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Avon & Somerset Chief Constable Colin Port 'ruling by decree'

south west | policing | news report Wednesday August 13, 2008 17:56 by Tony Gosling

Southwest One

The regional ITV and BBC newsrooms have been buzzing over the last two months with threatening legal letters from lawyers Carter Ruck, all paid for with public money and attempting to gag the press from criticising Somerset County Council, Chief Constable Colin Port and his wife Susan Barnes. Both are party to what must be the dodgyest PPP privatisation contract ever signed in the UK.

Avon Chief Constable's whitewash of human rights lawyer killing

somerset | policing | news report Tuesday May 30, 2006 00:17 by Tony Gosling - Who Polices the Police?

I his shady past Avon and Somerset police's Chief Constable presided over the whitewash report into

Seems Avon and Somerset's Chief Constable has form... covering up for the murderers of a Nationalist human rights lawyer back in 2000. I wonder does this appear on his criminal record?

An Phoblacht - Republican News - September 2000

Battle of Stokes Croft - builder Simon Lewis mauled by police dogs

bristol | policing | news report Saturday June 25, 2011 13:57 by Tony Gosling

On Bristol Community FM's Friday Drivetime yesterday evening we heard from Montpelier builder Simon Lewis who was attacked by three police dogs and hospitalised on the second night of the Easter 'disturbances'. This is the third programe I have focussed on those riots and the third time Avon & Somerset police press office have turned down my invitaton to appear.

This is a decision made not by officers but at Portishead HQ by Media Relations Manager Victoria Tag and her boss, Amanda Hirst, Head of Corporate Communications for Avon and Somerset Police. These decisions appear to contravene the publicly funded police's committment to dialogue with the community. - hi-fi hi-fi

Avon & Somerset's Force's Media and Public Relations Policy states as follows: 'the philosophy underpinning that policy is to be open, honest, fair and accountable with the media and, through the media, with the communities we serve.'

Bristol builder Simon Lewis mauled by police dogs at Easter disturbances

Bristol Blogger Roy Norris outed?

bristol | media and culture | opinion/analysis Saturday May 10, 2008 03:28 by Tony Gosling

Hope he doesn't lose his job or anything

But the SS (MI5/6) & their mates will know who he is anyway so why not the rest of us?

From Charlie Bolton's more grown up and less 'slag everything off' blog. Not sure when this last comment was posted.

Bristol Evening Post - oral history from NUJ members

bristol | media and culture | opinion/analysis Sunday August 24, 2008 14:15 by Tony Gosling - National Union of Journalists

originally recorded for Liverpool John Moores University

In their own words - journalists at the Bristol Evening Post talk about their profession.

These interviews were originally recorded for the On TheRecord project run by the Journalism department at Liverpool John Moores University but have still to appear on that website after several months. More will be added in the next week or so so please check back to the Radio4All page in the meantime.

Bristol Mason Judges Protect Clevedon Cult Pervert

somerset | policing | news report Thursday August 23, 2007 21:23 by Tony Gosling

Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult with an inner 'elite'

For many people the knock on the door by the Jehovah's Witnesses is an amusing opportuninity to put the 'God Botherers' straight in a philosophical argument. For others it is simply a pain in the backside, but very few know that the Jehovah's Witnesses are an elitist organisation in which thousands of well intentioned believers get caught up. This horriffice injustice illustrates the way that the masonic cult inside Bristol's judiciary has protected a fellow cult member.


Anger over paedophile's sentence

A judge has been accused of giving paedophiles a licence to offend after he refused to send a serial child sex attacker to jail.

Michael Porter, 38, used his trusted position as a ministerial servant in the Jehovah's Witnesses to prey on young boys in Clevedon, Somerset, over a 14-year period. One of his victims was an 18-month-old baby, the court heard.

Porter, of Okehampton Close, north London, pleaded guilty to 25 counts of indecent assault and gross indecency on boys and young adults at Bristol Crown Court.

But Judge Tom Crowther opted not to jail him and handed him a three-year community rehabilitation order after hearing he had undergone therapy.

Bristol masons block honest cop's promotion?

bristol | policing | news report Friday November 02, 2007 18:45 by Tony Gosling

CI Simon House alleges victimisation by \"group of top officers\"

Fair play to D.I. House for not simply accepting the rampant cronyism and the crooked glass ceiling that so many other cops have identified in our local contabulary. His challenge to the plundering of the public purse and the Poison Ivy strangling our city and county (aided an abbetted by Moira Hamlin, the sycophantic chair of the A&S police Authority) is the stuff of which legends are made. The bent coppers at the top of our local force spend 99% of their time and effort protecting their dismal reputations, closing our festivals and lining their pockets at our expense... and 1% doing their job badly.

D.I. Simon House

Grab this story and mirror while you can since previous stories critical of the same \"group of top officers\" have mysteriously disappeared from the Evening Post\'s website.

Such as this story about the previous highly paid and crooked Chief Constable


A senior police officer was victimised by his bosses for seven years after filing a claim for sexual discrimination, an employment tribunal has heard.

Chief Inspector Simon House claims he has been bullied and mistreated by Avon & Somerset police since making the claim after missing out on promotion in 1999.

He has taken legal action against his employers, claiming a group of top officers froze him out and prevented him progressing.

Bristol's Greatest Woman Painter Predicted Northern Rock Crisis

bristol | miscellaneous | opinion/analysis Tuesday December 04, 2007 00:51 by Tony Gosling - Dialect

but Bristol City Art Gallery Stash The Painting In Their Vaults

In correspondence earlier this year I asked Bristol City Art Gallery's Conservator Carolyn Lamb and Fine Art Curator Sheena Stoddard why one of Rolinda Sharples' most famous paintings was languishing in their vaults, where I checked it was still in good condition.

The Stoppage Of The Bank

I asked them to dust it off and get it back in the public gallery as it was rather a prophetic piece. Ironicly these two women decided not to put on show another woman's great work, which arguably takes a pop at the exclusively man's world of banking... They sent me a polite refusal.

I'm thinking of starting a campaign to get them to put the painting on permanent display.

Rolinda Sharples, The Stoppage of the Bank (1831). The scene is set in a fictional Guinea Street, which has a certain resemblance to Bristol's Corn Street. On the right is a bank whose closure is causing dismay. Behind it is the famous Dutch House which stood on the corner of Wine Street and High Street until destroyed in the Blitz. In the background is All Saints Church, which Sharples has shifted to a new position for artistic effect. (Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.)

A print of this painting costs £60.00 and you have to get it from Italy. Not exacly public access is it!?

Cameron & cabinet in Bristol to celebrate Merchant Venturers' Charter Day

bristol | corporations | news report Monday November 12, 2012 23:20 by Tony Gosling

It's Monday 12th November 2012, beleagured British Prime Minister David Cameron & his crooked Tory millionaires' cabinet are in town today meeting at John Cabot Academy.

Also Bilderberger & shadow shadow chancellor of the exchequer Ed Balls

Why today - well there's the mayoral elections - but much more importantly it is the annual Charter Day of the investment tax haven shell companies The Merchant Venturers.

Every 12th November the full dubious cast of Bristol's finest millionaire Merchant Venturers gather at Bristol Cathedral for 11am where they have a church service which lasts for about an hour and a half. Presumably to thank one of their gods for their incredible wealth and for the fact that the poor, ill and unemployed of the city don't rumble what they are up to & demand they pay their fair share.

Comments from EP website:

“Coincidence? Merchant Venturers and Tory cabinet are one elite millionaires' merchant banking cabal. What events today were the press not invited to? Candidate George Ferguson admitted at last Friday's College Green hustings that he is 'probably a paper millionaire.'

How much PCC candidate and Merchant Venturer John Savage is worth is not known but it's thought to be more than the average Labour Party member.”

“My gosh two really big meetings in the Bristol area today. And a huge job for the police protection services. More importantly locally the Merchant Venturers, (one of their members is standing as Mayoral candidate) had their annual service at The Cathedral followed by a grand lunch at Merchants' Hall. A top hat and tails affair this. Then at Kingswood, which is not in Bristol, 23 men and women, good and true, come to town, otherwise known as Dave and the Whitehall Farce.”

Bunkers Under Bath

bath | miscellaneous | news report Monday November 10, 2003 15:43 by Tony Gosling/Phil Chamberlain tony at gaia dot org

Phil Chamberlain, onetime Bath Chronicle reporter, takes a peep down the various military rabbit holes in the Box and Corsham area.

Bunkers Under Bath

by Phil Chamberlain

For conspiracy theorists it is Britain\'s own Area 51. The American version has become such a fixture on the cult circuit that there are burger bars selling alien snacks and motels offering the best viewing points to see America\'s secret aircraft take off and land. But Britain\'s secret base has no such post-modernist trappings, just a few dedicated enthusiasts swapping tit bits on the web and a typically humdrum Ministry of Defence location.

The warren of tunnels around Corsham and Box near Bath have been home to a number of military bases since before the Second World War. Most utilised the quarries which fed the stone that made the city famous and was exported across the world. The mine workings link up in some cases with the military bases and the whole network spreads for miles with entrances dotted around the hills - some quote large and others no more than a rabbit hole in the ground.

Bunkers Under Bath by Phil Chamberlain

Concerns over Bristol mayor ballot box security & count delay

bristol | local government | news report Saturday May 05, 2012 00:06 by Tony Gosling

The ‘Yes’ campaign won a majority on about 5000 votes but concerns raised about why the ballot boxes were kept overnight in a highly political private business premises, Bristol City Football Club owned by long time critic of Bristol City Council Stephen Lansdown giving him and his colleagues to possibility of interfering in the electoral process overnight. Former slave traders 'The Merchant Venturers', local paper 'The Post' and the business community of Bristol annoint Architect and Merchant Venturer, George Ferguson, as their favoured candidate for mayor in November 2012.

Related Link:

Cowboy builders in the frame as Evening Post HQ roof collapses & nearly kills crane driver

bristol | media and culture | news report Monday December 13, 2010 19:04 by Tony Gosling

Evening Post HQ on Temple Way evacuated 45 mins after roof collapses

Newsdesk number was going straight to voicemail. BBC covered this one up nicely for their control freak mates at the top floor at the Evening Post. Northciliffe's news management team led by Rob Stokes managing to play this down but the atmosphere of employee fear & management control meant that when I spoke to employees today on the phone they didn't even want to admit anything had happened. Maybe Rob will award himself the top 'news management' gong at next year's regional PR awards.

At least one employee was brave enough to post anonymously.

I Was A First Hand Witness. It Was A Domino Effect. And It Was Terrifying. All You Could See Was Dust And A Builder Nearly Got Crushed, He Got Out The Crane On Time.

This Happened At About 9.45, And We Were Not Evacuated Until About 10.30.

But Then Us In The Hub Had To Be Placed Somewhere Else Within The Building Because They Were Doing A Health And Safety Check And They Had To Get A Structural Engineer In As There Were Fears Of A Crack Against The Hubs Wall.

But We Are Now Safely Back In The Hub, Work As Normal.

Did Bristol's top cop collude with Loyalist assassins?

somerset | policing | opinion/analysis Saturday February 24, 2007 03:03 by Tony Gosling

it certainly looks like it

On the Avon and Somerset police website it explains that Avon and Somerset's present Chief Constable Colin Port headed an 'independent' investigation into the 1999 car-bombing and murder of Republican lawyer Rosemary Nelson.

Colin Port's web page explains, "Between 1999 and 2002 he was seconded to Northern Ireland to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Rosemary Nelson."

Colin Port's so-called independent investigation team was partly made up of RUC officers, operating out of Lurgan barracks, the station from which most of the death threats against Rosemary Nelson emanated.

After three years on the case Port's found nothing and prosecuted no-one.

So disgusted were the Irish people, from both sides of the divide, that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was forced to begin a new inquiry in 2004. That inquiry was mysteriously slow to open and has been stalled further since Security Service MI5 became formally involved in September last year (2006).

Hearings have now been postponed indefinately and this is hardly suprising since the Security Service MI5 is implicated in Republican killings. A mystery car seen at one murder scene has been traced back to them.

Colin Port's responsibility for protecting rather than questioning Rosemary Nelson's alleged killers is slowly sinking in around Avon and Somerset.

As is the fact that since the Orange Order and Freemasonry are so closely connected to Loyalism that any association Port may have with the Freemasons would make his investigation of Rosemary Nelson's murder not just the travesty of justice, but a criminal offence by him too for failing to declare his interest.

