The city’s political class and self-styled ‘leaders’, with strings openly being pulled by the Society of Merchant Venturers, continue to undermine any chance of memorialising the city’s links to the slave trade. Any site proposed for a memorial over the last seven years has been knocked back by the mayor who has chosen to prioritise boozy food halls and gastropubs as his legacy.
One way to get around the mayor and the city’s ragbag of crap ‘leaders” intransigence is to get a site for a memorial agreed in the forthcoming Local Plan. Potential sites available in the centre include: the Old Seaman’s Chapel (SA403) on Royal Oak Avenue on the corner of Queen Square and Prince Street, ideal for an abolition museum and history centre; 16 Narrow Quay (SA404), the empty space between Arnolfini and the YHA, ideal for a memorial garden and The Grove Car Park (BDA0801) by the Thekla, a, potentially large space to develop.
Details of the sites are in the document and all you need to do is respond to the forthcoming Local Plan consultation and request that each site is designated for “Community Facilities, in particular a museum exploring the history of slavery and it’s abolition from a Bristol viewpoint.”
Simple. Go tell the city’s useless self-serving ‘leaders’ what you want!
‘How does local media serve local politics in Bristol?’ enquires “Meejah” Max Thrower, recently appointed political assistant to the Green councillor group. It’s the title, that’s just hit our newsdesk, of his recent dissertation for an MA in Political Communications from Goldsmiths College, London, a hotbed of fashionable post-modern drivel.
The first twenty pages of the forty-page effort are therefore inconsequential academic gobbledegook that even Goldsmiths’ tutors probably skipped reading judging by the amount of uncorrected typos twisting any vague bit of meaning in there.
The second section is where the action is. Featuring interviews with self-styled local experts like BristolCobblers’(surely Cable? Ed) part-timer Neil “Professional Bristolian” Maggs; the Nazi Post’s Tristan “Gruppenführer” Cork; Martin “Latte” Booth, Editor, Bristol 24/7; Alex “All At” Seabrook, a BBC Local Democracy Reporter (LDR) working out of the Post and Cobbler’s not-editor “Door” Matty Edwards. Also along for the ride were The Bristolian, the Greens’ Carla “Head Girl” Denyer plus a rare appearance from mayoral bag carrier “Slo” Kev Slocombe.
After a risible quote from the Press Gazette claiming these indistinguishable liberal left centrists of our local press have created “a media oasis“ in Bristol, it’s not long before our media stars are fighting like rats in a sack. “The issue of funding models and the supposed influence of corporate interests has created tension between media outlets,” and, “the tension between outlets was most apparent between The Bristol Cable and Bristol 24/7 and the way that people viewed their funding,” we’re told.
“According to Neil [“Professional Bristolian”, Cobblers], Bristol 24/7 received money from a tobacco company that they used to fund a community reporter scheme. Martin [“Latte”, 24/7] described this advertising as a ‘necessary evil” and would love to see them not accept any advertising.”
“The incident was called out by The Bristol Cable, who Tristan [“Gruppenführer”, Nazi Post], cheerily pointed out “get most of their money from philanthropic billionaires”.
“According to Martin [“Latte”, 24/7], The Cable’s grants allow them to “loudly criticize us [Bristol 24/7] for daring to accept advertising”.
And on it goes: “People were also critical of Bristol 24/7, with Tristan saying that they “get their money from… a handful of rich people in Bristol”. [“Slo”] Kev believed that financial loss means they must be “bankrolled by a group of businessmen” that run bars and restaurants. Tristan noted that Bristol 24/7 have been called out in the past for “writing favourable things to do with pubs in Easton”.”
Adding to a sense of dodgy money washing around our gormless local press: “Martin [“Latte”] stated that Bristol 24/7 is a community interest company, although he didn’t know the details and liked “to just get on with the journalism side of things”.”
Neil [“Professional Bristolian”, Cobblers] then calls out his Cobbler’s colleagues as “Marxist in their origins and… a bit pompous and self-righteous with that at times”. Surely more to do with being middle class twats than anything to do with Marxism? Or is this Goldsmiths College style Marxism we’re talking here?
Rounding off a thoroughly undignified episode, Local Democracy Reporter Alex “All At” Seabrook – Marxist proclivities unknown – revealed that the thought of going out and speaking with actual Bristolians rather than communicating with middle class people on Twitter was “horrifying”.
But last word to “Slo” Kev Slocombe (who should be a Marxist) hitting nails on heads: “[The Cable is] a vanity organization driven by mysterious tech money,” he explained.
In future, do look out for the local press complaining about politicians “squabbling”!
The dissertation’s solution to this local press hot mess is the completely shit idea of state funded media for Bristol. Probably the fastest route to creating the most dull ,unreadable crap imaginable. Censoriously micro-managed by some hideous unelected committee of wealthy establishment tosspots with a Merchant Venturer in the chair.
They will definitely not be Marxists.
Wanna read ‘How does local media serve local politics in Bristol‘? Drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll send you a copy.
Gotta a dissertation about Bristol? Send us a copy and we’ll give you the feedback your academic tutors won’t!
The Bristol Beacon’s establishment bailout continues apace with the Society of Merchant Venturers giving the council’s outsourced money pit a £50k handout in January.
The luvvies did ten times better than most other charities funded by the Venturers. For instance, rape trauma victims got £4.7k; services to help people rebuild their lives following a stroke got £2k and teenagers with learning disabilities got £2k.
Maybe it helps that Bristol Music Trust, handed the Beacon for a pittance by the council, has super-wealthy Merchant Venturer and all-round shit boss, Andrew Nisbet on the board?
Worth around £500m, Merchant Venturer weirdo Andrew Nisbet of Nisbets PLC, a catering supplier in Avonmouth, is one of Bristol’s and the UK’s richest men.
No surprise to learn, then, that this super-rich slave trade cultist fired over 400 staff during lockdown. Despite Nisbets trousering £9m in government Covid cash and the firm’s hard-pressed directors sharing £2.3m that year.
Employment websites Glassdoor and Indeed reveal few positives about the firm. Recurring themes at the Avonmouth warehouse operation are low pay, monitoring of loo breaks, blame culture, bullying, nepotism and unachievable sales targets. All ignored by a useless HR team.
Comments from former staff include: “This place is the worst by a long mile. Surprised they’ve not been exposed like Sports Direct”; “KEEP AWAY! UNLESS YOU WANT TO WORK IN A MODERN DAY SWEAT SHOP!”; Absolute Joke of a company to work for!”; “WORST JOB EVER!”
On the bright side, Key West Holdings (Nisbets’ parent company) generously donated £1.5m to the Nisbet Trust, the family charitable trust. This money was then handed to charities around Bristol.
Let’s hope Nisbet’s filthy cash from misery is worth it.
Since July last year an NHS Integrated Care Board has been established across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester but not BANES. Because why use the existing West of England administrative area when you can make up another new area instead?
This latest NHS reform, according to their PR, will “bring the NHS together locally to improve population health and establish shared strategic priorities within the NHS”.
Six people, with no explanation of how or why they were appointed or what they’re being paid by us, are serving as non-executive directors on this board to “act in the best interests of patients and the public”.
Those secretly selected to act in our best interests include a Merchant Venturer, UWE boss and overpromoted chiropodist Steve West; Business West bigwig Jaya “Cha-cha-cha” Chakrabarti and a random woman from Wales, Ellen Donovan, who explains she has a “good track record as a Senior Executive in product development”. Neglecting to explain that a lot of that experience was at Debenhams, which went into, er, liquidation for the second and last time in 2020.
Little surprise, then, that this board stuffed with private sector cheerleaders has selected a private sector solution funded by international venture capital for their first initiative to support our local NHS.
Welcome to ‘NHS@Home’, a so-say ‘hospital at home’ scheme where the elderly are discharged from hospital to free up bed space and left to fend for themselves with the aid of a magic box of tech courtesy of leading ‘virtual ward providers’, private firm Doccla.
Far from working in the best interests of patients and the public, however, Doccla are working for profit and to pay back the large capital investment they’ve received from venture capital and private equity firms. What could possibly go wrong?
Conveniently, our Integrated Care Board has deemed trials of their tech solution a success and are now throwing millions at it across the region they’ve invented.
Shame, then, that word on the ground from NHS workers implementing the tech is that it was far from a success. They say that the elderly, unsurprisingly, struggled to understand how to work the Doccla box of tricks and require a huge level of in-person support that simply isn’t there.
In the brave new world of private equity involvement in the NHS, do we just have to cross our fingers and hope no one dies as public money turns to private profit?
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’.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll let you know if you’ve got a space by the end of the week.
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