State of the city: unfuckingbelievable

Tuesday’s ‘State of the City’ debate was predictably used by the Labour Party not to face up to the problems the city faces but to engage in some shameless cheerleading for themselves.

Among the highlights was delusional education boss Derek Pickup talking up his party’s brilliant achievement in running the third worst education authority in the country where over 40% of parents have voted with their feet.

Labour boss Helen Holland meanwhile offered to hand power directly to the people through some fabulous neighbourhood management scheme. Although Helen appeared to forget to mention that only about four carefully selected small neighbourhoods in the city have such schemes, which means the remaining 95% of Bristol’s population will have to put up with her shit decision making for the forseeable future at least.

But the the prize for the most ridiculous speech of the this whole pointless charade must go to the man who seems to have taken the term “no” out of his name – Councillor Mark Brain.

For those that don’t know yet, the rebranded Our City has been handed an extra £100k a year and replaced Bristol News as the official mouthpiece of the city council. Delivered through your door and no doubt placed straight into your recycling, it’s a shallow piece of relentlessly upbeat corporate-style spin produced by the council’s deceitful PR department. It tends to be bizarrely illustrated with staged photos of unaccountably cheerful black and disabled people outside council buildings and is serially guilty of half truths, omission and plain misleading in pursuit of talking up the council and hiding its mistakes.

To all intents and purposes then it’s that most pernicious form of cheap propaganda – the state-run newspaper. Anyway, here’s Brain’s helpful contribution to what he believes passes as excellence in of our city. Further comment seems unnecessary.

I recently received my copy of ‘Our City’, which replaces the former Bristol News. I would like to compliment the officers who worked on the publication for a job well done. Explaining the City Council’s Draft Budget is not an easy thing to do and there are a good many councillors and I suspect officers, who struggle to get to grips with it.

The officers responsible for preparing ‘Our City’ have succeeded in explaining where the money comes from, where it goes to and in accessible bite sized chunks just what spending pressures face the City of Bristol. They then go on to explain the important changes that are proposed in the Draft Budget in similar bite sized chunks before actively encouraging participation in the process by the citizens of Bristol either by sending in a reply slip or by
attending the appropriate meetings including the Resources Scrutiny Commission, of which I am a member.

I do hope that members of the public watching this webcast will feel that they can attend those meetings as advertised on the Bristol City Council website and make previously notified statements. They will of course be made most welcome.

Visually, the accessibility of ‘Our City’ (also available on the Council’s website) is enhanced by its new style layout, which instead of putting the reader off by seeming to be overwhelming draws the reader in. Bristol City Council employed no fancy or expensive consultants in doing this. The whole thing was done by our own in-house staff, which demonstrates the talent that there is within the workforce and should give Council a justified sense of pride in what they have done for us.

I believe that I speak for all when I ask the Leader of Council to convey to the appropriate officers the thanks of a grateful Council for a difficult job well done.

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11 Responses to State of the city: unfuckingbelievable

  1. Archie says:

    Will you be playing “buzz word bingo” Blogger at the meeting?

  2. Woodsy says:

    Along with the £80 K Muslim project and the Abolition 200 ‘legacy’ money (£250 K), the £100 extra for the execrable ‘Our City’ brings the last week’s waste of public money announcements to nearly half a million quid.

    I wonder how much lower our council tax would be if the council’s pet equalities/cultural projects didn’t happen, but then again – as the council keeps on demonstrating – it’s easy to be generous if you have millions of other peoples’ money and no sense of financial – or other – responsibility.

  3. Most councillors are simply not up to the job if you ask me.

    Why else would they propose to close Markbury Rd Library to save about £100k, a sum easily saved by sending out less full colour leaflets and newspapers.

  4. James Barlow says:

    Woodsy – Every £1,000,000 pound spent by the council equates to £5 swiped from the pocket of a Band D Council Tax payer.

  5. Rich says:

    The councillors currently in charge of the city hand 100k more of our money to Caplan’s hapless bunch of wannabe spinners, whose 1990s-style of talking-up the untalk-up-able defies belief. The tragedy is that the piss-poor decision-makers who currently run the council can’t see through this. They seem to honestly believe that more glossy newspapers thru’ our doors will make us forget the shameful state of our school and transport system.

  6. Well said Blogger. Come on Lib Dems and Tories, support the Green Party’s lead on this one.

  7. redzone says:

    first step is to remove the incompetent puppets & hangers on running the council & then make a clean sweep of the puppet masters!!
    very few that have served on the bristol city council in the past 20 years can claim any kind of success considering the abysmal state the city is currently in!!

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  9. Mike Hope says:

    One of the main reasons Bristol’s school results are so low in the pointless New Labour League Tables is precisely because many of the city’s affluent parents chase the out of town schools or can afford private education.

    The truth is a school’s results are almost entirely dependent on its intake.

    Of course, what this means nowadays is all that bollocks about parental choice which largely means thousands of kids being driven and bussed from one side of the city to the other and the net result is the sought after schools get even better results for the meaningless league tables.

    So many of Bristol’s results are heavily influenced by the exodus of bright middle class students whose results, if retained in Bristol schools, would boost local schools immeasurably.

    I have no faith in the muppets who sit in their Council House offices, talking business speak bullshit and telling us how to run our lives but the truth is Bristol’s schools are not as bad as they are being painted.

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