COCKTAIL PARTY JOY

COCKTAIL PARTY JOY

FACTS and FIGURES come crashing into the inbox regarding the Reverend’s recent trip to Cannes to attend the MIPIM property conference. A sort of working holiday on the Côte d’Azur where gullible local authority types can get mugged for their land by property speculators.

THREE ‘delegates’ from Bristol City Council went. The Reverend and his two current sidekicks, PR man Kevin “Don’t Mention the Private Education” Slocombe and Colin “Head Boy” Molton. Although we’re told that the Reverend’s Cabinet member for Spatial Planning and City Design Nicola “LA LA” Beech went along paid for by her employer.

And the cost of this three-day jaunt to you, dear council tax payer? A mere £9,950! Included in a busy itinerary for these selfless public servants were urgent events such as the ‘ARUP COCKTAIL PARTY‘, the ‘YTL  DEVELOPMENTS DINNER‘ and the ‘BOUYGUE – LINKCITY DINNER‘!

Tough gigs but, no doubt, someone’s got to spend £10k of our money doing it!

 

WON’T GET FAULLED AGAIN?

Father Faul Bishop Faull with names inverted

We note that Bristol’s brand new Anglican bishop, the Very Reverend Vivienne “Basterd” Faull and deceased (2006) Irish Catholic priest Monsignor Denis Faul have almost the same name.

Father Faul was well known for his POLITICAL PROTEST-BREAKING activities in the H Blocks (Maze Prison, Northern Ireland), to which the British colonial state had given him unfettered access for that very purpose.

South of the border, the very same good priest also campaigned tirelessly AGAINST such basic human rights such as contraception, divorce and abortion. Are these two Faullish clerics by any chance related?

BISHOP OR PAWN?

Faull

A big warm BRISTOLIAN welcome to Vivienne “Basterd” Faull, former Dean of York Cathedral, who has been appointed BISHOP OF BRISTOL. This will be a big deal for local diversity enthusiasts who will point out that Vivienne is the first woman appointed to the role and will then demand that us plebs wet our pants with vibrant joy at this latest exciting victory for equality.

But how diverse is Ms Faull? Educated at exclusive THE QUEEN’S SCHOOL, Chester, an all-girls independent day school, she then went on to further study at the exclusive ST HILDA’S COLLEGE, Oxford. So there’s a good chance that Ms Faull is even more of a snooty elitist than her tosspot predecessor, Edward Colston cheerleader, Mike “THE MERCENARY” Hill.

Hill, at least, managed to attend a state grammar school before poncing off to Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge to become an ESTABLISHMENT LACKEY and mouthpiece for the wealthiest men in Bristol. Who will ever forget his noisy public support for slave trader Edward Colston from the pulpit of Bristol Cathedral?

Attention will now, no doubt, turn to Ms Faull’s attitude to Colston and his wealthy supporters club, the SOCIETY OF MERCHANT VENTURERS here in Bristol. Like her predecessor, will she front PRIVATE services generously funded by the Venturers at our local cathedral to celebrate Colston for schoolchildren?

Or will she opt for a different and more inclusive approach in her effort at moral leadership in the city? Don’t hold your breath.

PRIVATE EQUITY CASHES IN ON YOUR WATER BILL

PRIVATE EQUITY CASHES IN ON YOUR WATER BILL

If you want to see some unashamed PRICE GOUGING on a Bristol-wide scale, you could do worse than check your latest bill from Bristol Water.  The price of metered water went up 4.6 PER CENT on 1 April 2018. At the same time, the Office of National Statistics shows the Consumer Price Index for March 2018 up by just 2.3 PER CENT.

If consumer prices are going up 2.3 per cent a year while Bristol Water is raising prices by 4.6 per cent, then it seems that water prices are going up at TWICE the current rate of inflation. Bristol Water is a local MONOPOLY, which means that you or I or anyone else in Bristol and the surrounding area can’t buy our water from any other supplier. We just have to STUMP UP.

So where does the extra money from this big price rise go? Yup, you guessed it; to the company’s owners of course.  And who’s that? Bristol Water is now largely owned by the secretive private equity firm iCON (great name, eh?). So iCON FUND MANAGERS and their INVESTORS are happily enjoying inflation-busting increases in cash flow and dividends, all financed by inflation-busting PRICE INCREASES levied on the captive customers of Bristol.

Nice work if you can get it!

WEALTHY CASH IN ON THE HOMELESS

WEALTHY CASH IN ON THE HOMELESS

The SICKEST PLAN YET for helping the street homeless in the city has been quietly launched by the Reverend’s ‘Housing Czar’ Paul “Wolfie” Smith and the team of bureaucratic scumbags running the council’s housing department.

