Tag Archives: George Ferguson

MONSTER MAYOR?

Sandy

News that fully paid-up middle class prat and voluntary sector luvvie, Sandy “FRANKENSTEIN” Bufton-Tufton (surely Hore-Ruthven? ed.), will be Green candidate for mayor in 2020 moves the campaign for the next elected mayor of Bristol up a small notch.

Over the last few years Bufton-Tufton has carved himself out a career as a MINOR ESTABLISHMENT FIGURE of little consequence as the Chief Executive of the Creative Youth Network, the money swallowing youth project based at the Station in Broadmead, and as the Chair of Voscur, Bristol’s underperforming voluntary and community sector umbrella group.

In fact, Bufton-Tufton looks like another half-educated, snooty middle class white male CARPETBAGGER prone to jumping on the nearest party political bandwagon to achieve his unrealistic leadership ambitions that the Greens tend to favour. Remember Darren “Bugger” Hall, the Greens’ great white hope for MP for Bristol West? Whatever happened to him and his commitment to the city once a Parliamentary seat FAILED TO MATERIALISE?

More worrying for us, the long suffering electorate, is that Bufton-Tufton could turn out to be a TERRIFYING MIX of the worst of Mayor-No-More George and the Reverend Rees. For we understand that Bufton-Tufton’s current squeeze is none other than Zoe “Groupie” Sear, the HORRIFYING SNOB that played at PR and political advisor for Mayor No-More Ferguson. What a small world Bristol is!

In 2013, Ms Sear, then earning the best part of a grand a week from the council as George’s sidekick, worked with senior council housing bosses to try to force a victim of domestic violence The BRISTOLIAN was supporting into a refuge AGAINST HER WILL. When the woman refused to budge, “your name could be slipped to the mainstream press!” hissed Sear down the phone to this victim of serious violence.

What role Ms Sear will be playing in Bufton-Tufton’s hapless Green Party campaign against anyone who dares to drive a car in Bristol is not yet clear. But let’s hope it doesn’t involve advising on DOMESTIC VIOLENCE or letting her anywhere near “THE MAINSTREAM PRESS“. In fact, it might be best if Bufton Tufton leaves Zoe at home to wait for the Ocado delivery when he goes out to campaign. Otherwise we might start confusing him with George.

We also learn that Bufton-Tufton, just like the Reverend, is a fully paid up member of Common Purpose, a virulently pro-EU, pro-free market “LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME“, generally aimed at public sector middle managers of limited intelligence.

The organisation has members scattered across local government and the voluntary sector in Bristol and, as far as we can see, its main common purpose is for its members to promote each other into jobs and positions of power that they’re not very good at. They then get on with their core task of selling off public services and assets to corporate contacts as cheap and fast as possible while endlessly repeating the buzzwords “INCLUSION“, “DIVERSITY“, “INCLUSIVE GROWTH” and “SUSTAINABLE“.

Despite his bizarre RIGHT WING LEADERSHIP TRAINING, Bufton-Tufton’s personal leadership skills may still leave a bit to be desired. This glorious new city leader stood up the Extraordinary Full Council Meeting on 3 September to CONDEMN the Reverend for cancelling the arena at Arena Island. Only for the Reverend, an hour later at the same meeting, to announce that Voscur SUPPORTED his plan to cancel the arena at Arena Island. Bufton-Tufton is, of course, chair of Voscur and responsible for their corporate policies.

Isn’t it good to see Bufton-Tufton’s mastered the Marvin-like political art of badly selling two entirely opposing views to the people simultaneously? He may go far in Bristol ..

HARTCLIFFE’S HOT AIR CENTRE

Anyone got any idea what’s happened to the HARTCLIFFE RECYCLING CENTRE, the state-of-the-art recycling facility for south Bristol that could be located on a 5-acre site on Hartcliffe Way?

Politicians of every shade of useless have PROMISED the facility for years now. While the hot air expended on this non-existent facility, if captured, could generate imaginary plans for the city for the next hundred years.

