Tag Archives: Bristol City Council

BristolBloggerGate: WordPress suppresses words… But which ones and why?

For reasons that are as yet unclear, WordPress today attempted to silence one of our fair city’s most popular political websites, The Bristol Blogger. In place of the usual collection of local political ribaldry, scandalous gossip and five-star muckraking, filling TBB’s front page now is a stark notice:

This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.

No reference is made to exactly what is supposed to have breached the ToS.

So just what was it that got WordPress’s knickers in a twist? The last story posted on TBB was about the pisspoor Tory twitter campaign #kerryout; so is it something to do with the less-than-ecstatic welcome extended to the Conservatives’ Bristol East candidate Adeela Shafi (aka ‘Web wonder Shafi’)?

That article has been rather usefully reposted to Bristol IndyMedia:

Election 2010: Tory wonderweb joy!

January 4, 2010 · 20 Comments

Just been reading Eugene Byrne’s political predictions for 2010 in Venue. A stonking good read mainly because the The Bristol Blogger is in it. Although another highlight is Helen Holland cracking a decentish joke while KRS will be on the naughty step for the forseeable.

Most of the article is general election predictions and observations. Dawn’s gonna hold Bristol South; Paul Smith might win Bristol West (ha, ha, ha!); Jacob Rees-Mogg is tosser etc. etc …

Unfortunately Eugene didn’t mention Bristol East where the – so far – invisible Tory candidate, the fragrant Ms Adeela Shafi of leafy Westbury-on-Trym in, er, Bristol West, has reinvented herself over Christmas as one of the country’s “most web-savvy politicians”!

And ‘Web wonder Shafi‘ – as we now have to call her – will have an anonymous pro-Tory internet campaign – featuring “cutting edge Tory bloggers” – kicking off in the Bristol East constituency today with the Twitter-friendly title #kerryout.

Despite the rather obvious fact – regardless of how many “cutting edge” Tory public schoolboy bloggers form a circle jerk – that Bristol’s political blogosphere doesn’t have the reach to turn over a 7,200 Labour majority in Bristol East – and lazy-arsed Tory horse Shafi will have to get off her backside and knock on doors to make an impact – this soppy little campaign has obviously rattled Kerry who is already issuing daft legal threats!

Now we find Channel 4 News are taking an interest …

Pull up a chair. The election’s underway folks and I’m off to design my ‘Election 2010′ logo …

Or perhaps it’s nothing to do with that at all – TBB has, after all, gnawed at the ankles of pretty much everyone who would like to see themself as either one of the great and/or the good of the city. Frothy-mouthed keyboard-puncher Bristol Dave suspects the work of the City Council’s legal eagles – crackpot little Hitlers (sorry, I mean ‘crack litigators’) that they are; if you have a theory, please do share.

Meanwhile, the Bristol Blogger themself has suggested that anybody interested in finding out why the blog’s been spiked should contact Paul Kim, who seems to be responsible for this sort of thing at Automattic, the company which runs WordPress.

ETA:

More coverage now up in the form of an editorial article on Bristol IndyMedia, plus a quickie on Anarchist 6[Zero]6. Bristol Dave has also fleshed out his theory that this is BCC-related in the comments below.

Local elections 09 – Bristol City Council gets LibDem overlords, no new Green

The minority LibDem leadership in Bristol City Council has been converted into a LibDem majority after yesterday’s local elections. The Green’s targeting of Ashley ward wasn’t enough to unseat sitting LibDem Dr Jolly Jon Rogers, despite Shirley Not’s CoconutGate race shenanigans threatening to complicate matters.

I’ve been busy on other matters lately, so here’s some handy links to other Bristol bloggers on the elections:

As a postscript, he’s the sum of all the politicking I’ve been subjected to in the trenches of St Paul’s…

Election campaign results from the BunKRS

Leaflets-through-the-door count (alphabetical):

  • BNP (Euro) 1
  • Green (BCC) 1
  • Labour (Euro) 2
  • No2EU (Euro) 1
  • UKIP (Euro) 1

Leaflets-seen-in-windows etc count (alphabetical):

  • All parties (BCC) 0
  • All parties (Euro) 0

Canvassers for BCC elections:

  • 0

Conversations about BCC elections with local neighbours:

  • 0

Conversations about BCC elections with others in Bristol:

  • 1

This is all down my ends of Ashley ward. Seeing as we were supposed to be some kind of battleground, I was surprised there was no doorstep business from Greens or LibDems, and only one leaflet from either! The nearest to any kind of canvassing was a Green who buzzed my flat asking to be let in to the block on a Sunday to deliver leaflets, but they didn’t knock on the door to talk or anything.

Yellow lines, don’t do it

Parking not allowed

Parking's fine here, though!

So yesterday loads of cars parked along Brunswick street got tickets. Some were parked on the CEED side, invariably half on the road, half on the pavement. Others were on the Wilder Court side (the end one of which was parked on the corner with Wilder Street).

There were some very unhappy local residents!

Today one of said unhappy local residents stopped a pair of PCSOs (or, as I understand Acksuall Constables call them, Plastic Pigs) to ask where they should park, having been ticketed yesterday. As she politely but assertively pointed out, there are no yellow lines past the corner, and she hadn’t been parked on the corner. The PCSOs (9288 and 7071), whilst keen to point out that “we weren’t here yesterday, it wasn’t us”, then indicated where in their opinion it was okay to park and where it was not. Oh, and they added that “there’s been a lot of complaints about the parking around here…”

:o

The lady drove off, and then the PCSOs decided to do a bit more ticketing, perhaps on the grounds of being consistent (a first around here, I would aver).

Slightly undermining that particular inference is that just down the round at the end of Wilder Street, right outside the Wilder House Parking Services HQ, was a sandwich van (Gert Lush’s Daihatsu Hijet registration WR51 KZE), parked half on the pavement and half on double yellows. I guess it is hungry work, slaving over spreadsheets of parking tickets and permit receipts.

Pep talk & Shirley

My absentee councillor, Shirley Brown née Marshall, has broken cover and spoken to the Evening Post about her ‘moment of race jibe madness’!

Nearly six years after she was voted in, Shirley Brown remains Bristol’s only black councillor.

In a city that has had a large African Caribbean population for more than 50 years and now has a significant proportion of residents from backgrounds across the globe, she does not think that is good enough.

Shirley, 48, intends to spend the two remaining years of her second term as Liberal Democrat councillor for Ashley ward trying to improve the situation.

“It is really important for more African Caribbean people and more black and minority ethnic people in general to become engaged with the political process and I will be working on that,” she said.

She has had huge support from the people of Easton and St Paul’s, and never more so than when opponents criticised her for spending too long in America in the early months of her marriage to Byron Brown.

“People really rallied round me – but seeing what I went through does make some of them reluctant to put themselves forward for public life,” she said.

During her first term on the council, from 2003-2007, mother of three Shirley said she spent up to 60 hours a week on council work, attending more than 30 meetings every month.

But a couple of months after she was re-elected, and shortly after the death of her father, the then Shirley Marshall collapsed at work in Easton and was taken to the BRI.

Although it turned out not to be a stroke, as suspected, Shirley took it as a warning sign that she was burning herself out.

She went to America to recuperate and it was while she was there that her friend Byron, whom she had met when he was visiting Bristol on a council exchange, proposed.

Four days later, the pair wed and three days after that Shirley came back to Bristol. Early in 2008, she returned to the US for an extended honeymoon and soon began to attract criticism for picking up her £11,000 council allowance while she was across the Atlantic.

The Lib Dems felt this was unfair, given that councillors from all parties have had long illness absences that have not drawn so much attention.

In her defence, Shirley contended that she was continuing some of her ward work by email and her fellow Lib Dem Ashley councillor Jon Rogers was covering the rest.

She now has an unexpected opportunity to repay him for that, as Jon is a cabinet member following the surprise elevation of the Liberal Democrats to control of the council last week.

Shirley said: “Jon and I work very well together and now he is an executive member it will mean I will be covering ward work a lot more.”

…She played an active role in many events for Abolition 200 – the 200th anniversary of the Bill to end the slave trade – and is a supporter of the Legacy Commission, which will carry on some of that work.

She was therefore horrified that an Asian Conservative councillor, Jay Jethwa, spoke out at the council meeting last week against continuing funding for the commission.

“I could not believe she was saying that,” Shirley said. But the Tories were equally incredulous at the Lib Dem’s response, in which she called Councillor Jethwa a coconut, and made an official complaint.

Her boss, Lib Dem Councillor Barbara Janke, was not impressed either and has told Shirley to apologise, which she did.

As well as the council, Shirley has her paid work helping young people with personal development and working with women’s groups, as well as speaking engagements and motivational seminars.

There is also her faith. She is a preacher, although she has cut back on her work since her illness…

I await this renewed interest in ward casework with bated breath.

The Bristolian is back!

The Bristolian is back!

I got given a copy of the back-from-the-dead Bristolian earlier!

They don’t seem to have a website at the moment, but tentative steps and all that, I’m sure things will be moving along nicely once people know it’s back in business.

This inaugural issue carries stories on:

  • the LibDem Council House coup d’état;
  • the cancellation of a new primary school in favour of a car park for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club;
  • expensive Council jargon;
  • Sustrans and the Cycling City money-go-round;
  • and (of course!) the good old recession.

They do ask that if you have “any leaks, sleaze, gossip, slander, news, views or anything else your fellow Bristolians should know about” to get in touch – email BristolianNews AT Gmail.com

Look out for it in shops, pubs, market stalls, community centres and newsagents!

In the meantime I’ve scanned & PDFed it so you can download your own full-size A4 printable copy – the pic above is for illustrative purposes only ;)

» Download The Bristolian #1

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Bradshaw hates Bristol bloggers!

Mark Bradshaw hates Bristol bloggers!

I just thought I would see if my earlier post had earned (ex-‘transport supremo’) Mark Bradshaw any more Twitter friends, only to discover that the blighter has blocked me!

Good to see a politician with such a healthy interest in engaging with local people, as ever ;)

The Bristol Web 2.0 Careers Advice Service

Mark Bradshaw's Twitter plea

Following the booting out of the Labour minority cabinet at Bristol City Council, ‘transport supremo’ Mark Bradshaw has been wondering what to do with himself.

Tweet your suggestions to @mark_bradshaw

ETA:

I see Terry Cook has also discovered the jobseeking potential of Twitter.

Discussion: