Another week, another daffy policy from Labour’s Martin “Luther” Rees, the man who LOST the last mayoral election for a reason.
“BRISTOL SHOULDN’T BE RUN FROM THE COUNCIL CHAMBER,” boomed a headline on Luther Rees’ website last month before it was rather hastily removed a few hours later.
Perhaps after it was pointed out to Marv and his hapless trade union communications gurus that they’d effectively instructed Bristolians NOT TO BOTHER VOTING for councillors in local elections as they would no longer be running the city as they’ve been traditionally elected to do.
With a brand new headline in place – “Mayor is about the city not just the city council” – the SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN explained he would open a “city office” to run the city instead of relying on old fashioned councillors directly accountable to the electorate.
“The City Office, he breathlessly explained, “would be a real city team made up of representatives from every major sector in the city, including politics, health, local government, business, unions, education, criminal justice, and the community, voluntary and faith sectors.”
In other words Marvin intends to ignore elected councillors and invite a load of UNELECTED AND UNACCOUNTABLE bureaucrats and businessmen to run our city. Many of whom, no doubt, will turn out, entirely coincidentally, to be close personal associates of Labour Party luvvie and public sector equalities middle manager, Luther Rees!
What a fabulous idea. Cut out the middleman altogether and just give all the LOBBYISTS and VESTED INTERESTS after our public money an office at the Counts Louse and let them run the bloody show and dish the money out to themselves!
This will end well won’t it?
With only a week to go, many candidates for Bristol Mayor were there and even the Tory had come along to “show his support”, but THE FLY’S compound eyes focused in on an interview being given by Marvin ‘Luther’ Rees to a team of documentary film makers.
THE FLY hovered in and waited for any particularly tasty morsels of Bullshit that might be in the offing. It turned out that the interviewer was asking Marvin what he intended to do for Bristol’s homeless upon taking office.
Marv gave the usual CLAPTRAP about “deals over affordable housing” but whenever the interviewer asked for specifics he became twitchy and stated: “Look if we were in a boxing match, then I’d hardly tell you I was about to land you a right hook, now would I?” (ignoring the fact that neither were in a boxing match. Ed.)
Then the interviewer mentioned the huge and disproportionate salaries that council executives were being paid and whether THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE intended to cut them as mayor.
Marv was seen to visibly recoil in horror. “No no,” he protested, “Be reasonable, I can’t do that! The next day I’d have to face a fleet of lawyers and their unions* would go on strike!”(Presumably the UFCPP Union of Fat Cats on the Public Payroll? Ed.)
When the interviewer remonstrated that other candidates were considering this very move, Marv guffawed and spat out, “Well they aren’t going to be elected, are they? To be elected mayor, you have to be seen to act responsibly…”
At this point THE FLY decided to depart and land on one of the (by now many) smoking, wet turds roundabout. Lapping up the heavenly moisture with its proboscis.
The BRISTOLIAN EXCLUSIVELY brings you the list of which councillors and which parties voted to give an ultra-privileged set of city council bosses in the top one per cent of earners in the city a 20 per cent pay rise while offering ordinary workers NOTHING.
THIS IS EXACTLY HOW THESE PEOPLE WILL RULE. They’ll line the pockets of wealthy voters and give ordinary voters NOTHING.
Remember! Don’t vote for any of those that voted for this pay rise. They’re not on your side, they’re working for the wealthy and the privileged. NOT YOU.
THIRTY-SEVEN councillors voted for the pay rise. SEVEN voted against. TWELVE wimped out and abstained. A further SIX are so useless they couldn’t press a button to vote and another FIVE councillors simply didn’t bother turning up to the meeting and couldn’t be arsed to let anyone know. THREE sent their apologies for not attending.
The briefest glance at the list shows that 20 LABOUR COUNCILLORS voted for the pay rise and pushed it through. Had they voted against the pay rise, it would not have happened. So not only did Labour ENGINEER THE PAY RISE at the council’s Human Resources Committee, they provided the majority to get it voted through.
The list of who voted and how is below. Also listed are the wards these councillors will be running in on 5 May. If they voted for the pay rise, DON’T VOTE FOR THEM. They will not work for you.
