Tag Archives: Society of Merchant Venturers

ANGEL OF DEATH FUNERAL WATCH

Hoyle
“The Venturers gave me this one for being a good racist”

Who was this leading the service at Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral? Step forward Dr David “Overseer” Hoyle, Dean of Westminster Abbey and formerly Dean of Bristol Cathedral.

A man who unapologetically organised ceremonies for schoolchildren celebrating Edward Colston at Bristol Cathedral until 2017. Hoyle even declined to stop doing this when he met with activists from Counter Colston in 2016, flanked by the, then, Merchant Venturer John “Ignoble” Savage who styled himself a ‘Canon’ of Bristol Cathedral. 

Hoyle and his Merchant Venturer friends’ excuse for continuing to run weird occult ceremonies celebrating one of the architects of the slave trade in a christian cathedral was that they were not ‘celebrating’ Colston. Even though Colston Girls’ School who attended Hoyles’ ceremonies every year always described Hoyles’ sicko event as ‘a celebration’.

Just the man to run the Queen’s funeral then.

ST MONICA TRUST: MICK LYNCH vs THE VENTURERS

ST MONICA TRUST UPDATE

The fight at St Monica Trust against fire and rehire and cuts to pay and conditions continues. Management have refused to meet for negotiations and so the workers have been left with no other option but to stand up for themselves and strike.

Five days of strike action have been announced starting tomorrow, Wednesday 29th June.

*  Wednesday 29th June at 7.30am for 24 hours

*  Saturday 2nd July at 7.30am for 24 hours* Tuesday 5th July at 7.30am for 24 hours

*  Sunday 10th July at 7.30am for 48 hours (ending at 7.30am Tuesday 12th July)

We will be holding pickets on these days which you are encouraged to come along and support. They will run at the 4 homes on each of the strike days at the following times:

*  7:00am – 3:00pm

*  8:00pm – 10:00pm

At these addresses:

*  Sandford Station Retirement Village, Sandford, Winscombe, BS25 5AD

*  Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3TW    

*  6 Charlton Rd, Bristol, BS10 6NG

*  Trajectus Way, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 2GL                           

If you’d like to know where your support is best placed, check out the public pledge sheet and put your name down for some of the slots. Green ones are the best priority to go to then yellow then orange, but your support is welcome at any!

Public day of action – Saturday 2nd July

On Saturday, following the 7am pickets, there is a rally in support of the strikes at the Greenway Centre in Southmead which is a short walk from the Westbury Fields site. We have a Facebook event page with all the info here: Facebook Event

The rally will start at 11:30am in the sports hall with a variety of speakers from the trade union movement including UNISON’s regional secretary, Joanne Kaye. They will give short speeches in support of the action and share stories of other workers who are standing up and fighting. This will be followed by some food.

A minibus with around 15 spaces will be put on to transport members from Sandford Station. Striking members will be prioritised but if you want to be on the reserve list should there be extra space then contact Joshua.connor@bristolunison.co.uk and we’ll let you know if you’ve got a space by the end of the week.

Strike fund

The current cost of living crisis will have an impact on our ability to undertake effective strike action. It’s going to be vital that we’re able to support our members, many of whom are low paid. We have a healthy fighting fund but the more available, the longer and harder we can fight.

Union branches are encouraged to donate to our strike fund. You can make your own request to your branch committee or use this letter from our branch secretaries to make the request. We’d of course welcome donations from any other groups or individuals if you can afford to. Donations can be made by transfer to the following details with the reference SMT and will be split between the two branch hardship funds.

Account name: UNISON South West
Account number: 49021079
Sort Code: 60-83-01

Finally, if you wish to share a message of support with our members then please either post on twitter with #StMonicaStrike or send an email to Bristol.unison@bristolunison.co.uk

In solidarity,

Jack

Jack Horwood (he/him)

Area Organiser | Press & Digital
UNISON South West

southwest.unison.org.uk

ST MONICA TRUST STRIKE DATES ANNOUNCED

st monica
St Monica: patron saint of picket lines

Attention comrades!

Care workers at the St Monica Trust, the notorious Merchant Venturer-run care home operation, have announced the dates of their first wave of strikes:

They will be on strike for 24 hours on June 29, July 2 and July 5

They will be on strike for 48 hours 10 – 11 July

The workers are going on strike as the management of the care homes attempt to ‘fire and rehire’ them by ripping up existing contracts and replacing them with worse ones. The wealthy Venturers plans include substantial cuts to pay by reducing night and weekend enhancements; slashing weekly hours and removing paid breaks.

Details on picket lines, strike funds etc to follow

Victory to the workers! Down with the capitalist scum Merchant Venturers pigs!

VENTURERS TARGET LOW PAID COVID HEROES

st monica
St Monica: Bristol’s new patron saint of class warfare

The St Monica Trust, one of the city’s most notorious “providers of retirement accommodation and care in a range of different settings” has started an all-out assault on their low paid care workers who worked throughout covid for the wealthy charity in appalling conditions.