Hopefully pressure from concerned citizens, elected Councillors, the Police Authority and from honest cops within the constabulary will force Colin Port to publicly explain why he didn't question prime RUC murder suspects in the Rosemary Nelson case. If he doesn't want to do that he might quietly resign, retire,or be sacked for bringing the force into disrepute.

With Port's lack of credibility as an honest public servant much of the force is demoralised and defeatist. Worse still a notion is becoming clear, rightly or wrongly, that corruption starts at the top at Avon and Somerset Police.

Colin Port - Avon and Somerset police

Empty edifices: Bristol's corporate benefit cheats

bristol | the environment | opinion/analysis Thursday April 13, 2006 18:24 by Tony Gosling - The Land Is Ours

The economics and politics of Bristol's empty offices

Can the city of Bristol afford not to provide cheap startup space for small businesses? Why is it that so many offices in the city stand empty? How can landowners afford to leave their offices empty? Tony Gosling investigates.

[ this article first appeared in March 2006 in the winter/spring edition of 'The Land' magazine ]

Tony Gosling looks at the scams which ensure office rents stay high - while hundreds of acres of Bristol's office space remain empty.

Why should a coal miner dig extra coal for a few pounds more while he has seen property speculators grow wealthy looking at empty office blocks? - Labour Party Manifesto 1974.

Several years ago the Bristol Evening Post led with a story about the shocking and dangerous lack of office space in the city. Ironically, opposite the Post's headquarters on Temple Way stands Castlemead, a seven-storey office block, almost empty ever since being built five years before.

The rationale behind the Post's headline about the lack of office space became clear the day after it appeared. A planning application was being considered for a massive new office development which planning officers had recommended be refused. The article had no doubt been gullibly copied out from an industry press release.

Housing Hustings - Bristol City Council Mayoral elections

bristol | local government | opinion/analysis Sunday October 21, 2012 23:32 by Tony Gosling

This week we invite the six top mayoral candidates: George Ferguson (Independent â???? Merchant Venturer); Geoff Gollop (Conservative); Neil Maggs (Respect); Danielle Radice (Green); Marvin Rees (Labour) & Jon Rogers (Liberal Democrat) to answer questions about planning, development and housing in Bristol. What will they do to solve the property gap in the city with 14,500 people, or 4% of the cityâ????s population, on the housing list and 1.75 million square feet of empty office space?

Other candidates include Tom Baldwin, Trade Union and Socialist Coalition; Tim Collins, Save Filton Airfield; Spud Murphy, Former Conservative Councillor and Philip Pover, Access To Green Space. Definitive list out at Bristol City Council website on Tuesday 23rd October.

First hour: Bristol mayoral debate concentrating on housing. Mayoral candidates with their visions for the city and their ideas on housing â???? Bristol First, Independent: George Ferguson (Merchant Venturer), Conservative: Geoff Gollop, Respect: Neil Maggs, Green: Daniella Radice, Liberal Democrat: Jon Rogers, (Labourâ????s Marvin Rees pulled out on the day of broadcast). Mike Birkin from South West Friends of the Earth asks how candidates plan to cope with Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Picklesâ???? policy to have central government deciding on local planning issues? Discussion about Bristol General Hospital Developers, City & Country Group, who have decided not to include any affordable housing in their conversion of the hospital to luxury housing. Saying they will leave the place empty and derelict unless council planners agree. Jenny Allen from The National Housing Federation (NHF) asks how candidates intend to work with other local authorities: South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset Councils, to integrate housing policy? Discussion on plans for mass house building over Filton airfield once BAe Systems sell it off. Tony Crofts from his Clifton Housing Co-op asks why there are 40 acres of empty office space in the city, why is the construction industry failing to deliver housing and could this empty property be converted to housing? Candidates puzzle over how companies can afford to keep these buildings empty, is it a tax write-off? Contribution via a July recording of absent Labour candidate Marvin Rees who has promised to build 4000 social housing units in Bristol (we were hoping to ask him how he intends to fund this) but realised this afternoon he had double-booked with this Foyles bookshop event which began at 6pm.??

