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.

COUNCIL ENERGY FIRM ABOUT TO BELLYFLOP?

The smell of FAILURE hangs heavy in the air around BRISTOL ENERGY, Bristol City Council’s energy reselling business set-up at great expense with public money.

Despite the council’s best efforts to keep the financial performance of the year old company TOP SECRET, it’s widely known that the company’s original business plan has FAILED.

“The energy market is showing significant price volatility,” is the current form of words being deployed by council bosses for this deplorable state of affairs. While, behind CLOSED DOORS, large sums of our money are being conjured up and another business plan hastily cobbled together by a secret committee, safely hidden away from anyone who might call it like it really is.

We also understand that council bosses have been FORCED to set up an Audit and Remuneration Committee for the firm. Although many might say this kind of basic financial oversight committee should have been in place before the company began trading.

Strenuous efforts are also being made by the Mayor’s office to avoid consolidating the company accounts into the Council’s accounts for 2016/17. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the council, it’s standard accounting practice that their wholly-owned energy company’s accounts are PUBLISHED alongside the council’s in its annual reports. Hardly ideal if you’re trying to hide losses into six or, even, seven figures from the public!

Meanwhile, the architect of this UNDERPERFORMING SHAMBLES, council Service Manager, Bill Edrich, has been instructed by the Rev Rees to ensure an “orderly exit strategy” forms part of the company’s new business plan.

Watch this space.

ST MARVIN’S-UP-THE-CREEK NEWSLETTER #4

I trust you all had a joyous Christmas and were pleasantly not unpleased to celebrate the glory of the coming of our Lord? Perfectly represented by our hugely successful best value nativity experience. Who would not agree that this was not church spend well spent on key cultural thematics? And congratulations to St Snoot-the-Privileged School for producing what was, according to our local independent website – St Marvin’s 24/7(edited by Kevin Slocombe) – “a 5 star production”.

Now a new year is upon us. Not only a time to renew your stakeholder relationship with God but the time to address the deficit in the parish accounts. Mr Hughes from Birmingham, our parish administrator, will therefore be announcing a series of exciting efficiencies over the coming months. Many designed to support a necessary step change in the resilience of our faith.

I’m especially proud to announce the first of these efficiencies. As usual, during January I shall be flying out with my family for a month’s sabbatical of poolside prayer and reflection at my mentor, the Reverend Righteous Loon’s, Florida mansion. However, this year, we will close the church and hall for this period and parish stakeholders are invited to attend St Snoot-the-Privileged School’s Renaissance Chapel facility instead.

Our temporary home will be overseen by my assistant vicar, the Rev Tinkerbell who has a series of excellent sermons lined up on culture, media and the post-Jesus agenda and how this can save the poor and ignorant on a competitive market basis during times of austerity.

This temporary efficiency closure is a huge funding win-win for St Marvin’s. As Mr Launcelot from Rachman Estates and Development on the High Street has agreed to make use of the church and hall for the month in exchange for a market resilient rate payable to the St Marvin’s Miscellaneous Provisions (Property) Trust. Mr Launcelot intends to set up an all-through 24-hour one stop shop for migrant job seekers, which sounds like a very worthy and exciting project indeed.

Could parish stakeholders also please note that Mr Launcelot is undertaking some asbestos removal work from the church roof during this period and that, for your own safety, you should not visit or enter St Marvin’s without the correct health and safety authorisation from our Property Sub Committee. We don’t want to be personally liable for any appalling accidents or law suits do we? That’s what Mr Launcelot’s for!

Some of you have noticed that our new pay-as-you-go self service tea vending solution in the vestry is not currently in active mode. This is unfortunate but Mr Hughes assures me it will not significantly impact our projected savings estimate for the current Vernal Equinox timeframe. Especially, he says, if we factor in third quarter capital draw down benefits to the Church Creative Media Fund achieved by the church roof capital transformation pathfinder. I’m sure you’ll agree this is great news and a huge relief.

Mr Hughes tells me that our self-service tea vending partner, Agresso Refreshment World, have identified an unforeseen minor malfunction in a downstream software iteration as the best likely cause. Rest assured, we have already identified spend from the Parish Land Reserve Fund to procure a competitively costed consultant from London to framework the into revenue positive.

