Elected mayor now!

Come on. It’s time to kick the current bunch of utterly useless, self serving tossers out of the Council House.

Some sensible souls have started a petition so we can have a referendum on whether we should have an elected mayor. It might not be the ideal solution but it’s got to be better than the current governance shambles we have in Bristol.

Sign now! Only 15,938 signatures to go …

Hat tip: Connecting Bristol

This entry was posted in Bristol, Elections, Local government, Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Elected mayor now!

  1. badnewswade says:

    Absolutely not! Can you imagine what kind of horrors those bastards would get up to if they had a strong central government?

    First off it goes without saying that, as a show of strength they’d break up all those wierd little arts centres and squats and graffitos and odd things that give our city character and replace them with yet more yuppy flats and BIG ASS BILLBOARDS!

    They’d ban all outside drinking. Then they’d just ban you from going out – shut down the last remaining independant clubs and pubs in the town. Then ban smoking within a thousand yards of a building, cycling on the road, cycling off the road, walking on double yellow lines, eating in public, etc, etc, etc. ANYTHING to get votes from the miserable consptipated Evening Post readers that make up the entire electorate.

    Then they’d bring in some special police goon squad to enforce all all these unenforcable laws, and extract massive swingeing fines from the public so they can afford to build themselves a new gold-encrusted skyscraper city headquarters to run their new empire from.

    After that they’d probably work on a military invasion of Weston Super-Mare (it’s historically a part of ze Greater Bristol!) and plant a giant penis in your backyard with a bomb in it that goes off if you don’t pay your council tax.

    Aaaaarrrrrrrgghhhhhh! the very thought of Bristol City Council with any more power that it already has just turns my blood to Semtex.

    DON’T DO IT!

  2. Auntie Mair says:

    “It’s time to kick the current bunch of utterly useless, self serving tossers out” you say, and replace them with what exactly? An elected Mayor?
    How do we know a Mayor won’t be an “an utterly useless, self serving tosser” eh?
    IMHO most of the elected Mayors in other Towns and Cities are just that!

  3. badnewswade says:

    Exactly, and what’s worse they could well be 1,000% more efficient at being a self-serving tosser.

    Can you imagine the horror? The Evening Post would simply write the mayor’s policies and the mayor as their pet fuhrer would then enact them. Bus lanes through the city parks? Dual carraigeways through the cyclepath? Sweetheart deals? Mega-corruption? Friends rewarded with contracts, enemies thrown into the Avon to sleep with the ducks?

    No – we LIKE our administrations incompetent, at least there’s a limit to the amount of damage they can do that way.

  4. redzone says:

    i think the mayor should be elected.
    that could open the door for many independant candidates to run for the position.
    we may then get somebody who is not affiliated to any of the political parties & not in the pocket of the local media.
    the current selection process is outdated & unfair.

  5. Bearded leftie says:

    Imagine, a choice between Helen Holland, Gary Hopkins and Richard Eddy for mayor …

  6. Chris Hutt says:

    I’m with badnewswade. I prefer my incompetents impotent.

  7. Yell says:

    Guys – come on, I’m with the chief, lets kick the buggers out and do ‘something more interesting insted.’

    The time is right for a chnage, and I agree Bristol deserves better. It get’s my vote.

    And with a mayor – we get the option to select an indi one rather than put up wuth some party puppet.

  8. Jog says:

    Oh, very clever, a mayoral election, just like in London, where 7 indie candidates, including the greens, got less than 10% of the vote……. then we can have our very own Boris Johnson, Richard Eddy in power, on his own, for 4 years…

    … very well thought out idea……. Not….

  9. Vote for Eddy says:

    I don’t understand what your problem is Jog, I think Richard Eddy is just what Bristol needs to sort out all its problems.

  10. Some sort of change is definitely needed in my view. Not so sure about an elected mayor, though willing to consider it. First though we should be able to elect the whole council in one go. Under the current system of only ever electing part of the council its very hard to hold parties/people to account.

  11. Boris the Monkey says:

    Great, Bristol’s own Boris Johnson, Robin Wales or H’Angus the Monkey . . .
    How the hell can further centralising power help democracy? Or is ‘strong leadership’ more important than democracy?

  12. badnewswade says:

    Indeed, people don’t seem to understand that the reason Bristol council treat the city like their own personal fiefdom, ruin the local area and wipe their arses on our council tax money isn’t because they’re “incompetent” – it’s because they want to run things this way.

    To paraphrase William Burroughs, power can never be anything but an end in itsself, like drugs. You don’t want to give them any more of that do you?

    They’ve already added a completely unsustainable nightmare shopping hell to the centre of town, sprouted yupscum apartments like mushrooms, developed Stokes Croft into oblivion, only just barely had their scheme to turn the cyclepath into a freakin BUS LANE overturned, and plan to sell off all the council flats and “rationalise” our green spaces… shiver.

  13. M W says:

    Spot on badnewswade. The only reason the Labour council was halted on the railway path was because they realised it would be a massive issue on 8 wards that are up for election in 9 months. If Bristol had a directly elected mayor, he would have no reason at all to be worried about that.

