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?
Press releases tumbling out of the Society of Merchant Venturers since the fall of Colston on Sunday 7 June 2020 have left campaigners against the cult and their slave trade icon gobsmacked.
“The statue of Edward Colston was removed from Bristol’s city centre last weekend and the fact that it has gone is right for Bristol,” the Venturers innocently chirped to the press late on a Friday evening about a statue they fought a bitter and underhand battle for years to maintain at the heart of city.
Public warm words and contrition now are in stark contrast to the cult’s attitude as recently as 2018. Then the Merchant’s misfiring education wing, the Venturers Trust, which runs Colston Girls School and Withywood’s Merchants Academy as well as string of primary schools across the city, accused Colston campaigners and anti-racists of terror offences.
The damaging smear, a deliberate attempt to destroy the careers and reputations of campaigners prepared to directly challenge our city’s wealthy and influential Colston cult, came after Countering Colston’s Christine Townsend submitted a formal objection to the Office of the School Adjudicator in April 2018 about admission arrangements at Colston’s Girls School.
During this adjudication process, in letters to the Adjudicator and to Bristol’s Local Education Authority, signed by senior Merchant Venturer Anthony Brown of the Venturers Trust, they claimed that Christine had harassed children and associated her with a bomb threat to Colston Girls School. They even demanded that the Home Office’s PREVENT Programme to tackle homegrown terrorism investigate Christine and other members of Countering Colston.
The Adjudicator ignored Brown’s absurd fabrications as the Adjudication process deals exclusively with school admissions and a ruling on this appeared in August 2018. The local authority told the Merchants they needed to speak with the police, not a local council, in line with long established children’s safeguarding processes an academy chain should be familiar with.
Throughout the summer of 2018 the Venturers Trust ignored all correspondence and refused to retract and apologise for the kind of damaging smears that can cost people hard-earned careers. Eventually, in August 2018, a Civil Procedure Rules Pre-Action Protocol was served on Anthony Brown as Chair of Colston Girls Schools and trustee of the Venturers Trust. Christine was suing for libel.
By February 2019, with neither Brown, Colston Girls School or the Venturers Trust able to produce a shred of evidence for their claims, a written apology and a full and detailed retraction of their allegations was received by Christine from Anthony Brown. The proven liar also quietly resigned as Chair of Colston Girls School and a Trustee of the Venturers Trust. Oddly, Trevor Smallwood, a former Master of the Merchant Venturers, followed Brown out of the door as Chair of the Venturers Trust. The typical fanfare the local press reserves for vain old Venturers for their much-vaunted charitable and voluntary work was noticeably absent.
No explanation for Brown and Smallwood’s sudden departure from running one of the city’s leading academy chains has ever been publicly provided by The Venturers Trust or the Merchant Venturers. While the editor of the Bristol Post, Mike Norton, has declined to publish this news, almost certainly in the public interest, that his newspaper has held for over a year.
Are we to believe it is so entirely unremarkable for senior Merchant Venturers running academy chains to be proven liars that it is not worthy of news or comment? Or is the city’s wealthy slave trade cult so malignly powerful and influential it can easily silence our city’s senior media figures in order to maintain their false reputation?
Why are these wealthy men allowed to continue getting away with it and what else haven’t you heard about the Colston cultists dominating our city?
Which local Academy Trust is charging its schools at least EIGHT PER CENT of their core income for “central services” – one of the highest figures in the country? Step forward the VENTURERS TRUST, the hopelessly underperforming education wing of the Society of Wealthy Old White Men (Surely Merchant Venturers? Ed.)
Last year the greedy COLSTON TOENAIL WORSHIPPERS charged their eight schools eight per cent of their general annual grant (GAG) – the funding each academy gets from the Department for Education. These charges are for ‘BUSINESS SERVICES’ such as human resources, financial services, legal services, educational support services, property services and, of course, “PR AND COMMUNICATIONS”. The kind of lucrative work, incidentally, that the toenail trustees and their wealthy mates specialise in!
However, while charging our schools and children TOP WHACK FOR MARGINAL CRAP, the Toenail Trust has been struggling on a number of fronts. In OFSTED terms, THREE of its schools are currently rated as INADEQUATE and another “REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT”. Meanwhile, the chair of the Trust, Anthony Browne, DISAPPEARED over the summer following an expensive spot of LEGAL BOTHER. Although the precise cost of this little escapade is yet to be revealed.
We do, however, know that the trust’s EIGHT SCHOOLS were charged £1.53M FOR CENTRAL SERVICES in 2017-18 and this was about nine per cent of the £17 million received from the general annual grant that year. Oddly, the previous year, the schools had been charged less than HALF THIS AMOUNT, a comparatively small £633,000. Where did all this extra public cash collected by WEALTHY TRUSTEES WITH LAVISH LIFESTYLES go in this age of austerity?
