Tag Archives: Labour Party

“Useless and Underperforming” Comrades: A Weaponised Human Resources Team

By the Dwarf

I really feel I am getting somewhere now; I am enjoying my work and I feel valued by my employer. But not everyone is so lucky in the council because I’ve received a constant stream of leaks and complaints about the treatment dished out at the hands of HR and management. Over the last couple of years a trickle of shit has turned into a torrent.

I must admit, I’ve had to rewrite this article several times because a number of things I was gleefully writing up have been suddenly resolved, to the obvious relief of the staff affected. This is annoying. There are still a number of nasty problems in the pipeline, though, but I like to offer the other side an opportunity to really stick their necks out before writing them up. So, I’m going to take an overview of what’s going on (rather than a detailed expose) and hope to get across to you the experience of our staff, generally.

Anyway, I couldn’t at first understand what has been going on. Equalities used to be a high priority for management. It has recently stopped being so. My impression was that managers would find themselves with a tightened budget and would wonder to themselves whether or not staff really needed those visits to physio, modified duties, lighter duties, small breaks, time off to recover from operations, Dragon software, ramps over steps; that sort of thing. They, of course, took advice from HR.

HR used to give the advice that reasonable adjustments were a legal right, because the culture of equal opportunities used to be strong. Now they are replying that if it is a ‘need of the business’ they can justify taking it away (or not allow it) and HR will back the manager up. This is one of the reasons why it has been suggested that HR has become weaponised by someone ruthless at a medium to high level. This wrong advice is so widespread that it can only be a conscious strategy.

A new bit of advice from HR is that ‘you don’t have to change the job’ when designing reasonable adjustments and this is also incorrect. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (who are in charge of this) have a list of examples and several of them ‘change the job’. Total bollocks.

But another reason I know it is a conscious strategy is that they have been open about stopping certain things named as reasonable adjustments by the EHRC. And there is an element of incompetence in this in the sense that they were only so candid about what they were doing because they were so poorly informed.

One of these is medical redeployment. A person with a new disability (or a worsened one) and who is having trouble being productive even with reasonable adjustments (should they be able to get them at all), should be redeployed into a job where he can be productive, as an alternative to dismissal. Reasonable adjustments come first, obviously. HR have been open that they don’t intend to do this anymore and so have Occupational Health who have told us that they were told not to offer it. He who pays the piper calls the tune. But unfortunately that approach is illegal, and there is plenty of case law showing this.

The only time medical redeployment can be arranged (in HR’s view) is when there is a stage three sickness meeting, which means either the worker struggles on in a workplace that has been made artificially dangerous to them or they go off sick for a year. Hardly a sensible situation is it? Some just leave and join better employers.

Social Care is the worst culprit. They have had the nerve to tell us they have no temporary light duties even for people returning from life-saving operations. Of course they have light duties; do they think we are fucking stupid? If someone with the “eye of Sauron” needs to look anywhere, it needs to look there.

Anyway, this series of articles is not about HR; its long running theme is about how compromised public sector unions can become because of their relationships with politics. Well the good news is I’m upgrading them from ‘fucking corrupt” to “useless and underperforming” after a much improved couple of months. Pats on backs all round. There is still incredible timidity from some of our most senior union leaders but there have been the odd micro victory. All of which we have failed to communicate to our members.

One of the most entertaining events of the last week has been watching Unison refuse to be the Labour party’s bitch any longer. Somehow someone from Unison was allowed to oppose the Labour party (publicly) on its decision to amend a motion that called on the divestment of fossil fuels from the company pension. This was at full council. Their amendment, apparently, amended the words ‘divest’ to ‘look into divesting’, or so I was told. A Unison rep allegedly wasn’t happy at all and said so. Quite right!

THERE IS A LIGHT AND IT NEVER GOES OUT

smiths

FANATICAL REMAINER, Labour’s goth MP for Bristol East, Kerry “And the Banshees” McCarthy, took an interesting approach to the final weekend of campaigning in the recent Euro elections, which were a disaster for Labour.

On the Saturday before the elections, the pint-size goth announced on Twitter she was NOT campaigning in East Bristol but going to Wales to walk up Mount Snowdon with fellow 80s indie music nerd, Labour Deputy leader, Tom “Student Grant” Watson.

How many voters Labour’s indie odd couple canvassed on top of the mountain is unclear. What is clear, however, is that another move on Corbyn’s leadership by Labour’s Parliamentary Party BLAIRITE ULTRAS and REMAINERS, blaming him for the inevitable election defeat, is a foregone conclusion.

This latest assault will come from exactly the same people who didn’t lift a finger to campaign for Corbyn’s tricky Euro compromise against the massed ranks of Brextremists and Remoaners DOMINATING AN ELECTION NOBODY CARED ABOUT with dumbass slogan politics.