    The reason business likes elected mayors is because experience shows that having such leaders as a single point of contact makes it much easier for business to get their lobbying over. As Borris the Monkey points out, Tony Blair always thought ‘strong leadership’ more important than democracy…

    And finally, if anyone thinks that an independent could win in Bristol, that could only mean one thing: John Savage – Merchant Venturer and business mogul. Where independents have won (other than London, which is a special case) it has only ever been with the total backing of the local newspaper. The E Post would back Savage. So, if you seriously want the Merchant Venturers running the city again then by all means – call for an elected mayor.

  14. nick says:

    Crap Idea, sorry blogger!

    Just another politician, an extra layer of governement we dont need!

    Just vote out the crap councillors

  15. Some sort of change is needed to improve local democracy, though an elected mayor is far from my and most people’s first choice.

    We have massive centralisation of power now. UK central govt controls the purse strings and often puts strict conditions on how large sums of money can be used locally – in effect they are running Bristol from London. Bristol City Council officers and councillors are mostly administering central govt dictates.

    Hopefully the new Sustainable Communities Act will enable people to say what they want and be a small step in the right direction. The council would have to opt in to the process though (this Oct I believe): see here for a guide to using the new Act http://www.localworks.org/

  16. Vote for Eddy says:

    No no no.

    Eddy will be excellent… and many thanks for the exploding penis idea Badnewswade… we shall use that one in our manifesto… I think that’ll go down very nicely with members of the public.

  17. badnewswade says:

    Hopefully the new Sustainable Communities Act will enable people to say what they want and be a small step in the right direction. The council would have to opt in to the process though (this Oct I believe): see here for a guide to using the new Act http://www.localworks.org/

    No, no, no, no, no!

    Don’t you understand anything about politics? These people are your enemies. They only do that Sustain-a-wank crap as a scam to persuade you not to riot.

  18. redzone says:

    why nave we got so many no’s to an elected mayor?
    must mean you are happy that one is just appointed/selected by the local councillors ?
    the reason i would go for an elected mayor is that it might just give us a chance to get someone in who is not a local party puppet!!

  19. Boris the Monkey says:

    redzone, I asume you are refering to the Lord Mayor which is selected by the council. The Lord Mayor has no powers, just a lot of council-bling. Compare that to the amount of power Boris fucking Johnson has.

    Why do you asume we need a Mayor at all? I find the whole idea of a Mayor, a ‘first citizen’ (elected or not), pretty odd and anti-democratic.

  20. Elected Mayor would have wide-ranging powers. Lord Mayor is very diferent…

    Bristol’s Lord Mayor is in an influential position as the person who is the chair of council meetings though. This involves having a number of key powers though nothing on the scale of an Elected Mayor.

    Selection of Lord Mayor and the way he/she operates is far from satisfactory.

    Whole set-up needs reforming.

  21. badnewswade says:

    Ah – something must be done, this is something, so we must do this!

    What people like Redzone don’t seem to “get” is that it isn’t their council in the first place – it’s not for you, it isn’t meant to serve you, it’s meant to serve the rich.

    Expecting anything else from our political system is a bit expecting to walk out of a casino with more money than you had when you walked in. It might happen, but the odds are stacked against you.

  22. redzone says:

    oh i get it alright badnews!! but it seems it’s you that is slightly misguided.
    first & foremost they are self serving, after which comes any related business partnership or keen donater to the party coffers.

    who voted for the new council leader & approved her inflated salary??

    nobody! it’s because in the uk we have a representative democracy which in all honesty isn’t really a democracy at all!!!!
    the elected representatives can do pretty much as they please when in office & unbelievably be unaccountable when it all fucks up!!!!!!!

  23. Amelium Celer says:

    That’s the tragic thing isn’t it, the great and the good are latching onto this as something, but because things aren’t great right now, not because this is a good idea.

    If we want real ability and accountability alongside responsiveness, we need half the number of councillors we currently have. From that we can have a doubling of their wages, therefore encouraging professional, full time, hopefully competent, people to run for election.

    We then also need all up elections every ‘X’ years. I’d say every two, as you need two years to show what you’re going to do and how it might work.

    That way you get a genuine local representative who you can kick out soon enough if they mess up.

    The notion of a single person with lots of power, electable every four years, is really rather scary. We all know we’re not going to get a genuinely independent person ever elected to this mayor role if it happens anyway.

    It may not be a current councillor who stands, but it will be an individual from a certain sector, with their own background and interests.

    Can the interests of 300,000 odd people really be summed up in one person?

  24. badnewswade says:

    I dont’ understand you, redzone. You admit it’s not particularly democratic, but you still think that fiddling with the system is going to save it? Indeed, that it’s worth saving? Am I right?

    Way I see, it, we’re like the Soviets in that fiddling with a rotten system won’t make a lick of difference. Soviet dissidents used to go on about how they were going to “fix” the system, but as things turned out the system fixed itsself. For good.

    I don’t think there’s any need for violence, I part company with the anarchists on that one. The system is a problem which solves itsself; it’s collapsing under the weight of bad debt and bad faith. Whether the upper middle classes elect a mayor or not to govern our particular region is simply irrelevant; the thing to do is to work out how to not get drafted into a labour gang when the whole pile of crap comes tumbling down on us.

