Tag Archives: George Ferguson

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.

COCK UP BRISTOL

COCK UP BRISTOL webThe BRISTOLIAN has been contacted by an angry reader who read about our European Green Crapital and the mysterious holes in its finances.

His family were contacted in 2014 by WARM UP BRISTOL, a green capital initiative to improve homes and cut energy bills. They promised to clad the external house walls of their home and gave a quote for the work. He tells us, “the quote was really good. We were going to get the house cladded and we were convinced that Bristol City Council would do it for us.”

He waited … and waited … and watched … as Bristol was awarded European Green Capital status … and lots of money. Then he realised that the company was going BUST and any money had been spunked up the wall on CORPORATE BACK SLAPPING and JOLLIES.

So far he has paid TWO deposits, had THREE surveys, spent hours on the phone and has sent HUNDREDS of emails while Warm Up Bristol try to ignore him. They are now REFUSING to do the work be claiming there are cracks all over the house and the internal walls are damp.

No shit Sherlock! He knew the house needed work on it but the council had promised to do it and put in an excellent quote. So he waited. Now his kids have got WATER RUNNING DOWN THE WALLS and the Council are telling them to fuck off.

But it’s not a complete disaster. The family got a letter from Warm Up Bristol recently, signed by his Red Trouseredness George Bleeding Ferguson. He THANKED the bemused family for being part of the Warm Up Bristol scheme and sent them a STICKER you could put on your bin and a stupid little Warm Up Bristol PLASTIC FLAG. What’s the family supposed to do with that? Stick it up Ferguson where the sun don’t shine?

Worse, someone, somewhere GOT PAID with Green Capital money and your council tax to sit in a room and decide that it would be a good idea to send stupid little plastic flags to people who have been ripped off. They then PAID to get them made and PAID to get them posted to poor, long-suffering families still waiting for work to be done. What a load of bollox.

The BRISTOLIAN has the contact details of this angry local. If you are experiencing similar shenanigans either phone or email us and he will get in contact. He has some good ideas on how to force them to do the work.

NO PARKING PLEASE IT’S HOUSING

No parkingWe 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.

SECRET HUSTINGS

Leigh-Court-Header2A new phenomenon is emerging at this year’s mayoral election – THE SECRET HUSTINGS. Apparently, petrified mainstream candidates, scared of the Bristolian public – and some of the other independent candidates – and the questions they might ask, are meeting carefully selected audiences at UNDISCLOSED VENUES to answer questions.

The main victims of this process – so far – have been INDEPENDENT MAYORAL CANDIDATES Christine “Pete” Townsend and Paul “Mister Tea” Savile who are deliberately NOT invited to these hustings. Coincidentally, both have been raising difficult questions for the other candidates.

Townsend has been highlighting the dubious practice of SELECTION BY WEALTH AND CLASS in Bristol’s secondary schools while Savile has been addressing issues around street homelessness, particularly the council’s REFUSAL to open any of their buildings for temporary shelter to the growing number of people living on the streets.

This situation has already created one wholesale FARCE with Savile visiting FIVE different venues in search of a SECRET HUSTINGS on housing issues. The hustings were attended by the establishment-approved candidates (George, Labour, Lib Dem, Green and Tory) and a selected audience of polite and non-troublemaking housing “professionals” and “experts”.

Savile did eventually locate the meeting and even managed to blag his way in. But how many more wankers are there in this city prepared to run fiascos like this over the next two months under the guise of democracy?

The Bristolian also learns that Mayor Venturer, Labour’s Marvin “Luther” Rees and Tory, Charles “Thicko” Lucas attended another SECRET HUSTINGS at the Business West HQ at LEIGH COURT MANSION in February.

We understand the Merchant Venturer front organisation held a 45-minute audience with each candidate who were, no doubt, GRILLED on their acceptability to the city’s SHADY BUSINESS ELITE. Luther Rees, in particular, is very tight-lipped about this secret meeting and what he’s promised them.

Let’s hope he hasn’t got one public message for us and another secret one for the wealthy elite!

MAYORAL CANDIDATES IN GERBIL SHOCKER

MAYORAL CANDIDATES IN GERBIL SHOCKERThe two BIG BEASTS of Bristol’s mayoral election campaign have come out of the electoral starting blocks like an especially irritating pair of SMALL FURRY ANIMALS squeaking for their dinner.

Mayor Bullshit launched his CAR CRASH on a windy February night at the former Bridewell Police Station, now a wanky arts venue for the underemployed middle classes, in front of about 20 supporters.

The posh droning bore, naturally, had NOTHING of interest to say but took a long time to say it anyway. Promising more bloody resident parking zones (or taxes as we call them here) and to set up some committee of his WEALTHY BUSINESS FRIENDS to solve poverty in South Bristol, he might as well have ditched the speech altogether and just stood there with  ‘LOSER‘ written on his forehead in marker pen instead.

