It’s interesting looking back. Does society progress?
Thinking of all the coverage today of the holocaust..the 70th anniversary of Auchwitz liberation.
I wouldn’t be so crass as to link today’s time with the 1930’s & 40’s Hitler Nazi death cult.
But it’s worth a moments contemplation.
Because there’s a small, maybe too minute to be considered relevant, but there nevertheless if your eyes are open enough to see it, there is a small window into a dark world of intolerance and hatred.
It’s maybe in all of us to some degree, who knows or would admit to it. Mostly we try to live in harmony and under rules of governance that our culture and civilised world has evolved into. But how quickly will the facade slip?
A Charismatic leader
A private army.
We like to believe we are so far removed from the evils of dictatorship.
I do too. I like to think I would stick my neck out and say no. I like to think we live in a tolerant, principled and caring society. I believe in standing up for my democratic rights of free speech.
That’s all great words and good ideals.
And here is the unpalatable truth.
The truth is I have had to write this blog under a pseudonym….
But it’s not all bad! Football team is flying high. New addition of Bristol Rugby team are bashing all opposition, with civilised fans drinking in the stands sharing banter with opposition fans and not a copper or bar steward in sight.
Redevelopment of stadium is progressing well as Mr Lansdown ploughs dividends into the rebuild, fair play he never gave up.
Best of all though, Blatters FIFA are shown up as riddled with corruption. Remember the council desperate to get the corrupt tax dodging, brown envelope world cup circus to Bristol? How embarrassing Mr Simon Cooke.
Even better than best of all..Tesco would you believe it, the original bidders on the monster hypermarket have been exposed as massive fiddlers of their audited accounts. Who knows what other dodgy figures they tried to pass off…well we do, that is pretty much everything. Good Job the local community showed those losers the door.
And then how about the second biters of the monster cherry Sainsburies? They’ve just got cold feet over monster hypermarkets and are abandoning the giant out of town, high street killing megastores faster than the Russians moving into Crimea and Ukraine, which is pretty fast. Someone in the Sainsburies lot needs to sack himself, losers. At least they seem to be dropping Rovers in the shite as well so hey ho!
One last reflection. As a postscript. I ought to touch on propaganda as a weapon seeing as its in the title.
How powerful is an image?
Victory Ashton Vale
VICTORY ASHTON GATE
How we saved BCFC from self destruction.
How we saved Sainsburies from wasting millions on useless hypermarkets.
Consutancy fees for services rendered 2009-14 total £5M +vat.
Our bill will be in the posts over the next few months.
Getting a grip on this story, that could be hard for someone not having lived through it. Here’s something to fill in the gaps, a bit of the social and neighbourly commentary.
The Ashton Gate hypermarket and Ashton Vale new stadium campaign has been a relentless one for local residents, only just easing off in the last year or so.
A characteristic of this campaign has been that of misinformation. The list is pretty long. The full story though overdue in the printed media is still being ditched in favour of headlines like Dogwalkers 1 Ambition 0. That’s almost as good as one of my headlines. The EP of course has no duty of impartial dissemination of any article like I do so who cares? Pitting local residents against football fans in a dogfight makes good copy.
Of course quite a lot of people do care, particularly the local residents who have been affected by the two issues of giant supermarket and massive new stadium complex.
And there’s a lot of people who also care about their football club. Local resident or not.
Local Residents care about the local councils, the dealing and decision making that goes on behind the public eye.
They care about the traffic and parking, loss of local high street shopping, air quality, parks and green spaces, schools, housing, trees, pavements, public transport, bin collections. All the things that go to make a place they choose to live in or were born and brought up in a pleasant and thriving community. Not everyone engages in all these, but most residents have an interest and investment in the present and future of their local community. Do we all not want a thriving area where we can walk the streets safely, our kids get a good education, where families the young and the old are valued, with shops and pubs, parks and trees? And don’t we all want to live without fear of bullying, discrimination and vindictive campaigns of hatred?
The alliance of supermarket chain with football club has damaged the links with the club’s historic community, and inadvertently or otherwise pitted fans against residents in a planning application row.
There is opportunity now to repair the damage.
The win win scenario is this…….
The club has engaged fully in the application to rebuild the existing stadium.
Win. Fans will get an exciting newly rebuilt and modernised stadium to rebuild their league status for the future.
The stadium will be at the heart of its historic home bucking the trend for soulless out of town venues. With all their usual favourite local pubs and takeaways around the ground, fans from near and afar will continue to enjoy the local Bedminster hospitality, the good cider and pies. Is that not an essential part of the match day experience? Other teams in other towns and cities will be jealous they have not retained these links with their spiritual home, whose character and history has not been compromised by the temptation of instant glory and promised riches.
Then there’s money…the rebuilt stadium will be much less of a financial burden at half the cost of the AV plans. More financial security for the club.
Win for residents ..is the ending of a long drawn out nightmare for some. For the many it’s the ending of a threat that the massive hypermarket would blight the historic shopping streets, and damage the region by traffic increase.
Win. Local shops, pubs cafés and takeaways get to enjoy the valued custom of the football and rugby supporters who help to sustain the traditional high streets. And the residents benefit from thriving shopping streets. Traffic and parking on matchdays is still a price to pay but we’ve always lived with that and organise lives around matchday pandemonium.