In the circumstances there are, at least, two things we can be pretty sure will be remaining. One is the indie music odd couple’s SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT over the Labour Party; the other is the country’s leading allotment holder remaining as Labour leader. Because the chances of Kerry, Tom and the rest of the Parliamentary Labour Party installing some heir to Blair militant remainer as Labour Party leader is NEAR ZERO.

Indeed, there’s more chance of a double-decker bus crashing into us.



ASHER’S ASSETS UP FOR GRABS

With our libraries “SAVED” until next year after the mayoral election, the Reverend’s trusty deputy, Asher “The Slasher” Craig has embarked on another bloody “CONVERSATION” about libraries in the city.

The focus this time around has been on talking to PEOPLE WHO DON’T USE LIBRARIES. Presumably on the basis that, maybe, they’ll be more sympathetic to The Slasher unloading a prized public service on to volunteers than our organised and informed local LIBRARY CAMPAIGNERS AND SUPPORTERS?

The Slasher, not keen on libraries and not too bothered about making wild remarks regarding them either, has not passed up the opportunity to wade into this conversation herself. Brazenly announcing to the press, “one of the issues in our city is we have TOO MANY ASSETS, TOO MANY BUILDINGS IN OUR PUBLIC SECTOR.”

Really? And how many businesses have you ever heard complaining that they have “TOO MANY ASSETS“? Is the Slasher, by any chance, seeking to dispose of some more community-based assets and any service they might contain to fund some more AIMLESS VANITY PROJECTS at College Green?

The Reverend, too, has joined “the conversation”. In response to a question at a Full Council meeting, he announced, “THERE IS NO DOUBT THE LIBRARY MODEL IS NOT FIT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY“. Who says? As this claim appears despite A LACK OF ANY RECORDED EVIDENCE held by the council of residents wanting change to our libraries, even after two consultations and a report costing £40k.

Is the Labour Party arranging to wreck our library service regardless of what we think?



WEST WING WATCH

west wing ii

Efforts by the Reverend Rees and his point man ‘Slo’ Kevin Slocombe to create their own new season of THE WEST WING up on the third floor of the Counts Louse brings predictable results.

Having EXPANDED the Mayoral Office budget to the best part of £1MILLION A YEAR and styled themselves as fast talking power dressing power players who get things done, their efforts to slickly command and control a council of 7,000 employees SPENDING A BUDGET OF A BILLION is more Jedward than Jed Bartlet.

The latest MAYORAL FAILURE finds the Reverend unable to get a simple ‘corrective’ brass plaque attached to the statue of Colston in the Centre. This might be because following the original mayoral decree for a plaque, there was NO MEANS to communicate back to the Mayor or his team what was going on with a project easily highjacked by the Merchant Venturers from council officers.

Similar problems have haunted the Reverend’s response to institutional racism at the council where the HR officers and managers responsible for the problem have filled any MANAGEMENT VACUUM by stepping in to solve their own problem to suit themselves.

The most recent fiasco followed the removal of valuable 1930s street lamps from south Bristol to leafy Stoke Bishop. “THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN,” insisted Slo Kev on Twitter. “Any street lamps removed are used for spare parts only,” he explained. Alas, within minutes of Slo Kev’s claim, a photo appeared on Twitter of a newly installed street lamp from south Bristol in Stoke Bishop!

The obvious solution of appointing one of 40-odd Labour councillors to oversee something like the plaque project through to completion has been OVERLOOKED by both the Reverend and Slo Kev. Both naively believing they can achieve anything at the council, no matter how minor, by SWAGGERING COMMAND or LENGTHY PRESS RELEASE fired out from the third floor executive suite.

In reality simple projects are FAILING and poor decisions are MULTIPLYING due to the Reverend’s West Wing fantasy. There’s a bottleneck at the top of the council. Too many issues for too few mayoral staff to cope with and council officers end up running the show with little oversight. Labour councillors, meanwhile, the natural workforce to force Labour policy through a recalcitrant council, hang about IDLE, BORED and IGNORED.

When will the Reverend figure out how to run his council?

LOCAL LABOUR TRIGGER UNHAPPY

LOCAL LABOUR TRIGGER UNHAPPY

GOOD NEWS for the Reverend Rees as he’s “overwhelmingly” reselected to stand for mayor in 2020 for Bristol’s Labour Party.  Although it looks like the Reverend’s well-remunerated sidekick Kevin “Slo” Slocombe may have worked tirelessly BEHIND THE SCENES stitching-up the procedures for the ‘trigger ballot’ that decided the Reverend could not be challenged for the Labour candidacy.