  25. Vote for Eddy says:

    No, no, no, no, no, no, NO!

    You antis just don’t get it do you…

    …Bristol needs a strong leader to take us forward…

    …by what other means can we spread our influence, sally forth, and conquer the unpopulated wasteland that is Somerset? By what other means could we ever succeed in building a greater Bristol?

    All together now…

    “Die Fanhne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen…”

    Yeah right!

  26. Tom says:

    Local politicians are useless because only cheerful nanas, fat cats and greasy hacks are interested in positions that only have power to affect the bin collections and positions of trees.

    I want a mayor in every major city — and provinces with elected first ministers, too. But it would only work if the Westminster boys and girls gave up control and let local politicians have tax-raising powers. Only then could a mayor present a real plan to the 500,000 people or so in his or her region and then stand or fall by how they deliver it. Westminster should be used as an assembly of representatives who discuss changes in law and foreign policies etc (No need to have two homes then, one in London would be enough)

    Just imagine if we had an election in which candidates were debating and planning for the real local issues with all their vagaries and details. Compare that with the bunch of red, blues and yellows who sling it out along meaningless party lines just like the time before and just like they will do again. Which election are you going to be most interested in voting for? Which system do you think is best for Bristol?

  27. Tom says:

    Me again

    Remember when the new Jan Ormywho? became the new BCC chief exec


    She was treated as an incoming mayor — a leader with the power to change the city. But who the hell is she? Does her job depend on us? If she is useless what shall we do about it– vote for some new councillors? What a lot of nonsense

  28. Lee says:

    Tom – you’ve got it spot on! At last someone who’s perpared to give this one a go…or at least debate it properly.

    I have to say ladies and gents, listening to you lot discuss this issue is a bit like walking into my dear old 92 years old nan’s sitting room. All she ever does is moan and complain. “This isn’t right, that’s rubbish, he’s not doing a very good job”…blah, blah, blah.

    But if you ever ask the old dear, ‘well Nan, shall we do something about it ?” she’ll sit back in her chair and say, “no love, best left as is… “(I love her dearly) but god, sometimes I just want to tell her to shut the f*!% up!

    So, you lot spend days of your life trashing the council and the people elected to make a difference but when someone poses a new solution/option(?) or someone sticks their head above the parapet and says’s “lets give this ago”, you default back to type. Part of the Bristol psychi maybe?

    I’m for giving this petition a go, to see where it takes us…

    What if it works? What if we find someone who could really make a difference, someone with new ideas, passion for the city, a new approach, someone who could make things just that little bit better in town.

    What is it’s not a merchant, what if it’s not one of the usual suspects’, what if actually we find someone who’s prepared to stick their necks out to give it a go…lobby hard in westminster for the city, what if they actually make a good job of it…?

    This debate might re-engage the Bristol voting public with politics, it might shake things up and kick people up the arse.

    Even if this system isn’t 100%, 50% ofr even 20% of the whole answer, why isn’t it worth giving it a shot.

    What’s 4 years? You’ll all still be here moaning so I don’t know what you’re bothered about.

    And if they are shit – we can kick the sod out!

  29. badnewswade says:

    Computer are my comment :'(

  30. thebristolblogger says:

    It’s on here now. The spambot computed you as spam. Shouldn’t do it any more though.

  31. Bluebaldee says:

    I dont necessarily oppose a directly elcted Mayor for Bristol on idealogical grounds, but you just know that the self-serving twat that is John Savage or one of his corrupt Merchant Venturer cronies will inveigle themselves into the position.

    So no way.

  32. Tom says:

    How many Trotskyists does it take to change a light bulb?

    Doesn’t matter, they always smash it.

  33. Gerry Hix says:

    What happens when you put four Trotskyists in a room?

    They form three parties and one entryist faction!

  34. redzone says:

    the words democracy & democratic!!
    both words continue to crop up in these discussions, beacons in the darkness & as some sort of guiding light!
    the uk is a representative democracy, which involves voting for a party member to represent our views in parliament, who is really just a puppet on a string, selected simply for the party to control!
    when they have been elected, do they represent us & our views? provide what they pledged in their campaigns? make decisions based on the concerns & needs of their constituents?

    do they fuck!! they vote with their party line because they are told to, either to keep their cushy job or enhance their own personal ambitious career!!!

    hardly democratic is it & not really a democracy after all !!!!.

  35. nick says:

    End first pass the post for council elections!

  36. Tom says:

    redzone. You are right the representation we get from our elected MPs is limited but it is not as simplistic as the reasons you outline — they do want to get on and achieve more but they are locked into a system of patronage that ensures that they do as they are told or risk losing influence over their patch — do they want that new school, will they get the light rail cash etc. We need to stick with representatives but ones that are not stymied by their power over constituents. The plans for schools, railways etc should be the subject of discussions at a provincial and local level by people elected to deal with those sorts of issues. MPS should be discussing genetic testing, wars, global warming, age of consent, criminal laws etc.

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