Tag Archives: The Guardian

“ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE”

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The quote above was used to condemn the victims of Josef Stalin in the 1930s show trials, recently given a new lease of life by US President Donald Trump in reference to Julian Assange, independent journalist of international repute and founder of WikiLeaks.

As the South-West’s lone voice of bold, independent and uncompromising journalism, The BRISTOLIAN here makes a public editorial statement of SOLIDARITY with fellow journalist JULIAN ASSANGE, who, after having his ASYLUM at the Ecuadorian Embassy REVOKED in a CLEAR, UNPRECEDENTED BREACH of international law, is now being held in 23HR PER DAY SOLITARY confinement in Belmarsh Prison under an absurdly DRACONIAN interpretation of bail law.

Refused LEGITIMATE ACCESS to his defence lawyers, solely FOR DOING HIS JOB AS A JOURNALIST, Assange is furiously fighting extradition to face a SECRET ‘grand jury’ court in the USA, where a potential sentence of 175 YEARS for alleged ‘espionage’ awaits him.

Assange has been consistently hounded, smeared and abused in the mainstream media, simply because his organisation broke the TRUE STORY OF US WAR CRIMES COMMITTED IN IRAQ IN 2007. The Guardian and the New York Times at the time made lots of publicity (and money) from assisting his revelations. Yet both the “LIBERAL” AND CONSERVATIVE voices of mainstream media opinion have since fused into ONE SINGLE CACOPHONY OF GRUNTING PIG-HUMANS straight out of George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM.

Both Assange and CHELSEA MANNING (his heroic, principled source for exposing the 2007 mass murders) have been alternatively IGNORED, CONDEMNED, RIDICULED or DISMISSED in the mainstream press, Manning’s Trans-status notwithstanding (normally a favourite cause in the identity-politics-focused Guardian – but oddly NOT in relation to THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR PRESS FREEDOM TODAY).

The BRISTOLIAN therefore exhorts its readership to support and show full solidarity with Julian and Chelsea. For if they can come for Assange and Manning in such a way and get away with it, then ONE DAY THEY WILL COME FOR US ALL.

* The latest news from WikiLeaks, suppressed by the mainstream media, is that Assange has fallen seriously ill and is in Belmarsh Prison Hospital, thanks to his 7 year confinement in one room with no access to medical attention. We say that he should be RELEASED forthwith, and allowed to recover fully from his illness and ordeal WITHOUT FURTHER HARASSMENT OR PERSECUTION.

BRISTOL HASN’T GOT A HOMELESS PROBLEM. IT’S GOT A HOUSING DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT PROBLEM

Bristol Labour’s new housing boss, Paul “Wolfie” Smith lets slip a few very INTERESTING FACTS in a piece of shameless self-promotion he’s written for the Guardian:

“Bristol has a real problem with homelessness, with more than 300 households in temporary accommodation at a net cost to the council tax payer of £800,000 a year; at the same time 550 council homes are empty, losing rent of £2m and £700,000 in council tax. “

Er, sorry, come again? We’ve been handing around a £1,000 a month to private sector temporary housing ‘specialists’ for each homeless family – at a cost he alleges of £800k but is likely to be much  more  – while leaving 550 council homes they could live in sat EMPTY?

Council homes that could generate almost £3m in income to the city. That’s lots of money and housing stock that we could be using to house the homeless ourselves. Instead our money’s being handed over to DODGY LOCAL BUSINESSMEN to provide a revolting, anti-human homeless service while our own housing resources are left to ROT.

Wolfie’s wrong. This city hasn’t got a homeless problem. It’s got a HOUSING MANAGEMENT PROBLEM. What the fuck is going on at Bristol City Council’s housing department? Wolfie offers us half an explanation:

“six years of austerity, service cuts, redundancies and restructures, all of which have destroyed both morale and provision”

It’s not just morale and provision that’s been destroyed, however. The concept of a social housing department that’s there to serve the public and provide support to the vulnerable has been PULVERISED.

The city’s senior housing bosses – strategic director, Alison “Three Jobs” Comley and service directors, Nick “Drooper” Hooper and Mary “Contrary” Ryan – have obsessively focused – for over six years now – on delivering Tory policies of AUSTERITY, CUTS and PRIVATISATION at the expense of their actual jobs of delivering a housing service to the public.

We’ve had these three fucking idiots systematically SACKING, DOWNGRADING and DESKILLING their workforce for over eight years now while introducing a GORMLESS CORPORATE CULTURE of privatisation, outsourcing, constant restructuring, regular office moves, ‘agile working’, management consulting, ‘demand management’, half-arsed techno solutions, useless software and IT fixes and any other PASSING MANAGEMENT FAD a well paid consultant can pass off on this trio of useful idiots.

These three bosses haven’t bothered running a housing department in the traditional sense for years. They’ve been implementing a right wing, ANTI-PUBLIC SECTOR ideology. DOWNGRADING a vital public service to the point where it’s barely viable. Try phoning (0117 922 2200) Drooper Hooper’s housing department and see if you can even get to speak to a human being.

All three need to QUIT or be SACKED. We need normal housing bosses in our housing department who can quickly provide homes fit to occupy and get families into these homes. It’s not difficult and it’s what a housing department should do. Leaving council homes EMPTY while stuffing the pockets of local businessmen with large amounts of public cash for shit housing is nothing short of a criminal enterprise.

The current housing management needs to go and go now. They’ve fucked up our city up and now they need to fuck off.

SLAVERY PROTEST SPUN BY COLSTON’S SCHOOL AND MEDIA

Headteacher Alistair “Snooty” Perry from COLSTON GIRLS SCHOOL recently created a media storm after sending a letter to parents suggesting that pupils had been “approached by strangers in a forthright manner.

He went on to say that his school would be “reviewing our policies for student movement around the local area, including Year 11 leaving the school at lunchtime” after a protest at the annual ‘celebrations’ for slave-trader EDWARD COLSTON on 7 November at BRISTOL CATHEDRAL.

Since then the national and local media – led by the idle Guardian scribbler STEVEN MORRIS who appeared to phone in some South West News Service copy to head office – have spun the story with claims that:

  • ‘Protesters target girls’ and ‘accost’ them in the street (The Times)
  • ‘Schoolgirls are being warned about wearing their uniforms in public’ (The Daily Mail, The Sun)
  • ‘Campaigners have also mounted demonstrations outside the school’ (Nazi Post)

All are far from the truth and there’s been no response from Colston School who began the whole affair with a ridiculous scaremongering letter to parents suggesting that their children were in danger.

The protestors have pointed out in a statement that the leafleting outside the Cathedral was in response to last year’s ‘celebrations’ of slave-trader Colston. When the  BISHOP OF BRISTOL claimed that Colston had ‘lived a life of significance’ [and there] ‘may be still some SPECULATION on some of the circumstances around his business roots right here’.

Speculation? The educational leaflets given out by protestors simply told the history of Colston after BISHOP BONKERS had failed to tell the whole truth to school children forced to attend the ‘celebration’ the previous year.

Here is the statement from the protestors:

PROTEST OUTSIDE BRISTOL CATHEDRAL AT COLSTON COMMEMORATIONS INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL

Several newspapers published articles on 17 November about children from a Colston school in Bristol, being accosted. This may relate to events 10 days earlier, where there was a public protest outside Bristol Cathedral on 7 November, aimed at the Colston commemorations going on inside the cathedral.

We refute strongly that children were accosted on 7 November. We believe the school have overreacted to events of 7 November 2015 by unduly alarming parents and children and being economical with the truth. Inside the Cathedral, whilst preparations were being undertaken to mark Colston’s Founder’s Day attended by Colston girls school, we were protesting outside.

At the time of my arrival there were 6 of us. Our protest entailed distributing leaflets headed:  ‘WHY WE ARE PROTESTING OUTSIDE TODAY’ that explained our presence, one of us holding a lighted candle. Our presence and activities were always in a visible public space with staff present.

Shortly, another 6 joined us. Among us: a retired teacher, a security guard, a historian, a grandparent who had dropped off a child to the ceremony, a teacher, three artists, a mother with a toddler in a buggy and a former student of Colston Girls. We are representative of the Bristol population whom the children live among.

We believe the teachers only panicked because they did not have a risk assessment in place that anticipated protest. Had the staff that were present with the children read the leaflets (here), that they were so quick to take off the children, they would have realised, it was the Merchant Venturer’s commemoration of Charter day and the Bishop’s comments in the Cathedral in 2014 that brought us as individuals to protest outside the Cathedral.

We found students bright, attentive and curious. Many were entering the Cathedral with little understanding of who Colston was or indeed why they were there. Others were keen to learn more and asked for leaflets.

Education takes place everywhere. We were not outside any school or in the street harassing children. Our aim was to protest at a ceremony in a significant religious and spiritual place of worship, ‘celebrating’ a controversial historical figure without acknowledging his direct involvement in the propagation of slavery and his amassed wealth from slave trading activities.

Neither did the ceremony seek to honour the memory and suffering of Africans and others exploited by the slave trade, creating memorialisation dissent in the Bristol community. This is what we are seeking to publicly highlight and change.

Why is this controversial?

The spreading of panic and fear in children and parents through the media glosses over public dissent and smothers the truth.

We are open to meeting with the Colston’s School, the Bishop and the Cathedral for discussion on a way forward.