Labour’s ‘trigger ballot’ rules were CHANGED at their last conference so that ward branches (of members) and party affilliates (staffed by bureaucrats) are balloted SEPARATELY and if either section has ONE THIRD in favour of a selection process then one is run. Under the old rules, there was ONE BALLOT requiring a simple majority for branches and affiliates combined. This tended to favour affiliates, such as trade unions who CONSIDERABLY OUTNUMBER WARD BRANCHES. For example, in Bristol, there are 25 ward branches and 92 affiliates, which means membership votes were outnumbered almost three to one by the bureaucrats.

However, trade union insider, Slo Kev’s LOBBYING of eager right wing bosses at Labour’s South West Region, who LOATHE the Corbynite rank and file of their party, persuaded them to bend the rules and allow the Reverend’s trigger ballot to be run UNDER THE DODGY OLD RULES. This meant even if every Labour ward branch in Bristol had voted for a reselection process, THERE WOULD NOT BE ONE if the affiliates decided they didn’t want one.

And so it came to pass that the Reverend was reselected as Labour’s candidate even though many wards hadn’t even had time to run a ballot before they were STOPPED by Labour’s dodgy regional bosses because of the impending Euro elections. Other wards complain their selection meetings weren’t QUORATE (ie. there were not enough members there). The Reverend’s own branch, Easton and Lawrence Hill tell us their vote wasn’t quorate but an ‘indicative vote’ was 32 – 5 AGAINST their own member.

Over at the Hartcliffe, Withywood and Bishopsworth branch, the meeting was quorate but the ballot paper WASN’T WORDED CORRECTLY so couldn’t be counted. While in Eastville, the Reverend’s former election agent, Kelvin Blake FORGOT to invite any party officials to their ballot and declared a victory for Rees despite the meeting not being quorate! In fact, the only branch we can find that legitimately voted for Rees were the wealthy liberals of Redland keen on a reheated Blairite to maintain the status quo.

What a shambles. Is this a party fit to run a city?

BETHEL TO BRISTOL – MARVIN’S FREE MARKET GRAVE-SUCKER CULT

BETHEL TO BRISTOL small

Following up a Freedom of Information request about the Reverend Rees’ expenses for a dinner in London in January, The BRISTOLIAN uncovered his close ties to the controversial weirdos of California’s BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY (BSSM) and their deep cultic infiltration of his office.
 
BSSM is a Christian evangelist cult that believes everyone has apostolic power that can be unlocked through a variety of STRANGE PRACTICES. Their students are assured they can ‘perform miracles’ such as curing the sick and ‘raising the dead’ or, even, ‘walking through walls’. BSSM has come under fierce attack from fellow evangelicals, many of whom find its practices ‘UN-CHRISTIAN’, ‘GNOSTIC‘, or even ‘NECROMANTIC‘.

The latter accusation stemming from one of BSSM’s more bizarre practices – ‘GRAVE SUCKING’ – whereby the acolyte lies down on the tomb of a deceased Christian celebrity to ‘suck up the residual spiritual energy’ from their bones.
 
The cult is more materially minded, however, when it comes to seeking connections to POWER and INFLUENCE. Its closely allied religious organisation ‘Transform Our World’ largely dismisses the role of a church.

Instead, it breathlessly imagines a vast global network of brainwashed business, community, political, professional and faith leaders “walking out to their call to full-time ministry in the MARKETPLACE“, which allegedly plays “a vital part in the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth”.
 
From the FoI, we know that there was a long correspondence between the Reverend’s office and Kris ‘Voldemort’ Vallotton, co-founder of Bethel Church in Redding, California and ‘Senior Associate Leader’ of BSSM.

Voldemort’s personal blog is HIGHLY REVEALING with its SUB-PAEDO and RACIST OVERTONES as well as HATE SPEECH that unequivocally LINKS ABORTION TO “THE DEVIL”.

Vallotton also travels around the world, making connections with people his cult decides are “INFLUENTIAL“. In the emails we discover that Marvin and Vallotton are already very familiar, as is the mayor’s spin doctor “Slo” Kevin Slocombe who was also invited to attend the dinner, paid for by BSSM at St Ermin’s Hotel, Westminster, alongside “SEVERAL MPS” and an “ARCHBISHOP“.
 
Expenses for the London trip were paid by the MAYOR’S OFFICE (some ambiguity exists over whether this fare was paid back by Marvin). While BCC’s claim that ‘£25’ would cover the cost of Marvin’s meal (so it “didn’t need to be declared’) is absurd as it’s barely the cost of a ‘WAGYU BURGER’ on the upmarket hotel’s menu, never mind drinks or accompaniments. We’re told that they discussed ‘US – BRISTOL TRADE RELATIONS’, whatever that means.

Perhaps Rachel Molano, the Reverend’s ‘faith advisor’ and a BSSM ‘graduate’ can tell us more? Especially as we checked and DISCOVERED she is on the Mayor’s Office’s payroll – in flat contradiction to the OUTRIGHT LIE they told in a separate FoI – as a paid public servant. Rachel, please declare the true extent and objectives of your cult’s interests in our city?
 
Surely it’s time that Bristol’s Labour Party forced Mayor Rees and his fellow cultist sidekick Slo Kev to resign their party memberships? Magick Marv can stand as an independent for the Supernatural Necromancer Inclusivity Party or whatever he damn well likes, but surely not Labour?

First FoI (on Marvin meeting the cult leader) https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/mayors_meeting_with_co_founder_o#incoming-1346566

Second FoI (on Marvin’s BSSM faith advisor) https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/information_about_bristol_mayors?nocache=outgoing-888425#outgoing-888425

WE’VE GOT THE POWER?

WE'VE GOT THE POWER?

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.

Watch this space.


ONE RULE FOR THEM …

Dim Labour cabinet member for women, children and young people, Councillor Helen “Oh My” Godwin has come up with an INTERESTING WHEEZE.

She’s demanding a new maternity leave policy from the council, which would mean that councillors have BETTER maternity benefits and pay than their council employee plebs. This is the same Oh My Godwin who told Full Council in 2016 that she wouldn’t support a cost of living increase in councillor expenses while people were LOSING THEIR JOBS!

No doubt it’s just a coincidence that her friend and Labour cabinet colleague Nicola “La La” Beech is just about to pop off and have a sprog? And if the new rules are passed then La La would be entitled to these ENHANCED maternity benefits through her £40k a year councillors wedge.

Isn’t it nice to see senior Labour councillors looking after themselves so well?

MARVIN’S MARVELOUS MANIFESTO

Manifesto

Keeping his manifesto promises was always going to be challenging for the Reverend Rees, not least because we calculated at the time that it contained about 78 UNCOSTED PROMISES in all. However, what we couldn’t predict was how the Reverend would smash through any BARRIERS TO FAILURE quite so spectacularly.

Top of the list must come his promise to “COMPLETE THE ARENA“, which has now been downgraded to, “I will cancel the existing arena project I promised and instead support a global corporation’s efforts to build an arena in Filton named after an obscure dead bloke who owned our local privatised water utility scam”.

Meanwhile in terms of the Reverend’s highly contested housing promise – “WE WILL BUILD 2,000 NEW HOMES – 800 affordable – a year (by 2020)” – his housing guru, Paul “Wolfie” Smith continues to carefully calibrate the spin with the line that his PROJECTIONS are on target … Even if the actual number of houses being built isn’t!

Then there’s the recycling promise. The Reverend’s recently promoted former waste boss, The Former Socialist Known as Kye Dudd simply CHANGED THE TARGET and hoped no one would notice. We will “increase recycling, setting a target of 55% for all waste by 2020,” thundered the Reverend’s manifesto in 2016.

Fast forward to 2019 and we find The Former Socialist Known as Dudd’s waste overseer, Bristol Waste managing director Tony Lawless telling the Nazi Post, “We are delighted to see Bristol is on track to meet its ambitious RECYCLING RATE OF 50 PER CENT BY 2020.”

The comment came after the Reverend’s council managed to announce in January a measly ONE PER CENT increase in recycling rates since 2015 to 46%. Nothing like enough of an increase to reach 50 per cent, never mind 55 per cent, by 2020 as promised in their manifesto.

Have Rees and Dudd changed their promise in a vain attempt to claim they have courageously fallen a little short of a hugely ambitious target and hope we’ll not notice?

ONE CITY FOR BUSINESS

ONE CITY FOR BUSINESS

With a large public relations fanfare, the Reverend’s ONE CITY PLAN and re-election campaign was launched upon us in early January. This plan is another absolute tsunami of DRIVEL of the kind we have now come to expect from the Reverend Rees.

Created by overenthusiastic copy writers working to the Reverend’s instructions, the plan attempts to PREDICT what the city will be like in 2050 thanks to the Reverend’s ideas. And yes, it is as embarrassing as it sounds.

For a LABOUR Mayor leading a LABOUR administration, the plan, however, lacks much in the way of traditional left wing content. Our search of the document revealed the terms ‘socialism’; ‘nationalisation’; ‘tax’; ‘taxation’ and ‘public ownership’ appear a grand total of ZERO times. While ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ get ONE appearance each in the Reverend’s grand design for a golden future.

However, the term ‘BUSINESS‘ appears 63 times while meaningless Reverend Rees jargon such as ‘sustainable’, 50 appearances; ‘leadership’, 17 appearances; partnership, 13 appearances; diversity, 23 appearances and ‘innovation’, 10 appearances, are LITTERED throughout the document.

Basically, it’s a load of right wing American BUSINESS SCHOOL BOLLOCKS of the kind the Reverend was spoon fed on his crappy leadership course at Yale.

Is this the future we want?