This recycling centre was originally touted by the Lib Dems’ Gary “Fuckbucket” Hopkins in 2010 when he was the cabinet member responsible for waste. However, the centre has subsequently been promoted by Labour, Tories and Greens, including the Reverend Rees who PROMISED to build the place by 2018 in his first speech to Bristol City Council in May 2016.

The Lib Dems even got as far as agreeing, at cabinet meeting on 4 July 2012, to build the centre and allocated £2million for the task. Alas, Mayor No-more Ferguson arrived in autumn 2012 and put the project “ON HOLD” citing government cuts. Although Ferguson subsequently found MILLIONS to splurge on European Green Capital eco-tainment for the wealthy, such as dumping a load of festering tugboats in Leigh Woods to “challenge us to think about issues surrounding climate change”.

The Reverend, having personally put the recycling centre back on the agenda in 2016, appears to have done NOTHING about it since and he’s now set to miss his own 2018 deadline for the opening of the centre. Will it ever happen?

Perhaps Bristol Waste Managing Director, Tracey Morgan, who seems to take all the decisions in Bristol these days, has decided she doesn’t want a recycling centre in Hartcliffe?

I SPY BENT COUNCIL BOSSES

News is emerging that paranoid loons Mayor No More Ferguson, his Chief Exec – the revolting Nicola “Lady Gaga” Yates – and their Business Change buffoon Max Wide “Boy” set up an ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE and SPY NETWORK across the council to snoop on staff and, possibly, others. The system may have even have been used to spy on elected representatives.

A low-key council report tells us that in 2015, Wide Boy, the Strategic Director for Business Change, took the decision to introduce a DLP (Data Loss Prevention) system to the council. This was after a series of what Wide Boy paranoically described as “UNAUTHORISED LEAKAGES of information outside of the Council”.

Wide Boy identified a DLP system that could track ‘tagged’ documents on computers and record the movement of emails. He then SECRETLY DEPLOYED it on some – as yet – unknown computers at the council and, maybe, beyond. We understand “particular groups” were targeted based on “the level of sensitive data they could access”.

Following the TOP SECRET installation of the DLP, a member of staff complained. Their representations included claims that Wide Boy’s spy network was ILLEGAL because the system was deployed IN SECRET without the targets’ knowledge.

The original allegations were investigated by the council’s Data Protection Officer at the time and she recommended a further review, which is now complete. The new review concludes that data protection LAW WAS BROKEN because “the implementation of the system was not open and not communicated to those affected”.

So-say “SWIFT CORRECTIVE ACTION” has now been taken and a decision taken to ‘switch off’ and uninstall the system while all data collected by the system “has been/will be (sic) deleted”.

However, questions around ABUSE of RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) laws by Wide Boy and Lady Gaga – who were supposed to use and regulate these powers for the council – appear to have been glossed over. As has the question of whether council bosses SPIED on elected councillors, partner organisations or members of the public.

Presumably this is so that the involvement of Inspector Knacker and m’learned friends is NOT REQUIRED?

Yet.

PROPERTY IS DEBT

Ding, dong the Spunkface is dead!

 Council property boss Robert “Spunkface” Orrett, brought in to the council in 2012 for his “PRIVATE SECTOR EXPERTISE” has ceased to run the world’s most useless council department that specialised in draining us of public money.

Last year, Spunkface’s department – responsible for all the council’s buildings and its lucrative land and property portfolio – posted an inexplicably HUGE LOSS of £7.7million due to his failure “to achieve savings”. This ABJECT FAILURE went on to comprehensively fuck up the whole of the council’s accounts. This year, Spunkface, already facing losses of – at least – £2.6million in more unachieved savings, has finally quit.

Perhaps the Reverend Rees was no longer prepared to tolerate Spunkface, who  – when not losing enormous amounts of public money – is best known for his crude COVER-UPS of “mismanaged” cash in his Facilities Management Department’s markets and security operations?

