Bath Bomb #33 Out Now!


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Issue #33
September 2010

"More rusty barbed wire than cutting edge"


The First Cut Is The Deepest

Whilst we've never claimed to be the cutting edge of journalism, the Bath Bomb has become privy to a series of unpleasant plans from councils in the southwest:

Somerset’s most dedicated N.H.S. professionals are being “strong-armed and railroaded” into defecting from the Primary Care Trust to join social enterprise ventures, without the chance of a proper consultation. But at a meeting filled with angry health visitors, school nurses, local hospital and other workers in Bridgwater on Wednesday 1st September, they voted “No!” to privatisation. Their campaign is now seeking public support for the P.C.T. meeting at Wynford House, Lufton Way, in Yeovil on Wednesday 15th September from 10am, where the decision is expected to be made.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling has started a crusade to force the 260 young Incapacity Benefit claimants in B.&N.E.S. (and a further 530 in Wiltshire) into work – regardless of whether they’re fit to or not. There are already wider moves to slash the Welfare Bill, and expand the controversial Work Capability Assessment health test, but Grayling somehow seeks to frame this witch-hunt as a form of philanthropy: “Thousands of young people with their lives ahead of them just parked on sickness benefits with no way out.” A big man with a big heart.

Three out of seven youth key workers in the Bath area are to be cut, alongside their youth centres. Youth workers who have been colleagues for years are now being turned against each other, anxiously competing to not put a foot wrong and lose their jobs, or be 'matrix'ed. Whether crime rates will go up as deprived kids are alienated even further, is hard to say.

Waste management services in the village of Old Welton are to be cut and shipped out to Bath. As they share the Transfer Station site with other public services, there is expected to be a knock-on ‘tipping point’ effect where more services are sent off to the big city, eventually draining the area of a large portion of its employment, and its economy.

Meanwhile G.M.B. union workers in Bristol are being illegally threatened with disciplinary action for sharing news of intended cuts with their unions.

But people aren’t just gonna sit and take it: a noisy 40-strong demo outside Bristol City Council took place on Tuesday 7th September, with many a union banner and speaker. Saturday the 4th saw the Bath Stop The War Coalition find unanimous consensus from the 90 balloted on their regular vigil, who would rather cut Trident than services. On Wednesday 22nd September, from 7.30pm, a ‘Fight the Cuts’ public meeting will take place, downstairs at Friends Meeting House on York Street. Though speakers will be present from the traditional unions – such as the N.U.T., G.M.B., Unison, U.C.U. and Bath Trades Council – we need a wider public participation from other affected people, so we can sort this crap out! You owe it to yourself to come along!

Who knows? Perhaps we might take a livre out of France’s book, where 2.5 million took to the streets on Tuesday the 7th, against Sarkozy’s austerity plans. No to Job Cuts! No to Pension Cuts! No to Service Cuts! Cut Tax Evasion! Cut I.D. Cards! Cut Trident! Cut the Pay Gap! Cut a Tory! Vive La Strike!


Tory Scum, Out Of Brum!

ACTION STATIONS! ACTION STATIONS! EVERYONE TO THE STREETS! Sunday 3rd October will be our first chance to show our anger at the Con-Dem cuts. As the Tories kick off their party conference in Birmingham, they will be met by thousands of angry protesters from the diverse sections of society that are being forced to bear the brunt of the cuts onslaught. The message will be clear: this crisis was caused by the rich, and we refuse to pay for it with job losses, pay reductions, service cuts and hiked V.A.T., while the toffs at the top continue to line their pockets. Plans for the protest are shaping up nicely, with many unions, community groups and others gearing up to make some noise. Those angry pranksters over at Class War have booked themselves a team at the Tory Party pub quiz, and are calling for as much help (with the questions of course!) as possible. There is also a 'direct action' bloc shaping up, which promises to disrupt proceedings nicely. So, whether you want to peacefully protest, or have something a bit more lively in mind, there will be something for you on the day. This will be the start of a massive campaign against the cuts and there will even be transport running to the demo from Bath - leaving at 9am from Laura Place fountain (though details may change), tickets are £10 waged or £5 unwaged, and to get yours, e-mail either bathagainstcuts[at] or tel 07908 355456.


