RED TROUSERGATE: favours for the rich

And so it comes to pass. Our Through the Looking Glass council does it again.

Now they’ve managed to grant planning permission to build a tower block on their own protected park land. Public land that’s not for sale; never has been for sale and never should be for sale.

Despite a clear policy – in writing – devised by our elected representatives for the protection of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path; despite a 731 signature petition; despite the advice of their own expert conservation, parks, leisure, property and transport officers; despite over £12k spent on a consultation overwhelmingly rejecting the idea, the council is set to let developers wreck a section of the Bristol and Bath Railway Path entirely on the say-so of an unelected council officer on a six-figure salary who seems more interested in doing favours to developers than doing his job looking after our interests.

At least we now know who’s really in charge at the Council House. And it’s not us or our elected politicians. It seems that what the senior officers say goes and there’s nothing we can do about it, especially as our politicians are too weak and ill-informed to stand up for either us or themselves.

What’s the point of electing politicians to make policy if council officers ignore it when asked by Merchant Venturers?

Is it any wonder nothing ever gets done in this town?

While the Venturer’s city council whipping boy, Transport and Planning boss, David “the Shifty” Bishop, is running around sorting favours out for them, what’s actually happening to the work he’s been instructed to do for us by our elected representatives?

Where’s the Local Transport Authority? The Quality Bus Contact? A transport hub at Temple Meads? Our Arena? When’s he going to get the nerve to call the South Bristol ring road a ring road rather than a link option? When’s he going to admit he’s planning – with his friends the Merchant Venturers – an assault on the city’s green belt in south west Bristol?

And ,of course, don’t forget Castle Park is now firmly in this scumbag’s sights.

Oddly, anything we want sits permanently at the bottom of Bishop’s in-tray. Anything wealthy business interests want seems to get fast-tracked to completion.

They call this democracy do they?

This entry was posted in Bristol, Bristol and Bath Railway Path, Bristol East, Developments, Easton, Local government, Merchant Venturers, Planning, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to RED TROUSERGATE: favours for the rich

  1. Ashley Down Resident says:

    I’m not sure why I detect a hint of surprise in any of this…

  2. jerry mander says:

    Last night my mate was down the pub. He reckoned he overheard a bunch of blokes talking in a very drunken manner. He says it was hard to miss the conversation as they was well tanked up. Apparently, these people were liberal dummycrats and were discussing the latest plan to achieve a neverending liberal dummycrat rule over Bristol. It seems that they’ve got a famous liberal architect to start building large mixed use development things all over Bristol. The idea is that these projects will go in working class areas like Easton, and will be made so that they appeal to the sort of people who will vote liberal dummycrat rather than labour. The plan is that in a couple of years labour rule in Bristol will be a thing of the past. They can just build em out of Bristol they said. They reckoned that they got some tame council officer blokes to arrange it all while labour was still in power, but that the labour party was too thick to figure what was going on. He says that some of those labour councillors will believe anything. All you have to do is say “development” and they buy into it. Does anybody else know anything about this or was my mate just really pissed, or worse, mental?

  3. MattB says:

    I am stunned, shocked!

    Now that it is BCC policy to ignore all voices that are not assoicated with money, why don’t we get rid of the planning departments, lawyers and anything else that was used to object to this.

    Just think what we could do with all the money saved, build primary schools? Build a cycle path thats longer than 50feet? Actually finish a project rather just starting with a fanfair in the Evening Suckup/Cancer/Post and then quietly ditching it later.

    I will once again send my objections to be ignored by my elected Cllr *sigh*

    Best comment I heard from a friend about this: The Fukaz’s! how is this even possible?

    PS Just been on Castle green, 100’s of people enjoying the grass and trees to sit watch the wildlife fly in and out of the river as they eat their lunch etc. How can building anything there be on the cards?!?!

  4. Uncle George says:

    Thats right vote Dim Lib, vote Keily – privatise your grannies home care (or vote labour different face same sh*t)

  5. Tactical Voter says:

    Well so you say, but it seems to me that anything that splits the anti-Labour vote is just going to result in a second Nuliebore clone for Easton, and boosting their numbers on the City Council benches.

    Unless you can persuade the voting syndicates into voting for a minority party (Greens anyone?) Chance of that, if you plan to take their 4×4 and frequent long-haul flying away, is no chance.

    Reluctant Kiely Lib Dem voter.

  6. thebristolblogger says:

    Politicians of all three main parties have done little to suggest that they’re not only really very supportive of Ferguson’s plan but they’re not even prepared to get the plans altered enough to keep the Railway path intact.

    Where are the politicians in all this? Why won’t they stand up for their own policy? There’s more to this still to come out.

    Personally I don’t see the point in voting for either the Lib Dems or Labour. On local issues you’re likely to give a toss about they’re exactly the same. ie. Tories!

