YESTERDAY LABOUR’S FROME VALE COUNCILLOR, NICOLA BOWDEN-JONES DEFIED THE WHIP AND THE BULLIES IN HER PARTY TO VOTE AGAINST THE LABOUR BUDGET. HERE IS THE SPEECH SHE MADE, WHICH SHE HAS POSTED TO FACEBOOK:
Thank you Lord Mayor.When I was a child I watched war films with my Dad. I worried that if I faced the choice between following the pack whose collective actions were perilous to others, would my ethics be sufficient to enable me to stand alone. Today I test my own hypothesis.
So let’s get one thing straight, this Council rent freeze is nothing to do with coronavirus or helping people on low incomes. – Let’s be honest.
I’ve been at the Labour Group meetings where speaker after speaker supporting the freeze, starts by saying we shouldn’t raise rents in the run up to the election. Some don’t understand what a rent freeze means, rent is income, creating borrowing power, without which we restrict our ability to repair, regenerate, retrofit and build houses
Every four years they would ditch housing investment for votes. Do you know of any other business models where your 30 year plan is punctuated every 4 years by self-indulgence?
We are happy to put up council tax for the same people by 5%, yet apparently a 1.5% rent rise is too much for people to take even though the benefits system for both is the same. The report which went to cabinet, showed an enormous reduction in social rented housing. Because 30% of the future programme will now be shared ownershipA difficult decision for some members of the cabinet.
Difficult for Helen Godwin as cutting the social rented housing programme means, she is voting today to leave families in temporary accommodation for longer, we know they can’t afford shared ownership.
Difficult for Nicola Beech our staunch advocate for strong planning policy, she is voting for a form of shared ownership which doesn’t meet the planning department’s definition of affordable.
Difficult for Afzal Shah, because he is voting to take over £100m from the spending power of the housing department when there is a bill of £500m to retrofit homes to meet our carbon reduction target.
Difficult for cabinet members who have lived in council housing to remove an opportunity for those who now have that same need for a home -they once had.
Difficult for some of my colleagues who have been told they will not be able to stand in the May election if they vote to save our council housing.
Difficult to look at the finances and say there is an underspend. COVID means thousands of repairs have not been completed, or even reported. Have those repairs now disappeared with the vaccinations? Did we have a vaccination that made the damp, or broken windows, or leaking roofs disappear?
The money is only there because the repairs have not been done.
We must ask ourselves when will we be told that the challenges we have in sustaining council housing can only be solved by public private partnerships, public -private partnership read privatisation?
We should not put votes before ensuring our tenants have warm, safe and well maintained homes.
We should not put a headline on a leaflet or a tweet, before building social rented, yes social rented not shared ownership, homes for the thousands of families in temporary accommodation or insecure, expensive private lettings.
Actually it’s not difficult. There are a thousand children in our city in temporary accommodation. The choice today is clear, vote for their future, the future that many years ago someone was brave enough to give you. The future of our cities council housing and not its decay.
THE REVEREND’S ATTEMPT TO OUTSOURCE VULNERABLE CLEANING AND SECURITY STAFF TO BRISTOL WASTE GOES NUCLEARDURING HR CONFLAB
The passing resemblance of last Thursday’s HR Committee Meeting of Bristol City Council to a Handsworth Parish Council Zoom session wasn’t just down to useful-idiot HR Director Mark “Bashar” Williams’ accidentally misinforming himself over whether or not he was still paying Colin “Head Boy” Molton the second highest local government salary in the country.
The meeting also had a special ‘Chair’s Business’ section dedicated to Director of Workforce John “Bedwetter” Walsh’s half-arsed plan to outsource his low paid council security and cleaning staff to Bristol Waste to save money.
It was this issue that had barking Tory nutjob Councillor Richard “Bunter” Eddy telling Bedwetter that his description of the outsourcing proposal was “worthy of Dr Goebbels and the Third Reich.”
The comment drew a weak Claude Rains impression from Bedwetter as he attempted to feign shock at being branded, on the public record, as a liar by a senior councillor. It’s also noteworthy that staunch right winger, Bunter managed to outflank the Reverend Rees on the left with his views on this outsourcing issue,
Bunter’s comments came partly in response to Bedwetter’s ludicrous claim that the staff he had formally consulted were entirely in favour of a move to Bristol Waste and Bedwetter didn’t recognise Bunter and the trade unions’ version of events.
Versions outlined in a series of public statements and comments to the meeting. Bunter said that the staff he had spoken with were “scared and mystified” and were “terrified of losing their job” if they spoke directly with councillors or made public statements, as is their right, at council meetings.
The GMB told the meeting “Not one member of BCC staff … has expressed a wish to move across” and “the vast majority, many of whom are long service, wish to stay with BCC”.
Unison’s Tom “The Red” Merchant got even more to the point. He told the meeting, “The affected staff are very angry indeed over this and we don’t see why we should be shielding anyone from what is an understandable disaffection on the part of our members”
Tom the Red was also bemused that Bedwetter had managed to consult with cleaning staff, many of whom did not speak English and require an interpreter for Unison to be able to speak with them. He summed up, “staff who face transfers feel like they are bought and sold like cattle and though this phrase really upsets HR it is how the staff feel and I don’t see why I should be shielding the organisation from this level of disappointment from so many staff.”
Who’s telling the truth then? Bedwetter or the unions and councillors? One way to find out could be to read Bedwetter’s formal “best practice in consultation” document. It’s published with cabinet papers about the outsourcing and is scheduled to be rubberstamped by the Reverend and his Labour Cabinet next week.
Bedwetter’s consultation report is just one page long and while it goes into some detail about the process Bedwetter used to consult staff (which didn’t include using interpreters), there’s no mention anywhere about what staff actually said about his proposed transfer.
It’s an odd omission for a consultation report to have no content. It also means Bedwetter is unable to provide a shred of evidence, despite having apparently canvassed their opinion in a month long formal process, to back his claim that staff he has subsequently tried to gag are in favour of his plan.
Who should we believe? Notorious Director of Workforce, John “Bedwetter” Walsh, called out at the meeting as a liar and unable to produce written evidence from his own consultation for his self-serving claims, or councillors and elected trade union officials who directly represent the workers in question?
Chair of the meeting, limp Rees brown-noser and University of Bristol PhD perpetual student prat, John “Welly” Wellington, did manage to apologetically squeak at one point, “I don’t think you’re a liar John.”
Although the Labour Councillor for Windmill Hill, who’ll be quitting in May after a futile term of unquestioning loyalty to the Reverend’s right wing crap, didn’t offer any explanation as to why Bedwetter had attended his meeting and talked his typical brand of bollocks.
But let’s leave the last word to professional Lib Dem gobshite Councillor Gary “Hefty” Hopkins who told Welly’s HR meeting, “I don’t believe a word of what’s been presented to us by the management side.”
Reports emerge of more Labour Party madness in the lead-up to Christmas as apparatchiks from the party’s South West regional office turned their attention to the Bristol East Constituency Party. And the party bureaucrats are now so keen on purges that although the chair and secretary in Bristol East had resisted a Corbyn-supporting motion passed by their membership earlier this month, they got purged anyway!
This means that the elected leaderships of Bristol’s North West, West and East Consituency Parties have all been suspended without explanation by their party. Nationwide, 40 more CLP officers were similarly removed during the week before Christmas.
In Bristol North West, now managed by Councillor Brenda Massey, who’s previous career high was quietly decorating George Ferguson’s useless rainbow Cabinet, and the South West Regional Office, requests to hold a constituency party meeting have been directly refused by the regional apparatchiks. They insist the next constituency meeting will be an AGM to elect new officers some time next year at a time they decide.
Looks like an interesting year ahead in Labour politics …
Has there been an anti-democratic RIGHT WING COUP in the Bristol North West Constituency Labour Party, home of ambitious Blairite “Dipshit” Darren Jones MP?
It sure as fuck looks that way as the Chair and Secretary of his branch have been mysteriously PURGED and “DISAPPEARED” by Jones and Labour South West Regional Office bureaucrats. This followed an overwhelming popular vote (58-19) at a meeting of the constituency Party last month in favour of a mildly supportive motion of former leader Jeremy Corbyn and questioning his suspension from the Labour Party.
Bemused Labour Party members in Bristol North West have received no explanation about what’s happened to their Chair and Secretary. Instead they’ve received a cursory note informing them that they CAN’T HOLD MEETINGS FOR TWO MONTHS and that Labour Councillor for Southmead Brenda “Beria” Massey, a hardcore Stalinist and Dipshit Daz groupie, has either been appointed by Regional Office orr else she has appointed herself “Acting Chair” of the constituency Party and then has unconstitutionally SUSPENDED THE ENTIRE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE until further notice.
ENTER NAPOLEON IN DRAG
Requests that the upright-standing pigs Dipshit, Beria or the Regional Office bureaucrats explain what’s happened to the elected Chair and Secretary and how Commissar Massey was able take over a constituency party and obtain the member information database have so far been REBUFFED..
Instead, members have been told by Beria Massey that she will be holding an AGM “as soon as party rules allow”. This is unlikely to be until LATE FEBRUARY. Although the Great Leader Sir Keir “Bell-End” Starmer’s Bristol NW chief of secret police does not seem to be able to quote the Party rules concerned when asked for them.
Dipshit, meanwhile, has infomed Party members that it’s “NOT FAIR” to ask his Acting Chair what the hell is going on and announced, “I have been asked to host an MP’s [Zoom] Q&A in place of the [constitutional] December meeting of the CLP”. Who asked Sub-Commissar Dipshit to host this event is not clear. Did the move originate in Regional Office or in Bell-End Starmer’s Central Politburo itself?
PAT BALL OR PAINT BALL?
Rumours are now filtering out as this goes to press that certain “known” Labour members were not even permitted access to Dipshit’s Zoom meeting. And of course, Jones answering a few PAT BALL questions from a selective audienceof former Tories from Westbury-on-Trym is no replacement for a Constituency Labour Party meeting, where he’d likely get a volley of PAINT BALL questions.
In Bristol NW these recently elevated upright-pigs insist that they remain “in charge” – in contravention of all discernible LP rules and procedures.
What a fucking shit way to run a so-called democratic party
The Reverend Rees’s highly regarded Cabinet Member for Housing has sensationally QUIT the council. Paul “Wolfie” Smith resigned from Rees’s cabinet on Tuesday and also QUIT as a councillor to take up a lucrative £90k (plus bonus) a year position as Chief Exec at Elim Housing Association. The resignation leaves the Reverend without a majority at Bristol City Council.
According to social media, Wolfie was a great champion of social housing and has had some success over the last few years getting homes built and tackling homelessness. However, over the last year some increasingly erratic policies have emerged from Wolfie’s housing department where Jez Sweetland, who runs the Bristol Housing Festival and happens to be a prominent member of the Reverend’s Church at the Hope Chapel, Howells has become increasingly influential.
Harebrained initiatives emerging from Sweetland have included a plan to build 173 IKEA chipboard homes on the verge of the A4174 Airport Road and another madcap idea to build ‘Hope Rise’. Tiny modular flats for young people over the car park at St George Park. This week the council even started a queue jumping ‘super tenancy’ opportunity for these properties, directly offering a shared council home to applicants in exchange for voluntary work with vulnerable young people. A plan that is unlikely to comply with law.
Wolfie’s department also announced their intention last month to create the slums of the future. They will house 200 homeless people and families in the shoddily converted Parkview office complex in Hartcliffe. Homes that do not meet national space standards. The owner of the flats, Caridon, are also one of the country’s most notorious slum landlords.
Has Wolfie thrown in the towel? Has he quit while he was ahead? But how ahead was he anyway? Despite all the promises of council housing from the Rees administration and Wolfie’s regular assurances that his projections to meet a manifesto promise of 2,500 homes, 500 affordable, a year were ‘on target’, the stats say something quite different. In March 2016, there were 27,402 council homes in Bristol. By March 2020 there were 26,833. A net reduction of 469 council homes.
Of course, Wolfie can’t be held to blame for the Tory ‘Right to Buy’ policy, which has led to this reduction in council homes. But he can be blamed for spending four years delivering half-arsed market solutions and supporting timid private sector responses to the city’s housing crisis. These solutions have simply failed to deliver and were never going to deliver the quantity of council homes required to turn around a housing crisis.
Wolfie can also be blamed for entertaining Sweetland and his weirdo ideas for the last few years. The evangelical nutter is now left free to dominate the show with his Victorian Christian charity message and fill the city up with his cheap shit housing for the poor and vulnerable.
Are we in more of a housing mess than when Wolfie started?
