Letter: Blowing the blues away from Brighton

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FOR THE first time in my life I became a protester at the Tory conference. I went for a day and stayed for the duration. I am not political - I didn't vote because nobody had anything worth voting for. I met so many people with grievances, much worse than my lack of work, that I stayed and protested for them.

I was frightened at first because I'd heard stories about the police and I expected to be beaten up. In reality they were wonderful. My only criticism was their marksmen sighting their rifles on me every morning. My advice to anyone who is going to protest is to have a word with the police. They will help you. They even saved me from being beaten up by two Tory bully boys.

Second, take a good megaphone - or my trombone. You cannot be heard without a megaphone. Write down what you want to shout and use short slogans. Don't swear, it erodes your meaning. The Acas representative got it right: 'Twelve die every month because of the Health and Safety Act.'

Third, find out the television positions and aim your megaphones at them - the politicians won't listen but the public will.

I had two victories. A mob of rich, jeering, flag-waving Tories sneered at the pensioners protesting about means testing and trying to live on pounds 54.15 a week. So I played the 'Death March' followed by the German national anthem at them and the Tory mob turned and fled. My ultimate victory was to watch John Major skulk out of the back door of the Brighton Centre because he couldn't face the music.

'Waste of time', 'childish', I hear some of you say. Well, what did you do?

Peter 'Fats' Baxter

Hove, East Sussex