The Trust is pretty much a front for the racist slave trade cult, The Society of Merchant Venturers, who manage a “substantial endowment on behalf of the charity” as well as providing six trustees to the charity. Among these trustees are some of the cult’s most notorious scumbags, including former Masters such as Ross “Arsehole” Ancell and Tim “Dross” Ross as well as former chair of Green Capital Andrew “The Pie Man” Garrard.

These institutional racists’ are using the despicable practice of ‘fire and rehire’ on their hard-working low paid care workers. Their plans include substantial cuts to pay by reducing night and weekend enhancements; slashing weekly hours and removing paid breaks.

The wealthy toerags also propose targeting other terms and conditions including sick pay and are looking to change shift patterns, which will play havoc with childcare arrangements by making long days almost impossible.

Finally, different jobs will be merged into a generic “customer service” role with people expected to do work they never signed up for and perform tasks they aren’t trained to do.

The Venturers, who proudly list Cullum “Cunt” McAlpine, a notorious trade union buster as a member, have also been highly resistant to recognising and working with trade unions over their scurrilous plan. They have been especially keen to identify any workers who may be members of a union.

Rest assured, unions are planning a robust and public response to this right wing anti-worker, anti-union pile on from the racist scum Venturers and any of their revolting little helpers at St Monica’s Trust.

Stay tuned

Downs Committee Statement March 21st 2022

The vile Merchant Venturer creatures on the Downs Committee: selfish; anti-democratic; unaccountable; dishonest; rude; arrogant; ignorant; misleading and stupid …

Here’s the full statement from Green Councillor, Christine Townsend made to the Downs Committee today:

As stated in January this committee must be served by the Nolan Principles, current composition prevents this. The Society of Merchant Venturers is an unincorporated, undemocratic, invite only, private members’ club whose position derives from ongoing environmental extraction and the historic horror of the TST [Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade] that saw human exploitation, kidnap and murder for private gain. The legacy of the TST is structuralised throughout present day society and personified in Merchant Venturer presence on this committee. Despite Freed claiming that the Merchant Venturers will
follow the Nolan Principles, the statement he then read out in January ran contrary to each and every one of them: –

Selflessness – Fighting members of the public in a prolonged, unwinnable judicial review, funded by the public purse to ‘save face’ is not in the public interest.

Integrity – Merchant Venturers are on this committee by way of this undemocratic, unaccountable private members club and, by definition, are here to represent and promote that organisation’s interests

Objectivity – Freed attempts to blame Downs for People for the cost of the judicial review. But it was the Merchant Venturer dominated sub of the Downs Committee, not Downs for People, that prolonged the case even though they will have known it was hopeless. They did not concede until they were almost on the steps of the courtroom. Downs for People were pursuing the case in the public interest to safeguard the Downs, mainly at their own expense.

Accountability – This committee has repeatedly failed to engage with scrutiny from members of the public, ignored email requests for information and has to date failed to make public the amount of public money wasted attempting to fight an unwinnable judicial review. As I stand here as a democratically elected representative there remains zero public information about the total sum wasted on this failed venture.

Openness – it is not acceptable that members of the public are needing to resort to making Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulation requests to get basic information. It was necessary for Downs for People to get a disclosure order via the court to have sight of the 20 year licence they were challenging, the judge was unimpressed with the Committee’s behaviour. Needing to approach the Information Commissioner to access requested information is shameful and the antithesis of the Nolan Principles.

Honesty – Freed’s statement references ‘the court case’ the process was a judicial review – accurat language use matters. Freed referred to the history of the Downs and claims that ‘at a time when the others were making a fortune out of developing houses all around it….they bought the land specifically to stop that from happening’ This statement is factually incorrect, the Merchant Venturers purchased the land in the 17th century and sold leases for development pocketing the money and quarried large parts for private capital gain. The idea that Merchant Venturers act in a manner that benefits anyone other than themselves is ludicrous and is demonstrated in other aspects of their ‘work’. The public words of their ex-head teacher John Whitehead stated that the instinct of the Merchant Venturers is ‘self-preservation’ days after the felling of their statue mascot the enslaver Edward Colston.

Leadership – Whilst Freed promoted historical inaccuracies, myths about the history of the
involvement of the organisation with the Downs and private profit made from it, described a judicial review as a ‘court case’ the rest of the Merchant Venturers sat back silent, this is not leadership this is complicity.

THE SOCIETY OF MERCHANT NITE SPOT BOSSES


motion_i1_s4
Bristol City Council managing Covid

Bristol City Council is using council tax money and government public health handouts for Covid to, er, promote nightclubs!

£15k from the Covid Outbreak Management Fund and £15k from the council’s Growth and Regeneration budget were used last year to pay the council’s ‘Night-time Economy Advisor’. 

This year the money will come from the government Covid cash and from the council’s private sector partner, Sound Diplomacy, “an international consultancy” who are going “to develop a framework to capitalise on the cultural, social and economic benefits that night-time industries offer the city”.

Other partners in the Sound Diplomacy project include Master of the Merchant Venturers David Freed’s Deeley Freed; Merchant Venturer Marti Burgess’s Lakota nightclub; Motion nightclub; the University of Bristol; the Bedminster and City Centre BIDs and PfP Capital Limited

So who’s likely to benefit from the public money handouts that are likely to emerge from this corporate night time industry framework then?

Watch this space

THE TURDS OF TURD HALL

Turds of turd hall

All white! What a lovely picture of THE SOCIETY OF MERCHANT VENTURERS sat on their racist arses sporting self-awarded medals at Venturers Hall, Clifton. But what’s the problem with this private membership club for evil old farts with lots of money? Well, over the last few years, the venturers or their members have:

  • Prevented a corrective plaque going on the statue of their hero, Edward Colston, explaining his role in the slave trade, his religious chauvanism, his political party affiliation and how many children he murdered for money.
  • Venturer’s Trust chair Anthony Browne mysteriously quit in 2019 soon after potentially defaming anti-racist Colston campaigners.
  • Used their unelected role on the council’s Downs Committee to unlawfully allow Bristol Zoo to use the Downs as a car park. Then used a large undisclosed six figure sum of council taxpayers money to unsuccessfully defend their actions in court.
  • Provided a character reference for Alistair “Pervy” Perry in 2016, at the trial of this former Colston Girls School Headteacher, where he was convicted of indecently assaulting a girl
    from his church group in Weston-super-Mare.
  • Until 2016, arranged sick celebrations for children at their schools of Edward Colston’s life. Hosted by the Bishop of Bristol at the city’s cathedral.
  • Public sector looter, First Bus boss, Trevor “Grubby” Smallwood, received an Honorary Doctorate from UWE for “entrepreneurial and charity work”. In 2009 Smallwood had to
    pay £2.7m in Corporation Tax after attempting to dodge the tax via a trust fund he temporarily based in Mauritius. Coincidentally in 2014, UWE vice Chancellor Steve “The Chiropodist” West, became a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers.
  • Appointed Gillian “The Sewage Queen” Camm, a former Director of Wessex Water, as their “Master” last year. Returning to our turd metaphor, Ms Camm earned some of her wealth by tipping shit in our rivers.

Is it time for this gang of self-serving amoral tossers to take Colston’s advice – “Go and do thou likewise” – and drown in the docks?

‘The Merchant Venturers need to remove themselves from our governance structures, getting out of Bristol’s democracy – removed if necessary.’

Turds of turd hall
Why are these unaccountable wealthy bastards allowed to spend public money on themselves as they see fit?

Public statement to today’s Down Committee Meeting by Cllr Christine Townsend, Green Party, Southville Ward:

The Nolan Principles cannot be served with the current governance set-up of this committee despite the elected members being bound by them as the Society of Merchant Venturers are not. Nor does the Society of Merchant Venturers make any financial contribution. The Committee’s secrecy, incompetence and extravagance have, cost the Bristolian tax-payer hundreds of thousands of pounds and must now be dealt with.

The recent Judicial Review illuminated how public funds were used to defend the indefensible. The settlement demonstrated that the Committee’s licensing decisions were, as they had been warned, contrary to the purpose of the Victorian piece of legislation that this committee is bound by. Society of Merchant Venturer members led on these decisions.

The Society of Merchant Venturers have sought to involve themselves in the democratic process and influence decisions in this and other arenas which has been well publicised in recent years. The time has come for a complete overhaul of how and why public money can be used by private individuals to further their own views, interests and ideological positions. The elected representatives of the people, including the Lord Mayor, must step-up and address these now pressing issues that run contrary to the democratic society in which we are told we live.

Officers administrating this committee do so as servants of the people paid from the public purse. Yet the contortions exercised in relation to the Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations questions from Downs for People do not reflect this. Your agenda today does not include the minutes from the Governance Task and Finish Group that previous paperwork indicates apparently met on December 13th. Nor could I find a record of a meeting stated as scheduled for September 8th – Why is that? Where are these minutes? This is unacceptable.

Councillors on this committee cannot claim the role of the elected mayor lacks transparency,
openness, avoidable loss of public funds and democratic decision making, whilst simultaneously dragging their feet with inaction and inertia in relation to this committee – that would be hypocrisy of the highest order.

The Society of Merchant Venturers need to hand over the Downs and remove themselves from our governance structures, getting out of Bristol’s democracy – removed if necessary.

Only those of us with a mandate to represent the people can be in position to make decisions over how our public spaces are managed and how much public money is spent on them. It is the people who have been paying for the upkeep and development of public space, not the Society of Merchant Venturers.