The clueless old buffoon also had a pop at all the people demanding he open up the books of his DODGY Green Capital company – Bristol 2015 Ltd – funded with public money and run in TOP SECRECY by his business mates and council fat cat bosses.

“To fuss about the cost of sandwiches totally misses the point and is an insult to those who have given their time and expertise for Bristol’s good,” blustered the SAD FOOL. Probably sending a few more thousand votes south while failing to understand he needs to account for the £8.5m of public money he’s spent on TROUGHING with his pals.

Marvin “LUTHER” Rees launched his campaign three days later on Valentine’s Day with a bizarre pitch based around ‘Love Bristol: Love Labour’ balloons and a talk from his mum!

Luther Rees then went on to deliver one of his WAFFLING BOILERPLATE speeches on inequality, diversity, “no-one left behind” and how great the Bristol Labour Party is. So dazzling and original was Luther’s speech, it even featured on page 14 of the next day’s Nazi Post!

Luther’s main promise was that he would build 800 homes a year by GIVING our council land to private developers to build ‘AFFORDABLE HOUSING’ we won’t be able to afford.

He also promised that victims of domestic violence and abuse will be given TOP, BAND 1, PRIORITY for rehousing. Missing the point that it’s not the administrative banding exercise that’s the problem, it’s the fact there’s no fucking social housing left to give to anyone anymore!

 Oh well, only two more months of this electoral bollocks left before council officers continue running the council the way they want to anyway …

MAYOR: DEPRIVED? (OF ANY SENSE)

MAYOR- DEPRIVED? (OF ANY SENSE)On the same day it emerged that Mayor Hubris was spending up to £150m (and counting …) of OUR MONEY  on a series of pet commercial development projects around Temple Meads, he published a CRAZED ARTICLE on posh people’s website, the Huffington Post, explaining how he was tackling inequality in Bristol.

“We are targeting investment in the most highly deprived areas,” blustered the old fool. Although capital investment by the council in deprived areas such as Avonmouth, Hartcliffe and Southmead is NON EXISTENT. While basic public services run by the council in these areas such as youth, housing and libraries have been consistently CUT by Mayor Deluded.

Even a proposed HARTCLIFFE RECYCLING CENTRE, a useful public service and a source of employment in a deprived area, has been on the backburner because George alleges he can’t find the £3m necessary to open it. So is a polluted old diesel yard next to Temple Meads Station – the subject of about £130m of council investment so far for an arena – one of these “most HIGHLY DEPRIVED AREAS” then?

Other “MOST HIGHLY DEPRIVED AREAS” – all conveniently situated around Temple Meads and worthy of the mayor’s energies and lots of our cash – include the City Point office building directly opposite the station purchased with £9m of our money; derelict land at Temple Meads owned by Skanska and subject to a SECRET financing deal with the mayor and the George Hotel site at Temple Gate, which Mayor Moneybags wants to purchase for an UNDISCLOSED FEE amounting to millions in public money.

Or how about an uncosted eight-storey car park on the Bath Road being built entirely for the benefit of the “most highly deprived” ARENA OPERATORS? Or the former Post Office site at Temple Meads, which George is fattening up for sale in the hope it will pay for some of his over budget arena?

Try to find similar financial commitments in any of Bristol’s REALLY deprived areas and there’s none. Quite the reverse. Deprived areas are subsidising commercial property developments at Temple Meads on an epic scale.

Instead, as George explains in the Huffington Post, he’s tackling any genuine inequality and deprivation with a bunch of CHEAP, INADEQUATE AND LAUGHABLE policies. Any old policy pursued by George over the last three years has been hastily assembled into a list by a council PR and then abstractly rebranded as an anti-poverty measure.

“From 20mph, to RPZ, to metrobus, to engagement hubs, to 10,000 new primary school places, to children planting 30,000 trees, to a rainbow cabinet – all these are integral evidence-based policies that help secure a foundation to position Bristol to sustainability and fiercely tackle inequality,” waffles Mayor Gonad.

Really? Reducing traffic speed tackles poverty and inequality? Likewise, surely even the most DEMENTED of hippies is unlikely to claim children planting trees is a realistic solution to poverty and deprivation?

We could just conclude, at this point, that our mayor is a crackpot in need of a long lie down but anyone who thinks providing deprived areas with a few road signs and a tree planting project for kids counts as serious investment while simultaneously funnelling HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS to corporate property interests is clearly mendacious.

Vote him out in May.

HALL OVER

darren pratIs it the fastest failed political career in the city’s history? Darren “TAMMANY” Hall, the Green’s parliamentary candidate for Bristol West last year, appears to have quit the Bristol Green Party in a huff. Or was he pushed?