  7. East Bristol Lib Dem Voter says:

    I will vote for John Kiely because I find him strangly attractive. Last night I dreamed that he was in my bed, rubbing me all over with his excitingly shaped, bald head.

  8. Tactical Voter says:

    2Bblogger – Right so it’s Labour then. That’s what ALL the posters are advertising round here. Or your (actually workable, please) alternative is ….?

  9. Media Mouse says:

    MMMm. Why haven’t the BEP covered this I wonder?

    On that note how many readers do you have BB? A year or so ago this was more than the Venue mag. Bet you are close to the 45k ish of BEP?

  10. old misery guts says:

    Editorial in the Cancer a few days ago was saying that the planners should do the right thing and push Gorgeous George’s square peg proposals through. Clearly they havent heard about all the opposition (or maybe, and more likely, they have and they’re just backing their man). Either way it’s a fucking carve up. And to all you dear souls in a quandary about which party to vote for, here’s the thing – they’d have outlawed it years ago if it made the slightest bit of difference. All the evidence suggests that they are all on the take and on the make. Voting just legitimizes a system that is corrupt to the core and encourages the fuckers. Spleen vented, over and out.

  11. Indymedia Watcher says:

    Sorry about this, BB, but couldn’t find an email address for you – On a completely unrelated note, here’s another article from Bristol Indymedia’s “Jew Watch”.

    Please expose this filth before it gets deleted; in case it dissapears by the time you read this, here is the kind of commentary that Bristol Indymedia attracts:

    Who are the Zionist Shills? A Primer.
    category south west | globalisation | opinion/analysis author Friday April 03, 2009 22:26author by JW Report this post to the editors

    “What can they (Americans) do to us? We control congress, we control the media, we control show biz, and we control everything in America. In America you can criticize God, but you can’t criticize Israel.” – Israeli spokeswoman, Tzipora Menache

    “You know very well, and the stupid Americans know equally well, that we control their government, irrespective of who sits in the White House. You see, I know it and you know it that no American president can be in a position to challenge us even if we do the unthinkable. What can they (Americans) do to us? We control congress, we control the media, we control show biz, and we control everything in America. In America you can criticize God, but you can’t criticize Israel.” – Israeli spokeswoman, Tzipora Menache….html

    So who are they? Who’s writing your newspaper and reporting your news? Who is making your movies and presenting your current affairs shows? Who are your politicians and who is paying them? Why is the West busy fighting Israel’s regional enemies while the West’s citizens bail out Jewish bankers? How can the richest nations in the world be jobless and homeless?

    While this list may never be complete, it will cover most of the Jewish names one is likely to encounter in everyday Western life. Unlike many gentile names, there is such a thing as a ‘Jewish name.’ Many Jewish persons can be recognized as being Jewish by their surname [last name], although not always–some Jews are adopted, or their forebears changed the family surname, or their surname simply does not appear Jewish.

    Here are the most common Jewish names likely to be encountered:

    -Names ending in “-berg” (Goldberg, Weinberg, etc.)

    -Names ending in “-man” (Goldman, Lightman, etc.)

    -Names ending in “-stein” (Einstein, Perlstein, etc.)

    …..(Long list of Jewish names)….

    -Surnames that sound “Biblical,” e.g., David, Joseph, Abram or Abraham, Moses, Benjamin, Isaac, etc.

    Some other common Jewish names:

    etc, etc, etc.

    Then it trails off with the crap disclaimer.:

    Remember, not everyone with jewish heritage is zionist. (which is no doubt why he just spent 2 pages listing Jewish names!)

    Note the “Jewish bankers” riff (my emphasis). This guy is plainly some kind of Nazi.

    As you know, Indymedia attracts this kind of pondlife, I agree that the facts should be spread far and wide, this is why they’re obsessed with the Israel-Palestine conflict and this is why they’re protesting only in front of Jewish owned supermarkets – ’cause they’re either racist scum or brain-dead hangers on.

  12. Rosso Verde says:

    With Respect gone ( mostly unlamented thanks to the other Gorgeous George’s antics) – the Greens are the only choice left who are worth anything in Easton -got 17.25% last time – Respect got 19.13%- add these together and you have more votes than either Labour or the Lib Dems.
    The Green Candidate lives in the ward and is involved with campaigns like stopping the Squarepeg developement, saving the cycle path and the 20’s plenty campaign.
    John Keily is also a prospective Lib Dem MP, so would be off in a shot if he took Filton and Bradley Stoke.

    If you can’t face voting Green might as well spoil your ballot paper – a way of registering your disgust!

  13. thebristolblogger says:

    Rumour suggests Respect will be running in Easton …

  14. Indymedia Watcher says:

    Hey wow – it’s hidden not because it’s blatantly racist but because it’s “not related to SW”.

    Sorry to go on, I guess I have made it a bit of a hobby horse because I’m so sick of this crap.

