Friends, anarchists, comrades, lend me your ears;
I come to praise Bone, not to fucking bury him;
(Apologies to Shakespeare, and no, this is not a political obituary)
So, for the time being at least, Ian Bone, that old war-horse of the anarcho/revolutionary scene has laid down his digital sword after five years of blogging- some would say he has retired with egg on his face –a swan’s egg at that. His critics have rapidly formed a disorderly queue to take a pop- the usual assortment of sectarian, middle class anarchists, ideologues, Trotskyites , para-statist trolls and smear-artists, to condemn him for his ‘failures’, his ‘ego’, his ‘stunts’ , his ‘leadership’, for single-handedly ‘wrecking the anarchist movement’…
In this veritable circle-jerk of bitter criticism, all of them with their own impotent axes to grind, in the time-honoured traditions of factional in-fighting, political sniping and covert intrigue, they have fallen on a ‘wounded’ Bone like the vultures they are.
Many of us who read or commented on Ian Bone’s blog naturally take a different view. We recognise someone who has been consistently militant and uncompromising in his politics and that it was he who popularised anarchist and revolutionary ideas in this country, more than anyone else had done in decades. It’s an inescapable fact. Whether it was striking miners, prisoners or inner city youth, (you know, those real people who exist outside of a bubble of an entirely academic ‘anarchism’), those of us who related to his absolute hatred of the upper classes when he expressed a justifiably vicious anger towards their arrogance, their ill-gotten wealth, their hypocrisy and their gleeful maintenance of disgusting social inequalities.
We will miss his commentary on issues affecting our class today, his unparalleled spirit, his playful ferocity and his charming personal interests. While not all of us agreed with, or participated in, his tactics, The Arseholes would have us believe his ‘stunts’ were nothing more than ‘tilting at windmills’ (and what is any show of dissent is if not a ‘stunt’?)- whereas we saw them as a valiant effort to stimulate resistance through that trademark humour, self-parody and irony we have all come to know and love, if not admire. We know that many of the tactics used by protest groups today owe their origins in the sort of mischievous stunts reintroduced in the UK by Bone himself. We recognise that lately Ian’s role as the movement’s Eminence Noir has certainly been important and influential- not least the recently revived awareness in the bourgeois press of CLASS as an issue in mainstream politics (and some serious plagiarism)- attacking the ruling classes at their educational roots, twisting the knife in that revolting old turd Murdoch, exposing the Oxbridge Mafia that runs UK-PLC, speaking out on behalf of the victims of the state and providing both a voice and an ear to our class outside of the corporate media, not least during the return of the King Mob in 2011. For us, the positives always outweighed the negatives, even when he appeared to be a bit of a tit (The Libyan intervention- certainly a far more grievous error than the Cambridge ‘flop’), but then we always knew Old Boney is human, like us, and prone to errors too, unlike that ideal of the mechanically perfect politico that some people seem to aspire to being ( and complemented with a compulsive need to split hairs over exact class origins)…
But that was just it, the SPIRIT that informs his writing, was what is so lacking elsewhere amongst would-be revolutionaries, the sheepish, abstract, unfeeling theoreticians of the high church of Anarchy- those detractors, alienated by Bone’s and Class War’s relentlessly working class-based politics, alienated because they cannot relate to the raw energy of an original class hatred that exists outside the cloistered world of hushed references to obscure and holy revolutionary texts. The high-brows never ‘got’ Bone- which was, and is, their failure and his abiding success. Doubtless some of these were the very same people who negatively critiqued the Great unrest of 2011, and needed to have the error of their, instinctively terrified, middle class ways shown them, before they tipped into full-blown, rigid, humourless, Leninist contempt for the proletariat.
Meanwhile, the Class War logo and its ethos can be seen right around the world today…
So raise a glass to Comrade Bone; ‘propagandist extraordinaire’ of the deed and the (swear)word, with all his exaggerations, his hyperbole, his invective, his rhetoric, his mistakes , his simplifications and his victories-
THE CLASS WAR CONTINUES!
UPDATE: BONE IS BACK!