Friday 2 October 2015

Protestival 2.0 - Bath's Festival of Protest

Following the success of this June's gathering in Victoria Park, Bath will see a second Protestival this year on Saturday at the Royal Oak on Lower Bristol Road.

The press release for the event reads:

Jessica Milton will host Protestival 2.0, taking place at The Royal Oak pub on Lower Bristol Road on 03/10/15. It will be a day event filled with workshops, short talks, performance poetry and music.

Jessica Milton is proud to bring Protestival 2.0 to Bath for the second time. Protestival 2.0 will kick off with acoustic music performed by local musicians, followed by talks on community projects, campaigns and local opinions throughout the early afternoon. There will be diverse workshops all day in the beer garden, and music all evening to keep us dancing long into the night!

More information can be found online at:

The event has been lovingly founded with the intention of creating a platform of shared ideas, knowledge, and expertise, to create a better connected society. It has been called the “spiritual successor to the Visions for Change event that drew in hundreds of people in 2012 and 2013”, and is a celebration of activism and radical thought in Bath and the surrounding community.


running throughout the day in the side room (or the beer garden, weather permitting):

Kieran Denman: Anarchism and building your own solidarity network
Jesse Perrett: Poetry and spoken word activities
Clothes swap: bring something from the back of your wardrobe and you could go away with something new!

commencing early afternoon:

Paul Reid-Bowen; Bath Spa Philosophy lecturer, on Sustainability
Zenon; ex-hermit and artist, on the importance of Collective Unity
Chris Roche; recently-ex-student and Unionist, on the importance of activism and how student groups can encourage change (subject to change)
Zaria Philips; from Unite in the Community, on community solidarity
Holly Templer; from Fossil Free Bristol, talking about successful local campaigns
Louise Somerville; from Frack Free Somerset, on practical campaigning skills

throughout the day and continuing through the night!

Chris Johnston; chilled, positive vibes, drawing on his own life experience

Tom Harris; self proclaimed 'musician, poet, astronaut' - make of him what you will

The Domino Collective; funk-influenced feel good grooves

We will also be teaming up with the Royal Oak for the evening, and inviting a "mighty fine collection of West Country style bands for a jolly evening of cider swilling" at The Royal Oak in Bath from 9pm:
Surfin' Turnips, Scrumpy Swillers and Hater UK at The Royal Oak

 Times for the events are as follows:

1.35 - 2.15 EMMY LILA
2.15 - 2.30 INTRODUCTION TO PROTESTIVAL: the vision
2.30 - 2.55 PAUL REID-BOWEN
2.55 - 3.10 HOLLY TEMPLAR
3.10 - 3.30 SAMMY CROCKER
3.30 - 3.50 CHRIS ROCHE
3.50 - 4.20 TOM HARRIS
4.20 - 4.30 ZARIA PHILIPS
4.30 - 5.15 BEN LYTHE


Friday 10 July 2015

Budget Day Protest in Bath

In response to George Osbourne's emergency budget on Wednesday, which will see £12bn in welfare cuts and a £20,000 benefit cap (£23,000 in London), Bath Against Cuts organised a demonstration against the elements of the budget that will affect the disabled, the poor, students and the low-waged.

After assembling at the Conservative Party HQ in Bathwick at 5.30pm, demonstrators marched to the council offices at the Guildhall where a meeting between Conservative councillors was being held. Around 100 people representing groups Bath Against Cuts, Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts, 38 Degrees Bath and the local Green and Labour parties, as well as other members of the public, attended the demonstration. Speakers, including Labour councillor Joe Rayment and representatives from University of Bath UCU and 38 Degrees, addressed the protest via a megaphone, condemning the budget.

Security guards at the Guildhall were heavy-handed, with one demonstrator pushed down the Guildhall steps and other being shoved around by security.

The demonstration in Bath was just one of many that took place throughout the UK, including protests in London, Bristol, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Cornwall, Portsmouth, Nottingham, Birmingham, Northampton, Manchester, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Liverpool, Norwich, Oxford and many other towns and cities.