Win. Green belt stays green belt, kind of, at least part of it. There’s no win here for the safety of the country’s green belt in general with Tory pressure and wealthy landowners pushing the profit barrier. But there is a significant win for green recreational space and South Bristol greenbelt. The law has been tested extensively by top legal brains and it’s a win for the local residents team and the ancient rights of the common people to enjoy the freedom of recreation on land with Town and Village green status confirmed. This is a very significant win for ordinary local people against the odds.
The time has finally come to end the story.
And there’s one person who is at the centre of the story who has one last job of closure. Stephen Lansdown has come in for a fair bit of stick from me. As I’ve taken on a role of countering the misinformation from the Lansdown camp with sometimes lighthearted and satirical comment and hilarious images, this has been my counter to a sinister underlying current of verbal and property abuse that goes beyond the banter. Lansdown as a super rich public figure..a bit of stick goes with the territory. But the ordinary fan or resident or family or home is where I draw the line. Mr Lansdown as captain of the ship, the abuse has to stop now. You’ve let it run too long already and you need to speak out now in public and ask for it to cease. Yes there’s an argument for free speech, but a sustained campaign of vilification of ordinary people is not acceptable in these times. We are at a win win situation of compromise. Don’t encourage the doom mongers and haters to continue the abuse by your silence on the subject. They look to you for guidance as valued owner, investor and leader. You need to speak out now so that all can move on..the silence on the subject leaves some people in limbo. Speak out and lay the law down, it is unacceptable.
It is now time to move on.
The future is good.
Bristol has always been open for business.
Bristol has never been closed for business.
Bristol thrives on its current business.
Lansdown has grown fat on Bristol business.
Other fat cats have grown fat on Bristol business that is not shut.
So to all the dipsticks who like to say that if they don’t get their monster developments then it means Bristol is closed for business……STFU!!!!!!!
Everywhere I look I see business going about what it does best in Bristol. Hard working folks earning a living. Free enterprise and innovation. Markets and manufacturers.
This is the city that has rode the recession and is one of the most desirable places to live in this country, if not Europe.
So whingers and football stadium suits..mentioning no names Higgs, Calway, and West..just get on with building your new stadium. It’s exactly because Bristol citizens won’t be content with dodgy deals and unsustainable monster supermarkets that demonstrates Bristol is open for business. Because it means that small traders can survive and flourish. Let the monster monopolies take over like this trio of tripe peddlers want and you can be sure that Bristol will indeed be closed for business.
About time, VE Ashton Gate.
Never in the football field of human vanity has so much time and money been wasted by so few.
I’m going to invoice the tax exile for all the hours I’ve spent on this project. All the sensible majority of fans who wanted to remain at their historic home can thank me for my efforts in preventing their move to the Clarks Pie stadium in the greenbelt.
Seriously this is the best option by far and what we’ve all said all along. Keep the stadium in the heart of the community. Where you can walk from your favourite pub or cafe and smell the atmosphere and excitement as you near the ground. City has bucked the trend for faceless overpriced out of town stadia with their overpriced concessions and prawn sandwiches.
This is the sustainable option where the ground will grow with modern facilities in a sustainable manner.
I wonder how many fans realise how close they’ve been to financial breakdown with the tipping point of the overblown new stadium. Think Coventry..that has been narrowly avoided and a solid sustainable base has been given the green light.
The Stainsburies corporation has been dealt another blow in their insatiable drive for shopping imperial dominance..
The double whammy of both north and south Bristol’s most important historic shopping high streets getting wiped out by the vicious hypermarket vultures can be avoided.
North Bristol is fighting back with the kind of Blitz spirit that Greater Bedminster demonstrated… with steely determination not to see their region destroyed by the faceless and chinless moneymen in suits.
Trash horfield deserve support and admiration for taking on the city council planning decision, for challenging the bent process, for standing up for the local community.
The Post deserve utter condemnation in their attempts to once again whip up community hatred. They’ve a discredited and woeful record of reporting that plumbs the depths of misinformation and deception. They report that ‘a high court judge has ruled that a judicial review can proceed against Bristol Rovers plans to move to a new stadium’. UTTER GARBAGE!!
**FACT** the judicial review is about holding the city council to account for misrepresenting significant retail consultants advice on the retail impact of the new store. The same trick in fact that councillors pulled out for the Ashton Gate megastore (had the resources been available at the time, that would have been JR challenged with a good chance of winning as well).
But that’s too boring for a tabloid rag..they prefer to get football supporters riled and stir up community hatred.
Lets hope the rovers supporters are a bit more sensible and dignified than the minority of city supporters who rose to the bait. Rovers have the land and permission in place for a fantastic new stadium..it can start tomorrow..I’ll get my tools out and start now if Nick Higgs mentions moth balls again. He needs to get his balls in gear and start building the stadium.
He can’t make the case that the destructive supermarket chain is enabling the new stadium, at the expense of ruination of a historic shopping area and community.
That ‘enabling argument’ has already been driven to death by the Ashton Gate saga. It is nothing but fanciful mythology, and piles of cash.