Tag Archives: Racism

Rotten Comrades: Disability, Part One By the Dwarf

I had no idea that two weeks after my last article about the (bad) experience of (quite a few) black and ethnic minority staff that the council would hold a ceremony celebrating the council’s, er, success in supporting people from marginalised backgrounds (otherwise known as the ‘Stepping Up’ program). I might not have helped.

So it is with that recognition that I am hoping that the council aren’t about to announce some sort of ceremony celebrating the Council’s success in supporting people with disabilities, because today – hold on to your hats – I have quite a few things to say about how the Council treats its disabled staff, too.

The Council is bad on disability. Its worst offender is Adult Social Care (the “caring” profession), but other departments get a dishonourable mention as well. It’s not always the manager’s fault, because sometimes they want to help their staff, but pressure from more senior managers and woeful advice from HR makes it inevitable that staff don’t get the help they need.

Let’s be clear about this: the employer MUST make reasonable adjustments to help disabled staff overcome organisational, operational and physical obstacles. The Council – or at least its managers – treat any adjustment that requires them spending any of their budget on it, as unreasonable, which is quite wrong.

So what happens is that a person who has deteriorated in physical or mental ability takes some time off – perhaps they have an operation or a spell recovering from a breakdown of some kind. They consult their doctor who says, ‘I’ll write you a fit note saying you must have light duties. Here you go, they have to give it to you – it’s the Equality Act 2010.’

Except, when that person does return to work they get told: ‘we don’t have light duties.’ So the staff member goes back on the sick. They don’t have any choice, they have a disability, they aren’t as able as they were before.

A few months later, the sick pay has run out, management have popped round twice and very nicely, over a cup of tea and a digestive, given you a level one and then a level two ‘notice of unacceptable attendance’ and you have to go back to work or face ruin. The HR adviser was a very nice woman who nodded whenever you spoke and frowned in all the right places.

That HR adviser is the one who will tell you, when you get back, that because of ‘the needs of the business’ there are no light duties and that we will now need to give you a ‘stage three final review of attendance’. You reply that there is always paperwork that needs doing, or perhaps it is just visiting people’s homes that you can’t do anymore and perhaps you could do triage instead? And why are you giving me a stage three when I have done what you wanted and come back to work? But the answer is no and the stage three is just policy.

One of three things happen next: you go back to work on their terms and have a fall; you go back on the sick and they hold the stage three in your absence, dismissing you; or you phone the union and try and get what is supposed to be an ethical employer to accept its responsibilities.

There is another pitfall that unwary staff fall into that the employer is only too happy to lay. If there are no adjustments that can reasonably be done – and scepticism would be my default position on this – then medical redeployment is a reasonable adjustment. What if there are no suitable jobs? What if I get no help? Well, at the end of the redeployment, if you haven’t found another job you are then on the dole.

What sort of impairments are we talking? Cancer, musculo-skeletal injuries, fibromyalgia, depression, macular degeneration – those sorts of things. All serious and all debilitating unless you get the support you need to work with less pain; happy and productive in your occupation. You may have seen them struggling their way around City Hall, terrified of being managed out of the business.

It didn’t use to be like this. In the old days, if you had seen better days your manager would’ve done his best to look after you. Something bitter and hard-hearted has happened to the Council.

Rotten Comrades: “Equalities Champions on the March!”

Human Resources have been in a flap recently. Not only has the issue regarding underpayment of “scores” of staff (see Smiter passim) been reaching boiling point but the fur has been flying regarding racial discrimination as well.

Now, I haven’t written much about racism in The BRISTOLIAN – if at all – but issues regarding race have cropped up from time to time at the council and have been painfully slow to resolve.

The fact that we have a black mayor, that we have a duty to promote equalities, that we have an old and well-organised community of BME citizens and that it is illegal to harass or discriminate on the basis of race should make it pretty unlikely that anyone will get away with doing that sort of thing at Bristol City Council. Or at least, if someone felt like engaging in a spot of racism they would, at least, hide it really well so that they wouldn’t get their arses kicked out of their jobs.

Well, it would seem some of our more dumber managers haven’t given it much thought and have carried out their innately resentful and hate-filled agendas anyway. So much so, they have attracted the attention of Bristol City Council’s equalities ‘self led groups’ who in turn have contacted HR and the Head of Paid Service, Mike “shh-mo” Jackson. “Scores” of incidents have been quoted as having taken place and very little has been done about them.

HR is not happy at this new source of interference in their strategy of keeping a lid on everything. This has been especially galling as they have spent years controlling, diverting, and in some cases “letting go”, the more uncontrollable middle-ranking trade union reps – what I call your experienced barrack-room lawyer. Instead, cultivating the more useless and amenable trade union reps into positions of high influence, where it can all be jolly-hockey-sticks and fluffy kittens.

Anyway, a new form of barrack-room lawyer – the equalities champion – has arisen, as if from nowhere, to pick up the baton the unions have dropped. A bit of competition can only help, don’t you think? The unions don’t like this at all. It is – at least theoretically – their patch. Well, our equalities champions want to know: why have the unions been ignoring desperate people with just grievances begging them for help?

And the answer seems to have come back: well, they didn’t fill in the right form and other such useless excuses. A “frank exchange of views” reportedly broke out after that. And then, when it was asked, why are the unions not supporting staff at stage one of the grievance process, Unison’s reply was: they weren’t sure they should be doing that anymore. The exchange of views got franker.

I’ve been told the equalities people came away with the impression that the unions were in some way compromised, which I think pretty much sums it up. Which is not to say that there aren’t good barrack-room lawyers in the unions – I could count ten or so across all of them – it’s just a waste of time seeking help from the unions if you are given the wrong rep, as sad as that might sound to all of us.

The underpayment scandal update.
I had actually drafted an article announcing that management had seen sense over this and done the right thing. But then it seems a lack of common sense had intervened at the last minute.

I was told that one of our better reps was ambushed in the Count’s Louse by some of our worst reps, on his way to deliver a list of names of people prepared to sue the Council over the underpayment scandal. Our protagonist’s opponents – the three stooges (as I like to call them) – were reported to have staged a Dick Turpin style corridor intervention where they made it clear our protagonist was showing them up and it was their case now.

Our hero cried out: ‘no justice, no peace’ and brushed them aside. But he was not quick enough – the three stooges made their own offer to HR based on the sort of insane formula made up by people who don’t know anything about contract law.

In essence, they screwed it up, making the sort of offer that led to HR leaning back and rolling their eyes into their heads. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, our useless, “rotten comrades” will now no doubt flap their arms about a bit before losing interest, thus letting our hero have another go.

Well, hopefully …

AVONMOUTH COUNCILLOR IN RACISM ROW

Sit-Down-Shut-Up-600x700

Is Avonmouth Labour councillor Don “Lenin” Alexander a LIAR, MISOGYNIST and a RACIST?

At a recent Labour Party event to discuss waste issues for their manifesto for the 2020 mayoral election, Lenin openly shouted at a “difficult” female member, telling her “SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP“. This was after she raised the issue of the FLY INFESTATION at Avonmouth and the conduct of the regulatory bodies responsible, Bristol City Council and the Environment Agency.

This, however, is not the first time Lenin has managed to INSULT MINORITIES. When he recently appeared on the council’s Public Safety Committee, responsible for licencing taxis, committee members were shocked when Lenin told a muslim taxi driver that he couldn’t have tinted windows in his taxi because it might ENCOURAGE TERRORISTS!

 Shouldn’t this revolting little shit be in the Tory Party?

WOOLLEY WANKER AND THE FAKE NEWS FACTORY

The Reverend meets Woolley Wanker earlier this year. But no one knows who leaked that private Facebook post to Wanker.

As the Reverend heads towards the end of the second year of his car crash term in office, he’s increasingly resorting to calling in favours from friends to silence the mounting number of his critics, not least within his own party, by making WILD ACCUSATIONS of racism.

On 17 November community radio station, BCFM’s Politics Show ran an embarrassing item regarding the Reverend’s father and his antics in St Paul’s in the 1980s. The Politics Show had originally attempted to run the item on 10 November but BCFM bosses PULLED it after the Reverend got wind of it and directly intervened with the station’s bosses.

When the item ran the following week, the calm and collected Reverend told the show the item was “RACIST MUDSLINGING from a racist mudslinging show”. Although there was no discernible racism in the item beyond the fact that the main protagonists were black.

In the same week, on the 13 November, on a PRIVATE local Labour Party Facebook group, Mal Sainsbury,a female Labour activist, to mark the anniversary, posted a historical account of suffagette Theresa Garnett assaulting Winston Churchill in 1909 with a HORSEWHIP at Temple Meads Station .

Mal then invited readers to join her on a demo OPPOSING CUTS at the Council House with the ill-advised rejoinder, “Please join us and bring your metaphorical horsewhip to lick our Mayor and Councillors into shape!”

The Reverend – not unreasonably considering he’s a black man and the role of the horsewhip in slavery – took OFFENCE at this remark and objected in the comments to the post. It was then agreed that the Reverend and the activist would resolve the issue, which had obvious hallmarks of a CLUMSY ERROR rather than RAMPANT HATE SPEECH, privately.

So far, so reasonable. However, fast forward a week and a FAKE NEWS article mysteriously appears on the national Operation Black Vote website under the byline of its boss, Simon Woolley “Wanker”, and headlined, “Labour party must expel Bristol’s racist members”. Coincidentally, Woolley Wanker was a MENTOR to the Reverend at the start of his political career and regularly writes puff pieces about the Reverend on his tedious Blairite website.

A cursory reading of Wanker’s article revealed that he’d been LEAKED some partial, selected and incomplete quotes from the Mal’s private Facebook post. Woolley therefore failed to mention the suffragette context in which her horsewhipping quote appeared.

However, despite only having been SPOONFED a couple of incomplete and conveniently incendiary lines from a private post devoid of all context, this didn’t stop batshit crazy Woolley Wanker calling on Labour Party bosses to “purge the party of its racists”, smearing an individual as well a section of Bristol’s Labour Party opposing Rees’s Tory cuts agenda in Bristol.

Woolley Wanker’s rant continued, “As a matter of urgency Labour party head office must SUSPEND its racist members in Bristol until a investigation is undertaken, and SANCTION those who have supported such appalling rhetoric.”

So not only should an activist who happens to vigorously oppose the Reverend’s shite politics be thrown out of the Labour Party over a poor choice of metaphor but any member who in any way defended her against OBV’s scurrilous FAKE NEWS accusations should also be thrown out as a racist too!

A social media storm naturally followed, stirred up by supporters of the Reverend and Woolley Wanker and with Mal at the centre being subjected to HARSH public accusations of being a racist on the basis of Wanker’s fake news. Mischievious Labour right-wingers piled in too, using the opportunity to attempt to smear Corbynites and anti-cuts activists in the local Labour Party with racism.

Even Alex “Half Baked” Raikes, queen of the local race relations scene and boss of publicly funded SARI, paid by us to deal with SERIOUS RACIST INCIDENTS, waded in to this overblown internal party row. Urging people to complain to the local Labour Party, “the more who write. The better. I’m planning some work with them due to this institutional racism and race hate speech. It’s so cancerous,” she thundered. Apparently perfectly happy to use public money and resources on any old fake news bullshit she discovers on Facebook to assist her friend, the Reverend.

We predict a lot more fake news bullshit as the 2020 mayoral election approaches. Be sure to keep an eye out for any RACIST WITCHHUNTS aimed at anti-cuts activists and Corbyn supporters in the local Labour Party as the Reverend attempts to get reselected in 2019 to run again for mayor in 2020 to deliver another four years of crappy Tory austerity.

Let us know if you spot any fake racism stories.

BIJAN EBRAHIMI, THE IPCC AND THE DISGRACED CHIEF CONSTABLE

A warm glow of VIRTUE SIGNALLING embraces Bristol as the IPCC finally gets around to releasing their report on the Bijan Ebrahimi murder four years ago. Bijan was beaten to death and set alight by his neighbour in Broomhill, Lee James, in July 2013.

The brutal murder happened after police from Broadbury Road Police Station had IGNORED Iranian, Bijan’s, complaints of racism from his neighbours for over SEVEN YEARS. Police officers treating the life of a working class, disabled man on one of our estates with absolute contempt.

Who gives a fuck about Broomhill and the people who live there? That was the clear message from the city’s authorities in 2013, with the council and voluntary organisations also notable for a LACK OF EFFORT on behalf of Bijan when he needed them.

Police treatment of Bijan in the seven years leading up to his murder, concludes the IPCC’s Commissioner Jan Williams who fronted this remarkably slow and unincisive investigation into Avon & Somerset’s conduct, had ‘‘all the hallmarks of RACIAL BIAS‘.

While, apparently, not being actually racist, conveniently meaning nobody in the force is a racist who can be brought to book. A bizarre conclusion further borne out by Avon & Somerset’s misconduct hearings against 17 staff closely involved in the case, all of which concluded there was “NO EVIDENCE OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION” by our police.

The sense of an empty virtue signalling public relations exercise being conducted by the IPCC and Avon & Somerset is further enhanced by the VAGUE and CONTENT-FREE statements from our establishment-friendly Chief Constable, Andy “Yes Man” Hayman and the bankrupt doughnut vendor turned Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Sue Mountstevens.

Jan Williams, IPCC

Yes Man has assured the Nazi Post “that the police moved quickly to look at what they did wrong, and have already implemented changes”. Although the detail of these “changes” is conveniently WITHELD from us. We do know, however, that the “changes” didn’t consist of the firing of up to 17 RACISTS operating with impunity out of Broadbury Road Police Station in 2013.

Mountstevens was similarly vague, assuring Nazi Post readers she was “confident there would not be a repeat” and claiming, “we have learned from this and the Chief Constable and I must ensure that a tragic event like this does not happen again.” Although, yet again, any detail or explanation as to why there won’t be a repeat is mysteriously LACKING from Mountstevens statement. So what has Mountstevens LEARNED? And what has Yes Man actually done to CHANGE anything?

Inexplicable “changes” accompanied by aimless virtue signalling and bland positive public relations messaging is in STARK CONTRAST to the actions of Avon & Somerset’s former Chief Constable, Nick Gargan. Gargan, a liberal reformer, was in charge of the force in 2013 at the time of the racist murder until he was effectively SACKED in 2015 by Mountstevens with the help of, er, IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams.

Leaving public relations considerations to the establishment wankers and second-rate careerists, Gargan immediately got stuck into the CORRUPT and RACIST culture of Broadbury Road Police Station in 2013. Thanks to his actions four officers at Broadbury Road were charged with misconduct in public office and two were convicted and finally imprisoned by 2016. All four were dismissed from the force.

Gargan also had a further TWELVE police officers – including sergeants and inspectors – lined up for disciplinary action by early 2014. Indeed, so keen was Gargan to discipline the RACISTS and SCUMBAGS in his force he formally complained to the IPCC’s Jan Williams regarding the ridiculous length of time her investigation was taking as it was delaying him from taking action against racists and incompetents.

Within months of this, Gargan was SUSPENDED and being INVESTIGATED by, er, the IPCC’s Jan Williams for  ‘inappropriate behaviour towards female officers and staff’. Sixteen months later after a thorough fishing expedition and witch hunt, Williams finally trumped up some charges for Gargan around a series of PETTY and UNRELATED allegations of sharing information with his partner by email and using his work mobile phone to send personal text messages.

These charges were put before an independent disciplinary panel that found that NONE of these actions had done any harm to the force and did not justify dismissal. Indeed, the disciplinary panel confined the majority of its criticisms to the conduct of the IPCC’s Jan Williams who didn’t seem to think she had a CONFLICT OF INTEREST in conducting an investigation into someone who had formerly complained about her USELESS and painfully SLOW investigation into a major racist incident.

Gargan was found guilty of eight counts of misconduct, none of which related to the original allegations against him and the independent disciplinary panel concluded he should be issued a WARNING LETTER. At this point the thuggish Police Federation and elements within Avon and Somerset – and across policing generally – who hated Gargan’s efforts to modernise his force stepped in demanding Gargan had to go.

Nick Gargan

He was eventually FORCED OUT when our piss-weak Police and Crime Commissioner, bankrupt doughnut vendor Sue Mountstevens, sided with the old school police reactionaries and withdrew her confidence in Gargan.

With the departure of Gargan, the Ebrahimi investigation was toned down and slowed down further and the BROADBURY ROAD TWELVE Gargan had identified for the chop were LET OFF after Avon & Somerset’s disciplinary panel concluded at internal misconduct hearings that there was “no evidence of racial discrimination”! Instead Avon & Somerset officially announced a “range of outcomes” from these disciplinaries, including two officers receiving final written warnings. That’s shown the racists!

Now, a further two years later, up pops the RANCID and INCOMPETENT IPCC Commissioner Jan Williams with her empty-headed report and PR effort and we’re suddenly assured that everything at Avon & Somerset is absolutely fine now due to a series of INEXPLICABLE and CONFIDENTIAL culture changes within the force.  Meanwhile senior Avon & Somerset officers are now on the BBC rambling about “unconscious racism”. What can it all mean?

The cover-up is strong in this one …

Told you so … READ THE BRISTOLIAN’S EXPOSE OF THE IPCC, JAN WILLIAMS AND NICK GARGAN FROM 2015.