We understand that Spunkface has now taken up a role locally at YTL PROPERTY alongside his former boss at the council, Barra Mac Ruari, the posh urbanist twit mate of Mayor No More Ferguson. YTL is Merchant Venturer, Colin Skellett’s development firm that bought the huge Filton Airfield site for development after an extensive marketing exercise by, er, Colin Skellet’s Local Enterprise Partnership!

Housing Tsar, Paul “Wolfie Smith” was handed responsibility for the council’s Property Services over the summer, mainly to act as nursemaid to the latest  multi-million pound Broadmead corporate makeover.

But did Wolfie finally pull the trigger on Spunkface and put our city out of the misery he imposed?

HANDOUTS FOR THE RICH UPDATE

Posh fella needs public handout

Launched in a blaze of gushing publicity in the autumn of 2015, snooty TV celeb, Kevin McCloud’s HAB building company’s development on the site of Dunmail Primary School in Southmead was touted as the sustainable HOUSING OF THE FUTURE.

A major PR effort back in 2015 with public schoolboy Mayor No-more Ferguson front, back and centre alongside the Cambridge educated TV presenter waffled a lot about “partnership” and “sustainability”. So it was only a matter of time before the scheme would need a PUBLIC HANDOUT wasn’t it?

Fast forward to May 2017, eight months after master builder McCloud should have began work, and we find the shyster TV presenter has failed to “roll up his sleeves” and get a shovel in the ground in Southmead as promised. Instead, he’s working hard alongside accountants in his office and is now DEMANDING we – the council tax payer – UNDERWRITE his fancypants state-of-the-art development!

Just weeks before Kevin was finally threatening to get those shovels out, he discovered that the private rental element of the state-of-the-art mixed scheme of social housing, affordable housing, private rental and private purchase housing he promised was too much of a RISK!

So we, the council tax payer, will now act as guarantor for the scheme after the Rev Rees’s cabinet agreed to a last minute BAILOUT of £500k to get this private sector scheme off the ground.

Welcome to the future of housing development in Bristol where the private sector and well-heeled TV celebs pocket the profit and get the PR gush and the public takes all the risks …

BOARD NEWS

A home. How many will we get for £160million?

Bristol City Council has very, very quietly released limited membership details of its BRISTOL HOMES BOARD, tasked with spending a headline figure of £160m of our money to resolve the city’s housing crisis.

Naturally the equaliser, the Reverend Rees, has opted for a 75 per cent male, all-white board (except himself) stuffed with incompetent TIME-SERVERS and serial QUANGOCRATS to spend this large wedge of public money.

Alongside the Reverend and his sidekick, Labour housing boss, Paul “Wolfie” Smith, you’ll find Alison “THREE JOBS” Comley, a senior city council boss and direct subordinate of Rees and Smith, hardly best placed to speak truth to power. Especially as she’s up to her neck in the council’s £30m unlawful budget scandal and is yet to be cleared.

Alison is joined by luminaries such as Stephen “What Crisis?”Teagle from Galliford Try Partnerships, a front for the corporate that runs house builders, LINDEN HOMES. Last year, Linden saw profits rise 21 per cent to £74.3m while its average house cost a mere £338,000. The company also boasts to shareholders that it has a LANDBANK of 14,250 plots. Doesn’t sound much like a crisis for them does it?

Also on the board is Knightstone Housing Association boss Nick Horne “Blower”. He was last seen sat on his useless lazy arse as a board member for West of England LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP (LEP) while, directly under his nose, BAE sold their Filton Airfield land to YTL Homes UK. YTL is run by Colin “Tory Boy” Skellett who also happened to be the Chair of er, the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership! This blatant CONFLICT OF INTEREST clearly passed Nick by, even though the LEP was given a key role in marketing and developing the airfield for sale with the public money he was overseeing!

Nick also waved through TWO PAYMENTS from the LEP to board member George Ferguson’s Beer Factory and Bristol Brewing Company totalling £62k. A further £92k was paid to a company owned by one of Ferguson’s political donors, Alasdair “Sorearse” Sawday. What were these handouts for? Who knows? Because NO MINUTES exist of these board decisions and no documents indicating Ferguson’s interests were ever published by Horne’s LEP!

Also getting rewarded for serial incompetence and moving across from the useless board of the LEP to oversee millions of pounds of our money for housing in Bristol is Business West bigwig James “Licker” Durie.  Not only is he unlikely to raise any difficult questions about any handouts to wealthy locals, he’s also a notorious salaried lackey for the MERCHANT VENTURERS.

Making up the numbers on the Rev’s quietly appointed board are a couple of posh public schoolboys turned voluntary sector luvvies – David “HAPPY CAMPER” Ingerslev from multi-million homeless charity St Mungos and the CEO of Elim Housing Association, Alistair “HEAD BOY” Allender. No doubt Head Boy can bring his street-level experience from Birkenhead School, “a top performing independent day school for boys and girls aged 3 months to 18” and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where he studied Natural Sciences to bear?

Further INEFFECTUAL luvvie input on our Homes Board will be supplied by Bevis Watts “The Fuck”, Managing Director of Triodos Bank. He’s a serial quangocrat who boasts the pie, booze and cash giveaway to the wealthy that was the board of the Green Capital, Bristol 2015 Ltd, on his CV!

Adding a healthy dose of surrealism to the whole affair, the board also has a ‘Head of Multi-Channel Fulfilment’ at the table – Debbie “Fulfil Me” Franklin from the Andrews Property Group, a local LETTINGS AGENCY, no less. Career bureaucrat David “The Loaf” Warburton from the Homes and Community Agency quango is also along for the £160m public money ride

The small amount of hope we can invest in this board lies with the final two members. Geraldine Winkler, a housing solicitor with the Avon & Bristol Law Centre and Tom Renhard, a member of tenants union ACORN. He also sits on the board of the Avon Pension Fund for some random reason and we note with concern that Renhard was funded by local authority bosses’ union UNISON to help him get on to this pension board. It’s unclear, too, whether Renhard was a personal appointment by the Vicar or whether he was chosen directly by Acorn members.

As always, it’s just as interesting to note who ISN’T on the committee – seasoned troublemakers or gobshites known to be prepared to stand up to a committee of pie-munching land dealing wankers who forget to keep minutes. And It’s further worth noting that there was no sign of a competitive application process to join this board disbursing £160m of our cash. Instead membership is entirely courtesy of the political PATRONAGE of the Reverend Mayor Rees well away from any scrutiny by councillors and public.

The last “PUBLIC MEETING” of this board took place on 29 June. Despite being “public”, no reports were issued and the board was, instead, treated to a series of Max Wide “Boy” style verbal briefings and crappy Powerpoint presentations that will never be seen again. Already, we have to ask, are these board members doing their jobs properly?

There may be trouble ahead …

ARE THEY PULLING OUR LEGACY?

“The establishment of the council’s energy company – Bristol Energy – will be one of the landmark achievements of Bristol’s year as Green Capital and one of its most significant legacies and that’s been recognised from way beyond Bristol,” blustered MAYOR NO-LONGER, George Ferguson, to any media that would listen in July 2015.

Although a somewhat lower key PR approach has been taken by Bristol City Council to the news this July that Bristol Energy – their wholly owned landmark achievement company – has made a LOSS of £3m already!

What a legacy! And you, dear taxpayer, will – of course – foot the bill.

RAT AND SHIP UPDATE

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’ - There'll be hell toupee with him in charge...

MAX WIDE ‘BOY’ – Hell toupee when we see what he’s done …

So it’s farewell, then, to Max Wide “Boy”, the city council’s Business Change boss who leaves the organisation at the end of May after two years of hard graft SACKING PEOPLE in return for over £250k! What a deal that’s been for the city.

