Hold the Class War - the real threat is the enemy within

CLASS War, the anarchist group whose viciously witty newspaper has for 10 years been one of the more refreshing aspects of extremist British politics, has succumbed to that most boring of fringe organisation diseases: The Split.

The War's founder, Ian Bone, and its vocal 'national organiser', Tim Scargill, have started a breakaway group, Class War Organisation (as opposed to the existing Class War Federation). This follows rumblings in the movement about take-over by public-school boys and accusations of irregularity with the finances.

And Mr Scargill will not adorn the Newbury by-election campaign, despite earlier promises that he would 'beat Labour (whom The War dislikes even more than it does Tories) into fourth place'. He did not declare himself as a candidate at Friday's nomination deadline.

Class War kicked off its Newbury campaign two months ago with a leaflet of allegations about the connections and financial dealings of local Conservative party members.

There was also a poster with a photograph of Judith Chaplin, whose death brought about the by-election, and the legend 'One less Tory bastard]'

The divide began at the War's annual conference last year. Mr Scargill attempted to begin Class War's own cultural revolution, and purge the party of 'middle-class theorists'.

'We didn't want the organisation to be a movement for pissed-off rich kids, people who aren't prepared to take to the streets and fight, if need be,' he said. 'So it was a stand-off between those who come from deeply-rooted working-class backgrounds, like myself, and the public-schoolboy types.'

Working-class backgrounds do not come more deeply rooted than Tim Scargill's - he is said to be a relative of Arthur, though he will not confirm this.

But Class War rejected Mr Scargill's move, and he left the organisation with Mr Bone and others.

The breakaway Class War has only 40 members but, according to Mr Scargill, they are the real thing: working-class activists who will return the War to its proper business: 'Mixing it with the cops on the estates and tackling the rich at play.' In the end, Class War's most successful project - its crude but effective newspaper, Class War, which claims 18,000 subscribers - was at the root of the division.

Mr Scargill fulminates against the War's 'middle-class democracy junkies who are only interested in being terribly witty and producing coffee-table reading for the narco-left'.

Class War Federation members were not available for comment, but the Federation issued a statement warning against Messrs Scargill and Bone and their breakaway group. A debate is likely to ensue over who has the rights to the name.

A letter from a Dave Johnson of Class War in an early April issue of Freedom, a rather more sober anarchist newspaper, said Class War members rejected Mr Scargill because money in his charge 'had 'gone missing' '.

Mr Scargill rejected these charges: 'Money missing? What about the pounds 986 they still owe me for a phone bill?'

And he has no real regrets over the split: 'I'll tell you about them: what's really ironic is that their hotline number is a bloody mobile phone]'

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor