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?
On September 1, Bristol City Council’s Mayoral Executive will ram through a package to house many of Bristol’s homeless currently sheltered from Covid-19 in a series of inner-city hotels. They will be sent to a large office-to-housing development at Parkview (formerly the offices of Bristol City Council) off Whitchurch Lane in South Bristol.
These homeless, and any new homeless, are to be given places in 200+ alleged ‘flats’ in a converted office building at Parkview. Run by Caridon, a Croydon-based property company who will PROFIT from this scheme, it will be be known as ‘IMPERIAL APARTMENTS’.
Planning restrictions for an ‘office-into-home conversion’ do not hold the same weight as in residential properties, however. For example, they do not have to conform to normal health and safety regulations and cupboards or storage spaces can be turned into squeezed/minimal size ‘flats’ that do not even have a window.
Companies like Caridon – see this BBC investigation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0pXJ8L_2g – specialise in EXPLOITING a new housing market devised by councils desperate for cheap housing in an ongoing housing crisis.
And who will deliver Caridon’s profits for their imperialist dream of providing’ sub-standard ‘accommodation’? The answer is of course the Bristol taxpayer, signed off by The Mayor and his Council Executive cronies at College Green on September 1. BCC will also offer Caridon the rent IN FULL as demanded by its Director Mario ‘Darth Vader’ Carrozzo, regardless of whether the residents can pay or not.
The flats run by Darth Vader’s Evil Caridon Empire will house the homeless, single parents, victims of domestic violence, the mentally ill, probationers etc; all together in one big happy family. Take a look at this Panorama documentary to see how well a very similar project, once again run by Caridon, worked out in Harlow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAuilFQYHKc
BCC appear to have told Caridon to keep mum about their Bristol adventure in light of this bad publicity, as the Caridon currently provide no relevant information or links on their website.
Since Colston came off his pedestal and went for a swim on June 7th social media, TV and the press have been dominated by politicians, journalists and so-called ‘community spokespeople’ gushing with praise for the statue coming down.
The Mayor’s Office even banged on in a press statement that the Reverend Rees had an audience of 10 million around the world, from Bangladesh to Tokyo after Colston’s ‘burial at sea’. However, while seizing this new opportunity for pontificating, Rees conveniently failed to give a toss about the people who had put him on the world stage. That was the 17 or so demonstrators who had been identified under Home Secretary, Priti Patel’s orders to “get these people” – the statue topplers.
So as Rees was boring the masses in Bangladesh, Avon & Somerset Police were being forced to line up charges of criminal damage that could put the protestors away for up to 10 years. And what did Rees do? Intervene at the Council for the good of the city and agree not to press charges, allowing the cops to give two fingers to Patel? Like fuck he did … Far better to bathe in the glare of global publicity and forget about those who put him there.
Campaigners who have fought for many years for the Colston statue to be removed and to get a permanent memorial to the victims of slavery in the City have been astounded by the two-faced hypocrisy of these turncoats. Rees told Points West:
“When I first came in, myself and a number of black people in the creative sector said that the best thing to do is to keep that [Colston] debate away from me.”
So Mr Civil Rights’s major contribution to the struggle to get the Merchant Venturers pet slave trader off our streets and schools was not just to do nothing but to actively discourage others from getting involved.
When calls came to change the name of the Colston Hall in 2017 Rees was silent, refusing to make his position clear until he was caught like a rabbit in the headlights at the end of a TV programme. Martin Luther King, who Rees idolises, must be turning in his grave.
In 2019 after the Merchant Venturers had spent months sanitising the wording on a plaque for the statue that was meant to correct the history of Colston, Rees only intervened to avoid becoming a laughing stock. Finally using some of his executive power to block the Venturer’s sanitised plaque before heading to the hills faster than Dominic Cummings in a top of the range Land Rover, leaving the project in limbo for over a year.
Meanwhile Rees’s second in command Asher Craig’s hardly covered herself in glory in dealing with persistent calls by campaigners for a permanent memorial to remember the victims of the trans-atlantic slave trade. Bristol lags far behind other ports like Liverpool and Nantes in France that were involved in the ‘vile trade’ and have made major efforts to both memorialise the victims and tell the history – warts and all.
One historian from Bristol University stated in a meeting with Asher Craig in March 2019 “that Bristol’s reputation abroad, when referring to the city’s response to its slaving past, was very bad”. He also said that Bristol shouldn’t limit its ambitions regarding a slavery museum, “the city should think big and be better than Liverpool”.
