This was not a bug, and should be closed.
For the benefit of others here is where I went wrong.
In the Director conf and bconsole conf, you reference a name & password.
If these match, then you can connect the bconsole to the director.
I had been using the "name = bigmac-con" in both the director and
bconsole configs, and couldn't use the 'setip' command, as I got
permission denied. I could however connect and run other commands.
If you read the manual,
It specifically states "if the console name, provided on the Name =
directive, is the same as a Client name, the user of that console is
permitted to use the SetIP command"
The Client name in my case was bigmac-fd, not bigmac-con.
My confusion came as a connection can still be made as long as the Name
directive matches at both ends, but can only use the SetIP command is it
matches AND is the sames as the Client name.
So changing the name in both the bconsole and director config files,
made it work.