Get Shorty

Kilter, Bath's unique outdoor theatre company, plants the seeds of change with their playful, engaging 'Roots Replanted' show, investigating food-security in the fast approaching post-oil world. Elope to the Hampton Row Allotments from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th of this month, down the bean-rows, for an intimate tale of love and vegetables. Times are 6.30pm Thursday to Saturday, and additional showings at 2.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Or catch them later at Peasedown St John Community Farm or Bloomfield Allotments at Bear Flat. Bookings can be made by ringing 01225 386777.

On invitation from Frome Friends of Palestine, “Israel's bravest, most principled” historian Ilan Pappe will be speaking at the Masonic Hall on North Parade on Friday 17th September at 8pm. His talk will examine the ongoing history of Zionism, from its roots in the racist soils of the nineteenth century to the situation today. His book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, effectively cost him his job at the University of Haifa four years ago. Admission is £5.

B.&N.E.S. Council seem to finally be doing something right, as, from 4th October, weekly collections of food waste will reach 72,000 households, converting the £48+ per tonne taxpayer burden to agricultural compost in Gloucestershire. With any luck, the £400,000 implementation cost will come straight from John Everitt's pocket? And maybe sorting out a portion of the annual 20 million tonnes of supermarket and industry U.K. waste will be next, right?

A gang of racists attacked the Indian Curry Nights restaurant in Augusta Place, off Upper Bristol Road, on Tuesday 24th August. Two waiters were minorly hurt, and a window was targeted by thrown rocks. Considering attacks on takeaways and mosques in the city over the last couple of years, perhaps it's way past time that local anti-fascists stepped it up?

Police Sergeant Mark Andrews showed his true colours back in July '08, when he smashed 59-year-old Pamela Somerville's face against the cell floor at Colerne copshop. Recently sent down this week for six months for Actual Bodily Harm, for once a copper has paid a price for his actions. But can we all rest easy now that the friendly bobbies have cleaned themselves up once more? Or are cases like Andrews and (Ian Tomlinson's killer) Simon Harwood perhaps not just a couple of bad eggs, but instead symptomatic of a wider institutional violence, and near-complete freedom from consequence, infecting the whole of the force?

Radical campaigning groups such as Bristol Rising Tide have called for an international day of action against the coal industry on Tuesday 12th October; more details to follow


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Fash In The Pan

The August bank holiday weekend was due to be a big day for the British far-right, with two high-profile demos designed to put racist thuggery firmly back on the map; but unfortunately for them, it wasn't to be.

The weekend started off with media revelations that, far from being a growing dynamic party, as fuhrer Griffin would have us believe, the fascist B.N.P. is in fact falling apart. On the verge of bankruptcy due to financial mismanagement, lack of support and a costly lawsuit (filed by Unilever when Griffin used the Marmite logo in a party broadcast), the rats are well and truly fleeing the ship. First to go was Richard Barnbrook, amateur gay porn director and the B.N.P.'s sole member on the Greater London Assembly, who quit after calling for a “full internal investigation” into corruption in the party. He was followed shortly by Lee Barnes, the party legal officer and 'unsteady' Eddy Butler, former National Front full-timer and B.N.P. press officer, both of whom asserted that Griffin was exercising a dictatorial stranglehold over the party. Just to prove them wrong, Griffin expelled a further 30 high-ranking party members for challenging his ability to lead the party. So, with the B.N.P. sliding off the scene, the stage was set for the thick-as-shit boot boys of the English Defence League to take the far-right limelight.

They intended to do this with a mass march through Bradford on Saturday 28th, in the hope of igniting further Asian riots to justify their anti-immigrant agenda. Determined to cause a ruckus, the E.D.L. banned women from the demo, predicted a turnout of 5,000, and dubbed the demo “the big one”. In the event, the 'Battle of Little Big One' was a disappointing washout, with only 700 fascists being dwarfed by several thousands of community and anti-fascist activists, who told the E.D.L. in no uncertain terms that they would not be goaded into full-scale rioting. However, that didn't stop a few naughty lads and ladies smashing up the E.D.L. coaches as they fled the scene. The high point of the day came when a sympathetic copper forced a lone E.D.L. skinhead into a crowd of locals, despite his tearful protestations. Apparently no-one saw exactly what happened, but an ambulance was observed speeding away from the scene shortly afterwards!

