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Bash the Rich (Ian Bone) Thatcher Hardback

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Remember the passing of Maggie Thatcher with this limited-edition hardback version of Bash the Rich (just 200 copies were printed). Ian Bone's rip-roaring autobiography features a classic Class War cover from the 1980s. Originally priced at £25, the last 20 copies are now just £12.


Ian Bone founded Class War in Swansea as a direct response to Thatcher's attacks on the working class. His vision was to open up a second front in the inner cities during the miners' strike and topple the Thatcher government. Labelled 'the most dangerous man in Britain' by the Sunday People in 1984, Bone's memoir recalls his mission to putt the boot into the ruling classes. It isn't subtle, and it isn't any kind of blueprint on how to successfully start a revolution, but it is very funny.

People of all kinds of different political persuasion may find this a problem: violent activism reduced to the level of a comic book. On the right, there are still many who'll remember the cover of the Class War newspaper with a picture of Thatcher being brained by a meat cleaver; on the left there have always been humourless "realists" - the kind who've subsequently taken over the Labour Party and weeded out the socialism. But from the first page, where Bone's mother and father are described hurling cow-pats at a Tory MP's election poster ("...my dad had scooped the fly-blown dry-crusted cowpat expertly on to his newspaper, raced across the road and squelched it deep into Sir Tufton Bufton's Knight of the Shire patrician grin"), to the lyrics quoted from the song "Tory Funerals" by his band, the Living Legends ("I couldn't care less, I couldn't give a toss / At the sudden death of a factory boss / The ruling class are really hated / All I want... is them cremated"), it's clear that, while Bone may be dangerous, he also knows how to entertain.

Did any of it make any difference? Who knows where Britain would be without irritants like Class War picking at the boundaries of state control. Their bigger aim may never be achieved, but some small battles can still be won."

4/5 stars, Independent on Sunday. 


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