Eighteen days after his election and the Reverend Rees still hasn’t managed to find a full cabinet for his second term.
Despite reappointing his ‘Infamous Five’, the two deputy mayors – Craig “Dick” Cheney and Asher “The Slasher” Craig – his anointed successor – Helen “Oh My” Godwin – court favourite – Nicola “La La” Beech – and aging makeweight – HRH Helen of Holland – Rees still has no cabinet members to run Transport, Housing or Education.
Neither is the Reverend intending, it seems, to reach out to the Greens by giving them some cabinet seats after they decimated his councillors and destroyed his majority at the election.
What is his plan then? Is the Reverend going to end all pretence of democracy in Bristol and simply let council managers and appointed One City business wankers run these departments any way they see fit?
Questions are also being asked about the appointment of La La Beech to the Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy brief. Here, among other things, she’ll nursemaid through Rees’s deranged City Leap public asset sell-off to a multinational company. This may result in the burning of as much shit as possible in Avonmouth to generate loads of lucrative dirty (surely clean? Ed.) energy.
Alas, it turns out that La La Beech, in her day job as a corporate PR consultant, lists one of her clients as the National Grid. is there a conflict of interest here at all?
Yesterday saw the planned eviction of a travellers site on Glenfrome Road, Eastville. When I say planned I mean in so much as police, bailiffs and a crane were organised to remove people and vans from land that West & Wales Utilities say they want to use.
So what provisions where planned for these people, including children? Councillors for Eastville, Labour’s Marley Bennett and the Green’s Lorraine Francis*, both failed to do anything or say anything. Well then Green Party leader Paula O’Rouke? Nothing.
So then surely Helen Godwin must have stuck up for families, homes and children? She must have had a plan in place to ensure provision for these vulnerable people now homeless on a wet and windy day. Nothing. No alternative site lined up. No hot meals ready for those evicted forcibly. No care from this Labour Party politician. Not present at the scene, nothing. Not a word.
What from the mayor who’s well versed in issues concerning oppressed minorities and equality?
The first of the manifestoesfor the mayoral elections crashes on to the internet. It’s from the Green Party’s “Squire” Sandy Hore-Ruthven “Bufton-Tufton” who marked this auspicious occasion by standing on a street in Broadmead yesterday and reading out a poorly drafted script from an iPad.
His manifesto gets underway by claiming, “Sandy’s not a politician”! Something only a politician would need to say, before proceeding to unload the not-so-great man’s not-so-great plans for Bristol.
Bufton-Tufton’s effort is actually highly reminiscent of The Reverend Rees’s manifesto of 2016. Back then we said of Rees’s slightly deranged effort:
The Labour manifesto consists of around 180 COMMITMENTS. These roughly break down to 78 UNCOSTED PROMISES ranging from an arena – a snip at around £150m – to “Promoting the role of Bristol Credit Union as an ethical means of accessing financial services” – at a cost of, I dunno (and neither does he, Ed), £150k? So fuck knows how much this little lot would cost us in its entirety.
Our research team haven’t managed quite the same level of detail as they managed back in 2016 mainly because they lost the will to live halfway through that project. However, they assure us that Squire Bufton-Tufton has managed to come up with over 50 uncosted promises himself.
These range from some promises that appear at first sight to be costed: “Halve the price of bus fares for under-21s” and “Invest £600,000 in information, advice and guidance for young people this year”. To vague big-ticket items notable for a high risk and the lack of any multi-million price tag: “support the development of local and regional banking”; “address flooding risks”.
A large majority of Bufton-Tufton’s promises, however, are considerably more small scale: “Celebrate our local high streets with events and festivals led by our creative and arts organisations”; “revitalise South Bristol’s industrial estates”; “create a repair and reuse industry in the city”; “continue installing electric vehicle charging points”; “maintain bus shelters and install universal real-time information”; “invest in specific services for marginalised groups”; “introduce seamless ticketing across the West of England region”; “improve support for families and young people seeking asylum”; “protect and provide more allotments”; “introduce free bulky-waste collection on doorsteps”; “write a Mental Health Charter for Bristol”; “set up a register of ‘meanwhile’ temporary spaces available to help arts and cultural organisations”.
The list of shit Bufton-Tufton intends to deliver just goes on and on and on … Just like Rees’s 2016 manifesto. The detailed promises from which remain robustly undelivered five years later. Is history repeating?
What super-experienced expert Chief Executive Bufton-Tufton appears to fail to understand is that every promise he makes requires a substantial resource to deliver. Unless he thinks that the Council House is full of council officers hanging around doing nothing while sitting on a large pot of unspent money marked ‘vanity projects for incoming mayor’?
Let’s take just one example – “set up a register of ‘meanwhile’ temporary spaces available to help arts and cultural organisations”. This has actually been tried before and does not come for free. You need to identify the properties, set up a register; run a register; run an application process; complete due diligence; run an allocation process; survey the building to ensure they’re safe for public use; monitor the spaces; act as a good landlord; this list goes on.
A highly conservative estimate of the cost over Sandy’s three years in office to run “a register of ‘meanwhile’ temporary spaces” would be £300k if you managed to do it with a couple of staff working their arses off unmanaged with few resources. Multiply that figure by 50 to cover Bufton-Tufton’s various promises and you have a spending commitments averaging, at least, £15m. Although the cost of say, “seamless ticketing across the West of England region” would probably cost more than £15m on its own.
This from a council that can’t afford lollipop ladies, public toilets, SEND provision and has had to outsource their own low paid jobs to their private companies to save a few quid.
So much for the undeliverable small stuff designed to attract the foolish voter who likes ‘a good idea’ and believes anything they’re told. But what of the headline items? The ones that tell us what Bufton-Tufton is really all about and where the money’s really going?
Bufton-Tufton’s big announcement is on housing. He promises to “build 2,000 new council homes by 2030 and “insulate every council house in Bristol by 2030, reducing carbon emissions and fuel bills by 40%”. There’s some debate as to whether the funding exists to both build the houses and retrofit the existing stock, which may be why Bufton-Tufton has downgraded to a cheaper option of insulating homes rather than the a full retofit extravanganza of heat pumps, solar panels etc. Let’s just hope he’s got his sums right on this or his legacy may be a bankrupt Housing Revenue Account for the city.
2,000 council homes is also a fairly small promise if you consider we’re losing homes at a rate of about 150 a year through Right to Buy. He’s actually promising just 500 homes to tackle a council house waiting list of 12,000 and a projected population increase of around 70,000, which makes you wonder why anyone would expend so much political capital on so little? Maybe it’s all about having a big swinging dick my-numbers-are-bigger-your-numbers game with the Reverend Rees during the election?
Also on housing, having explained we have a ‘housing crisis’, Bufton-Tufton proposes, to “charge a carbon levy of £75 per tonne of emitted carbon in all new domestic and commercial developments, to generate income to offset carbon emissions from new developments.”
We’re reliably informed this could cost somewhere between £3k – £5k on a new three bed house. Yes, in the middle of a housing affordability crisis, the Greens are proposing to put house prices up! Who thinks this shit up?
Another big issue is the Reverend’s proposed corporate redevelopment of the Cumberland Basin, which involves renaming the area ‘Western Harbour’ and moving the Brunel Way flyover and existing road into Hotwells to free up land with views of the Suspension Bridge so that corporate developers can cash in while trashing Ashton Park.
Bufton-Tufton has very little to say about this. The man who’s assured interviewers he can take “tough decisions” weakly proclaims he will, “reappraise the Western Harbour development, consulting with residents and businesses first.”
Quite how yet another bloody consultation on a corporate road building scheme – few people outside the business community want – squares with his promise elsewhere in his manifesto to “oppose plans for major road building” isn’t explained. Although the absence of a simple “tough decision” contrary to multinational corporate interests screams out at you.
Of another harebrained council corporate scheme, designed to hand huge amounts of our public assets to the private sector with poor oversight and little discussion or useful scrutiny, Bufton-Tufton comfortably adopts one the council’s many examples of dubious Reespeak. Cheerily repeating news of the “£1 billion City Leap programme,” Bufton-Tufton promises, “We will accelerate the City Leap project and increase investment beyond the £1 billion currently committed.”