For the pay rise (37)
MAYOR OF BRISTOL
George Ferguson (Ind)
Peter ABRAHAM (Con), Stoke Bishop
Richard EDDY (Con), Bishopsworth
Geoff GOLLOP (Con), Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze
John GOULANDRIS (Con), Stoke Bishop
David MORRIS (Con), Not running
Alastair WATSON (Con), Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze
Mark WESTON (Con), Henbury and Brentry
Jason BUDD (Con), Not running
Claire HISCOTT (Con), Horfield
Charles LUCAS (Con), Clifton
Graham MORRIS (Con), Stockwood
Fi HANCE (Green), Redland
Dani GLAZZARD (Green), Not running
Anna McMULLEN (Green), Easton
Daniella RADICE (Green), Bishopston & Ashley Down
Mark BRADSHAW (Lab), Bedminster
Mark BRAIN (Lab), Hartcliffe and Withywood
Fabian BRECKELS (Lab), St George Troopers Hill
Craig CHENEY (Lab), Hillfields
Marge HICKMAN (Lab), Lawrence Hill
Helen HOLLAND (Lab), Hartcliffe and Withywood
Chris JACKSON (Lab), Filwood
Gill KIRK (Lab), Lockleaze
Mike LANGLEY (Lab), Brislington East
Jeff LOVELL (Lab), Filwood
Brenda MASSEY (Lab), Southmead
Ollie MEAD (Lab), Horfield
Eileen MEANS (Lab), Brislington West
Bill PAYNE (Lab), Frome Vale
Steve PEARCE (Lab), St George Central
Celia PHIPPS (Lab), Bedminster
Naomi RYLATT (Lab), Not running
Mhairi THRELFALL (Lab), Eastville
Estella TINCKNELL (Lab), Lockleaze
Mike WOLLACOTT (Lab), Brislington East
LIB DEM (1)
Simon COOK (Lib Dem), Not running
Against the pay rise (7)
Here’s the small list of councillors who said ‘NO’ to the pay rise. If you’re gonna vote, vote for these.
LIB DEM (4)
Gary HOPKINS (Lib Dem), Knowle
Glenise MORGAN (Lib Dem), Redland
Tim KENT (Lib Dem), Hengrove & Whitchurch Park
Mark WRIGHT (Lib Dem), Hotwells & Harbourside
Hibaq JAMA (Lab), Lawrence Hill
Ani STAFFORD-TOWNSEND (Green), Central
Rob TELFORD (Green), Central
The twats who couldn’t make their silly little minds up!
Wayne HARVEY (Con), Not running
Matthew MELIAS (Con), Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston
Charlie BOLTON (Green), Southville
Steve CLARKE (Green), Southville
Carla DENYER (Green), Clifton Down
Martin FODOR (Green), Redland
Jenny SMITH (Lab), Stockwood
Afzal SHAH (Lab), Easton
Sue MILESTONE (Lab), Not running
Rhian GREAVES (Lab), Not running
LIB DEM (2)
Clare CAMPION-SMITH (Lib Dem), Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze
Tim LEAMAN (Lib Dem), Avonmouth &Lawrence Weston
Didn’t attend the meeting but bothered to apologise.
Mike FROST (UKIP), Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston
Anthony NEGUS (Lib Dem), Cotham
Jerome THOMAS (Green), Clifton
Missing in action (6)
At the meeting but couldn’t even press a button to express an opinion!
Lesley ALEXANDER (Con), Frome Vale
Chris WINDOWS (Con), Henbury and Brentry
Augustus HOYT (Green), Ashley
Tim MALNICK (Green), Not running
Sam MONGON (Lab), Not running
Chris DAVIES (Lib Dem), Knowle
No show: (5)
Couldn’t be arsed to turn up and didn’t even bother letting us know.
Kevin QUARTLEY (Con), Bishopsworth
Deb JOFFE (Green), Not running
Barry CLARK (Lab), Hengrove and Whitchurch Park
Noreen DANIELS (Lab), Not running
Mahmadur KHAN (Lab), Eastville
IF YOU USE YOUR VOTE: USE IT WISELY
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.