Bristol City Council have missed opportunities to right this embarrassing wrong many times. In 1996 around the Festival of the Sea, in 1999 when the Respectable Trade exhibition was launched, in 2007 with the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade and again in 2015 when the Colston protests began.
In 2017 campaigners from three groups and local residents proposed the Abolition Shed project, which wanted to convert two council-owned warehouses on Welsh Back into a memorial for the victims of the African slave-trade with a visitor centre to tell the history. When they approached Asher Craig to get support from Bristol City Council she basically told them to clear off and get some private funding.
Despite this slap in the face campaigners continued the fight to halt the council’s proposed development of the warehouses into more restaurants and bars and to finally do something. This persistence and enthusiasm by unpaid Bristolians who gave a fuck about the memorial, the history and the city’s reputation was clearly starting to annoy Rees and Craig.
In August 2019 Marvin angrily demanded to know “who the campaigners were” and in response to their proposals cited a record in office of being amazing, without, of course, any concrete commitment to a memorial and museum. Asher was even more furious claiming“the City was now taking this seriously” and accusing the campaigners of being “bullies”. One local historian from the Counter-Colston group commented:
“Despite the fact that it is just not true, for Asher to characterise people as ‘bullies’ who have, without ‘funding’ and political power given lots of time and energy over several years to try to get something done after decades of failure, is disgraceful.”
Needless to say the Abolition Shed project was strangled at birth by Rees, Craig and the Council as they voted to turn the warehouses into pizza restaurants whilst wasting a million quid on moving a barge to appease the developers. Another missed opportunity in Bristol’s tradition of failure.
Asher’s only response to persistent demands for a memorial was to set up a ‘roundtable’, which descended into the usual talking shop while those who wanted to get a concrete commitment from the Council were seen as ‘troublemakers’.
It is also no surprise that Marvin’s response to Colston’s statue coming down was to propose a ‘history commission’. Looking into the “true history of the city”, which sounds like another opportunity for free-loading academics to fail to do anything.
So here we are, kicking the can down the road again….
The city’s PUBLICLY FUNDED West Bristol
creative set were out in force for the opening of Channel 4’s Public School Hub
(surely ‘Creative Hub’? Ed.) on 15 January.
What a great opportunity for our
wealthy self-styled creative cognescenti to post their dull photos to Twitter
and joylessly gush about ‘diversity’ from an UPMARKETOFFICE PARTY
that you weren’t invited to.
The thrills, spills and excitement were
led by ‘Mr Diverse’ himself, the Reverend Rees, who took to Twitter to ramble
on about planks and city partners and allege that a whole NINE PER CENT
of Channel 4’s staff were working class!
Although that won’t include the keynote speaker, Channel 4’s Chief Exec, Alex Mahon, educated at St Margaret’s, a fee paying school in Edinburgh or her new ‘Head of Bristol Hub’, Sacha “Daddy’s Boy” Mirzoeff. Sacha, we learn, got his start in broadcasting when he bagged a place on “THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE MANAGEMENT TRAINING SCHEME AT THE BBC.”
Coincidentally at the time that daddy, Edward Mirzoeff CBE, was head of documentaries at, er, the BBC!
The DISDAIN and DISREGARD that the Reverend Rees and his
council boss friends hold for our elected councillors and the public was on
full display when the Reverend decided to REFUSE to answer public questions at
a Full Council Meeting because some of them may have proved HIGHLY
The Reverend’s senior managers went to work for the
mayor convincing councillors and our idiot Lord Mayor Jos “Halfwit”
Clark that ‘rules’ PREVENTED the Mayor answering public questions during
a general election. Councillors eagerly accepted this ‘advice’ from their
expert officers, apparently oblivious to the fact NOTHING in national
nor local election guidelines prevents either mayors or council leaders
answering public questions at meetings during an election.
To add insult to injury, at this very same council
meeting where council officers were busily INVENTING RULES on behalf of
their coward mayor, councillors were asked to consider an updated ‘Member –
Officer Protocol’. A document outlining how councillors and council officers
needed to treat each other with ‘RESPECT‘! Might this reasonably include
the expectation that council officers tell councillors the truth about election
However, the real kick in the teeth came the next day
when council officers used the council’s official Twitter account to PUBLISH
A PHOTO OF THE REVEREND and his cabinet sidekick, Anna Keen, promoting some
crap mayoral initiative in Southmead in direct contravention of, er, ELECTION
GUIDELINES TO COUNCIL OFFICERS. These simple guidelines state,
“councils should ‘not publish any material which, in whole or in part,
appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party’”.