So, on to bank holiday Monday, and sunny Brighton, where fringe fascist group the 'English National Alliance' had called a 'March for England' (their stated targets were muslims, immigrants, students and pacifists - nice!). They predicted a turnout of over 300 patriotic warriors, which turned out on the day to be around 50 jug-eared Burberry models screaming racist slogans at anyone unfortunate enough to be in earshot. The turnout then proceeded to get turned over by 300 assembled anti-fascists who disrupted the march continuously until the police called full-time and escorted the fascists home for their own safety!

What was billed as being a weekend that would put racist politics back on the map, ended in two woefully under-attended demos, vastly larger anti-fascist counter-events, unanimous rejection of the fascists by local communities and the virtual disintegration of the far-right's brightest star, the B.N.P. It may be too early to cheer, as a dying beast still has fangs, but the news is encouraging and suggests that a few hard shoves could boot these groups to where they belong - the dustbin of history.


Bath Activist Network are a local umbrella group campaigning on issues as diverse as development, environmentalism, anti-war, animal rights, workers' rights and more. Helping to produce the Bath Bomb, we are open to anyone, and our members range from trade unionists to anarchists, liberals and greens, and people who just want to change Bath for the better. For details on meetings, demos, or just to get in touch, e-mail bathactivistnet[at], or see our website:


drawing classes: 'Remembering the Present', Mondays & Tuesdays, Stokes Croft Museum, 81-83 Stokes Croft, Bristol,
London Road Food Co-op, Wednesdays, 4-7pm, Riverside Community Centre, London Road,
exhibition: 'Remembering the Present', Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays, 11am-3pm, Stokes Croft Museum, 81-83 Stokes Croft, Bristol,
Bathampton Community Growers workday, Thursdays, 10am-dusk, Mill Lane, Bathampton, e-mail thelostplot[at] tel Chris 07792 444628
Bathampton Community Supported Agriculture project: fruit picking, Thursdays and Sundays,
Bath Stop The War Coalition vigil, Saturdays, 11.30am-12.30, Bath Abbey Courtyard
Bradford-On-Avon peace vigil, Saturdays, 11.30am-12.30, by the peace statue opposite Westbury Gardens by the Town Bridge, Bradford-On-Avon
exhibition: 'Remembering the Present', Saturdays, 12-4pm, Stokes Croft Museum, 81-83 Stokes Croft, Bristol,
Recycle Your Sundays, Sundays, 10.30am, starts Abbey Churchyard, the regular series of sociable, easy-paced cycle rides, tel Hazel 01225 469199
one year part-time 'Practical Sustainability' course, starts September 2010, Bristol; exploring permaculture design, organic horticulture, woodland management, green building, ecological interactions, energy, group dynamics, re-localisation, creating change, community engagement and more;
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Friday 10th September, Hampton Row Allotments, Bathwick, 6.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
'Bristol Green Doors': 52 people will open their homes showcasing energy waste reduction, Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th September,
Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday 11th September, 10.30-6pm, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol; e-mail bristolanarchistbookfair[at];
Stop Hinkley 'C' talks and workshops, Saturday 11th, 11-5pm, Trinity Hall, St Saviours Avenue, Bridgwater,
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Saturday 11th September, Hampton Row Allotments, Bathwick, 2.30pm & 6.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
Stop Hinkley 'C' protest/guided tour, Sunday 12th September, 12 midday, Hinkley Point power station, near Bridgwater,
'The Atmosphere Of Heaven':  history walk, Sunday 12th September, 12 midday, walk begins 3 Rodney Place, off Cliftin Down Road, Bristol,
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Sunday 12th September, Hampton Row Allotments, Bathwick, 2.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
film: 'Grass', Sunday 12th September, 7.30pm, Pierian Centre, 27 Portland Square, St Pauls, Bristol, £5 entry,
Bath Animal Action meeting, Monday 13th September, 8-9pm, The Bell, Walcot Street, e-mail bathanimalaction[at];
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Thursday 16th to Friday 17th September, Peasedown St John Community Farm, Dunkerton Hill, BA2 8PJ, 6.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
Taunton Womens Refuge punk benefit gig, Thursday 16th September, 7pm, Roadhouse, taunton, free entry, feat. Rat Attack, As We Sink!, Fights & Fires, Subgenerates & Bats About Bats;
‘Wild Food in Autumn’ walk & foraging course, Friday 17th to Sunday 19th September, Monkton Wyld Court, near Charmouth, Bridport, Dorset, £215 residential/£145 non-residential,
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Saturday 18th September, Peasedown St John Community Farm, Dunkerton Hill, BA2 8PJ, 2.30pm & 6.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
Bristol Free Vegan Food Fair benefit gig, Saturday 18th September, 7.30pm, the Black Swan pub, 438 Stapleton Road, Bristol, feat Daddy Long Bones, Budd, Molly Samson, Ren, D.J. Dub Simian & The Long Dead Beat, £3/£4 entry
Regional South West Animal Rights Coalition meeting, Sunday 19th September, 12-5pm, Kebele Community Co-op, 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol, e-mail regionalarc[at]
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Sunday 19th September, Peasedown St John Community Farm, Dunkerton Hill, BA2 8PJ, 2.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
Seed Saving workshop, Sunday 19th September, 2.30-5pm, put on by Bath Organic Group, places are limited, tel 01225 319117, £2.50 entry
'The Global Circle of Peace': multimedia work of art to celebrate U.N. World Peace Day, Tuesday 21st September, 6.30-8.00pm, Kingston Parade Gardens,
two-day workshop: ‘Holding the Vision’, Wednesday 22nd to Thursday 23rd September, 10-4.30pm, Bristol, £45-75 entry, with Starhawk; e-mail shiftbristol[at];
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Thursday 23rd to Friday 24th September, Bloomfield Allotments, Bear Flat, 6.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
'An Old Home Fit for the Future': visit to victorian eco-efficient house, Friday 24th September, 3-7pm, 16 Pulteney Gardens, Widcombe, Bath, BA2 4HG,
Critical Mass Bike Ride, Saturday 25th September, meet 1pm, Kingsmead Square,
'An Old Home Fit for the Future': visit to victorian eco-efficient house, Friday 25th to Sunday 26th September, 11-6pm, 16 Pulteney Gardens, Widcombe, Bath, BA2 4HG,
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Saturday 25th September, Bloomfield Allotments, Bear Flat, 2.30pm & 6.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
Bath Animal Action info stall, Sunday 26th September, 2-4pm, Stall Street, e-mail bathanimalaction[at]; http:///
Kilter theatre: 'Roots: Replanted' (performance about food security issues), Sunday 26th September, Bloomfield Allotments, Bear Flat, 2.30pm, £9 (£7 concessions), tel 01225 386777 to book,
Transition Bath Social, Monday 27th September, 7.15pm, the Love Lounge/ back room of the Bell, Walcot Street; bring food to share;
Bath Cycling Campaign meeting, Monday 27th September, 7.30pm, the Rising Sun, Grove Street,
Bath Hunt Saboteurs meeting, Monday 27th September, 8-9pm, The Bell, tel Justin 07854 062336
Bath Socialist Forum meeting, Monday 27th September, 8pm, upstairs St James Wine Vaults, presented by Ken Loach
speakers & discussion: ‘Climate Justice: Think Global, Act Local’, Tuesday 28th September, 7-9pm, Unitarian Meeting House, Brunswick Square, Bristol; F.F.I. e-mail Katharine[at] / tel Katharine 020 7820 4900;
No Borders Camp Belgium, Wednesday 29th September to Sunday 3rd October, Brussels,
'Low Carbon Bath Consultation': Thursday 30th September, 6.30-8.30pm, Building of Bath Collection, The Countess of Huntington’s Chapel, The Vineyards, Paragon, Bath, for a booking, e-mail gkillick[at], or ring 01225 338727
National March for Farmed Animals, Saturday 2nd October, 12pm start, Cavendish Square, London
anti-Tory demonstration, Sunday 3rd October,  Tory Party Conference, Birmingham more details tbc
Bath Activist Network meeting, Thursday 7th October, 7.30-9pm, downstairs at the Hobgoblin, St James Parade,
Legal fees benefit punk gig: 'SUBVERT 2010 - A Festival Of Resistance', Friday 8th to Sunday 10th October, Bristol, feat Hellkrusher, Ruidosa Immunidicia, War All The Time, Ignosy, The Wankys, The Extinguishers & Bulletridden, as well as vegan cafés/ stalls/ films/ workshops & picnic; more details tbc
Bath Green Drinks, Wednesday 13th October, 8pm, the Rising Sun, Grove Street
Regional day of action against the cuts, Saturday 23rd October
London Anarchist Bookfair, Saturday 23rd October, 10am-7pm, Queen Mary's, University of London, Mile End Road, London,
Bristol Free Vegan Food Fair, Saturday 30th October, 12-5pm, Broadmead Baptist Church, Union Street, Bristol, BS1 3HY,
Coalition of the Resistance Conference, Saturday 27th November, London, more details tbc
Camp for Climate Action Australia, Wednesday 1st to Sunday 5th December, Bayswater Power Station,
Climate Camp Aotearoa, Thursday 16th to Tuesday 21st December,  Wellington New Zealand,