University of Bath UCU vice-president Chris Roche, who spoke at the demonstration, commented: "It should be no surprise that this Tory government have a programme of taking from the poorest and most vulnerable in society to pay the rich. The question is, what do we do about it? Nothing challenges the power of the ruling class like organised labour, so join a trade union and get active within it. There's too much at stake to sit back and watch the horror show - stand up and be part of the fight back"
38 Degrees Bath commented "
Without a significant and sustained opposition to the worst of the Tory government's policies, the suffering of the most vulnerable in society will deepen and spread, and our welfare system and public services may be damaged beyond repair."

Earlier today, Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts released a statement on the budget, which reads:
"George Osbourne’s emergency budget announced a devastating attack on higher education and students in addition to £12 billion of cuts to welfare. 
Here’s our summary of how the budget may affect students :
- Maintenance grants for students with family incomes below £42,000 will be scrapped and replaced by loans from 2016-17. The maximum loan will be £8,200 a year. This will mean that students are forced into even more debt, leaving the poorest students with a debt of £51,000 after 3 years.
- Elite universities that can demonstrate excellent teaching will be allowed to increase tuition fees in line with inflation from 2017-18. In effect this will create a 2-tier higher education system with better teaching only available to those that can afford to pay more.
- George Osbourne’s “Living Wage” of £7.20 an hour is nothing of the sort - it has been condemned by the Living Wage Foundation, who calculate it to be £7.85 an hour (£9.15 for London). George Osbourne’s “Living Wage” is merely a higher minimum wage. Furthermore, it is not applicable to the under-25s. 18-20 year olds will earn £5.30/hr and those ages between 21-25 will get £6.70/hr.
- Under 21s will no longer be entitled to housing benefit. Not everyone has the option of living with their parents, and this will mean many will have to live with abusive parents/guardians or be forced onto the street. This will disproportionately affect those who identify as LGBTQ.
- The youth benefits scheme will be overhauled, with an obligation placed on 18-21 year olds to ‘earn or learn’.
- Cuts to Further Education also look likely to be announced as part of the spending review in autumn.
Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts opposes this vicious attack on higher education, which will mean those from the lowest income families will be left with £51,000 of debt by the end of a 3-year course if they take out the maximum loan - which many will need to in order to survive. Those from wealthier families who can afford to pay for their children to study and live while at university will leave without that debt hanging over their heads. While the maintenance grant system went some way to addressing economic inequality, relieving underprivileged students of some of the debt burden, those from poorer backgrounds will now be put at an immediate disadvantage.
Forcing students into even more debt promotes an individualistic, corporatised vision of higher education. Education must be free - We believe that education is a public good which benefits society. Join us at the national demonstration in November to fight for free education and the introduction of living grants for all in November:"
 Bath Against Cuts has vowed to continue to fight the cuts being implemented by the majority Conservative administration. Get involved by attending their meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at The Ram, Widcombe at 8pm.

Bath Against Cuts website:
Twitter: @bathagainstcuts

If you are among the growing number of people affected or concerned by the impact this government is having on the people, the environment and on international affairs, get involved! Our directory of activist and campaign groups can be found here.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Howlett Watch #2: The Deportation of Majid Ali

A correspondent wrote to new Bath MP Ben Howlett concerning the fate of Majid Ali, the City of Glasgow College student who was forcibly deported to Pakistan in June. Majid had been applying for asylum since 2011, claiming that his family home was raided and uncle and cousin shot dead because of their political beliefs, and that his brother had been abducted by the government. Hundreds of students protested and many more were opposed to his deportation, including Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, the First Minister for Scotland. Majid has not been heard from since, and reportedly told his lecturer that he was scared hours before being forced onto a military plane. It is thought that he is either dead or was abducted on arrival.

Ben's reply is as follows:


Thank you very much for your recent email. My sincere apologies regarding my delay in replying.

