An employee (the “head of measurement and policy” no less) of a Bristol-based organization called Happy City has been sacked following her tweet :
Great that milkshakes have become a thing when it comes to the racists in our midst. I’d prefer acid but milkshakes will do for now I guess.
Happy City last week took swift disciplinary action to dismiss an employee for Gross Misconduct, when tweets from her personal account that contradicted our strongly held values were revealed.
Of course, the organization is denying that those are the views of the organization, but for an employee of such an organization to have aired those views so publicly without even bothering to conceal her identity surely tells us something about the climate of opinion that she exists within. What’s more, this was hardly a first offence; in 2017 she shared the view in another tweet that:
I’ve decided that violence against the rich is entirely justified and it’s time to start killing them. That fella in the US got it right.
That tweet was still showing on her Twitter account just a few days ago (the account has now been deleted) – it had been there unnoticed for around 2 years.
Who is funding this organization I wondered? Their About page gives only a page not found error:
“Oops, this Page could not be found.”
It seems that some of their funding comes from the National Lottery according to this article from UK Fundraising:
“Bristol based charity Happy City is making more of its wellbeing measurement tools freely available to charities across the UK following a £250,000 National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund.”
They also receive direct funding from the government according to the government’s charity commission pages:
The charitable company received government grants, defined as funding from Innovate UK (2016: Innovate UK and the West of England Growth Fund), to fund charitable activities. The total value of such grants in the period ending 31 July 2017 was £72,361 (2016: £65,155). There are no unfulfilled conditions or contingencies attaching to these grants in either period. The grant from Innovate UK was extended until October 2016.
It appears to be a husband and wife run venture:
E Zeidler, a trustee, and her spouse M Zeidler, are both directors of Happy City C.I.C.. During the year ended 31 July 2017, they received combined remuneration for their roles as employees of Happy City C.I.C. of £57,400 (2016: £40,000)
What do they do? In essence, they are in the waffling business, that’s what they do, they waffle, at taxpayers’ expense. People jetting around the planet, complaining about climate change and that sort of thing. An article from Visit Bristol reveals a little about the “work” that this organization does:
They co-hosted with Local Futures a conference in 2018 where writer and broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby was a moderator:
“Events like this, which are driven by a fierce passion for doing good in the world, are always a strong draw for me. I chaired a Local Futures conference in London some years ago, and found the combination of expert speakers, real world examples and practical solutions highly stimulating.”
Against the backdrop of an increasingly gloomy news agenda dominated by Trump, Brexit and the impacts of extreme weather events, you could forgive people for feeling helpless. However, the speakers will demonstrate that grassroots activism can bring about real and lasting change.
So clearly this government funded and lottery-funded little outfit is doing great work promoting happiness around the world. Happiness or is it hate?
From the Bristol Post: