Category Archives: Meejah

Our fine local media – such as the Evening, sorry, Bristol Post, Western Daily Press, Bristol Observer, BBC Bristol and the rest…

MEET TINY TIM MARVIN’S SPIN

Lezard

In an effort to boost his flagging campaign – drenched in tedious corporate jargon and uninspiring political correctness – Labour’s mayoral candidate, MARVIN “LUTHER” REES, has found himself a trade union PR and self-styled Corbynite – “TINY” Tim Lezard – to polish his hapless image.

Is this Marvin’s latest effort to get some electoral traction out on the suburban estates he needs to capture back from UKIP and apathy if he wants to defeat Ferguson’s overwhelming majority among Bristol West’s wealthy liberals?

But is Tiny Tim the man to deliver these estates? A Corbynite mired in the tired old politics and language of trade union bureaucrats? Is it what South Bristol’s crying out for?

NEVER MIND THE NEWS, FEEL THE P.R!

An article in the Press Gazette catches the eye. “First for Torquay police as they publish story straight to Herald Express website,” is the headline.

The story explains: “Police in Torquay celebrated a first yesterday as they published a story directly on to the Herald Express website after being granted “publisher rights”.

The Torquay Herald Express is part of the LOCAL WORLD group – which also now own Bristol’s Nazi Post – and Local World’s chief executive David ‘Rommel’ Montgomery says he wants his journalists to be “HARVESTERS OF CONTENT and that he wants these kinds of self-publishing arrangements for hospitals, schools, businesses, sport, education and culture too.

This is no doubt a dream come true for the likes of Mayor Fergo, the coppers, Merchant Venturers, dodgy health service managers and anyone else looking to peddle convenient lies to the public.

So look out for PR guff, spin and plain lies coming soon to a certain newspaper website near you soon…

DIM TIM IN THIN SPIN DIN! RUMOUR-MONGERING COUNCIL PRESS BOSS BORRETT HAS TROUBLE COMMUNICATING…

Looks like the council has appointed yet another congenital idiot to run its press operation.

Step forward ‘DIM’ TIM BORRETT, previously a lowly press assistant who stepped into the hot seat a few months ago when his chum the West Wing-loving Peter ‘Claudia Jean’ Holt was finally shipped out by the all- new council management when they instantly discovered he was a useless twat.

Anyway, it seems Dim Tim, yet another chancer who fancies himself as spin doctor, is already briefing the Nazi Post ‘OFF THE RECORD’.

Oh dear. Does Tim not realise that any statement released by the council to the press can be attributed to him as the man in charge of the Press Office?

Isn’t the whole point of him earning a large wedge as media boss that he take responsibility for what appears in the press on behalf of the council? The idea he can shirk his responsibility and avoid accountability by describing himself as “a City Council source” or some other ridiculous fabrication is patently absurd. We all know it’s you, Borrett, you silly, silly boy.

We’ve also been reliably informed that at the time of his appointment last year, Borrett was very friendly with former press boss, Claudia Jean Holt and he appears to have got his break in Bristol as Claudia Jean’s right hand man after regularly visiting the bellyflopping press boss in Bristol so they could play zombie games together!! How cosy.

Prior to pitching up in Bristol, Borrett was something of a BIG TIME MEDIA OPERATOR in the sleepy Devon resort of Budleigh Salterton, where he kept local farmers and assorted yokels up- to-date on various muckspreading issues on behalf of East Devon Council.

How times don’t change…

HORSEWORLD MANAGEMENT DITCHES VISITOR CENTRE…

Web ExclusiveA sad day for HorseWorld today, with news coming in on what was meant to be the last day of a “consultation” into the options open to the Whitchurch equine charity to secure its financial future: it seems that the VISITOR CENTRE WILL DEFINITELY CLOSE this Friday 28th February.

Sources tell us that embattled managing director Mark ‘Not That One’ Owen “didn’t even have the balls to do the deed himself”, preferring instead to send out a staff representative to spread the bad news to employees.

It is understood that today’s dark announcement confirms the decision to shutter the visitor centre made at a meeting last week of the charity’s trustees “in a SECRET LOCATION”. As one angry source told us:

[The trustees] usually meet at HorseWorld in the visitor centre cafe, but that’s a no-no for them now, of course, lest the staff actually get to meet the trustees who NEVER visit the place and, worse still, have a chance to influence their daft decision making…

As the GMB union’s Rowena Hayward – who has been acting for those facing redundancy – notes, staff “feel very pressurised, very stressed, very anxious…and VERY LET DOWN” about how the situation has been handled.

Meanwhile word reaches us that a wide variety of people connected with HorseWorld’s important animal welfare work – including staff, former volunteers and financial supporters – “have had SEVERE PRESSURE put on them, in various ways, to keep shtum and not whistle-blow these last couple of weeks.”

Taken together with recent efforts to prevent critical media coverage, it gives the impression of a coordinated effort to silence dissent in the lead up to today’s sad news – though ITV West was able to screen a news package on the threat to jobs, with papers including the Bristol Post and The Week In joining The BRISTOLIAN in shining a light on the running of the charity.

With the curious decision to close the visitor centre – and so lose a valuable point of contact with the public, and an important revenue stream – now rubber-stamped and announced, it seems likely that those who until now kept quiet will instead voice their concerns publicly.

One question remains:

Why are those at the sharp end of HorseWorld’s animal welfare work – both human and equine – the ones currently bearing the brunt of bad business decisions, and not those in senior management who actually made them?

PINOCCHIOWEN TRIES TO SILENCE CRITICS OF HIS ‘REIGN OF ERROR’ AT HORSEWORLD – BRISTOL UNI CAVES IN TO THREATS?

Web ExclusiveWhat a curious development in the never-ending saga of management mishaps in the upper echelons of HorseWorld.

On Monday the Bristol University newspaper Epigram published an article about recent events at HorseWorld on its website. It covered many of the allegations which The BRISTOLIAN first brought to public attention.

Epigram's HorseWorld article - TAKEN DOWN

Epigram’s HorseWorld article – TAKEN DOWN

By mid-morning on Tuesday, readers began telling us that the article was no longer being displayed. We attempted to contact Epigram and its editors, the Student Union, the University’s Press Office and the UoB management, to find out what had happened. No one got back to us.

Then a source close to HorseWorld MD Mark ‘Not That One’ Owen told us what seemed by now to be obvious: the article had been pulled after a furious Pinocchiowen was “straight on the phone to the Uni [yesterday] morning” to demand that the article was removed.

Google Cache version - WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE NET

Google Cache version – WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE NET

We then posted a link to a cached version of the article still available via Google.

Today that Google cache version has also been taken down.

So in support of a free press unhindered by threats, coercion, fear or favour, we present for you here the full text of the article in question [not any more – see notes at the bottom of the page for further info!] – and call upon you, the reader, to decide whether it should have been pulled…


The BRISTOLIAN’s précis of the Max Miller Epigram article ‘Mismanagement rears its ugly head at Horseworld’

There’s a “scandal brewing” at the sixty year-old charity HorseWorld, with fears that it may have to reduce its activities and make more than 25 staff redundant after the failure of its bid for planning consent to permit the sell-off of land to developers. This is in tandem with reductions in income, a situation “mirrored by the fates of charities across the country” as donation levels drop off.

The article also notes that research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Charities Aid Foundation shows that between 2010 and 2012 charitable giving were down £1.7bn (£2.3bn when adjusted for inflation) to £9.3bn – a plummet of 20% in real terms. This research into the donations nosedive was released shortly after an investigation by the Telegraph newspaper, which showed that the number of “executives receiving six-figure salaries at Britain’s leading aid charities, and those linked to them, rose by nearly 60 per cent from 19 to 30 over the past three years.” The article noted The BRISTOLIAN’s own coverage, in which managing director Mark Owen has been reported as having “played a part in Horseworld losing over £2 million in the last three years.