I am very sad to hear of the case of Majid Ali, however I have every faith in our Home Office team and in the difficult decisions made by Theresa May and her staff. I will continue to support the decisions made by the Home Office as I believe that they act in the best interests of the British people. The abuse of the student visa system - a system that was installed to encourage international students to study in our great country, and rightly so - cannot be tolerated.

Thank you again for getting in touch. Please do contact me again with any questions or concerns.

Best wishes

Ben Howlett
Member of Parliament for Bath

We question the ethics of Mr Howlett on this matter. There was a very clear risk of danger to this young man's life, and it is highly likely that his worst fears have been realised. How can Mr Howlett continue to support an institution that would knowingly send a young person to their potential death? What is this great country he refers to? It is surely not the United Kingdom under the rule of the Conservatives. To even consider mentioning the abuse of the student visa system in this instance is abhorrent. If Ben Howlett had any concern for the wellbeing of human life, he would oppose the actions of the Home Office on this matter. After only two months, Bath's new MP has disgraced himself.

We'd rather not have to keep writing these posts, but it appears that we are going to be doing so for some time if Mr Howlett continues along these lines. If you have received a response from Ben Howlett that you are not satisfied with, please send it to and we'll consider publishing it.

Mr Howlett's contact details are as follows:

Address: 96 Sydney Mews, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 4ED

Phone: 01225 338555


Tuesday 7 July 2015

Budget Day Demonstration Outside Bath Tory HQ - Wednesday, 5.30pm

From Bath Against Cuts

On Wednesday, the first Tory-majority government for eighteen years will announce its first budget. All the signs show that it will be everything we feared: massive cuts to essential social welfare coupled with tax cuts to benefit those with more wealth - a budget that takes from the poor to pay the rich. We could expect nothing else from the Conservative Party, but the question is, how do we respond? National demonstrations are great, but we need to bring the opposition to Tory attacks on public services and welfare into our own cities, towns and villages.

At 17:30 on Wednesday, after the budget is announced, we will be meeting outside Bath Tory Party HQ to make our voices heard and to demonstrate to our new Tory MP that he will not be met with resigned indifference in Bath for the choices he makes in the voting lobbies of Westminster. We will also be discussing how to move forward and where to focus our energies in what will be a very tough but crucial five years.
Without a significant and sustained opposition to the worst of the Tory government's policies, the suffering of the most vulnerable in society will deepen and spread, and our welfare system and public services may be damaged beyond repair.

The Tory Council cabinet are meeting from 16:00 on Wednesday at the Guildhall, so we're aimimg to be there when they arrive.

This is a budget that will take from the many to give to the rich few.

The NHS, Education, Jobs, Welfare & public services will all be targeted.

It's important that we stand up and say NO MORE!

Make placards, bring music, bring your voice.

We say:
NO to 'austerity'
NO to the destruction of our public services
NO to cuts to social welfare
NO to more tax cuts for the rich
NO to the victimisation and marginalisation of migrants, disabled, poor and unemployed people.
YES to a fair, just, democratic and equal society.

Please come along, get involved, show that there is such a thing as society, and we will not let it be cut, divided and sold to the highest bidder.


Facebook event page here:

Tory HQ can be found at 96A Sydney Mews, Bath BA2 4ED Bathwick (behind the Church at the bottom of Bathwick Hill)

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Howlett Watch #1: Fox Hunting

Anti-hunt campaigners in Bath have written to new Conservative MP Ben Howlett concerning proposals to repeal the hunting ban. In response he sent out identical letters to all those who wrote to him, several of which have been passed to our team.


Thank you for contacting me about the Hunting Act 2004.

I appreciate the strong feelings that many people have on this issue and I share your concern for ensuring the welfare of all animals. Your views will therefore be incorporated into my consultation on this matter.

The Prime Minister has said that a majority Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.

I have always made it clear that the current law is not working and therefore I would vote in favour of repealing the hunting act in a free vote. If the law is repealed, I will work with my colleagues from across the House to replace it with legislation which works better for all those concerned.

