The Evening Cancer might not be prepared to report on their columnist, George Ferguson’s role in dodgy public park land deals but they’re more than happy to give his poncey Tobacco Factory bar some free publicity.
“George flies the flag to celebrate victory,” is today’s big headline on page 6 of the paper, accompanied by an embarrassing half page photo of the red-trousered old fool, thumbs up and wearing an ‘Obama 2008’ t-shirt.
The accompanying report breathlessly explains:
Bristol’s Tobacco Factory replaced its familiar flag with the stars and stripes after Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States.
And Obama sweet potato pie, just like his grandmother used to make, is now on the menu.
Tobacco Factory owner George Ferguson says, “I was last inspired by the election of John F Kennedy in 1960” when I was still in shorts.
He likes his nostalgia doesn’t he? Mom’s potato pie … John F Kennedy … Land deals that look like something out of T Dan Smith’s Newcastle …
Man this is a good one…!
Wonder if he was in red shorts?
I like to feed George Ferguson some of my grandmother’s pie… he’d end up with more broken teeth than if he went 5 rounds with Mike Tyson!
So maybe that’s how George got to David then; Using Milton Erickson’s hypnotic techniques learnt from his good buddy.
Fine partnership working from the man who looks every day more like one of the kingpins of Bristol Nulabcon.
News just in Red Trousers give you BUM DISEASSSSSSSSSSE!
First off I should declare two interests. One: my job, and the job of the twelve people that work in the small company I run, is based in (and entirely dependent upon) the Tobacco Factory. Two: there was a terrible building planned where I was brought up in (outside Bristol) that would have ruined the area. George Ferguson was contacted by a community group (that he didn’t know) for help in opposing this. He was convinced by their position and put a huge amount of time into the case; eventually prevailing against a massively well funded, really nasty, legal team for the multi-national developer. He did this for no payment and has not publicised it in any way (which is why I haven’t identified the area).
These will of course make me biased but anyway…
North Street and the surrounding area is really good. It works well. There are markets, small grocers, independent bars and restaurants, independent small businesses and a fantastic community vibe. It wouldn’t be like this is if wasn’t for the Tobacco Factory; it would either still be as depressed as it was in the 90’s, with most shops boarded up and high unemployment, or it would be a “regeneration” area full of yuppie flats with about as much soul as a toaster.
This does not, of course, give George Ferguson carte blanche and if proper process has not been observed then good on you for publicising it. But your tone over this matter is “everything about GF and what he does is totally terrible” and a/ I don’t think it helps your case and b/ I just think it’s incorrect – Southville and Bedminster would be worse places if it hadn’t been for the redevelopment of the Tobacco Factory. And as for your readers; I know it’s not your fault but “mouthful of broken teeth”, “Bum disease” (is that aids? What is that?) – this is horrible stuff.
Here’s one for Philip K.
If George Ferguson wishes to keep his reputation wholesome and clean then he needs to be a lot more careful about who he gets into bed with in terms of Big Money interests. I can only speak for what he’s doing where I live, where George Ferguson is lending a spurious credibility and Green veneer to a rapacious developer like Squarepeg (Square Peg) who have been buying up every extra square foot of land they can get their hands on, and are aiming to massively overdevelop the area around the Chocolate Factory, with extremely dense housing and lots of car parking.
This deal has also involved George Ferguson using his considerable influence over BCC to take some of our last and precious public green-space away from Easton / Greenbank residents, a fact that is now on the public record, thanks to the Bristol Blogger.
The Chocolate Factory development has grown wildly out of control in just the last 6 months, and has now become completely disproportionate to the area. George Ferguson has been revealed as being a key actor driving this overdevelopment and loss of wildlife. As such, he must surely take a commensurate portion of the responsibility.
As the old saying goes “when supping with the Devil it is wise to use a long spoon.”
Regarding your last sentence, I think you are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel here. What is truly horrible – in fact, it’s obscene – is the mess that the authorities have made of the City of Bristol over the years, and the anti-democratic back-room deals that have led to this mess under which all Bristolians are suffering.