOL’S NEW HORROR HOME
Holmwood House care home is like something out of The Munsters. Except it’s really not funny.

» YOU’RE FIRED!
Skinner booted as the Curse of 100 Temple Street claims yet another management victim

» RED-FACED RED PANTS DOESN’T GET THE BIG PICTURE
Mayor ‘Now Fuck Off’ Ferguson loses his cool over The BRISTOLIAN in his Berchtesgarten

» AUDIT LATEST
Financial farrago at City Hall as fraud and non-compliance continues

» MARKET FARCES
They seek it here, they seek it there, they seek that damned elusive £165k everywhere…

» PRIVATE LAND, PRIVATE GAIN?
Why is a corporate property developer calling the shots at Wellington Hill Playing Fields?

» IS CITY OF BRISTOL COLLEGE BROKE?
City’s largest supplier of skills & training to youngsters on the brink

» JUNKET GEORGE UPDATE
Millionaire Mayor signs partnership deal with Chinese Communist Party bosses!

PLUS: BRISTOLIAN BITES!!!

Tantalising titbits including…

  • THINK OF THE CHILDREN!barney between Fergo’s true believers & Labour at charity bash
  • PRIMARY FAIL IndyRedpants election strategy off the rails already?
  • UNIFORMLY BADwhat’s going on at popular Totterdown school?
  • THIEVES IN THE TEMPLE£90 million budget cuts not affecting the consultancy gravy train
  • BEDROOM TAX LATEST – Council prepares to boot poor families onto street for Christmas
  • LEGAL NEWSpanicky BCC misrepresents own consultants’ findings on Mem impact
  • HOYT’S GOURMET JOY‘Assistant Mayor’ fills his face with food & reneges on ‘No Evictions’

…And all that for FREE!

See the Distribution page for your local stockist – and if there isn’t one near you, let us know!

CAN’T WAIT TO GET HOLD OF A PAPER COPY?

Then you can DOWNLOAD a PDF version here:

» The BRISTOLIAN #4.9 – December 2013

THE BRISTOLIAN #4.8 – OUT NOW FROM ALL GOOD STOCKISTS!

Bristolian_4.8_coverWell, we have been so busy working on the ‘Ms X’ story these past few days that we have not had the chance to tell you that the latest issue of your favourite local Smiter of the High and Mighty has been on the streets for a week!

November’s edition of The BRISTOLIAN is another PACKED ISSUE, featuring…

» BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL: WE’RE BEING ROBBED!
More cash disappearing from ‘of concern’ authority – this time from cash-in-transit

» MAYOR GRASS FARCE
A right royal game of lawn-acy as Fergo visit gets preferential grass-cutting treatment

» HOYTY-TOYTY’S PORK BARREL POLITICS SCAM
Green Councillor coughs up three times reserve price for allotments that couldn’t be developed on

» COUNTING THE COST OF CITY HALL LIARS
Farcical claptrap from council managers destroys open spaces, runs up massive bills

» CORPORATE FEED-IN FRENZY
China and big business cashing in on city’s solar power bonanza

» CRAP EMPLOYER OF THE MONTH: CLOVER ADVERTISING/APPCO GROUP
The lowdown on why this is one “billion dollar enterprise” you probably don’t want to work for…

» INDYREDPANT’S UNWISE MONKEY’S HORROR NO-SHOW
How the ‘outsider’ who ran in council elections for IfB “shook things up” on audit committee by not turning up

» B-LIME-Y
A merry-go-round of useless managers squanders £100k on lethal play equipment while kids’ education suffers

» HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB?
How PFI deals with the private sector cost us masses more…

PLUS: NEWS IN BRIEF!!!

» BRISTOLIAN BITES
Tantalising titbits including…

  • THE NEW POLITICSLib Dem Stella Hender returns as anti-Green artist Stella Perrett
  • PICKUP PACKS UP! mystery of Labour councillor’s ouster at hands of own party
  • FERGO IN PITTSBURGH CONGRESSHis Redtrouserness continues to rack up those AirMiles
  • HUNGER GAMESstarving kids made to trudge halfway across city to pick up food arcels
  • GASTRO PUB RUN BY IDIOTShard to imagine, we know

…And all that for FREE!

See the Distribution page for your local stockist – and if there isn’t one near you, let us know!

CAN’T WAIT TO GET HOLD OF A PAPER COPY?

Then you can DOWNLOAD a PDF version here:

» The BRISTOLIAN #4.8 – November 2013

RED-FACES & TOWN GREENS

When is a NIMBY not a NIMBY? When a Bristol City Councillor decides it’s politically useful – that’s when…

Residents in Horfield fighting to save WELLINGTON HILL PLAYING FIELDS from development are increasingly bemused by the conduct of the landowners, Bristol City Council, who seem prepared to throw any amount of money around to prevent the land becoming a TOWN GREEN and preserved forever as open green space for the community.

“Our experience to date,” locals tell us of the council’s tactics, “is that as soon as one argument is demonstrated to be invalid, an- other is constructed…”

Green spaces are perhaps the one issue where grass roots groups of citizens can successfully take on the council. It’s telling that the council responds by fighting expensively, aggressively and often unfairly against its own citizens rather than compromising with them or at least responding in a constructive and honest fashion.

But then TWO-FACED, lying councillors are happy to support Town Greens in their

own wards whilst simultaneously declaring those who support them elsewhere are not- in-my-back-yard ‘NIMBY’ types. They’re also happy to approve spending on existing Town Greens – while claiming dubiously that new Town Green registrations will cause such payments to dry up.

In the TOPSY-TURVY world of local government, councillors know their decisions are unlikely to be judicially reviewed when they make a wrong decision.

Even if they are, those same councillors are among the first to criticise anyone applying for judicial review as ‘NIMBYs’! And of course the councillors never have to pay for the cost to the taxpayer wasted by their DODGY politicking – while at the same time they will insist that those who dare to challenge them are ‘wasting taxpayers’ money’.

Because politicians are mostly a bunch of hypocrites, our council run on behalf of wealthy landowners rather than ordinary citizens.

++ NEXT ISSUE ++ NEXT ISSUE ++ NEXT ISSUE ++ NEXT ISSUE ++ NEXT ISSUE ++ NEXT ISSUE ++ NEXT ISSUE ++

We’ll be covering the ’Town Green‘ issue in the next issue of The BRISTOLIAN (#4.8) – out soon and available from all the usual stockists!