A surprise YouTube video announcement was made today as a hitherto unknown ‘Dave’ stepped forward and declared himself as interim elected Mayor of Bristol, declaring his intention to ‘restore democracy’ to the benighted city.
‘Far too long have we’ve languished under the oppression of the dictator in charge of Bristol City Council,’ said Dave. ‘The state of crisis in the city is intolerable. I call on BCC’s departmental managers to immediately transfer their loyalty to me, and in return I’ll grant those who do a pardon once I take office.’
Consternation at this announcement ensued at College Green, where the Revd. Rees shortly appeared with his response in a fanfare in front of the Counts Louse, flanked by his redoubtable deputy Asher Craig. ‘I will not stand down to this impostor,’ he said. ‘I alone was elected to implement Tory austerity in Bristol, not this “Dave”. I’ve done the job Tessa [Theresa May] gave me well. It’s nothing but an unconstitutional coup organised by my persecutors: those allegedly-homeless racist vagabonds in the Bear Pit and disgusting anarchists working together.’
Dave however claimed to have rather received the tweeted support of other council Mayors including the new Mayor of South Kensington Council, Steve Bannon, and from Bristol’s Merchant Venturers via Mayor-No-More George Ferguson. ‘This proves that not only UK councils but also the international business community is solidly behind me,’ he said. ‘Donald Trump added his tweet of support this afternoon.’
Bristol’s city centre homeless were asked for their opinion of the crisis. ‘Can you give me your coat?’ said a shivering man in a blanket down Broadmead. ‘I’m fucking freezing to death out here.’
The selection process for the Labour mayoral candidate in 2020 continues to be gripped by BUREAUCRATIC INERTIA. As nobody, it seems, in the entire Labour movement still has any idea how the trigger ballot process they’re proposing to use to decide if the Reverend runs again or not actually works or when it might take place.
However, we do now have some idea about the Labour-affiliated organisations who will DECIDE whether the Reverend Rees gets a free run at re-election next year or whether he will need to go through a proper and, likely, very tricky ONE MAN ONE VOTE selection process within his own party.
We’re reliably informed that 25 Labour WARD BRANCHES made up of members have a vote each in the trigger ballot; 15 SOCIALIST SOCIETIES have a vote and 77 TRADE UNION AFFILIATES have a vote. Members, many of whom oppose the Reverend, are therefore outgunned THREE TO ONE by the votes of faceless trade union bureaucrats. If this ballot ever happens, the result seems a foregone conclusion.
Meanwhile the Bristol Labour Party, encouraged by Momentum campaigners, has forged ahead with an “open” selection process for its candidates for councillor. Although all might not have gone quite to plan after a well-organised LGBT LOBBY helped out by right wing DARREN “DIPSHIT” JONES SUPPORTERS in Bristol North West managed to get two female socialists and opponents of Rees’s Tory austerity agenda REMOVED from the councillor list for “transphobia”.
Naturally, the usual ragbag of Blairites, social climbers and former Lib Dems who tend to make up the majority of Labour’s council candidates have all been waved through for selection as candidates.
The question on the lips of many Labour members in Bristol – “How the fuck do we get rid of the Reverend Rees”? – remains UNANSWERED by the Bristol Labour Party less than 18 months before the next mayoral election.
Members have been told that any selection process for their mayoral candidate in 2020 will be subject to a ‘TRIGGER BALLOT’. A process where affiliated organisations such as constituency parties, trade unions and other largely mysterious and unknown Labour Party interest groups get a vote to decide whether there should a selection process or whether the Reverend Rees should get another shot at mayor UNCHALLENGED.
Many local Labour members are unhappy with the trigger ballot process, claiming that a decision on whether to have a selection process should be ONE MEMBER ONE VOTE and not left to the Labour Party’s labyrinthine bureaucracies and rule book to decide.
Unfortunately members appear to have LOST that battle already. Instead, local members are left scratching their heads at the nature of this ballot they do not want after trigger ballot rules, largely used to challenge sitting MPs, were CHANGED at the last Labour Conference. Now, nobody seems sure what that means for a mayoral trigger ballot in Bristol.
Local Labour members have been told that the local party and its regional office is “seeking clarification on what the changes to the trigger ballot process mean for the Mayoral selection”. But the clock is now running down FAST.
Will the Reverend get returned to office due to administrative incompetence and bureaucratic inertia against the wishes of the majority of Labour members in Bristol?
A certain UNISON branch secretary was spotted lurking in the depths of City Hall last autumn.
UNITE reps – having been tipped off that devious shenanigans were in the offing from their opposite numbers in UNISON – were posted at strategic locations to intercept and follow him. The ensuing sneaking around was likened to something that might be achieved by Japan’s finest ninja assassins. Others likened it to a chase scene from Benny Hill.
Regardless, the upshot of it was that UNITE managed to find the location of a secret meeting with the Mayor. A meeting that they had every right to attend but the invites to which the UNISON branch secretary had mysteriously forgotten to send to UNITE! The branch secretary had a duty as “employee side secretary” to invite all the attendees but had conveniently forgotten to do so when an important discussion was to take place.
A discussion concerning the fate of thousands of employees and many services that might face cuts. It has been alleged that said secretary wanted time alone with the mayor to finesse things to his union’s advantage. It’s now being reported to us that shortly after this shoddy episode, the UNISON branch secretary now no longer holds the post of employee side secretary.The post is instead held by UNITE.
It’s also has been reported that UNISON is now finding it difficult to arrange meetings with the mayor. Strange, because the mayor seems to be meeting every Tom, Dick and Harry that asks. Only last week the mayor met with a couple of commies from an anti-austerity group that were hanging around trying to sell a few copies of the Morning Star. They were whisked inside and afterwards said the meeting had been “quite productive”.