The article then summarises some of The BRISTOLIAN’s claims about Owen’s management of HorseWorld, including his starting salary of £60,000 in 2008, his £28,000 company Audi, the hiring of consultants at £525 per day, and his blaming of others for the charity’s predicament. As the author notes, this “does not exactly scream out ‘competent management.’

Next comes reflection on the overall shrinking of charity donations in the UK during recent recessionary times, pointing out how fundraising website Charity Giving shut down – with a loss of more than £250,000 in donations – and highlighting a report in The Independent which investigated the challenges faced by UK charities “battling not only the effects of economic downturn, but also theft, organised crime, fraud worries and accusations of pure mismanagement.

The article then crunches some of HorseWorld’s numbers: its income fell by nearly £200k from £1.25mn to £1.06mn in 2010-2012, with voluntary donations dropping from £728,046 to £398,214 over the same period.

Next it is pointed out that Owen’s strategy for rectifying HorseWorld’s financial freefall – an all-or-nothing green belt planning gamble – was about as high-risk as you could get. The phrases “financial mismanagement” and “major mistake” are used.

Finally, the author summarises, suggesting that what has been happening in the management of HorseWorld “is a perfect [but extreme] example of what is happening across the country.” Ultimately, when a charity sees income drying up and managers not acting appropriately, it is the good work which suffers most.


Note 1: We reproduce this article unedited [this was before the events outlined in Note 2 below] and in its entirety in order to stimulate debate around the issue of censorship, and around the management issues at HorseWorld that the article refers to. We claim no copyright over the article, and will take it down at the request of its author, or when the original article is reinstated to the Epigram website. (12 February 2014)
Note 2: This morning (13/2/14) a person claiming to be Max Miller, the author of the article, contacted The BRISTOLIAN via the comments section to request that we “kindly delete this article and not publish it in part or in whole anywhere else on or off-line”, and that it ”was an oversight that led to its publication not censorship”. Having subsequently confirmed that this was indeed the University of Bristol student Max Miller, and the acknowledged author of the article, we have removed it.
In its place – and to ensure that the public record in this matter does not suffer – we have summarised its contents, paragraph-by-paragraph, below. We have quoted only a tiny proportion of the article directly (in red). We have also added links to other references (something not done in the Max Miller original), from which we have also included a few direct quotations (in green). We fully acknowledge that authorship of the original article lies with Max Miller; but further assert our own S.31 rights to fair dealing in our summary of that article. (13 February 2014)
Note 3: This afternoon (13/2/14) we spotted that Epigram had posted up the following retraction: “Epigram would like to retract an article published on 10 February 2014 entitled ‘Mismanagement rears its head at Horseworld’. The article was about the equine charity Horseworld and included allegations of mismanagement. The article was based on content from other sources and we regret not offering the managing director – Mark Owen – the right of reply before publication. We will rectify this by providing him the opportunity to respond in the following issue of Epigram. Meanwhile, Epigram apologises unreservedly to Horseworld and Mr Owen for the editorial oversight that led to the publication of this article.” (13 February 2014)

BRISTOL TOP COP GARGAN GETS THE FEAR OVER INTERNET PROFILE PIC!

Durston Fletcher - no powers of arrest

Durston Fletcher – no powers of arrest

Are Avon & Somerset TOP COP Nick ‘Hurdy-Gurdy’ Gargan’s well-documented weekend trips to Glastonbury to wear his love like heaven and mellow out on the Tor to ponder, like, the sheer enormity of it all, man, impeding his professional judgement? Or did he ingest something other than an extra strong herbal tea infusion during his last visit, at the peak of the MAGIC MUSHROOM SEASON, to deepest Somerset’s hippy haven?