Victory for Labour in all four Bristol
wards at the general election – alongside bad defeats in South Gloucester
target wards Filton and Bradley Stoke and Kingswood – just about managed to
PAPER OVER THE CRACKS emerging along CLASS LINES in Bristol. A closer look at
Labour’s victorious results reveals A DIVIDE emerging between WEALTHY INNER
CITY WARDS now occupied and gentrified by the middle classes and the city’s
neglected WORKING CLASS SUBURBS.
Could Labour’s historic coalition
between organised labour and the progressive middle classes be falling apart in
Bristol? For example, in South Bristol, Labour romped home in Southville,
Windmill Hill and Bedminster grabbing TWO THIRDS OF THE VOTE. However,
in the working class wards of Filwood, Hartcliffe and Withywood and Hengrove
and Whitchurch Park Labour reputedly TRAILED IN BEHIND THE TORIES.
This pattern was somewhat repeated in
Bristol North West where Darren “Dipshit” Jones LOST BADLY in
working class Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston while he RACKED UP VOTES in
middle class Westbury-on-Trym, Stoke Bishop and Henleaze. However Dipshit can
point to some glimmers of light in that ultra-Corbynite stronghold Lockleaze
remained unfaithful to him as did key working class estate Southmead.
Another story altogether unfolded in
Bristol West, however, where working class communities with a larger mix of immigrant
and black voters in wards such as Easton, Eastville, Hilllfields and Lawrence
Hill, stayed with Labour to deliver Thangam Debbonaire a THUMPING MAJORITY
– the largest of any Bristol MP – to continue her vendetta against the
left wing of her party.
What all this means for the future and
for Bristol is open to interpretation. Especially as many people who voted
Labour at the general election are telling us that they only LENT THEM A
VOTE to keep the Tories out and they’ll VOTE DIFFERENTLY at next
year’s local elections.
All to play for in the mayoral
elections in 2020, then. (306)
Bristol’s Labour MPs have reportedly
been overjoyed at their Party’s defeat in December’s General Election.
“I have been euphoric,” said
Bristol North West MP Darren ‘Dipshit’ Jones, “Corbyn and his fantasy of a
fairer, more equal society is over. And I kept my job! It was my best Christmas
for years,” added the Tony Blair fanboy.
Smiling from ear to ear, Bristol East
MP Kerry McCarthy agreed … “It was a very Merry Christmas. Labour’s annihilation
was wonderful. We have been desperate to get rid of Corbyn for years.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ourselves, the media and the entire
Establishment he was still hugely popular with the members and the general
public. We couldn’t budge him and we were desperate.
“Then, last year, (Deputy Leader)
Tom Watson explained to me that Aleister Campbell and Peter Mandelson had a
brilliant plan. We were to force Corbyn to back a second EU referendum against
his wishes. This would then guarantee that we lost millions of working class
voters and would be obliterated at the next General Election. We could then
blame it on Corbyn!
“It was a brilliant plan, pure
genius … And it worked like clockwork! The prospect for democratic change is
now well and truly over,” she laughed.
Elsewhere, in Kingswood, Tory MP Chris
Skidmore celebrated another victory … “I see this as a complete
mandate,” he said. “When I return to Parliament in the new year I am
going to give it my all. I will once again devote every ounce of my energy to
knocking seven shades of shit out of the poor, the sick and the disabled. As
for those idle British workers, those c#*ts are gonna get it with both
“I’m gonna kick the living f#cking crap out of them, I swear on my life.”
Who’s this irate councillor
looking concerned in the pages of the Nazi
Post? Step forward Paul “Wolfie” Smith, Labour’s cabinet housing
supremo. He’s “SHOCKED” and has “LAUNCHED A BLISTERING ATTACK”
on the University Hospitals Trust Bristol, who run the BRI, for leaving 20 of
their 36 flats on Eugene Street empty “WHILE PEOPLE ARE SLEEPING IN THE
The homes are currently empty as the hospital was refused planning permission for A MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK on the site by the council in March and are now appealing against the decision. However what the fuming councillor isn’t telling us is that the homes in question were sold for A FAST BUCK to the hospital by the council in 2008 for, er, “REDEVELOPMENT PURPOSES“.
And who on Earth was running the council in 2008 selling off our
council homes? Step forward our dear old friends in the angry and irate LABOUR PARTY. Then under the clueless
leadership of one of Wolfie’s old colleagues Peter “HOPELESS” Hammond and his deputy – one of Wolfie’s current
colleagues – prize-winning councillor HRH
HELEN OF HOLLAND.
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.