Tag Archives: PricewaterhouseCoopers



Meet Merchant Venturer Trevor Smallwood, a very wealthy man indeed. Like a number of Venturers, Smallwood obtained the majority of his wealth courtesy of Thatcherite privatisation policies and ended his career as chairman of First Group, who count Bristol’s buses among a portfolio of public transport service mediocrities run for shareholder benefit. Smallwood, from a fairly ordinary background, has used his wealth to climb the social ladder and has been the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and the Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers, the top job at the racist cult.

2009: Smallwood finally loses in the Court of Appeal and is forced to pay £2.7m in Corporation Tax to the Inland Revenue after attempting to dodge the tax via a Trust Fund – of which he was a beneficiary – that had been temporarily based in Mauritius. The tax was due on a £6m sale of shares in First Group held by the trust that were sold in 2001. His tax advisors at the Bristol office of big four accountants Price Waterhouse Cooper had encouraged Smallwood’s trust to sell these shares only after its governance had been transferred to Mauritius in a transparent attempt for the share sale to come under the jurisdiction of Mauritian tax law rather than British. A tax dodge that publicly and spectacularly failed.

2014: UWE Bristol awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration to Trevor Smallwood OBE DL in recognition of his, er, “entrepreneurial and charity work”. Tax dodging, apparently, being no bar to gaining the highest honour from one of our city’s universities.


So does it come as any surprise that, also, in 2014 UWE Bristol’s Vice Chancellor, over-promoted podiatrist Prof Steve West, became a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers? But what on earth for? Why would a leader of an allegedly progressive institution wish to join a racist organisation best known among the majority of progressives in the city for openly lying to generations of children for sanctifying and sanitising their hero, the slave trader Edward Colston?

What’s in this bizarre arrangement for West exactly? What’s in it for the public he’s supposed to serve? And how much longer are UWE staff and students going to tolerate their boss hanging out with racists and tax dodgers? His position as both a Venturer and head of a higher education institution that aspires to be anti-racist is surely untenable? Or, like tax dodging, is being a member of a racist cult a cause for public celebration and honours when you’re part of Bristol’s self-styled elite?

“Do as we say. Not as we do.”


The (E)X Boss Files

News comes in that our old friend ex-copper JON ‘MAD’ HOUSE has fucked up again. House, you might recall, briefly pitched up in Bristol at the height of the profligate Council House reign of gag-happy Bradford Sun Queen Jan Ormondroyd, when she anointed him as her Deputy Chief Exec on a ridiculous six-figure salary to play a DAFT TOUGH GUY enforcer role.

Alas, all Mad House ever enforced was his own speedy exit after the application of his copper’s intellect resulted in a series of blunders and embarrassments – and at least one mini-riot in Queen Square during the 2010 World Cup – too enormous for even the half-blind and braindead Sun Queen to ignore.

Jon House: NOT MISSEDArriving in Bristol in 2008 after being headhunted from corpse-looting South Yorkshire Police, House was off again in 2010 to Cardiff where the local political idiots gave him the job of Chief Executive of their city council.

Now House is making yet another fast exit after yet more COSTLY BLUNDERS – it appears his elegant new local authority staff structure, designed to save lots of money for the citizens of Cardiff, resulted in £1m extra a year to council tax payers – while his senior management team have all pocketed pay rises of up to an incredible 73%!

Just days after House was forced to throw in the towel, further ignominy for the hapless copper came when a report by the Welsh Local Government Association into his basket-case council identified “SIGNIFICANT FAILINGS dating back over years.

So where’s Mad House off to next then? Notorious consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, of course, to advise senior local authority managers, foolish enough to pay large sums of cash for the expert advice of an officially-designated idiot on how to, err… Save money!!

The simplest way to save money might be not to employ the likes of House?