Second hour: Councillor for St George East Ron Stone has a proposal borrowed from Manchester City Council for pension funds to finance social housing built by local authorities and housing associations. As Ron was taken ill last night this question is put by Old Labour Oxford economist Martin Summers. Acceptance that building social housing would be good for employment, for the economy and for social cohesion. Bristol people talk to Marina Morris on the streets of the city giving their opinions including that the council is corrupt or should be dissolved and others saying they did not know an election was taking place. Keith Cowling from the Bristol Community Land Trust asks how candidates are going to help local people with the skills and who want to, to become their own developers? Why are they not using this route to build affordable housing? Explanation from Keith of what a Community Land Trust is and projected deal to provide new affordable homes at Eastville Park off Fishponds Road. Green candidate Danielle Radice points out that a Central Government Treasury proposal called the â????City Dealâ???? is taking ??£1 billion of city council assets and around 180 land and property assets out of local authority management and handing it to a quango to be known as Public Property Board [PDF] run by the business fraternity through the Local Enterprise Partnership. The question being how will the mayor make decisions about public land when itâ????s being managed by this new quango and out of his or her control? Simon Bale from ISR, Churches for Work and Social Justice, asks how the candidates plan to house homeless people who are mentally ill or addicted to drugs and alcohol? Tony asks candidates to sum up with a question about central governmentâ????s new benefit cuts: a benefit cap, bedroom tax, withdrawal of council tax relief and the Universal Credit which will replace housing benefit. It is predicted that 171,000 single parents nationally will be forced out of their homes so how are the cityâ????s most vulnerable going to cope?

IBM/Holocaust Alert: Avon & Somerset Police Civilian Support Services

somerset | policing | news report Tuesday January 29, 2008 01:38 by Tony Gosling

The outfit that engineered the Nazi Holocaust is taking over Avon and Somerset police

Avon and Somerset police is to privatise key sections of its civilian workforce to save money - the first move of its kind in Britain. No other police force in the country has gone to such lengths to cut costs, although others are now expected to follow the ground-breaking move.


Fri26Jan08 - Bristol Evening Post

Although the Police Authority has yet to formally sign a contract, its members last night effectively gave the go-ahead for computer giant IBM to run a number of its key departments.

Although the details have not yet been released, it is thought the deal will mean that the force's finance, IT and human resources departments will all be privatised. It will not affect frontline policing or the way 999 calls are answered.

Following 15 months of intense negotiations, the force will join Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council. Both councils have already signed up to the £400 million partnership.

The two councils signed a deal with [holocaust specialists] IBM last year to set up a private company, called Southwest One, to run a number of departments including human resources, IT and finance. It is understood that the deal will affect about 600 backroom civilian police employees, whose jobs will now transfer to the new firm.

There are not thought to be any redundancies expected as part of the deal and the Police Authority stressed that it wanted to safeguard jobs. The deal will be rubber stamped before the end of March.

It comes after the Evening Post revealed this week that the Government is shortchanging Avon and Somerset police by almost £60 million, which is likely to lead to a substantial council tax increase in April. Unions were expected to give this latest announcement a mixed response.

Bristol Indymedia exclusive: Bristol's 1373 legal charter online

bristol | local government | announcement Thursday November 01, 2007 21:16 by Tony Gosling

a bit shocked that this legal document wasn't available on the internet

Well out of copyright and hereby published in the virtual commons of Bristol a historic charter of our deere city. And if anyone knoweth whereby the City Council or Avon and Somerset Police do contreveneth this here statute may it be made known and those cases tryed in the courts of our fair city.

County of Bristol

Royal Charter

8th August 1373

EDWARD, by the grace of God King of England and France and Lord of Ireland, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, dukes, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, reeves, bailiffs, ministers, and to all his other faithful subjects, Greeting.

KNOW that by charters of our ancestors, former kings of England, which we have confirmed with various clauses of concession, as well as by our charters, various liberties and immunities, as is more fully contained in the same, have been granted to our beloved burgesses of our own town of Bristol, their heirs and successors for ever. In their supplication, our beloved mayor and commonalty of the aforesaid town of Bristol truly assert that the same town is situated partly In the county of Gloucester and partly in the county of Somerset; and although the aforesaid town is thirty miles from the towns of Gloucester and Ilchester, where the county courts, assizes, juries and inquisitions for the two counties are held before our justices and our other ministers, and the road is deep, particularly in winter, and dangerous for travellers, even so the burgesses of the said town of Bristol are obliged to be present on the many occasions when the county courts, the assizes, juries and inquisi¬tions aforesaid are held, and this often prevents them from attending to the management of their shipping and merchandise, which is to the detriment of their estate and the clear impoverish¬ment of the same town.