Coming up with the kind of deranged paranoid nonsense that only takes shape at two in the morning over a bowl of dry Rice Krispies and the LAST OF THE CUSTARD CREAMS, The Hurdy Gurdy Man issued urgent instructions one Monday morning, immediately after one of his Isle of Avalon trips, that the presenter of hit radio show ‘From Bristol With Love’ Durston Fletcher must remove his Twitter and Facebook avatar immediately as it “could be deemed to be impersonating a police officer”!

The avatar in question is a picture of The Bill’s Reg Hollis as played by actor Jeff Stewart and so far, unsurprisingly, nobody outside of Hurdy Gurdy Gargan and his elite team of top TIE-DYED DETECTIVES has yet managed to confuse Durston with an actual copper.

However, to help out our confused top cop and the rest of his disoriented crew of addled Old Bill, Durston has now installed a new special message on his avatar: ‘I am not a copper’ it helpfully explains.

Hopefully this will clear matters up enough for the Avon & Somerset to continue with their duties and for Hurdy Gurdy Gargan to concentrate on realigning his chakras.

BRISTOLIAN GALLERY: ‘LOCAL TAXI DRIVER’ BY DURSTON FLETCHER

Local Taxi Driver

Councillor Gary Hopkins, ink, 2013, Durston Fletcher

Councillor Gary Hopkins, ink, 2013, Durston Fletcher

Our artistic odyssey continues, with Popular Local Radio DJ (it says here) From Bristol With Love‘s very own Durston Fletcher submitting this bold entry into our Best Gary Hopkins Portrait Meat Raffle competition.

Durston has been very busy of late thanks to a burgeoning feud between him and Bristol & Bumpkinshire Chief Constable Nick Gargan (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.7, out this week!), so big BRISTOLIAN thanks to him for taking time out of his busy arch-nemesissing schedule to make beautiful images for us.

BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL BLOCKS BRISTOLIAN!

Word reaches us that council staff are now denied access to their favourite super soaraway scandal sheet after Shitty Hall bosses BLOCKED access to The BRISTOLIAN website.

It seems that due to the constant stream of revelations about acts of incompetence, corruption and idiocy committed under Mayor Fergo’s ‘REIGN OF ERROR’, embarrassed senior BCC managers decided to pull the plug on the ‘Smiter’s site – effectively banning council workers from reading The BRISTOLIAN.

In the words of a whistleblower: “Ridiculous!”

NAZI LIST SHAME OF ‘POST’

That old Evening Post masthead in all its spittle-flecked glory!

That old Bristol Post masthead in all its spittle-flecked glory!

Oh my aching sides… Post editor Mike ‘No Balls Goebbels’ Norton and his crack news team (three interns plus his nephew on work experience) are backing an Avon & Somerset Constabulary campaign against ‘anarchists’.

It follows the £16 million-worth of ‘little local difficulties’ recently experienced at the PFI police gun shack near Portishead – currently just a smouldering heap – which led Gollum-like Chief Constable Nick Gargan and former pastie-dealing Police & Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens to announce a big crackdown on “DOMESTIC EXTREMISTS”.

The low-key announcement by the cops – buried in a single paragraph on page six of a 35 page presentation to the council – that they were about to wage war against “DE criminals” was just the greenlight Goebbels – who fancies himself as a sort of local version of Jeremy Clarkson by way of General Pinochet – needed to work up a good frothy rant.

Anarchists now join NIMBYs, cyclists, anti-supermarket campaigners, crusties, socialists, feminists, environmentalists, vegetarians, young people, drug users, clubbers, hippies, students, the jobless, the poor, the elderly, those with disabilities and anyone off a council estate on Goebbels’ growing LIST OF HATE.

It’s starting to look like his enthusiasm for football stadiums extends beyond an interest in sporting prowess.

It might be easier for Goebbels to state simply what he’s in favour of – or should he save himself the bother and just stick a swastika on the front of his newsletter?