His explanation for this dodgy public asset firesale and corporate sell-out helpfully reveals Bufton-Tufton’s true ideological colours, “the climate emergency dictates that speed is more essential than public ownership,” he says.
There you have it. The Bristol Green Party in a nutshell. We must urgently give our public assets away as quickly as possible to corporations because “climate emergency”. Public ownership is now an unaffordable luxury according to the Green Party in Bristol
Anyone telling you this right wing, free market, corporate crap is in any way ‘left wing’ is a liar. We suggest you (don’t) vote accordingly.
An alliance of LABOUR and GREEN
councillors – taking a break from pre-election climate emergency PR fisticuffs
for the benefit of the gullible Guardian-readers of Bristol West – have granted
planning permission for 1,400 homes on Hengrove Park, THE LARGEST PUBLIC OPEN
SPACE IN SOUTH BRISTOL. Their reason for this crap decision is that old
chestnut for foisting sub-standard shite on us – “THE HOUSING
The development means the LOSS,
not only, of a huge amount of PUBLIC OPEN SPACE and PLAYING FIELDS
but of 850 TREES on the land. The poorly connected new housing estate is
also likely to bring TRAFFIC CHAOS to local residential roads as more
car users are poured into a working class suburb where a rapid transit system
isn’t even AN UNLIKELY PROMISE from the Reverend Rees.
This is also the suburb already
earmarked by the same climate emergency obsessed councillors as an ideal
location for a NEW RING ROAD designed to CHOKE CHILDREN in south
Bristol in order to get traffic out of the city centre to improve air quality
there. The new road will also help get punters to an EXPANDED AIRPORT at
Residents in Whitchurch and Hengrove
are “LIVID” at the loss of their park and the planned
destruction of their neighbourhood and local social media pages are full of
lively chat about THE SELL-OUT COUNCILLORS and the scheme’s political
architect, the Reverend Rees. The usually quiet and undersubscribed pages have
leaped to life and are full of RIPE LANGUAGE on the subject of the
city’s politicians. Popular terms include “wankers”;
“arseholes”; “hypocrites” and “tossers”.
Hengrove and Whitchurch are unlikely to be returning any Labour or Green politicians to power any time soon, then.
The self-styled anti-war leftie party for the cycling obsessed middle classes – the Greens – continue to march to a centre ground of free markets and hopelessly compromised values.
Just days after a good set of Euro election results, where they grabbed AN IMPRESSIVE 35 PER CENT OF THE VOTE in Bristol, their re-elected MEP Molly “The Sheep” Cato-Scott decided to wade into the middle of the Labour Party’s woes following the expulsion of their spin doctor, Alistair “Dr Evil” Campbell, an architect of the Iraq War.
“Is @campbellclaret looking for new political home?” tweeted the Green nincompoop, seemingly inviting one of the country’s most notorious war criminals to join a party that was one of the most implacable opponents of not just the Iraq War but wars in general. Not least because THE SINGLE MOST POLLUTING AND CLIMATE CHANGING ACTIVITY ON EARTH by some distance is, er, warfare.
Molly The Sheep is yet to correct or apologise for this ‘ERROR‘. Instead she sent out supporters to explain to critics of her daft tweet that they didn’t understand the SEMANTICS of her outburst and that she was not inviting Campbell to join the Greens at all and how could anyone interpret her comments as such?
This example of good old-fashioned dissembling politics at its worst doesn’t bode well for Bristolians should the Greens strike it lucky next year.
less than a year in post and many at the Counts Louse are unhappy with the
Reverend’s new Head of Paid Service, MIKE
“I’M YOUR BITCH” JACKSON, the £165k a
year replacement for the highly costly and abysmally useless, Anna “Big
Indeed Lib Dem Anthony “Arthur” Negus is already demanding a “FUTURE DISCUSSION ON THE POST OF HEAD OF PAID SERVICE“. This comes after what Negus describes as the “politicising of replies to members’ questions at Full Council that cross the line.”