Introducing one of the Under Sheriffs of Bristol

bristol | miscellaneous | news report Monday June 10, 2002 21:50 by Tony Gosling tony at gaia dot org

Ever wonder what the Under Sheriffs of Bristol look like? Even though they're public servants they're pretty anonymous characters and have managed to cultivate an air of invisibility - no longer.

Under-Sheriff of Bristol

C.V. Martyn & J.V. Miller

Officers to the High Sheriff of Bristol

Sherriff's Office

Lyons Davidson solicitors offices

5th Floor

Bridge House

48-52 Baldwin Street,


Phone: 0117 904 5961

Fax: 0117 904 6001

Knights Templar take over St Mary's

Knights Templar take over St Mary Redcliffe Church for public initiation ceremony

bristol | miscellaneous | news report Saturday June 23, 2007 19:58 by Tony Gosling - freelance

pictures of today's initiation

At St Mary Redcliffe Church today


Related Link:

Labour PCC Candidate Sensitive Over Bristol General Hospital Sale

bristol | policing | opinion/analysis Sunday November 04, 2012 00:13 by Tony Gosling

FRIDAY DRIVE: This week we invite all four Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidates to explain how they will oversee the force in this newly created US style role as Police Authorities are abolished across the UK. BCfm Police & Crime Commissioner candidates’ discussion – with Peter Levy (Liberal Democrat), Ken Maddock (Conservative), Sue Mountstevens (Independent) and John Savage (Labour).

John Savage's comments about UHB NHS Trust, which he chairs, sale of Bristol General Hospital is about 40-45 minutes in to the second hour

First Hour: Introduction of candidates and their vision for the role of PCC. Peter Levy is a former Ministry of Defence policeman, Ken Maddock questioned about Conservative minister Lord Green’s responsibility for money laundering, Sue Mountstevens bakery business failed, so will she succeed? John Savage a member of the Merchant Venturers who financed the transatlantic slave trade. Question from Gus Hoyt, Green Party councillor for Stokes Croft & St. Paul’s, Ashley Ward, on Easter 2011 riots in Stokes Croft – how would they have policed it? Riot found to have cost £465,000 and employed resources from 12 different police forces including 160 riot police. Should the police use firearms in potential riot situations? What would policing priorities of the four candidates be: drugs; more police on the street; antisocial behaviour; rural policing or equipment? London police in Stephen Lawrence case were taking two salaries, one from organised criminals and one from public purse, how would the candidates deal with that kind of corruption within the force – most agree root it out. Marina Morris out on the streets of Bristol to ask what you think about the election of Police & Crime Commissioners and how you will be voting. General lack of knowledge of, interest in and enthusiasm for the vote or the process. Could be the lowest turnout ever. Gus raises the question, do we actually need a PCC? Police increasingly using high-voltage Tasers but do candidates think they are ethical?

Second hour: Tony Gosling and Martin Summers run through this weeks news: Conservative backbenchers and Labour MPs line up together to vote saying UK should pay less to the EU, Northern Ireland prison officer David Black shot dead yesterday, the first prison officer killed for 13 years in the province. Japanese Hitachi firm buying into UK Nuclear Power stations at Oldbury and North Wales, Tunisia – state of emergency extended into the new year, democratic failings in the first state to move in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. US presidential election next week discussed, Attorney General Dominic Grieve decides it is unlawful for the US to use their UK air bases in any pre-emptive attack they wish to conduct on Iran. Is the UK a ‘soft touch’ when it comes to Serious Organised Crime? Author of ‘Shadow World, Inside the Global Arms Trade, Andrew Feinstein introduces a London based, German owned firm, Marine Force International (MFI) which the German parent firms MAN Ferrostaal AG and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) plan to use to pay arms deal bribes out of the jurisdiction of German courts. PCC candidates return to a question about declaration of senior police officers’ interests and freemasonry, commenting that masons are attracted to senior police roles and that the characteristic police chequerboard is also found on the carpet of Masonic temples. Tony asks a question on crime and poverty, including the issues of cuts, the closure of mental health facilities, the criminalisation of squatting and how the police are forced to pick up the pieces. Tony asks the candidates on how they would deal with the other end of the scale, rich people’s white collar crime and complex frauds, for example selling public property at lower than market prices. John Savage takes exception to the question wondering whether he is being asked about the sale of Bristol General Hospital to private developers City & Country, which he oversaw as chairman of UHB NHS Trust. Rural versus urban policing, will the candidates be able to balance the two properly? Whistleblowing, do the candidates they take the issue seriously and how will they ensure whistleblowers are not sacked.

