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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ian Bone - the Swansea connection

The man who door-stepped Jacob Rees-Mogg, his children and his nanny yesterday has been identified as long-standing anarchist Ian Bone. Condemnation of his actions in directly addressing the Rees-Mogg children has been universal and quite rightly so, but Ian Bone has a long history of upsetting the apple cart.

One of Bone's actions was to quiz Rees-Mogg's nanny Veronica Crook, over her pay and working conditions, no doubt a cause close to the anarchist's heart given that his own father was in domestic service, working as a butler.

Ian Bone does have connections with Swansea. He studied politics at Swansea University, becoming an active anarchist throughout the 1960s to early 1990s and set up the anarchist agit-mag Alarm here.

When I became a Councillor in 1984 and wanted to try and open up the council to public questions, one of the objections was that it would only encourage the likes of Ian Bone to disrupt proceedings. The scars ran deep for some councillors over previous confrontations with Alarm and its founder.

My one run-in with Ian Bone took place when I was at Swansea University and a member of the student executive, though we didn't meet directly.

Ian Bone at that time was promoting an 'anti-sexist' band called Page Four. It had initially been called Page Three, but the Sun reportedly threatened legal action. One story is that Bone allegedly alerted the Sun to the issue himself so as to garner additional publicity.

As an executive member it was my job to hold the key to the union building and supervise the concert that Page Four staged in the top floor debates chamber of Union House for insurance purposes. Unfortunately, word soon got around that the band believed that irony was the best way to combat Page Three models and that in line with this approach, their female lead singer would perform naked.

Needless to say the whole thing got out of hand. The hall was packed to over-capacity, mostly with male students who had had too much to drink. A number of sex acts were performed on stage, which wound up the audience even more and then somebody pressed the fire alarm.

The concert ended prematurely and there was a near riot as we attempted to clear the building. An assessment the next morning found hundreds of pounds of damage that the students union had to pay for.

Soon afterwards, I believe Ian Bone moved to London and things quietened down.

Update: According to Bone's autobiography 'Bash the Rich' the fire alarm was set off by Paul Durden, one of the writers who created the film 'Twin Town'
Cllr Richard Lewis will remember him "well".....

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