I do hope this clarifies my position on this matter.

Best wishes

Ben Howlett
Member of Parliament for Bath

We fail to grasp Mr Howlett's logic. Surely, while not perfect, the Hunting Act at present reduces the amount of fox hunting undertaken, and that by repealing it, therefore making fox hunting legal, more foxes would be killed in this barbaric fashion than at present. If Mr Howlett is truly concerned about the effectiveness of the current legislation, surely he should be voting to keep it, while working on more effective legislation to replace it.

We therefore call upon the people of Bath to question Mr Howlett further, and to organise protests if he sticks to this approach.

Suggested questions to Mr Howlett (the more people that send these to him the better - please send your responses to and we'll publish them):

- Do you agree with the practice of hunting foxes with dogs?

- What, in your view, is problematic with the current legislation?

- If you are opposed to hunting foxes with dogs, why do you think that repealing the ban without immediately replacing it with more effective legislation is a good idea?

Mr Howlett's contact details are as follows:

Address: 96 Sydney Mews, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 4ED

Phone: 01225 338555


It has also been brought to our attention that Mr Howlett likes the page "Tot AlHunt"on Facebook. These hunt supporters say on the subject of the badger cull:

'There is a need to cull badgers in the United Kingdom due to the fact they spread TB to cattle. This case has been made well elsewhere. Our position on the matter at Total Hunt is that it is also a legitimate sport to cull badgers. Badger digging is a popular British field sport which has unnecessarily been criminalised.'

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Protestival - A Protest Festival. This Saturday, Victoria Park

Protestival - a protest festival - will be happening in Victoria Park this Saturday, with acoustic music and radical politics.
Organisers describe the event as "A day long festival that brings together activism and music! We will create a beautiful hub of activism-spreading and good musical vibes in Victoria Park on Saturday 6th June (this weekend)."

"The aim is to bring together the people of Bath, to share knowledge, listen to music, network, and have fun!
Please bring some food, a few drinks, maybe a blanket, and everyone you know!!!"

"Families more than welcome!"

"We'll be having quite a few folk musicians down, a fair bit of spoken word (some people coming all the way from Brighton to be there, just sayin'), some poetry, and an inspirational speech or two. Not to mention some live art, juggling lessons, yoga, meditation (hugging and laughing), frisbee, and of course members of various activist groups from around the local area to mill about spreading the word of what they're doing, and how you can help. It's also been suggested that we do a clothes swap table there, too, so we can share and swap our clothes, as well as our knowledge!"

With the sun set to shine on Saturday and growing disillusionment with politics as usual and a government hell-bent on destroying everything British people have fought for over the the centuries, we're sure this will be a great event.

Facebook event page here:

Groups attending in some capacity include Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts, Bath Against Cuts, Bristol A-Fed and Unite in the Community. Various local folk musicians and local groups will be playing acoustic music.

We'll post further details as they come in.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Bath Against Cuts - Join Your Local Anti-Cuts Group

An important message from a member of Bath Against Cuts - Bath's number one opponents to cuts and austerity.

I expect you are all gutted by the election result but five years ago some of set up a anti-cuts campaign to fight the coalition's attacks on the poor and vulnerable. We together have done good work over the last five years. With a majority Tory government we are now needed more than ever. This new government will continue to attack the NHS, people on benefits and trade union activists. If you feel as I do please come to the anti-cuts organising meeting on Tuesday 12th May at the Ram Widcombe at 8 pm. 

The fight back starts now.
Bath Against Cuts usually meets on the first Tuesday of every month (it's the second Tuesday this month due to the election) at 8pm in The Ram.

For more info, follow @bathagainstcuts and check their facebook page

Read our post-election commentary here

Contact details of Bath and Bristol activist groups here - get involved

Anti-Tory Protestors Take their Message to Downing Street

36.8% of registered voters voted for a "majority" Conservative government. They claim that they have a mandate to rule, but yesterday Britain said otherwise.