How could council officers possibly not think a photo
of two senior members of the Labour Party PROMOTING their initiative in
the middle of a general election would not appear designed to affect public
support for Labour?
In a bizarre outburst of WHITE
LIBERAL GUILT, Nazi Post editor and reformed
tinpot Tory, Mike “News Bunny” Norton, has apologised to his readers
for publishing a large front page photo of the Reverend Rees that didn’t depict
the glorious leader in a pose that his supporters felt made him LOOK IMPORTANT
A highly enthusiastic front page splash with the headline “I’LL PAVE THE WAY FOR THE FUTURE”
appeared the day after the Reverend’s UNDERPOWERED
‘State of the City’ speech last month. A speech widely received in the city –
outside the pages of News Bunny’s DELUDED
PUBLICATION – as yet another wholesale departure from lived reality by the
Reverend and his team of clueless acolytes.
However, News Bunny’s cheerleading splash didn’t reflect THE VANITY OF THE REVEREND or his
efforts to create a cult of personality in the way the city’s woke race
relations industry now demand. One of them, Tracie Joliffe, an obscure NHS
middle manager, BLASTED News Bunny
on Twitter, “Was it a deliberate strategy to portray an image of the Mayor
@MarvinJRees like a criminal mug shot?”
The nutty complaint was then taken up by Sandra Gordon from the
Reverend’s official Commission for Racial Equality talking shop. She THUNDERED, “the picture of Marvin
published does not portray our city leader in a pose that reflects this article
– he was delivering a critically important speech to a packed audience in the
imposing Wills Memorial Building.”
News Bunny immediately switched to PANIC
MODE over this harmless front page close-up pic of the Reverend –
which looked nothing like a “criminal mugshot” – even comparing
it to the notorious ‘FACES OF EVIL’Nazi Post front page of 1997, and
published a FAWNING APOLOGY to
“It was not appropriate,” wailed the city’s latest ESTABLISHMENT SNOWFLAKE, “It
didn’t give Bristol Post’s readership the right message about Marvin’s position
in the city and about the importance of his role or of this address.”
Indeed not. The right message would require a photo of Rees with his head up his arse.
by CITIZENS ROBESPIERRE &
MURAT ably assisted by Dr J.I Guillotin
November’s Full Council meeting
saw an outbreak of ‘MARIE ANTOINETTE SYNDROME’ among entitled councillors in
official foppery pitted against a SEETHING MASS of unwashed sans-culottes in
the public gallery. Controversy began when Lord Mayor Jos Clark decided
(without historical precedence in Bristol or nationally) to SUSPEND PUBLIC
QUESTIONS to the Mayor due to “lack of time, because of the national
The Lord Mayor had informed public questioners by email that they could
NOT ASK QUESTIONS in the Council
Chamber and that the Mayor would not offer any verbal answers. Instead,
questioners would receive a written response within 10 working days. The
BRISTOLIAN, analysed these questions and – lo and behold – many were POTENTIALLY EMBARRASSING to the
Reverend Rees. Raising issues such as the gentrification of Cumberland Basin,
jobs for Marvin’s evangelical pals and the contra-BCC policy of hiring trade
unionist BLACKLISTING CONSTRUCTION FIRMS.
Chaos reigned in the public gallery as, first, questioners were told
that THEY COULDN’T SPEAK OR GET ANSWERS.
Then they were told that, maybe, they COULD
ASK QUESTIONS BUT NOT RECEIVE ANSWERS and then, finally, they were told
that the original ruling would stand. Breathless council flunkies dashed around
the chamber with leaflets and ‘clarifications’ as each modification was made up
on the spur in council back offices. Adding to the confusion, it also turned
out that some questioners were unaware of this ARBITRARY DECISION until they arrived.
Next, onlookers in the public gallery were confronted by BRISTOL’S COUNCILLORS SWANNING IN to
pose in Hawaiian shirts for a photographer. Why was this? It was supposed to be
a tribute to Hawaiian shirt fan Cllr Mike Langley, who had recently died.
Shirt-clad councillors posed with arms around each other before going off to
their benches and delivering 40 MINUTES
OF SPEECHES in memoriam to their deceased colleague.