‘Fatcat Bosses Get The Cream’ Shocker!

Insult has been added to injury once again, as a G.M.B. union survey scrutinised 151 council and metropolitan accounts and discovered how 129 chief execs are paid more than £150,000 a year. It went on to note how two earned more than £300,000, and 76 earned between £200,000 and £300,000. In the southwest, B.&N.E.S. Council head honcho John Everitt netted a comfy £211,859 this year, including pension contributions and expenses; though his rivals at Cornwall County and Bristol City did better. Life’s hard, eh?

And this is at a time when councils claim to be hard up, slashing jobs, services, and handing out pay freezes like they were sweets to kids. Standing there shivering in the playground, in their plastic mac. Local government minister Bob Neill makes an interesting point: “We need to stamp out a culture of duplication, which is why, in many cases, councils should be looking towards sharing chief executives.” But actually stamping on the guy seems a bit harsh; instead of cutting the 300 out of 7,000 council jobs, surely it would make more sense to cut just one... After all, the dole queue is nice this time of year, John.


Grub Street Meeja

Pity the shit-upon people of Bath, whose local lose-papers, the Bath Comic and the Western Daily Piss, are two of the apologies for journalism in the city.

Time was when the Comic would give regular and generous coverage to anti-war, anti-council and anti-developer stunts, but since the latest editor took over, it looks as if anything likely to rock the boat gets packed off on an extended Holliday. The big trouble with the Comic is that it has its head well and truly up the rectums of corporate crooks and shysters like B.&N.E.S., Bath Rugby, FirstBus, Crest Nicholson (Western Riverside), Morley Fund Management (Southgate), and others. Proof that the Comic had abandoned any pretence of serious news reporting and had achieved full Beano status, came with its hilarious but readership-insulting 'Attack of the giant seagulls' front-page last month.

The Piss, part of the same barrel-scraping Northcliffe outfit should, after the appointment of ITS latest, yes-man editor, be renamed the Western Military Gazette or Western Daily War, as all this current bunch of r-slickers do is pump out the same tired Cameron-loving warmongering propaganda drivel as their stablemate the Daily Fail.

All the Comic and Piss are good for is wiping your arse on; the only fault there is that the print comes off on your bum.

The glossies are no better. Bath Life, a criminal waste of newsprint, is stuffed full of estate agent waffle and other advertising, and page after page of 'Invitation Only' bashes featuring dozens of Bath Z-z-z listers grinning gormlessly for the cameras in a pretentious parody of Country Life's society columns. Publishers guilty of this rubbish are Media Clash, the same bunch of brown-nosers who churn out the council's spin-rag 'Connect'. Someone should tell them that connecting is not enough; they should try switching on as well.

As for what little of interest the freebies Bath Magazine and Folio contain, you'd be better off buying Venue, which does arts and alternative far better. It is published by the Piss/Comic group, but, hey, nobody's perfect!


If I Had A Hammer...

Following the successful acquittal of the nine 'Decommissioner' activists who smashed up Brighton-based bomb factory E.D.O./I.T.T. (see B.B. #31), the Smash E.D.O. campaign is calling for one last shove to close the factory all together. For six years, the company, which supplies bomb components to Israel, Afghanistan, the U.S.A. and anyone else who has enough cash, has been under relentless assault from activists, who have blockaded, protested, smashed and exposed the company's dodgy dealings time and time again. The demo has been called for Wednesday 13th October, and promises to be a little on the tasty side, and as the name 'I.T.T.'s Hammertime' suggests, people may have more than waving placards in mind! People have been requested to get down and stay at the convergence space from the night before, but also to help flier for the event in their home towns beforehand. For more information on the campaign, check out, or drop them an e-mail at smashedo[at]


Cruelty-Free: You Can't Say Fayrer Than That

The second annual Bath Vegan Fayre 2010 filled a hole on Saturday 4th September, with over 150 passing through the doors. Held at Manvers Street Baptist Church in the centre, free of entry fee and cruelty, the event lasted from 12 til 4pm. Otherwise, the day stuck to much the same recipe as the previous year: with a tantalizing spread of steaming soups, nibbles, cakes, sweets and savouries – some nut-free, some wheat-free, all meat and dairy-free – filling the bowls and bellies of queues of hungry fayre-goers. The tea and fruit juices flowed like never before, whilst the tables were filled with relaxed conversation and ingested education. As well as the over-burdened info tables (with everything from nutrition, environmental ethics, recipes, animal rights, medical science and updates for campaigns against Noah's Ark Zoo, hunts, foie gras outlets and animal labs), free samples table, reading corner and children's area, there was also a prize raffle. Punters included the usual suspects of dreadied and alternative veggie types on the make for free pickings, for starters, but also a healthy flow of the uninitiated from the street.

By the end of the day, many a happy scavenger got their just desserts, and were heard uttering the immortal words: “I had no idea vegan food could taste this good!” Hey, even veggies need more than a diet of indescribable slop every now and again. Next up is the Bristol Free Vegan Fair at Broadmead Baptist Church on Saturday 30th October, from 12 til 5pm, and their benefit gig at the Black Swan on Stapleton Road, on the 18th of this month.


Cycle-logy 101

Pedalphile activists group Bicycology will be cranking things up a gear in Bristol next weekend, with a trio of car-free fun days for all the family. On Saturday 18th September, they’ll be ‘Doing it without a car’ at Mina Park in St Werburgh’s; go sample their collection of bike accessories, book your ride in with the women bike mechanics for free advice and safety checks, or get down to some D.I.Y. creative sessions - turn tyres into bike belts, bike chains into bracelets or cobble yourself together a last minute carnie costume. All this just in time for the next day’s ‘Bristol Bike Carnival’ - starting in the city centre at 12 midday, expect dayglo, dinosaur skeleton puppets and two-wheeled gonzo weirdness. Then, after a day’s rest, Tuesday will be ‘Food is our Fuel - Cycle for your Supper!’ An exploration of modern agriculture, its problems and its solutions, this three-hour long gentle cycle starts at 6pm outside Tesco Metro in Broadmead, and heads out of the city for blackberry and wild food picking – hot food and drinks will be provided on donation. Bring your bike, lights, rucksack or pannier, and accompanied children.

And in related Bath news, a bike refurbishment/homelessness fund-raising project has recently re-opened, called 'ReCYCLEd', at 35 Corn Street. E-mail bikes[at], for details.


Toys Tory

While the resistance against the Con-Dem cuts is shaping up nicely, the same cannot be said for the cut-crazy coalition who have been hit in recent weeks by a string of embarrassing fallings-out. Tories attacking Tories, Tories attacking Lib-Dems and Lib-Dems attacking both each other and the Tories (although we don't think anyone has noticed or cared). The first of the cracks began to show when odious Osborne informed the press that nuke programme Trident would have to be funded by the defence budget, rather than the traditional funders, the Treasury. It turns out Osborne had let every one know his plans – except the Minister for Defence, Liam Fox. This news came to the delight of T.V. journalists as Fox branded the proposition “ridiculous”, asserting that after a 20% budget cut, there was no way the M.o.D. could pay for Trident. Osborne shot him down on live T.V. as a little bickering match erupted before the very eyes of borderline orgasmic telly journos. The spat has yet to be resolved.