The same accounts also show that the Toenail Trust’s chief executive, HILARY MACAULEY, personally trousered £145-£150,000. Just under £150,000, which the Department for Education has said should only go to leaders for “EXCEPTIONAL” performance.
A highly unlikely outcome at the Toenail Trust.
Some of you, no doubt encouraged by silly elements on the Parish Committee, led by Ms Townsend and other troublemakers from the parish’s failing school, the Dave Spart Academy, have been querying how parish leadership is now enabled. Let me explain.
Firstly, Mr Slocombe, who’s delivered excellence in shared resilience practice over two years as the parish’s creative communications specialist, is now known as Head of Vicar’s Office where he will aim to mature the church into an enabling organisation. To reflect his new importance I’ve awarded Mr Slocombe a pay rise in excess of 100 per cent.
Those of you who know Mr Slocombe will see perfect sense in all this. While those of you who don’t and are asking “what skills does Mr Slocombe bring to a senior parish role?” should reflect on our common purpose a little more. A career producing lots of dull press releases for striking postmen is the perfect training for life at St Marvin’s and Mr Slocombe brings with him lots of transferable skills. Please give him your unconditional support as both the Lord and I do.
As most of you are now aware, Mr Jackson from Weston-Super-Mare has finally arrived in post to replace our former parish administrator, Ms Klonowski from London. The post has been rebranded by Mr Slocombe as ‘Head of Administrative Services’ and Mr Slocombe tells me, “Jackson is a jumped up office boy. All decisions go through me.”
Some of you also have been asking how I have empowered Mr Alexander from Sea Mills? Mr Alexander, a well-known and popular parish figure, found every Sunday loudly cheering and applauding my sermons from the front row of the congregation, has agreed to become my freelance evangelical enforcer on a voluntary basis.
So three cheers for Mr Alexander and his solutions focused approach. His assistance at a recent meeting on church waste disposal hosted by our rubbish Parish Committee member, Mr Dudd was highly appreciated. If Mr Alexander hadn’t aggressively told that single mum from the Dave Spart Estate at the wrong end of the parish to “sit down and shut up” when she started asking questions about waste disposal, I’m assured the meeting may have outcomed sub-optimally.
Those of you, encouraged by Ms Townsend, accusing Mr Alexander of bullying and misogyny are wide of the mark. As my mentor, the Texan psychotic preacher and notorious anti-communist homophobe, the Pastor Righteous Loon says, “a woman’s place is on a sun lounger by my pool in a skimpy bikini.”
Finally, can I ask that you say a little prayer for Mr Browne, the hardworking chairman of governors at the parish’s high-achieving St Snoot-the-Privileged Selective Religious Academy? Mr Brown’s experiencing a difficult time presently after accidentally providing a character reference in court for convicted sex offender, Mr Perry, the former Head at St Snoot’s and, in a separate incident, he is being threatened with financial ruin because someone, probably from the Dave Spart Academy, is threatening to sue him!
Does anyone remember these schools… Monks Park, St George, Whitefield, Speedwell, Hengrove, Portway, Brislington, Hartcliffe and Withywood? Two things unite them all; they were not private schools and they have all had their names changed (or rebranded as some consultant tosser would say) over the last few years. All of this renaming was carried out when they became ACADEMY SCHOOLS, the decisions being made by unaccountable management bodies.
One of these bodies is the VENTURERS TRUST, a front for the SOCIETY OF MERCHANT VENTURERS (SMV) who have been trying to takeover Bristol’s state education for more than a decade. The SMV now manage a series of schools which were once run by the Local Authority but are now apparently their property to do with as they will.
When the SMV took over WITHYWOOD SCHOOL in 2008, they almost immediately changed its name to the MERCHANTS ACADEMY. That is, the arrogant bastards named it after themselves. So the SMV clearly thought they were more important than the traditions of the school, the place or the people of Withywood.
So it is with great irony that we read that another one of the SMV schools is NOT changing its name despite pressure from pupils, parents and the public to do so. Why pressure to change the name? Well, this school is named after MASS MURDERER EDWARD COLSTON, who was involved in the deaths of 20,000 PEOPLE including 3,000 CHILDREN during his time running the transatlantic slave trade. According to a representative of COLSTON GIRLS SCHOOL (CGS), the brand COLSTON represents “outstanding education” and traditions must be must be protected… blah, blah.
Here at The BRISTOLIAN we are not sure how keeping the TOXIC BRAND OF A MASS MURDERER is more important than keeping the name Withywood? But then having seen the Ofsted report on how the SMV’s have fucked up the schooling at the so-called Merchants Academy maybe they want to erase both the name Withywood and the education of its pupils.
One rule for the rich and clearly no respect for us or our traditions amongst the Merchant Venturers.