This is a reference to the Reverend Rees’s increasingly SAD AND BITCHY RESPONSES to any opposition councillor trying to hold him to account at their monthly q&a sessions. These catty political responses, it seems, are often PERSONALLY DRAFTED FOR THE REVEREND WITH GREAT PRIDE BY JACKSON who, despite being a neutral civil servant, appears to enjoy pleasuring the mayor in this way.
The big problem here is that unelected Jackson, having spent a year BITCHING AND SNIPING AT ELECTED COUNCILLORS opposing the Reverend, may find they will not want to work with him if they gain office next year.
Who could blame them? Meanwhile, Green councillor Clive “Shakin” Stevens has also been expressing his RESERVATIONS ABOUT JACKSON and especially the close relationship and strong male bond there appears to be between this objective and independent senior local government officer and the elected Mayor. “IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO TRUST THIS ARRANGEMENT,” says Shaky darkly.
Shall we start organising Jackson’s leaving party for next May now as few are likely to be prepared to work with a former Mayor’s bitch? And why should they be?
For years a Bristol City Councillor has sat QUIETLY, INEFFECTIVELY AND INCONSEQUENTIALLY as a non-executive director of the Merchant Venturer-run PORT OF BRISTOL COMPANY at Avonmouth. This councillor is supposed to protect our public investment in the firm as well as independently oversee the company, its finances and management to ensure it’s acting lawfully.
at last, a councillor has stepped up and admitted that he QUIT this non-Exec role two years ago as he was PREVENTED from effectively overseeing
the firm as the law requires and he was concerned this CONFLICTED with his responsibilities under the council’s code of
Green Councillor Clive Stevens told a council scrutiny committee that the
demand from the Port of Bristol Company that he sign a GAGGING ORDER preventing him from discussing any issues regarding
the company shackled him from independently overseeing the company and conflicted
with his primary role to be OPENLY AND
DIRECTLY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PUBLIC .
also raises further questions. Like what the hell port owners, the scummiest of
Merchant Venturer scum, David Ord “Ure” and “Tory” Terrence
Mordaunt, think they’re doing NOBBLING
DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES AND INDEPENDENT NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS of
their firm? Or why our councillors have colluded with this legally dubious
corporate management culture for years and why were they putting up with
anti-democratic bullshit from a couple of wealthy Tory boys on the make?
The council’s Head of Legal Services has agreed to look at the matter and
produce a report. Will he have learned anything from the 2008 banking crisis
and the need for genuinely independent non executive directors TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM THIEVING
CORPORATE BASTARDS WITH NO MORALS?
Hats off to our local Green Party for finding such an ORDINARY MAN OF THE PEOPLE to be their mayoral candidate next year. Please step forward Sandy Hore-Ruthven “Bufton-Tufton”, who, it says here, “comes from a family which OWNS THE PICTURESQUE NORTH DEVON VILLAGE OF CLOVELLY”. Whose family doesn’t own a picturesque village, losers?
Bufton Tufton’s grandfather was the dashing Colonel Malise Hore-Ruthven, 3RD SON OF THE 8TH LORD OF RUTHVEN, who after schooling at Wellington College (George Ferguson’s alma mater) joined the Blackwatch for a little murderous fun in the colonies, some thrillingly brutal outings against the Boer and, not least, a crack at the Hun in the First World War. When he finally retired from SHOOTING foreigners, Malise took the post of Secretary to the Governor-General of South Africa where he could TORTURE them instead. Reassuringly, the Colonel only ever listed the one hobby – ‘hunting’ – in Who’s Who?
Bufton-Tufton’s daddy, James, took a slightly different tack to his twirly moustachioed soldier-adventurer father and after ESTABLISHMENT BRAINWASHING at Wellington and Oxford, he enlisted in ‘Moral Re-Armament’. A campaign of “MORAL AND SPIRITUAL REARMAMENT” aimed at the colonies and with ties to British Intelligence. The group was launched by American, Frank Buchan who once said, “I THANK HEAVEN FOR A MAN LIKE ADOLF HITLER, who built a front-line of defence against the anti-Christ of Communism’. Celebrity members of this shower included Mary Whitehouse.