Former BT salesman, Wide Boy, arrived at the council just two years ago on a £130k a year wedge after a stint controversially PRIVATISING SERVICES in Barnet. His remit in Bristol was to deliver £64m of cuts by 2017.

His final report to the city’s cabinet suggests he’s actually delivered about £33m of these cuts by FIRING around 500 council staff and a further £18m may get delivered if his ‘EFFICIENCY SAVINGS’ pan out as planned. Meanwhile the £12.9m in cuts still outstanding will need to be found by a further 450 REDUNDANCIES according to the cabinet report Wide Boy published shortly before scarpering.

So well done Mayor Fucking Useless and Bristol City Council. You’ve paid someone a quarter of million pounds to sack a 1,000 people and run away before the disastrous results of this policy become clear.

MAYORAL ELECTION: HUSTINGS FARCE

The absolute fiasco of SECRET and CLOSED hustings featuring only carefully selected candidates from the establishment political parties continues to blight the mayoral elections.

We have already reported in The BRISTOLIAN how BUSINESS WEST invited just the Tories, Labour and George Ferguson to some very hush-hush hustings at their Leigh Court Mansion in March where, no doubt, the Merchant Venturers issued their orders to candidates.

We also reported how, at least, one hustings on housing run by crappy homeless charity, ST MUNGOS, was kept secret to keep independent candidates and their opinions out of the way and tricky questions at bay.

Now we’ve uncovered a whole series of hustings where independent candidates, UKIP and TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Colaition) have been DELIBERATELY EXCLUDED by the organisers.

Among these was a hustings instigated by the TUC at the Unite Union HQ, Tony Benn House, on Victoria Street in early April. This turned into a major humiliation for the TUC, however, when the excluded candidates organised a PROTEST outside Tony Benn House (pictured).

tu protest web

“Who made the TUC gatekeepers of democracy”

Surely this protest marks a significant NEW LOW in this city’s fine trade union tradition? And maybe it’s something the union bureaucrats and bosses responsible need to think long and hard about. Once ordinary people are protesting about you isn’t it time you carefully considered your position?

Especially after the TUC’s shitty little BIASED and MANIPULATED hustings only managed to attract about 30 people from a trade union membership in the tens of thousands in Bristol. Are these self-appointed trade union bosses in touch with anyone in the city outside their FRIENDS in the local Labour Party?

On the plus side, it seems the teachers union, the NUT, learned from the TUC’s huge EMBARRASSMENT and avoided a further HUMILIATING protest against trade unions. They hurriedly arranged invites for ALL the candidates for their hustings at Tony Benn House a few weeks later.

Not so, however, from other so-called progressive organisations in the city who seem desperate to control any political debate and EXCLUDE any troublesome views that might fall to the left of Labour’s right wing candidate Marvin “Luther” Rees.

Hustings organised by the CREATIVE YOUTH NETWORK for young people; VOSCUR for community and voluntary organisations; ACORN, the direct action tenants organisation and even hustings on disabilities organised jointly by The National Autistic Society, Royal National Institute for the Blind, Mencap and the Bristol Centre for Deaf People all EXCLUDED legitimate mayoral candidates.

In the case of the disability hustings, it’s nothing short of extraordinary that organisations supposedly dedicated to preventing exclusion should OPENLY EXCLUDE people! The other organisations involved are, mainly, thinly disguised LABOUR SUPPORTERS obviously petrified of giving a platform to any of the many left wing critics of Marvin “Luther” Rees among the mayoral candidates.

Mayor Loser’s supporters appear to have been getting in on this act too. A hustings at the Analphoney art gallery organised by the RIDICULOUS POSH BOYS running the POINTLESS Bristol Pound project also FAILED to invite most candidates because there wasn’t “enough time”. Although it looked more like a last ditch effort to keep the wheels on Mayor Massive Defeat’s car crash campaign by banning all his more open and aggressive critics.

Welcome to progressive politics in Bristol where dissent will be quietly suppressed and democracy overlooked due to time constraints.

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.