In the meantime I’d like to welcome Daisy May – a former pupil of the parish’s OFSTED rated ‘Adequate’ comprehensive school, the Dave Spart Academy – as interim apprentice tea lady. Daisy will be joining us from February on a new flexible nil time agreement arrangement. This not only benefits Daisy while she studies self-service catering on day-release at college but maintains any parish refreshment budget uplift within the recalibrated parish finance envelope. Another win-win.

Our former tea lady, 72 year old Mrs Smith, is unable to return – despite popular demand – as she is now enjoying a flexible retirement as a full time cleaner at the Dave Spart Academy. Those of you who have stupidly repeated Ms Townsend from the Dave Spart Academy’s concerns to me that Daisy’s employment arrangements are exploitative and that Mrs Smith should never have been made redundant lack accurate context. Mr Hughes says the arrangements are reasonable and Ms Townsend is mistaken (as usual) while her continual dissent during Parish meetings is a silly and unwelcome distraction as we work to finesse our new biblical accounting practices.

As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon often has to remind recalcitant members of his congregation: “And those that would dissent should heed that we, the meek, the wealthy and the best who are the rightful keepers of the Lord’s flame, maintain a lock-up full of semi automatics purely for self defence purposes”.

Happy New Year and God bless.

SELLING OUT, CASHING IN

It’s not taken long for Labour councillors in Bristol to get their feet under the table and use their large new majority on the council to begin the enormous political challenge of, er, lining up LUCRATIVE CONTRACTS and work for their employers!

 Please step forward Craig “MR CRAPITA” Cheney, a junior employee of hellish public sector contractors and serial outsourcing cock-up artists CAPITA. He currently masquerades part time as ‘Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Performance’, wandering aimlessly around the Counts Louse accompanied by a chorus of whispers of “this one’s totally out of his depth isn’t he”?

 But now it looks like Mr Crapita has taken his first key decision. To appoint a new Treasury consultancy team from, er, CAPITA!

The Treasury team basically takes decisions around borrowing and investments at the council. Although why a private firm at a further COST to us now needs to do this work rather than the council’s highly paid “EXPERT” in-house finance bosses is not made clear by Mr Crapita, who is yet to publicise his self-serving, private sector career-enhancing decision.

Meanwhile on 24 November at the Counts Louse, the Rev Rees PERSONALLY HOSTED ‘The Big Conversation: Development by Bristol City Council’.

“Help shape the future development of Bristol,” gushed the publicity, squarely aimed at big money CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT INTERESTS who were promised ACCESS to not only the Rev Rees but the opportunity to “Join Cabinet Lead for Homes and communities Councillor Paul Smith; Cabinet Lead for Place Councillor Helen Holland; and Cabinet member for Transport, Councillor Mark Bradshaw.”

Among the agenda items was ‘De-risking the development process and the role of planning’. Presumably the aim being to simplify things for corporates wanting to BUILD SHIT quick for a FAST BUCK in Bristol? However, what really caught the eye about this event, held at the Counts Louse with Bristol Labour politicians and Bristol City Council bosses in attendance was that it wasn’t organised by Bristol City Council.

Instead, THIS INVITATION-ONLY EVENT to meet influential senior Labour politicians and council bosses for “TABLE DISCUSSIONS” was organised by a corporate lobbying firm, JBP. Who happen to specialise in … Wait for it … “complex planning and construction projects in retail, house building and major infrastructure development.”

How terribly cosy for all involved. Even more so when you realise that the JBP employee who organised the event at the council was one Nicola “LA LA” Beech. La La, when she’s not shilling for corporate development interests, also happens to be a LABOUR COUNCILLOR for St George Central!

It’s a small world isn’t it?

BRISTOL UNISON ELECTION: BACKSIDE BLASTS ROBBO

PANIC is breaking out at the South West regional branch of Unison following the hasty RESIGNATION of their Bristol Branch Secretary, Steve “Backside” Crawshaw after he was exposed in The BRISTOLIAN cutting a SECRET DEAL with the Rev Rees to help smoothly deliver controversial staff cuts at Bristol City Council with a minimum of trade union opposition.

Backside actively tried to make his sleazy deal with the Reverend while joint trade union Employee Side Secretary at the council, crudely EXCLUDING the council’s other trade unions and his own membership from these secret discussions. So it’s hardly surprising everybody’s lost faith in him and he’s slithering back to his protected £30k plus sinecure in the council’s bent property department.

An ELECTION is now underway for a new Bristol Branch Secretary, which pits a traditional left winger -Tom “RED ROBBO” Merchant, who wants to openly OPPOSE the Reverend’s stupid and brutal £110m Tory cuts programme – against a right winger, Jane “Wet” Carter – who wants to focus the branch’s attention on a load of middle class EQUALITIES bollocks for the next few years.