This was quickly followed by bout #2, featuring Higher Education Minister David Willetts in the blue corner vs. Devey boy himself in the, ummmm, other blue corner. This time the argument was over milk. Now, some of you may remember that one of Thatcher's less popular decisions was the removal of free milk from schools; so what has Willetts done? In the image of the Tory Godmother, Willetts proudly told the assembled press pack that under-fives no longer deserved their free milk, and that it was to be cut. After a rapid apology at the foot of this Thatcher shrine, Cameron popped his head out of the door of Downing Street to contradict his education minister, prompting opposition M.P.s to notice that "This is a coalition in chaos, making policy on the hoof. The Government doesn't seem to have a clue." As if Cameron didn't have enough trouble keeping his own house in order, the Lib-Dems have also started having a pop, with many Lib-Dem M.P.s (in fact almost all of them that don't have a cabinet seat) promising a rebellion over Con-Dem V.A.T. increase plans, with prominent Lib-Demmers such as Charles '5 years on the wagon' Kennedy and Simon Hughes publicly criticising Con-Dem policy. To add another dollop of the stinky stuff on the smouldering feck pile that is the coalition, Clegg has crawled out of David's cosy orifice to take the reigns while the Camerons sun themselves. Like a naughty schoolboy, Clegg took the opportunity to contradict key Con-Dem policies relating to immigration, Trident and housing benefits, something that he has been warned about in the past. Looks like some young upstart will be getting an Eton-style botty-thrashing when daddy Cameron rolls back into town!


The Filth And The Furry

As mentioned back in B.B. #30, the U.K. Government has performed a spectacular U-turn on its policy regarding bovine tuberculosis, and has chosen to go ahead with a nation-wide badger cull. Last week, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman approved the cull for T.B. hotspots, handing the license to kill over to individual farmers' discretions.  These wannabe 007's of the National Farmers Union lobby will need to prove that a cull is necessary before being allowed to kill and/or vaccinate (shoot and gas first, a spoonful of medicine later?) anything black and white in a 50 square mile zone; what sort of proof required is yet to be disclosed, but a sham of a public consultation is expected later this month. At least this might stop farmers from rolling gunned down badgers onto highways in the middle of the night, as imitation roadkill.

The Welsh Assembly were pushed into a U-turn of their own, of sorts, back in July, when the Badger Trust and other animal 'welfare' activists won their legal challenge on a technicality, pushing kill-crazy plans back for months. These pro-culling decisions fly in the face of the ten-year Independent Scientific Study Group on Cattle T.B., who concluded in 2007 that culling couldn't meaningfully control the disease, and that carrier badgers would disperse the disease over a wider area. This position has been loosely corroborated by Imperial College London and the Zoological Society of London. But screw all that, the Con-Dems say – let's shoot us some varmints! Yeehaw! In a “carefully managed” and “scientifically-led” manner, of course.

As ever, animal rightsies are much-needed to save our furry friends – check out, or contact bathanimalaction[at] for ideas.


First Class News!

In a heartening bit of news just in, a public survey has found that seven out of every eight people oppose the privatisation of the postal service (one of the Tories' key policies) and would prefer it to be kept public. Billy Hayes, head of the posties' union said "This poll reaffirms what we already knew - the British public do not want their postal services sold off. The union and the company have worked hard to agree a fully funded modernisation plan and that work needs support from the Government." However, the will of the public contradicts Tory plans to put a bill before Parliament demanding the privatisation of the service. Will this be another case of the Tories ignoring the opinions of the average person and trying to plough ahead with their agenda of cuts and privatization? We suspect so, so if you like your postal service public, lets get ready to fight for it!


And now, to the disclaimer: as anyone is free to contribute, the opinions expressed in each article are not necessarily reflective of all contributors. Naturally, any right-wing or corporate bullshit will be binned and spat upon. Needless to say, the opinions of the author of this disclaimer do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other contributor.