Those who knew Mike – A GENUINE
SOCIALIST – were confronted with the unedifying spectacle of Tory, Blairite
Labour, Lib Dem and the rest competing to see who could deliver the most NAUSEOUS HYPOCRISY while shedding CROCODILE TEARS as most of them had
hated Mike. One councillor even announced … ‘In the words of Mike Langley,
Vive la Revolution!’ The whole SORRY
SPECTACLE resembled one of French Queen Marie Antoinette’s ‘soirees’ where
she and her courtiers would dress up to play peasant shepherds and
shepherdesses while real peasants starved outside the gates.
After their PRIVATE FANCY DRESS
PARTY, the public presence in the gallery was finally acknowledged by the Versailles
Court and farce descended into ABSURDITY.
When ‘no-question’ time was announced, ONE
PLUCKY PROLE stood up and asked why procedure had changed from what was in
the council constitution?
Lord Mayor Clark tried to shut down this unseemly interruption to her
travesty in motion while security goons twitched in anticipation on the gallery
stairwell. Their services were unnecessary, however, as the prole sat down
after shouting – to thunderous applause from angry sans-culottes in the gallery
– ‘YOU’RE A DISGRACE – YOU SHOULD
Rumours of scythes and pitchforks
being sharpened in Bristol’s outlying suburbs cannot be confirmed.
A well-placed source tells us that it’s
slowly dawning on the boss class at the Counts Louse that the Reverend Rees has
NO HOPE OF WINNING THE MAYORAL ELECTION next May and will not be serving
another term as they had anticipated. This, we learn, has resulted in some especially
long queues at Counts Louse shredding facilities as “NO ONE WANTS TO END
UP IN COURT”.
What have the Reverend, his PR bag man
“Slo” Kev Slocombe and their dubious corporate property man
“Head Boy” Molton been up to for the last few years then? Are the
Reverend’s chickens en route to their roost? Will it require ANOTHER REPORT
from STEVE BUNDRED to get to the bottom of all this?
Maybe someone at the Counts Louse should give Steve a call now?
“I WANT TO BE PRIME
MINISTER,” announced the Reverend Rees to some unfortunate young people
who somehow got trapped in a room and forced to listen to our Mayor’s
meaningless jargon-riddled drivel at the LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE last month.
What a great idea from the Reverend.
Apart from the limited intellect, the thin skin, the lack of character, an
Inability to lead, the hopelessly poor judgement, the crap Thatcherite
politics, the corporate free market obsession and the dodgy gang of right wing
evangelical mates he’s promoted, WHAT’S TO STOP THE REVEREND GETTING ELECTED
TO RUN THE COUNTRY?
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.
It is of the utmost importance that we
work together as a congregation to iterate the next iteration of my parish so
that this reiteration addresses the critical issues of our time: climate
change; inequality; Brexit but, mainly, doing something about people who
disagree with me. We, of course, must also ensure our parish partners in
business are making lots of money. It is therefore a priority that my
influence, as a parish leader, extends into inclusive, cross -organisational
work and dialogue with other city leaders and change makers. This requires a
new form of parish leadership by exciting thematic boards where I can talk
about issues at great length with members of the congregation I have personally
selected because they will do what I say no matter how stupid.
Another purpose of us parish leaders
and change makers is to regularly fly half way around the globe to listen to
speeches by exciting former global leaders scratching out a living on the
lecture circuit such as my new close friend, Al Gore. This is how change makers
can ensure a more diverse demographic is being reached and their desire to join
our iterative future parish journey enabled. Sometimes this will mean many of
the little people in the congregation will need to be entirely ignored for the
greater good of the global spiritual goals we all share. Let’s celebrate your
sacrifice the way Christ celebrated the wealth creators, the innovators and the
Often, our important shared priorities
may find me associating with vastly wealthy old men or with global
corporations. Sometimes I must join high-level trade delegations to the US with
our local business friends where I may also find time to commune with my mentor
the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor
Righteous Loon. Let’s now recall and celebrate his wisdom on the subject of
international travel, “a plane is God’s way of making you a bird”.
Indeed, it is. So what say now the negative naysayers with their clickbait of
pointless point-scoring on Twitter and 30 second soundbites of opposition from
the pews? The silence is deafening in here isn’t it? Not least because Ms
Townsend and anyone else from parish’s OFSTED ‘Needs Improvement’ Dave Spart
Academy have not been invited.
As Gracie Fields once said,
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and as Michelle Obama says, “when I’m
low I get high”. The state of this parish and my mind is strong. Woof!