The election – and the simple choice it offers between traditional trade unionism or a load of useless liberal shite – appears to have thrown Backside’s Labour Party handlers at Unison’s regional office in Wine Street into something of a meltdown. So they INSTRUCTED Backside to urgently email out to members “in a personal capacity” to support the useless but Labour and Reverend-friendly Wet Carter.

Hapless neo-liberal jerk, Backside, has COMPLIED with his Labour Party handlers instructions to the letter. Because an absurd email, listing all the skills he believes a union branch secretary requires, arrived in Unison members’ inboxes. Accompanied by Backside’s view that Wet Carter “embodies, and can demonstrate, all these characteristics”. (Fancy that!)

Backside selflessly reveals his views on Red Robbo in his email too. “I cannot strongly discern the qualities listed above in Tom Merchant,” sniffily explains this inadequate sell out who has had to QUIT after conduct so DISREPUTABLE it’s resulted in local trade unionists’ total loss of confidence in him.

Backside finally advises his Bristol members, “to use your vote wisely and advise other members accordingly”. We concur with Backside entirely. Use that vote wisely Unison members. Do you want an ACTUAL TRADE UNIONIST fighting for your job and the services you run or a right wing APOLOGIST for huge cuts who will help make you redundant and trash local public services while creating a first draft transgender bathroom policy?

The choice is all yours comrades …

 

That email in full:

FROM: Steve Crawshaw
SENT: 27 January 2017 15:40
TO: Steve Crawshaw
SUBJECT: Branch Secretary Election – Bristol UNISON

Dear UNISON member

As you may know, I am stepping down as Branch Secretary after 3 years in the post as I have been asked to return to my substantive role in the council. There will now be an election for the role, and two candidates are standing. I am writing to you in a personal capacity to set out my views as to the merits of the candidates in terms of their
suitability for the role.

The position of Branch Secretary requires specific personal characteristics. In my view these are: sound judgement, resilience to stress, empathy, critical thinking and determination. As well as being the lead negotiator in the branch, they are also a manager and employer of a team four staff, so strong management skills are necessary. They need to be able to marshal an argument and communicate clearly. They need to think be able to think strategically, but also be prepared to pick apart a document in detail and respond to complex proposals intelligently. Importantly, they need to work with activists, members, employees and regional officers as part of a cohesive team. The branch secretary needs to understand and accept the organising principles in UNISON, where we empower members rather than service and put equalities at the heart of our practice.

In my view, only one candidate, Jane Carter embodies, and can demonstrate, all these characteristics. I will not repeat the text of her election address, but I can endorse all of what she says in it. She has a track record of running a large branch and I have been impressed with all the work she has done in our branch.

Unfortunately I cannot strongly discern the qualities listed above in Tom Merchant.

Bristol UNISON is the largest trade union branch in the South West and the largest union in the council. I believe we have a good reputation with members, employers and in the region. It is important that we maintain this to protect our members’ jobs and T&C’s. Having a strong and competent leader is a vital part of this, so I would encourage you to use your vote wisely and advise other members accordingly. The ballot materials will be sent shortly.

Kind Regards

Steve Crawshaw

AUDIT UPDATE

 Promises by our dear old friends on Bristol City Council’s beyond useless Audit Committee to take a long hard look at the finances of the METROBUS PROJECT on our behalf are floundering after just a few months.

At their meeting on 23 September a question from a member of the public on the Metrobus fiasco could not be answered “as there was not a Transport Officer present”. However, the new chair of the committee, Labour’s Olly “Meadiocre” Mead promised a FULL REPORT would be presented at the November meeting.

Come November, however, and much to the surprise of the public and, we’re told, even members of Meadiocre’s own committee, NO REPORT APPEARED. While a glance at the committee’s detailed schedule for the next year revealed any reference to Metrobus had been carefully REMOVED by unknown council bosses.

So don’t expect any information from Meadiocre’s Audit Committee about your money and Metrobus as they appear to have been very crudely NOBBLED by elements in this city who don’t want you knowing how much of your money is being SQUANDERED on some over engineered bus lanes.

Meanwhile the five year old MARKETS SERVICE finance shambles (Bristolian passim) continues to stagger around somewhere in the vicinity of the Audit Committee like an aging drunk high on laughing gas. A promised report on the council’s DEPARTMENT FOR DISAPPEARING CASH was promised in September. This then inexplicably slipped to November. Now we’re promised something in January.

When this report finally appears will it explain the following statement currently doing the rounds in council finance reports regarding this year’s £30m overspend? “There is a £125K FORECAST SHORTFALL in income against the budget target for Markets as a result of an historic revenue target, which has not been met for the last 5 YEARS.”

That’s a cool £0.6million now pissed up against the wall while an army of useless auditors and an oversight committee of gullible councillors sit on their lazy arses.

TOP JOB NEWS

Can you find Hartcliffe Mr Hughes?

The Reverend Rees told long-suffering journalists daft enough to attend his stillborn ‘CITY OFFICE’ launch in November that he planned to tackle “inequalities within leadership roles” by changing the people who are awarded the top jobs.

“This will mean having leaders from HARTCLIFFE and AVONMOUTH as well as Clifton”, the Reverend assured an audience  invited, organised and managed by his old, white, highly paid, Cambridge educated right hand man and personally appointed “leader”, council Chief Exec, Stephen “OAP” Hughes from, er, Birmingham.

Who thinks Hughes could even find Hartcliffe on a map?

A NEW LOW?

Before they “hold power to account” perhaps THE BRISTOL CABLE should try holding themselves to account? Because, as well as the media, they also seem to be “redefining the minimum wage as we know it”.

In an attempt to get their newspaper out beyond the overpriced artisinal coffee shops of West Bristol and a readership of beard strokers, the paper has now employed a large DISTRIBUTION TEAM on the minimum wage.

Except it’s not the minimum wage. This team receive only 80 PER CENT of the minimum wage and are required to “donate” the other 20 PER CENT of their crap wage to the ‘democratic cooperative’.

Not only is this not legal, the ethics of this from a self-styled ethical organisation are extremely dubious. Who do they think, beyond daddy’s boy TRUSTAFARI, can afford to work for 80 per cent of the minimum wage? Ordinary Bristolians who have to pay their own bills CAN’T, that’s for sure.

But who wants the plebs near the media anyway?

 

DIM DAYA: WHAT DO WE PAY HER?

Dim Daya

Congratulations to Bristol City Council legal eagle SHAHZIA “DIM” DAYA. For it seems this time-serving, lower middle ranking public law semi-professional has hit the big time and the BIG CASH and has been appointed permanent Head of Legal and Monitoring Officer at the council on a wedge not unadjacent to £75k a year (plus a potential performance related ‘uplift’).

BRISTOLIAN readers may recall Dim Daya THREATENING The BRISTOLIAN last year on behalf of her then boss, Sanjay “Under” Prashar. One of the FOUR hapless chumps employed by Mayor-No-More Redpants to bodge together dubious legal decisions for his administration.

Daya and Prashar took exception to The BRISTOLIAN publishing some of their self-styled “secret” documents regarding huge overspends on the doomed Metrobust project and they threatened to DRAG US INTO COURT unless we removed the documents from our website forthwith. Ooh-er, missus!

Alas, we immediately pointed out to Dim Daya that The BRISTOLIAN can publish what the fuck it likes as stamping ‘CONFIDENTIAL‘ on embarrassing documents and lying to councillors about their legal status has no meaning whatsoever to the Smiter or in a British court.

Having delivered our succinct lesson in public law, Dim Daya conveniently took our advice to the letter and immediately fucked off never to be heard from again. While her “secret” documents still reside on our website FOR ALL TO VIEW as they please.

Now it’s been brought to our attention that despite handing over a £75k salary to Dim Daya for the last year as their interim legal boss, it seems bosses at the council share our view that Dim Daya is another OVERPAID INCOMPETENT not up to the job.

Because a quick glance through the council’s EXPENDITURE SPREADSHEETS for 2016 reveals that they have paid one Philip McCourt, ‘consultant solicitor and chartered secretary’, £61k last year to “provide support and mentoring to the interim monitoring officer; conduct a review of Bristol City Council’s companies; and enhance the governance arrangements for shared devolution proposals across the West of England.”

In other words we’ve been forking out for someone to do Dim Daya’s bloody job. McCash has also been “retained to provide advice over 2016/17”, which means more of our money will be spent PROPPING UP Dim Daya for a further six months at least.

Yet again at Bristol City Council, it’s austerity for us, the plebs, while huge sums of money are expended on them – the cult of the useless at City Hall.