Related Link:

Maria Voisin - Avon's puppet coroner?

bristol | policing | news report Monday April 02, 2012 19:56 by Tony Gosling

Few people know about or understand the reasons behind the sacking, in February 2011, of Avon Coroner Paul Forrest who was initially suspended in August 2008. The reason for the lack of public knowledge about his tortuous sacking process is that, at the behest of the Head of Legal Services and electoral returning officer at Bristol City Council Stephen McNamara, gagging clauses were included in the severence agreement with Forrest and other staff sacked from their jobs in the Avon Coroners' Office in Flax Bourton.

Despite being whistleblowers none of those dismissed are allowed to say anything to anyone about the circumstances of their sacking, or about any of their work at the Flax Bourton Coroners' Court so information has to be gathered instead from what is a plethora of press articles on the long-drawn-out and ugly bullying & sacking process.

Avon Coroners' Court is very difficult for many to travel to from Bristol, particularly by public transport. The infrequent buses from Bristol to Flax Bourton stop over a mile from the court which is situated 'in the middle of nowhere' and there are no signs to direct members of the public to it. The coroners court was formerly in Backfields, Bristol City Centre, and easily accessible very close to Bristol bus station ... but was moved inexplicably in 2004 and subsequently sold to the owners of the Lakota Night Club in Upper York Street.

Since the Norman invasion British coroners have been guaranteed independence from local government and everybody else. Indeed this independence is protected by law and they are supposed to be independently funded as a judicial service. The trouble began though when Bristol City Council took over the payroll service for the coroner and Bristol City Council have used that power to effectively control appointments in Avon Coroners Service, which is against the law.

The trouble got worse when then coroner Paul Forrest was branded "High-Handed and Aggressive" by Bristol City Council's legal team. He began to be told by officers of Bristol City Council what he was and wasn't allowed to say and how to do his job. This included making public statements in 2005 critical of his own service as he described "bodies piling up at Southmead Hospital mortuary" because of a lack of action which he had demanded and lack of funding from Bristol City Council.

Forrest was being told what to do by the council officers even though he was supposed to be independent. Many would consider this treatment as a form of 'constructive dismissal' or bullying and that a robust defence of his position was entirely appropriate.

As well as Bristol Coroner Maria Voisin, Assistant Deputy Coroner Terence Moore is also considered by many to be a 'puppet coroner' who is unlikely to find against establishment bodies such as Bristol City Council, Big Business and Avon and Somerset Police. The change of regime in the Bristol Coroners' Service has been described by one individual close to the process of putting new, non-independent minded coroners in place as "utterly crooked".

Muslim column censored by Evening Post days b4 Gaza bombing

bristol | media and culture | news report Friday January 09, 2009 13:41 by Tony Gosling

This article, written by Farroq Siddique of Bristol Muslim Cultural Society on 19th December 2008, was then re-written at the editor's request, for Christmas week Bristol Muslim column. Both versions have been censored by the editors, lawyer and management at the Bristol Evening Post citing material as being POTENTIALLY libellous. No column appeared that week. Lloyds TSB, one of the most dubious and highly secretive financial institutions responsible for the present and increasing economic catastrophe are being protected, and a demonised minority faith group censored. Utterly shameful IMO particularly in the light of today's announcement on Radio 4 10 o'clock news that Israeli forces have been herding Palestinians into 'safe buildings' then shelling them there.

Dear all,

This article, written by Farroq Siddique of Bristol Muslim Cultural Society on 19th December 2008, was then re-written at the editor's request, for Christmas week Bristol Muslim column.

Both versions have been censored by the editors, lawyer and management at the Bristol Evening Post citing material as being POTENTIALLY libellous.

No column appeared that week.

