Ian Bone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ian Bone
Who Shall Rouse Him Up.JPG
Ian Bone extolling the virtues of the Fifth Monarchy Men, Wapping May 2013
Born Ian David Bone
(1947-08-28) 28 August 1947 (age 70)
Mere, Wiltshire, England
Known for Social and political activism

Ian David Bone[1] (born 28 August 1947[2] in Mere, Wiltshire) is an English anarchist and an active publisher of anarchist newspapers and tabloids, such as Class War and The Bristolian.[3] He has been involved in social campaigns since the 1960s, including the 2001 "Vote Nobody" election campaign.

In 2006 he published his autobiography, Bash the Rich. He presents a radio show, Anarchy in the UK, on London's Resonance FM in which he interviews anarchist activists.

Bone was dubbed 'The Most Dangerous Man in Britain' by British tabloid newspaper The Sunday People.[3]


Ian Bone was the son of a butler. He said this background greatly contributed to his later political outlook.[4] He studied politics at Swansea University, becoming an active anarchist throughout the 1960s to early 1990s.[3] He set up the anarchist agit-mag Alarm in Swansea.[3] In the 1980s, with others, he set up the anarchist paper Class War. The confrontational style of the paper led to Bone becoming an infamous figure in the politics of the 1980s. His personal stock was at its highest when he appeared on the Jonathan Ross show.

Based in London for most of the 1980s, he moved to Bristol in the early 1990s, where he became involved in various campaigns, but often keeping a low profile. Ian Bone left the Class War federation in 1992, citing "too much dead wood" as the reason for his departure. Along with other members who left with him, including Tim Scargill, Bone set up the rival Class War Organisation. However this venture did not last more than six months.

In October 1994, Ian Bone organised the Anarchy in the UK festival. Billed as '10 days that shook the world' and described in the festival program as an attempt to have the largest gathering of international anarchists, the festival attempted to bring together different strands of anarchists. Amongst events featured were an attempt to levitate parliament, an anarchist picnic, punk gigs and meetings about various aspects of anarchism. The festival was criticised by some anarchist groups (including Class War) for being too focused on lifestyle politics and only featuring a small amount of class struggle-based events.

In 1997, Bone helped to set up the Movement Against the Monarchy. With them he helped to organise the biggest anti-monarchist march Britain saw in the 20th century. Around 1500 people were estimated to have attended this march. Ian Bone left the Movement Against the Monarchy in October 2000. In 2001 Bone started the Vote Nobody campaign which encouraged residents in Easton, Bristol to turn out for the local election and vote for 'Nobody'.[5]

In that same year he started The Bristolian, a scandal sheet that gave "independent news from Bristol that the other papers won't touch". Distributed for free in bars and pubs of Bristol, and by Bone himself in Bristol's Corn Street, the news-sheet gained a weekly circulation of over 15,000. He wrote much of the paper himself, but was assisted by local journalist Roy Norris, and by his long-term partner Jane Nicholl. In 2003, the success of The Bristolian led to the Bristolian Party, which stood in the local elections in an attempt to mobilise widespread discontent with Bristol City Council's policies. Bone was criticised by some in the anarchist community for his involvement with this campaign.[6] On 1 May 2003, 2,560 people voted for the Bristolian Party, which gained an 8% share of the vote within the 12 wards they contested. The Bristolian was runner-up for the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism in 2005.[6] It ceased publication shortly afterwards but has since returned in the same format with occasional double-page issues.

On 6 December 2006, Bone appeared on Channel 4's current affairs discussion show Starkey's Last Word, alongside Ed Vaizey and Harriet Harman, discussing the Iraq war. In it, Bone contended that the solution to the failing war was that British soldiers serving in Iraq should take part in mass desertion, that 10 Downing Street should be blockaded on May Day (International Workers' Day), and that the two speakers beside him, both of whom were pre-war advocates of the Iraq invasion, should be put on trial for war crimes.[7]

In December 2007, Bone sold the film rights to his book Bash the Rich to cult British film maker Greg Hall for £10.[8] A blog was created to follow the film from its conception to release.[9] To promote the book, Bone organised a "Bash the Rich" march through Notting Hill, claiming he would march on David Cameron's house.[10] The "Bash the Rich" March, in November 2007, had about 80 people in it. A further 220 people had turned up with the intention of attending but did not join the march. The event was heavily policed,[11] with the marchers repeatedly being stopped and forced into a tight group by the police escort. At the end of the march, Ian Bone promised more events in the near future.

Political candidacy[edit]

Ian Bone stood as an electoral candidate in Kensington in 2015 "because all other candidates are scum",[12] and stood in 2003 for the Bristolian Party.



  1. ^ "Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill". Parliament UK. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Bone, Ian (2006). Bash The Rich. Tangent Books. p. 10. ISBN 0-9544177-7-1. 
  3. ^ a b c d Saner, Emine (20 October 2006). "We need to push and shove and throw things". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2006. 
  4. ^ Bash The Rich, pp. 2–3
  5. ^ "Mills & Bone Subverting Democracy". Bristol Radical History Group. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Scurrilious magazine scoops top award". BBC News. 14 October 2005. Retrieved 18 December 2006. 
  7. ^ Starkey's Last Word staff (6 December 2006). "Starkey's Last Word, Video: The Iraq Study Group reports". More4. Channel 4 Television Corporation.  (Video broadcast.)
  8. ^ Hall, Greg (3 March 2012). "Broke but making films". Bash The Rich Film. WordPress.com. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  9. ^ Hall, Greg (9 March 2008). "Brief Introductions". Bash The Rich Film. WordPress.com. Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 3 July 2008. This Blog was set up to keep people informed on the developments of Bash The Rich, Ian Bone's autobiography being adapted into a film by Writer/ Director Greg Hall. 
  10. ^ Jack, Ian (6 October 2007). "From Henley to Notting Hill: Class War is on the move again". Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Anarchist of the Day". The Circled A. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  12. ^ Croucher, Shane (8 April 2015). "Election 2015: Meet Class War, the party standing 'because all other candidates are scum'". International Business Times. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 

External links[edit]