Marvin “Luther” Rees, Labour’s increasingly deranged mayoral candidate, has decided to CLOSE DOWN all the strip clubs in Bristol. The SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE Christian confirmed on International Women’s Day that this will happen as soon as he becomes mayor.
This means he’ll be THROWING HUNDREDS OF YOUNG WOMEN OUT OF WORK. Local stripper Esme Worrell has already branded the idea “SHORT-SIGHTED” and “PATRONISING” after it turned out that Marvin hadn’t actually bothered to speak to a single stripper about his brilliant plan. So how does he know that the city’s strippers want him to protect them from exploitation? Does he visit them after office hours?
Of course, strippers earn pretty GOOD MONEY. So what does Marv have planned instead for these newly unemployed and unexploited sisters? Working minimum wage on the checkouts for his corporate mates at ASDA? Or how about doing care work for Marvin’s morally superior council? There the unexploited can drive around for work and NOT GET PAID for their traveling time and earn even less than the minimum wage!
Of course, as council employees, they could also look forward to a pay rise as high as ONE PER CENT this year thanks to the unceasing work of those tough anti-exploitation campaigners from Marv’s Labour Party and his union friends. This pathetic below inflation pay rise is generously being handed out by Marv’s new moralising army of council managers raking in SIX-FIGURE SUMS after awarding themselves a tasty 20 PER CENT pay rise. All happily signed off by Marvin’s Labour Party and the council’s unions, natch.
With shit like this on offer is it any surprise that some enterprising people look to sex work to make some decent money and get treated with far more respect? And this is where Marvin should be CONCENTRATING any fight over inequalities for women. Not FORCING women out of work. If he thinks women are being forced to strip then get the old Bill in. If he thinks they could be doing something better, then SHOW THEM THE MONEY.
Marvin claims that his bonkers plan is backed by the mayor’s WOMEN’S COMMISSION who have told him to ban stripping. So who the fuck are this lot? Only a bunch of self-appointed, well-paid, middle class public sector professionals, led by the council’s own Alison “FOUR JOBS” Comley scraping by on well over £136k a year from the public purse.
Just because this small clique of WELL-HEELED WOMEN would not dream of stripping does not mean that they can look down their noses at those that do and threaten their livelihoods. This is just a load of SANCTIMONIOUS SHITE, from a bunch of wealthy muppets who aren’t fully engaged with the reality they help to create.
Marv should concentrate on real issues that affect Bristolians, like shite housing, low wages, rubbish politicians. Come on Marv, fight real inequalities … Get yer tits ooout!!!!
The “TRADE UNION VISION FOR BRISTOL” sounds like one of the most boring documents ever. Published by local unions to support Marvin “Luther” Rees in his effort to become mayor in May, it actually contains a few gems. Not least its call for Luther Rees to back The BRISTOLIAN!
“A DIVERSE AND STRONG MEDIA is essential for the lifeblood of Bristol. Local newspapers are under severe pressure and need the support of civic leaders,” thunder the union bureaucrats.
“We want a mayor who will: champion Bristol’s creative and cultural life; be an ambassador for Bristol’s arts and creative industries,” and … Wait for it … “support local media and a VIBRANT REPORTING OF NEWS and events”!
We’ll assume the cheque’s in the post then Marv …
We hear a private meeting in February organised by Mayor Desperation to encourage the city’s LEADING RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS to take on social housing tenants didn’t quite go as our hapless mayor might have planned.
Our man close to the property business tells us, “George rolled in and delivered a confident, if brief, speech BEGGING LANDLORDS TO TAKE ON COUNCIL TENANTS, which was politely received.”
However, problems soon emerged when landlords started asking some fairly basic questions of George and, “it became apparent George was hopelessly unbriefed on the subject of housing, lettings and tenancy and COULDN’T ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.”
Matters then took a turn for the worse when one landlord piped up, “Well, it might help if we could actually PARK outside the homes we’re trying to rent out.”
A red-faced and, now, visibly fuming mayor angrily shouted back “THIS IS NOT A MEETING ABOUT CAR PARKING“.
Bad move. The meeting broke up immediately in disarray as the majority of the attendees simply upped and headed for the exit to escape from the RUDE AND CLUELESS mayor.
It therefore looks HIGHLY UNLIKELY the private sector will be looking to take on any one from the council’s waiting list in the near future.
Another example of the excellent inter-personal skills and fine negotiation and persuasion talents by our charmless mayor there then.
Next up launching their mayoral election campaign … Step forward the Green Party. They even got their crackpot national leader, NUTTILY BENNETT, down for the occasion and their big promise is that they’re going to get private developers to build 8,000 HOMES by 2020 and 2,800 of these will be “affordable”, whatever the fuck that means this week.
So 35 PER CENT of homes built up to 2020 through some kind of unexplained city council/private sector partnership will be “affordable”. An ambitious target that the private sector has persistently FAILED to meet in Bristol and that they have little interest in meeting while they’re driven by a SHORT TERM PROFIT motive.
Quite why developers would suddenly start delivering these targets because the Green Party tell them to is anybodies’ guess. Especially when you consider that the local Greens’ favourite developer, URBIS, who have planning permission to build a tower block at St Catherine’s Place in Bedminster, are committed to delivering ZERO affordable or social housing there while waffling a lot about “sustainable housing”.
The other big question regarding this Green housing promise is where will they put all these homes? They are currently claiming they will build all of them on 91 HECTARES of city council land already identified in a council ‘Housing Land Prospectus‘ and that they will then “insist that MINIMUM DENSITY LEVELS are part of the deal for the future development of this land” according to Green mayoral candidate, Tony Dyer “Straits”.
However the council’s current plans for this land – mainly low quality OPEN SPACE on the outskirts of the city in the poorest areas – already proposes densities of over 70 people per hectare. While average density in Bristol is only 39 PEOPLE PER HECTARE.
The Greens’ proposals to pile 8,000 homes on to this land would therefore push densities up to around 250 – 300 PEOPLE PER HECTARE. An absurd level, way in excess of population densities in Horfield (54 people per hectare), Easton (92 pph) and Southville (49 pph) that the Greens have identified as desirable levels of population density.
The reality is that to deliver 8,000 homes in Bristol is going to take around 360 HECTARES of land, not the 90 currently on offer. This raises the question of where the Greens intend to build the rest of their homes?
However, not one to be outdone in the bullshit stakes, Labour’s Marvin “Luther” Rees is also promising to build 2,000 HOMES A YEAR by 2020. A similar amount to the Greens. Although he, also, has not identified the land he intends to build on.
The Bristolian’s advice is: watch out for your local green space. After May politicians might just want to give it away to their private developer friends …
Bristol City Council have finally admitted that their £90M ARENA is now actually going to cost at least £118m and even this huge price increase resembles the tip of an iceberg.
The 30 per cent INCREASE IN COSTS is to cover work and access arrangements to the so-called ‘Arena Island’ site at Temple Meads. However, the price is likely to rise even further as the council has UNDERESTIMATED some costs and IGNORED others altogether.
For example, the latest estimates include just £2.5m for ‘REMEDIATION WORKS‘ to remove chemical pollution from the arena site when the cost of this could be as high as £7.5m. The council also didn’t bother including an £8m BUSINESS RATE BILL that might fall in their lap, while the newly proposed eight storey MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK, demanded by their PROFIT HUNGRY arena operators, is, as yet, uncosted.
Costs could, therefore, easily increase to £135M PLUS. A cool 50 PER CENT increase on the original estimate. But will it stop there? With a builder yet to step foot on the site, more cost increases are a racing certainty.
The Bristolian is happy to go on the record and state that the final bill for the arena is likely to be between £150m and £180m. An overspend of somewhere between 75 AND 100 PER CENT over Mayor Fagpacket’s initial cost claims. How this will be paid for is not explained by the council either. Although it’s likely to be through a generation’s worth of HEAVY DEBT for the city.
With an election looming, the city’s councillors, politicians and mayoral candidates are all oddly quiet on this urgent matter of a looming BLACK HOLE IN the city’s public finances. Perhaps they’ve concluded an arena is popular with the electorate and any negativity about it could cost them votes?
What could possibly go wrong when the provincial political careers of a few sad old men come before the sound financial management of a city?