Utterly shameful IMO particularly in the light of today's announcement on Radio 4 10 o'clock news that Israeli forces have been herding Palestinians into 'safe buildings' then shelling them there.

Tony Gosling

Mystery Black Box strapped to a St. Werbughs lamppost

bristol | the environment | news report Friday March 13, 2009 00:19 by Tony Gosling

Does anyone know what it is? Hazard a guess?

Appeared in the last 24 hours or so, somewhere in St. Werburgh's, Bristol.

Northcliffe bosses rewrite history on 80th birthday of Bristol Evening Post

bristol | media and culture | news report Friday April 20, 2012 22:34 by Tony Gosling

One of the first untruths you will read when you open a copy of The new Post is "The Paper All Bristol Called For And Helped To Create" - because the opposite is the case. 'The Post' paper we see in Bristol today is owned by Northcliffe which is part of Lord Rothermere's Daily Mail empire. The Bristol Evening Post was set up in 1932 by public subscription in an appeal led by the Bishop of Malmesbury. It was formed as an independent Bristol owned paper precisely to compete with the Northcliffe paper of its day - The Evening World which it eventually out-sold. Shares in the original 1932 Bristol Evening Post were gradually bought up by Lord Rothermere's son in the 1970s ... and by the 1980s he began to demand places on the board and took the Bristol Evening Post back under Rothermere control. But that was only after one of the Bristol owners and Chairman, Walter Hawkins had died. Walter's wife is still alive and lives up in Alveston on the way to Thornbury ... and I spoke to Joan Hawkins recently about her husband and how the character of the paper has changed from "The Paper All Bristol Called For And Helped To Create" since it was re-taken over in the 1980s by Rothermere's Northcliffe newspapers.... Lord Rothermere's Daily Mail supported the Nazis in the 1930s, along with many of our post-Victorian German royalty such as Edward VIII. They changed their name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor during the first World War.

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Religious cult's annual open day in Park Street

bristol | policing | news report Monday November 20, 2006 16:27 by Tony Gosling - Reachout Trust et al.

Last Saturday there was a rare opportunity to tour Bristol Freemasons Hall in Park Street

Last Saturday there was a rare annual opportunity to tour Bristol Freemasons Hall in Park Street and quizz the grand whizz himself on the pros and cons of this highly secretive religious cult which has 2500 members in the masonic 'province' of Bristol alone.

The Craft masonry (1st to 3rd degree) lodge room at Bristol Freemasons Hall, Park Street

What follows is a series of pictures taken inside the masonic hall on Saturday. First there are general pictures and the added batch in the comment section are from the Royal Arch Lodge room specifically.

An HTV documentary 'Rites and Wrongs' is available from me here as part of the 'masons and merchants' DVD.

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The Craft masonry (1st to 3rd degree) lodge room at Bristol Freemasons Hall, Park Street

System Control Freak

bristol | miscellaneous | news report Wednesday July 21, 2004 20:05 by Tony Gosling

Mike Tonks has banned me from the indymedia list with no consultation because I criticised his leadership - is this new media - or more of the same old ****

I'm posting this here because yesterday I was silently banned from the Bristol editorial email list.

" Imc-bristol Subscription results re: The email address you supplied is banned from this mailing list. If you think this restriction is erroneous, please contact the list owners at "

Which I did yesterday - Mike didn't reply though one of the others did - leading me to believe that it was him who banned me from the list following my last message (repeated below) thus denying me the chance to see the replies. Please send them direct to not via the list. My other addresses appear to have been banned too as I can't subscribe using them.

I was criticising the passive aggressive leadership of BIMC particularly denial about passwords and accountability which make up the core of any media - postmodern, paradigm-shifted or whatever.

Some might feel these issues are actually quite important in what is supposed to be open media - and in opposition to control freak media. Others may not be comfortable giving up their lofty positions of password patronage.

It may interest you to know that my IP address can no longer connect to to upload national stories following my national article about Blair's daughter's suicide bid which is a true story nevertheless hidden by UKIMC but covered by rumourmill news amongst others. see for other stories banned

>Subject: [IMC-bristol] Media without editors - a brilliant concept




>That's it then, there are no editors at Indymedia and no-one is using

>passwords or making decisions about what content to highlight or delete.

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