We hear that the council has quietly handed a contract called a SOCIAL IMPACT BOND to a brand new consortium – Social Impact Bristol Ltd (SIB Ltd) that’s been set up by charities, St Mungo’s, Second Step and Bristol Drugs Project – to support 125 street homeless over the next THREE YEARS.

The devil, however, is in the detail. Because SIB Ltd is funded with a LOAN from Resonance, a “social impact investment company” and Resonance, in turn, obtained the cash for their £112,500 stake in SIB Ltd from “HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUALS” seeking a return on their investment.

These investors will get this return when SIB Ltd achieve certain carefully listed “OUTPUTS” or targets from their homeless clients and are rewarded with CASH by the council. SIB Ltd then use the cash to repay Resonance’s loan with interest. This will be passed on to the “high net worth individuals” so that they receive the all-important “RETURN ON INVESTMENT”.

This sicko scheme, marks the start of the financialisation and securitisation of street homeless people for profit in Bristol. It has already been tried by St Mungos in London and been deemed a “SUCCESS“! For who?

Will it be a similar “success” in Bristol and usher in a new golden age of PROFIT to local high net worth individuals directly from homeless misery? And how many homeless clients/victims will be FORCIBLY MANIPULATED through this system designed to make a profit for the wealthy?

Is this the best we can do?

ST MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK PARISH NEWS #15

Welcome my adoring flock and what a special month this is. A time for mass celebration as I’ve now been your vicar for two fantastic, high achieving years that have exceeded all expectations and smashed all targets. We have so much to celebrate as these two years have been a litany of high achievement with the prospect of much, much more to come.

But where do I start such a vibrant whole-parish inclusive celebration of diverse delivery? Perhaps by noting my exceptional background in church hall strategy leadership in America and religious health innovation in various small village settings across the UK, has delivered the aspiration of church hall transformation we have all been waiting for. The transformed church hall, funded through my new Church Media Fund, is set to open – our private sector partners assure me – as soon as congregation numbers and, therefore, potential church hall user numbers make the building financially viable. This may be as soon as five years, I’ve been assured. Hurrah!

Similarly, my new pay-as-https://flic.kr/p/25Mnrqmyou-go self service tea vending solution in the vestry is about to go live very soon indeed. Final software tests are being undertaken by our best

value consultant contractors from London prior to an experimental soft launch. Tea in the vestry will never have been so efficient. Hurrah! Then there was my 360 degree review of the Reverend Loose Canon Ferguson’s failed car parking strategy. Now families can attend St Marvin’s in a 4×4 diesel vehicle, happy in the knowledge they need only pay a small parking fee to access the church and financially support the parish’s wider aspirations. Hurrah!

And many of those same families are also secure within the St Marvin’s family knowing that thanks to my introduction of a small ‘Regular Worshipper Uplift Charge’ their children are safely on a best value, time efficient journey into the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘excellent’ St Snoot’s Academy. Hurrah!

I feel I should also mention the help and support from all three of the Parish Secretaries I’ve, so far, appointed on highly competitive rates. A big thank you to Mr Stephens from Birmingham, Ms Klonowski from London and, I’m sure you’re excited as me at my appointment of Mr Jackson from Weston-Super-Mare to head up the parish committee as we move into a more aggressive delivery phase. What a diverse and vibrant group of parish leaders we have here to celebrate. Hurrah!

A special mention too should be made regarding my regular all-expenses paid trips to the US to visit my fantastic friend and religious mentor who facilitates a refresh and renewal of my faith. As this mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon says, “an expensive trip to pray alongside me at my impressive luxury mansion with outdoor swimming, gym and sauna facilities is what the Lord desires”.

And on that positive note of positivity, let’s look forward to the next two years, which Mr Slocombe’s already designated ‘the years of delivery’. Aspirations such as an open church hall, a self-serve tea facility in the vestry and increased parking charges may soon become the new reality. Hurrah!

Here’s to another two years! Hurrah!

The Vicar

Soft Privatisation of Libraries

Overhearing a conversation about mutualisation, I realised the people three desks down were talking about our libraries. A possible staff buyout (or buy-in or spin-out, or something) was mooted. “A stalking horse for outsourcers,” one of them said. As well as the confusing possibility of another council running our libraries, as if we have lost the energy to run our own affairs. So I popped off and had a look on my phone to see if I could find anything published online that would go into more detail. A report had been published (apparently in March) but I hadn’t seen anything, and I had been looking.

Anyway, there is not much good news in the report. It is essentially a list of options with recommendations, though there is an in-house option (with ‘re-engineering’), and we can at least catch a glimpse of how our technocratic overseers see the world so we can have some idea what to expect. The report said March 2018 but the staff have not been allowed copies (up until very recently), and quite frankly the document is turgid and unapproachable. I don’t expect many people will reach the last of the sixty pages, but doom-laden rumours are flying thick and fast among librarians and library assistants.

It seems the preferred option is a PSM, or Public Service Mutual. There is much talk over whether it will have charitable or non-charitable status, but regardless, it is easier to think of the thing as a sort of charity. If this option passes, our library staff would no longer be council employees but would be transferred to what is a bit like a charity. They will retain their pay, terms and conditions. But the report cheerfully informs us that terms and conditions can be changed post-transfer by a consultation process.

Entertainingly, the report mentions twenty five times that a mutual (and another option, a joint venture) could save on business rates by achieving charitable status, in fact it is significant to how well the options are recommended:

“This option is forecast to realise operating surpluses each year over the 5 year period. The viability of the option is however heavily predicated on the assumption that the service would realise savings through 80% mandatory National Non-Domestic Rate (NNDR) relief. Should the service not benefit from this saving, it is forecast to incur operating losses during the first two years post-establishment”

Does this mean that the council would save money by, er… receiving less money from rates?

Now, I know I’m going to get comments telling me I’m a dullard who doesn’t understand tax law. But the fact remains that these options are attractive because they pay less tax. Or might do if they get charity status… If.

The rate relief is an option for two of the proposed options: mutual and joint venture. Regardless of the irony of such savings, failing to achieve charitable status, which is not at all certain, the report goes on to say:

“Such a situation obviously brings the viability of either option into question.”

And also:

“The scoring of the PSM (charity) and joint venture (charity) options is informed by the assumption that the new model would benefit from NNDR. Charitable status should not be automatically assumed, given the complexity of the application process and the strict criteria that any applicant is required to meet.”

It was late last year that full council agreed, with cross party support, to look at mutualisation. Of course, the right wing of the Labour party have been pointing out that that vote was not binding, but they did find it difficult to contain their glee at the interesting possibilities. After all, the mayor can pose the question: the people of Bristol have spoken through their representatives, who am I to get in the way of democracy? Privatisation or a spin off of Bristol libraries could then be blamed on everybody and not just him.

Likewise, if there is an effective wave of protest, the elected mayor can then point out that that is the point of having an elected mayor, to overturn the narrow interests of ward councillors and consider the needs of the entire city. This will make himself appear like he is listening. Win win, I would say.

The report is here: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/34300/Options+appraisal+for+a+future+library+service+in+Bristol+2018/a572f11b-9cda-d369-2f0c-c0c209a4f0e9

Scary Monsters #5: Kidnappers of Children

SCARY MONSTERS

1932 saw the introduction of the Young Persons Act. One consequence of this was that a child could be whipped six times by a constable using a birch rod. More importantly, the act introduced the Approved School to replace the muddled bunch of previous penal boarding schools.

A child could be forced into one of these places for a number of reasons. One being, “if they were in need of care, protection or control”. By this definition, the private individuals who set up the schools could choose any child and lock him away from his family for their own ends.

Children with special needs and those with behavioural problems were at particularly high risk of abduction and incarceration. In 1933-34 over 8,500 children were detained. Hundreds of thousands were to follow. The use of the cane and the strap was standard.

Approved schools were abolished in 1973. Many ex-pupils tell sad stories of their childhood. Few have received after care. Innocents wounded for life. Why?

PENSIONERS TARGETED AT LABOUR MEETING

Local and national news outlets were quick to report a controversial Bristol West Constituency Labour Party meeting in April. Where Corbynites in the party attempted to CENSURE their MP Thangam Debbonaire for supporting the controversial  ‘#EnoughIsEnough’ anti-semitism rally in Westminster in March.

The meeting ended abruptly when Debonaire STAGED a walk out for the media, complaining that the meeting was “UNPRODUCTIVE” due to heckling. The media went along with this line. Happily characterising Corbyn supporters as an unruly rabble and Debonnaire’s gang as the height of professionalism.

However, a Corbyn-supporting PENSIONER who attended the meeting gives us a slightly different view of this meeting. “As I got up to leave,” they explain, “a young, well-dressed man supporting Thangam shoved into me hard, nearly pushing me over.

‘You need to watch where your going mate,’ he SNEERED at me before exiting the room.”

Nice to see Ms Debbonaire supported by such charming individuals …