Hall, a former middle-ranking bureaucrat at the laughably inept GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE SOUTH WEST, joined the Bristol Green Party barely eighteen months ago and ascended their greasy reclaimed wood pole at remarkable speed.

Immediately handed the Green target seat of BRISTOL WEST to contest in last year’s General Election, Hall, was also made the Green party’s national spokesman on HOME AFFAIRS. His partner, “Champagne” Charley Pattison, a low ranking barrister, even got in on the action too as the party’s legal spokesman.

After this rocket-fuelled promotion, it all went DOWNHILL rather rapidly for Hall. His 2015 general election campaign, spent sipping cappuccinos with various members of the press on Stokes Croft while spouting inanities from trite American progressive politics bestsellers, never really caught fire, except among hipsters and students.

Inevitable DEFEAT to a pisspoor Labour Party in disarray, nationally, followed and Hall RETREATED to Southville to lick his wounds. Eventually reappearing in the autumn in the pages of the Nazi Post fronting a story headlined “I’LL BE BACKING GEORGE, says leading Green”.

Encouraging readers to VOTE FERGUSON in for another term for mayor, Hall told readers he did not want to “put at risk the progress achieved by Mr Ferguson during the past few years.”

A few weeks later the Green Party Home Affairs spokesman was crashing into reverse gear in the letters pages of the Nazi Post, assuring confused readers he would of course be VOTING FOR THE GREEN PARTY in Bristol’s mayoral elections … If he didn’t happen to be moving to Tory North Somerset where he couldn’t vote for a Bristol mayor anyway!

To further demonstrate his undying loyalty to the Green cause, the RED TROUSER GROUPIE then spent the rest of the autumn talking up Mayor Slimeball at every opportunity on his Twitter account while IGNORING the Green’s actual Mayoral candidate, Tony Dyer “Straights”!

The subtle sound of string pulling accompanied a Nazi Post Green Capital Award that came Hall’s way soon after. Handed over by the mayor at a black tie dinner in December, this did the TURNCOAT few favours among the rank and file of his party either. Especially when photos of Hall mugging for the camera alongside a very smug Mayor Sleaze were SPLASHED all over the local press.

So little surprise, then, when the National Green party finally STRIPPED Hall of his Home Affairs role last month. Now we’re hearing, Hall is no longer a Bristol Green Party member at all – mainly from former Bristol Green colleagues apparently desperate to disown him.

What an utterly bizarre political career that was.

 

ASTROTURF AVONA IN ‘BIG SOCIETY’ SURVEY NONSENSE

AstroTurfii

Avonmouth fake ‘grassroots’ community organisation AVONA exposed in the December issue of the Bristolian has recently published the results of its ‘Community Survey’.

AVONA run by Ian “PULL MY STRINGS” Smith, the quisling puppet of George Ferguson, local Tory councillors and the Port Authority, mysteriously sprung up last year in the wake of the pollution scandals, community protests and law suits against the corporations that followed. Pro-business, pro-polluter AVONA is apparently being used by Ferguson as a ‘safe’ channel to funnel cash (and now it seems bullshit) into Avonmouth outside of the accountable Neighbourhood Partnership grants process.

It is reputed that AVONA requested funds from Ferguson in an invitation-only meeting in June last year to carry out a survey of local residents. Since then AVONA have refused to answer questions about how many people had actually responded to the questionnaire, but it seems it was pitiful; as one resident put it ‘no one gives a fuck about their organisation and no-one wants to be in it’.

Let’s take a look at what AVONA were asking residents in their (his?) survey:

Do you feel there is a need for a community bus in Avonmouth?  Yes or would like to know more: 80%
Would you be able to volunteer in running or maintaining a community bus service in Avonmouth? No: 78%

Hmmm, something fishy going on here….

Would you like to see the public toilets reopened in Avonmouth Village? Yes: 73%
Would you be happy to volunteer in the upkeep and hygiene of the public toilets? No: 80%

AVONA is having a laugh….now they want us to clean the bogs for free…

What support would encourage you to take part in learning activities? Free courses: 77%
Do you have a skill that could be shared with others in the community? Yes: 7% No or maybe: 88%

So we have to provide our own voluntary education whilst still paying our Council Tax?

How much of a police presence do you see in Avonmouth?
Never: 51% Monthly: 38% Weekly: 9% Daily: 2%

Many residents stated, ‘where are they?’, ‘what presence?’, ‘what police service? there is none’. Maybe AVONA wants us to set our own volunteer police force up?

And the big question….

What are things that negatively affect your health?
80% of residents responded: Pollution, dust, smoke, flies, smells, sewage, Sims Metal, Boomeco

And no follow up question to that in the AVONA survey, funnily enough…well maybe one…

Do you think massive cuts in public services are leading to ‘Big Society’ nonsense surveys? Yes: 100%

We rest our case.