Let them eat cake

Council PR Carole Caplan’s latest pile lands in the inbox:

A high-profile conference exploring how Bristol’s prosperity can grow and be shared by everyone in our city is to take place next week.

Nice use of the word “share” here. As they seem to have created another thing we can’t share in. Namely the high profile conference to explore how the city’s prosperity can be shared:

Please note … the morning conference is not open to the general public


Around 200 specially-invited guests are expected to attend the conference and sit in on the debate

But generously:

If you would like to engage in the debate then you can send in a statement, which will be considered by the relevant workshop at the morning conference

How nice of them. But:

It will not be possible for you to present your State of the City statement in person, however you will receive a written response from the relevant executive member/strategic director in the usual way

So we’re not invited then and we can’t say anything.

But rest assured the great and the good of the city will be deciding exactly how they want to share with us. Indeed, Business West boss, SWRDA board member and Merchant Venturer John Savage – who is invited – is given pride of place in Carole’s press release to tell us:

I’m confident that by listening to the voice of the public and of our partners we can overcome the worst of the challenges and plan for a better Bristol in the future.

How are you going to listen to the voice of the public John, you stupid old fucker? You’re not inviting them.

But I suppose we can’t have people rolling in willy-nilly to the Council House to ask John tricky questions he doesn’t want to answer and generally disagreeing with the city’s wealthy elite and their, now, morally and financially bankrupt corporate free market ideology that’s enriched them so well can we?

Whatever next?

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14 Responses to Let them eat cake

  1. BristleKRS says:

    It’s something of a shame that the event wasn’t booked for a few days earlier, say, at a fancy-pants Mumbai hotel.

  2. redzone says:

    harsh bristolKRS, . . . . but fair 😀

  3. Old Holborn says:

    Bluff your way in.

    Take lots of photos.

    Get a guest list.

  4. Sam says:

    Whens the date of this sack of shit. im poping down for a chat.

  5. Chris Hutt says:

    It’s tomorrow morning. The afternoon @State of the City’ debate (2 pm) will be open to the public, so they can tell us what they’ve decided for us.

  6. Sam says:

    i couldnt afford the bus to come speak to you know-nothing nobodies.

  7. steve meek says:

    I was sad enough to sit in on most of the afternoon debate where the full council commented on the ‘state of the city’ contributions. Don’ t worry Chris, they didnt decide our future, it was simply a money wasting platitude trading exercise – Business as usual, everything’s fine – just keep shopping!

    The sheaf of paper I was given was full of gems : Under Green Capital, I read ‘Bristol will reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050, and prepare for the impacts of climate change’. That is clearly too little, too late and anyway no detail was given as to how it will be achieved. Under both ‘prosperous and ambitious city’ and ‘ (measures to deal with) the recession’ I found ‘bristol airport’s expansion promises new jobs and opportunities with an increase in employees from 2,300 to 5,700 in 2030’. Good to hear planning permission is a done deal then. Or is this merely the maintainence crew for the wind turbine?
    Many of the council – tory,lib dem and green – possibly labour too – commented on how detached, irrelevant and, er, misguided the output from this disgracefully undemocratic backslapping exercise was.
    One councillor called on the executive to stop claiming everything as a success as, to paraphrase, it simply made bristol city council look out of touch with reality. Another said that those from outside the area comment on bristol as being a great city, but ‘it’s a shame about the council’.
    My point: there are some good councillors in that chamber, possibly in all parties, but there is a secretive and bunkered executive with a rather cosy relationship with ‘preferred partners’ and the ‘infantry’, our councillors, seem to be controlled and coralled by party allegiance.
    Those that do speak out are therefore not organised or serious about confronting this.
    What happened this morning was probably of zero consequence for the future of bristol. Sadly.

  8. Chris Hutt says:

    Thanks for that report Steve. I don’t suppose anyone will be that surprised by what you say, but it does confirm our suspicions.

    It’s encouraging that so many councillors appear to be turning against the rhetoric that is so far detached from reality. Alex Woodman’s blog on the ‘state of the city’ says this too. I think we bloggers can claim some credit for that.

    Steve, you’re spot on about the bunker mentality of the Labour Cabinet. The hypocrisy over sustainability issues is so blatant that it could only emerge from a closeted clique surrounded by self-serving sycophants.

  9. Chris Hutt says:

    There’s also an Evening Post report on it here –


  10. Spot on Steve Meek ! The council, its executive in particular, are out of touch with reality.
    A great deal of circular self-congratulation is used in place of objective assessment of the condition of the city, its context and the options for real change.

  11. Gary Hopkins says:

    Yes there are a lot of us very unimpressed with the long term record of the council (thank you for the quote)and even less impressed with the present cabinet. To suggest though that a group of unconnected individuals as Cllrs could sort the situation out is wishful thinking. It will need a strong party ,or solid coalition, with a majority to set the tone and standards that the officers will follow.
    We aim to take over next year and do that job. We did make a start in 2005/07 but there is a massive job to do and we were thrown out by Lab/Con alliance before we got close to completing the task.
    There are some good Cllrs in other parties ,although in some cases you do have to look pretty hard,but I am, afraid that the well known long term failings of the Bristol Labour party have over recent years been multiplied by the efforts of Cllr. Eddy.
    Perhaps it says a lot that well before the end of the debate every one of the chairs of the discussion groups (from partner organisations)who had fed into the council the results of the groupdiscussions had left the chamber.The public gallery got significantly fuller after the state of the city debate had finished and the public came to air their complaints about the cabinets actions,or lack of them.

  12. The Public says:

    You walked away Mr. Hopkins, you weren’t thrown out. Do we want incompetents who at least show bravery to take on the challenges or incompetents who sit on the sidelines and snipe. What a choice we have!

  13. Gary Hopkins says:

    Absolutely not true. After 2 years running the cabinet and following the 2007 elections we as a party tried to retain power and put our leader forward for leader of council but were voted down by the combined vote of the Labour,Tory and green Cllrs(although to be fair the green Cllr. very soon expressed regret).
    Please check the records.
    Since that time the Tory party ,despite misgivings from some of their ranks have repeatedly supported and indeed covered up for the Labour administration (eg waste and incinerator)and have only recently started to take significant action to oppose.

  14. Dona Qixota says:

    Re: State of the City comment 15103.

    Those who are for ever handing over all their own power and responsibility and squeakily blaming “leaders” or “the government” for everything will doubtless ridicule me here … but … if individuals actually stood up and took a bit more responsibility for our own attitudes and behaviour, we might see some genuine improvements?

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