    Good work on the Red Trouser story. I see the Evening post is supporting the development. Tossers.

  15. Rosso Verde says:

    Wow- not related but pretty appauling paranoid anti semitic conspiracy shite.

    Blogger is correct the Respect may run in Easton again – but have done bugger all exept have a meeting for their “glorious” leader last summer. – Last time they had the

  16. Rosso Verde says:

    Cont…( ooops pressed submit by accident)
    SWP working for them – no longer (whatever you think of them they do work hard!)

  17. Tactical Voter says:

    omg: “Either way it’s a fucking carve up. And to all you dear souls in a quandary about which party to vote for, here’s the thing – they’d have outlawed it years ago if it made the slightest bit of difference. All the evidence suggests that they are all on the take and on the make. Voting just legitimizes a system that is corrupt to the core and encourages the fuckers.”

    Doubtless you are, to a large extent correct. However:

    1 Yours seems a very black and white view. Fact is that there are still bad and less bad options. The way I see it in the here and now is that Labour is “bad” – even “very bad”, and Lib Dems are “less bad”.

    2. In the ideal world of dreams everyone might see things your way (our way?) and take sufficient responsibility for themselves not to need to be organised by others. But, wakey wakey, we live in a far from ideal world where many people either want or need to have things organised and run for them by others.

    Returning to John Kiely, whatever his faults, I have to pay tribute to him in that he does at least take great interest in the area he represents. He does the bread and butter stuff. Like, I’ve found him on many occasions visiting people at home to discuss their particular concerns – in the day to day, not just at elections, note. He always made the effort to attend important local meetings affecting the whole of the community (which is more than can be said of others who seem more interested in pursuing special interests, which may not even be local!)

    Ideally, we would return to the way it used to be – non party political. We would get party politics out of local authorities, and vote for Independents on the basis of how well they represented their local constituents.

  18. paul smith says:

    I know you won’t believe this but we are canvassing in easton at present and more people are prepared to say to us they are voting green than Lib Dem. John Keily as candidate looks like desperation. He is a parliamentary candidate in Filton, has moved out of the area to Knowle (to be closer to the lovely Gary no doubt) and managed to mobilise over 70% of voters in easton to vote against him across Labour, Green and Respect et al over his plans to privatise home care services.

    I understand that he tried to become an Alderman (not sure if this succeeded) which would have ruled him out of standing for the council again – under a ridiculous rule brought in after me and Robin Moss were made up.

    Paul Smith

  19. “…more people are prepared to say to us they are voting green than Lib Dem.”

    Maybe they are, maybe they ain’t. The thing is though Paul, as you so rightly point out, we don’t believe a fucking word you say. From a ZanuLiebour perspective, the best thing to do is to split the vote up.

    I like your way of lumping all non Lib Dum voters together as being ‘anti-Lib Dem’. Let’s apply this one to the national government too shall we? Three quarters of the public don’t want the one-eyed Scottish idiot running the country.

    How does the slogan go?

    Voted Blair, Got Brown?
    Vote Brown, Get Certified!

  20. Rosso Verde says:

    Good point Lizard, who can tell if people are voting for a particular party or against another one.

  21. chris hutt says:

    Paul, a good tactic to talk up the Green vote in Easton. How might potential Green voters otherwise vote? Which of the other parties has the best green credentials? The Lib-Dems of course. So by encouraging people to think that a Green vote won’t be ‘wasted’ you more evenly split the overall Lib-Dem/Green vote, enough to get your man in.

  22. snafu says:

    Oh dear paul.

    www .

  23. Rosso Verde says:


    You may be right in Paul’s reasons for talking up the Green Vote in Easton. However in our canvassing in Bristol over the last few years we have apparently taken more votes from Labour than we have from the Lib Dems, so I think that part of your analysis is wrong.
    If you want Green then Vote Green!

  24. Sceptic says:

    With the party hacks joining the religious nutters banging on doors in Easton with monotonous regularity for the foreseeable future, perhaps I ought to spend every weekend away… Either that or wire up the doorbell and letterbox to the mains.

  25. chris hutt says:

    “If you want Green then Vote Green!”

    Even in Ashley? That’s a tough call for a lot of people. People are bound to vote tactically – it would be stupid not to – and that’s often going to hit the Green vote. The consequence of First Past The Post elections.

  26. Rosso Verde says:

    Chris, I agree that Jon Rogers is one of the greener Lib Dem councillors, fair play to him.

    In Ashley the Greens were only 110 votes behind the Lib Dems last time , so it really depends on if its Labour Voters tactically Voting Green or Green Voters tactically Voting Lib Dem….
    Not a fan of first past the post either, it only helps Tories and Labour.

  27. Jon Rogers says:

    Thanks Chris and Rosso

    I am no fan of first past the post either.

    If we had STV Single Transferable Voting then you vote for your first preference, your second preference, and so on, while you still have a preference.

    People elected by STV know that, unlike me (and most Bristol City Councillors), they have support from more than 50% of the electors.

    I got 40% of the vote when I was elected in 2005. 60% voted for others. 23% voted Green Party, 5% voted Conservative and 32% voted for the Labour candidate, Simon Crew, who subsequently won in Brislington East.

    I am well aware that the Green Party is targeting Ashley ward and obviously if more people vote for the Green Party than vote for me then I will be out, and Labour and the Conservatives can continue playing their games.

    As Lib Dems have said all along, it is for the electors of Bristol to decide.


  28. Martyn Whitelock says:

    Whilst I am non-partisan, I have to say Bristol REALLY needs people like Jon Rogers who has already made positive changes with getting important documents published. He has his ear to the ground and more integrity than the whole Labour administration!

  29. Charlie Bolton says:

    Jon Rogers said

    ‘I am well aware that the Green Party is targeting Ashley ward and obviously if more people vote for the Green Party than vote for me then I will be out, and Labour and the Conservatives can continue playing their games.’

    Isn’t that a bit presumptious, Jon? The idea that if you lose, then Labour and Tories will be running the council – there are another 23 odd seats up for grabs – and the make up of Bristol City council depends on all of them!

    It would make a big difference to the Green party to have a second councillor – we would then have the RIGHT to sit on committees, and we would be able to second our own motions and amendments.

    I only get to sit on any committee because the other parties let me – which puts me in an extremely weak position in terms of pushing the green agenda. If any of them object, then I’m off.

    If you look at council documentation, it refers to me as Cllr Bolton, because the council simply does not recognise the Green Party (because we are not a group)

  30. TonyD says:

    “if more people vote for the Green Party than vote for me then I will be out” TRUE

    “and Labour and the Conservatives can continue playing their games” TOTAL BOLLOCKS

    What Jon is trying to say, rather less subtly than he normally does, is that a vote for the Greens is a vote for Lab/Con. This is a viewpoint of course, that has much more to do with his party allegiance than with offering an unbiased analysis, and reflects a similar pattern of argument being repeated across Easton.

    The simple fact is that Lib-Dems currently hold 32 council seats and expect to take four more from Labour giving them overall majority in the council chamber.

    If this is the case than the “green(ish)” credentials of Jon (along with Gary and Neil) will have to stand up in party meetings behind closed doors to the more traditional views of Brown, Janke, Popham and Cook who may argue that a vote that gave them overall majority also gave them carte-blanche to implement their policies regardless of any green issues.

    On the other hand, if the Greens take Ashley (and/or Easton) then the Lib-Dems will have to prove their green credentials in the council chamber under the public gaze to elicit the support of the Green Party councillors.

    Labour or Conservatives have little or no chance of winning Ashley. The choice is Lib-Dems or Greens, but Jon will keep trying to convince you otherwise.

    How did it go again?
    Vote Rogers, get Brown (Dennis)
    Vote Brown, get Certified

    Tony Dyer
    Green Party member (just in case you thought that I too, was non-partisan – whatever that means!)

  31. thebristolblogger says:

    What’s the big deal about sitting on committees? They don’t have any power.

    They’re talking shops.

  32. Jon Rogers says:

    Evening Tony D

    If we are trading aphorisms, can I remind you that my chum Cllr Bolton voted for Labour’s Helen Holland.

    “Vote Green get Red”!


  33. thebristolblogger says:

    Jon talks a good green game. But that’s what it is talk. Prior to an election too.

    Does anyone really believe Janke, Biggles and Cook are interested in Green issues beyond their use for electoral advantage?

    Of course the Lib Dems could actually prove their green credentials prior to the election and stop the Railway Path land sale.

    Something they could do tomorrow if they wanted.

    Oddly, these dyed-in-the-wool greens aren’t doing this. Instead they appear to be backing – albeit silently – the local business interests.

    What is their policy on the Chocolate Factory/Railway Path? Why don’t they want to tell us?

  34. TonyD says:

    Evening Jon

    Last time out if I remember Charlie voted against Holland and you and the rest of the Lib-Dems abstained….

    “Vote Yellow, get…….nothing”


  35. Ella says:

    “Vote Yellow, get diarrhoea”

  36. Get out says:

    Hold on, I cant believe people are going to let that Paul Smith get away with peddling the “privatise homecare” bollox without nailing him. The fact was that the LDs were just continuing with a local and national Labour party policy. And, unsurprisingly, Labour did indeed continue with it quietly over the last two years!

    As was covered in the E Post a couple of months ago, the same amount of Bristol homecare is now done in the private sector under Labour (80%) as the LDs proposed.

    It looks like Paul Smith and co will get away with re-writing history after all. If this site cant keep ’em clean, no one can 🙁

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