Oh what a circus

Cabot CircusCancer editor and corporate lackey Mike “News Bunny” Norton was positively wetting his pants with joy yesterday.

News that 4,000 low paid, low-status jobs are about to come online at the cheap and nasty new Broadmead development – that we all must call Cabot Circus now because some overpaid corporate PR tosser from London says so – had the News Bunny’s op-ed team gushing:

All those who secure one of these new jobs for themselves can look forward to being in at the dawn of a new era for Bristol

They certainly can. With the majority of these jobs paying at or near the minimum wage of £5.52 an hour while house prices in the city average at about £180k, welcome to the final victory of the low-wage corporate service economy over the old well paid industrial economy here in Bristol.

This new service sector delivers poor wages, poor housing, poor diet and poor transport for the many and vast riches for a privileged few – of mainly corporate PRs and other pointless bullshitters from the “creative industries”. How exactly does Norton think people are supposed to actually live in this city any more?

Norton was even excitedly reporting that Broadmead developers, The Bristol Alliance, have forked out on their own special bus, loaded with various New Labour employment apparatchiks, to “target” Bristol’s council estates (or “unemployed people and those in temporary employment within specific neighbourhood renewal areas” as they say in their jargon).

Welcome to the new press gang!

Never mind, no doubt Norton’s Wednesday job ad section will be blossoming nicely over the next few years.

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4 Responses to Oh what a circus

  1. BristleKRS says:

    Just a few points…

    Lest we forget, the ‘Bristol Alliance’ (yes, those are Inverted Commas of Contempt!) is neither Bristolian nor an alliance – it’s a London-based corporate raiding party led by Hammerson plc and Land Securities plc. They undertook a similar venture in Birmingham, imaginatively called the ‘Birmingham Alliance’, of course. (See http://bristle.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/q-when-is-an-alliance-in-bristol-not-a-bristol-alliance/ for a bit more on this.)

    The new Broadmead was always going to be a retail & ancillary services workhouse, just like the old Broadmead. Apart from contributing to the short term boom in construction work across the city, it’s mostly going to be till-jockeying, shelf-stacking and floor-mopping ahoy for people ‘benefiting’ from the economic miracle that bigger, shinier and more shops will bring to the city.

    Of course, it will also be something of a ‘leisure destination’, so having earned our minimum wages, we also get a chance to spend them there. Maximum rinseage! And naturally, the flagship new stores and the proximity to the motorway means plenty of out-of-towners (highrollers, bumpkins and grockles alike) will be drawn in, encouraged to empty their wallets and fuck off…

    Except here on the frontline of the expansion the pressure is on ordinary people, local residents who don’t earn the sort of wedge which the developers and the council seems to think we ought to should we want to live in the middle of the city. We’re the ones expected not only to oil the wheels of commerce with our forelock-tugging, minimum wage-earning labour, to welcome in our new masters in silent rapture, but also to quietly vacate our homes and move out to whatever new Jerusalems get builded on the cheap out on the windswept periphery this time round, to make space for the New Bristolians, with their loft-living apartments and their secure, off-road parking, their privately-contracted refuse collections and their eco-efficient, low-impact, sustainable mod-cons, their guilt-free luxury and their urban edginess. No, for us it’s out beyond the city walls, and an expensive commute in to work, and a smile on our faces as we bend over yet again.

    And as for the Post cashing in on the press gangs, well, I’m sure anybody who’s ever worked in a newsagent can attest to how the job ads edition of the paper is always the biggest seller all week, by a long, long margin. It’s almost as like we don’t like our jobs 😉 And after all, it’s ad sales which make newspapers money, not retail sales – delivering audiences to marketing. And naturally lots more big, shiny, new shops opening in the Broadmead expansion means lots more big, shiny, new adverts to sell… Trebles all round!


  2. The Last Bristolian says:

    “old WELLPAID industrial sector” my ass. Where were YOU working!?

  3. thebristolblogger says:

    That probably should have read relatively better paid. The tobacco and aerospace industries definitely were.

  4. redzone says:

    I was born and raised in St James Barton. Now mostly known as Broadmead. I was there when bombs wiped out a large area including the upper arcade. From the old Centre up through St James to Old Market and Stokes Croft was the heart of Bristol, full of character and great old buildings. From the 1950’s every ‘serving’ council has systematically chipped away at it, leaving us with a mish mash of crap that they are now going to enhance!! with a so called jewel “Cabot’s Circus” the operative word being “Circus”. Cabot built many things and the BCC is now building in his name the coffin whein will lay the heart of our City Bristol. RIP

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