Actor Glenn Close, whose father was closely involved in Moral Re-Armament when she was a child, bluntly describes the operation as “A RIGHT-WING RELIGIOUS CULT“. Although to give it more of a secular, technocratic feel and, possibly, to help distract from Buchan’s presence at the NUREMBURG RALLIES, it was rebranded Initiatives of Change in 2001 and daddy, James Hore-Ruthven, was a trustee until his death in 2011.
No surprises, then, that in 2002 Bufton-Tufton, who carefully hides his schooling, got a very HELPFUL HAND-UP from his upper class crackpot daddy when he got the posh sounding job of ’RECONCILLIATION COORDINATOR SOMALIA AND HORN OF AFRICA’ for, er, Initiatives of Change! Not bad for someone who had previously been a lowly volunteer coordinator for Young Bristol!
On his return in 2006 from this peculiar reinvention of the traditional family profession of REACTIONARY COLONIAL THUG, Bufton-Tufton was appointed Chief Exec of the Creative Youth Network, a charity that specialises in cut price bids for the small local authority budgets now available for the tiny amounts of outsourced youth work happening in the city.
It’s yet to be confirmed if Panjandrum Bufton-Tufton will be donning traditional garb to come in peace to parlay in the Asda Bemmie car park with the natives of south Bristol to warn them of the “ANTI-CHRIST OF COMMUNISM” and “MORAL BOLSHEVISM“. Or if he’ll go on to explain to the great unwashed that economic recession “is God’s way of reminding us to change our temperament and our environment”.
Vote Green get upper class twit
promising austerity and poverty ordained by god!
By our Engineering Correspondent You may have heard the local Labour and Green parties, followed by our esteemed Mayor, making very public declarations about their plans to make Bristol Carbon Neutral in the coming decade. Very sensible given the recent UN statement that we only have twelve years to avoid climate catastrophe … And counting.
They’ve talked the talk, now they’ve got a chance to walk the walk. With Bristol’s very own ‘Tidal Lagoon’, a term actually used by the Green party. Although it’s usually called the ‘Floating Harbour’. In January the Mayor, Labour, and all Green Councillors were mailed, pointing out the unequalled opportunity to generate significant amounts of carbon neutral electricity at minimal cost, from Bristol’s water system.
You can think of the harbour as a tidal lagoon, in which case it’s got the highest tidal range, at its gates, in a city, in the world. Two massive surges every day. Or you can look at it as a simple reservoir and dam, fed by two rivers, both used historically for power generation.
Actually, it’s both. With a flood control outlet (at Tesco on the M32) that leads via a straight tunnel to Sea Mills. It’s difficult to imagine a better set-up for water-based power generation. Every weir, from the main inlet at the Netham on the Avon and Snuff Mills on the Frome, right down to the Underfall Yard and Sea Mills flood control outlets, are capable of making useful power.
Unlike the Swansea tidal lagoon scheme, the entire infrastructure already exists. All the dams, weirs and flood control features are in place. Some have been there for over a century. Literally all that’s needed is the installation of appropriate turbines, themselves stock production items already in use all over Europe.
First step is the not hugely expensive job of producing a map of the whole water system, including details of all the potential power generation points. This map can be taken to European water power specialists, currently being contacted, to get an accurate estimate of potential outputs and costs. If Bristol doesn’t have this data it will be compiled from Google Maps plus photos and video. Then it’s decision time. Given satisfactory figures and effective management (executive ‘action this day’) it would be feasible to have power coming out of the easiest installations this year.
Response so far? Zero. Nada. They’ll all be mailed again In March (eleven years and nine months…) It’s not totally surprising. BCC is an institution and the first instinct of all institutions is to ignore inputs from outside. But they don’t really have that option. This is an emergency. All solutions must be considered. Bristol City has to step up to the plate, if nothing else for their revolting children.
This is where we find out if our glorious leaders Can Do, or are just useless politicians.
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 ..