On Saturday morning, word reached Bath that a huge demonstration against the Conservative's cuts and for real democracy was about to take place. Activists and campaigners promptly took action and made their way to London to make their voices heard.

Starting at Tory HQ, the several-thousand strong demonstration peacefully marched to Downing Street, to Trafalgar Square and then back to Downing Street. Left-wing activists of all stripes - anarchist-communists, socialists, Green Party members, badger cull protestors and more united as one against the Conservatives.

Police claim that there was violence against them and criminal damage. The most violence our comrades on the demonstration witnessed was against peaceful demonstrators by aggressive riot police, while the real criminal sat in Downing Street plotting his assault on the British public. What the police failed to understand is that their livelihoods are now as under threat as everyone else's, and that plans to privatise the police force with hired security firms such as G4S will mean that pretty soon demonstrations will start to include ex-coppers too. With chants of "We are peaceful" and "Protect us, don't fight us" largely ignored, the police hit, grabbed, pushed and assaulted those acting in the best interest of the country.

Nobody at the demonstration was at all happy about "Fuck Tory Scum" being sprayed on a memorial to women in the second world war, and it is strongly suspected that this was the work of an agent provocateur, rather than a genuine protestor. What better way to discredit a movement than to desecrate one of the least controversial war memorials on VE Day? We need to be better than this - better than them.

                                          Video of scenes from the demo

Police then kettled protestors for several hours. Spirits in the kettle were high, with demonstrators singing, dancing, playing instruments and holding an open mic session.

The feeling on the day was that this was Day 1, and a good effort. Already people reject their society and are coming together to create something better and to oppose those who intend to ruin much of what the disadvantaged in society and their allies have fought for over the centuries. Peace, solidarity, direct action, education and hope are the tools this emerging counter-culture is using. May this continue.

While people were understandably angry and a lot of insults were thrown against the Tories and Cameron in particular, many people we have spoken to during and since the demonstration are wanting to move on from this. We need to be the best we can be. We need to rise above hatred - that's their value, not ours. Focus our anger into creating something positive - because by hating, we are as bad as they are. Opposing and doing everything we can to stop them need not stem from hatred. It can also stem from our love for our fellow humans and our planet. They do not choose to use their ability to love. We can.

Read our post-election thoughts here

Get involved and join an activist group in Bath or Bristol here

Election Aftermath: Real Change Will Come From Us

On Friday morning, the United Kingdom woke up with a Conservative majority government, a result that nobody expected. This government is on a course to further the goals of capitalism, crush unions, strip away welfare, degrade worker's rights, increase the cost of tuition fees and wreak havoc on the environment, not to mention the badgers and foxes. But this also the beginning of something huge.

People are angry, and rightly so. Those that blindly voted for the party of the rich will slowly realise what they have done when their jobs, healthcare and education are affected. Under the current system, voting in this election was never going to bring about a radical change in society. Yes, proportional representation would be more democratic, and would give some of the smaller left (and also right) parties a bigger chance. Indeed, both the Greens and UKIP are now considering this among their top priorities. If the people of Britain wish to continue having a government then it is an improvement. But more importantly, we need to be building the society that we want to live in. Forming communities, sharing resources and ideas, showing solidarity with each other and rejecting the individualistic, isolationist and apathetic model of society that the powerful want us to inhabit.

There exist already numerous groups, locally and nationally, who are actively campaigning for and working towards a better world. Some of them are protest groups campaigning against things they feel are unjust. Some are political groups and parties who are advocating a different way of doing things. Some are charities, some are environmentalists. All have ideas on how to change the world. Many of these groups we have supported over the years, and we have now published details of how you can get involved.

Take a long hard look at the country and the world right now and ask yourself "What would I change?" "How would I like things to be?" and "What can I do to create this world I want to inhabit?". Then get out there and do it.

It is up to us, not politicians, to change the world. Real change can come from you. Get involved with the groups you support. Start other groups if you feel there are things not being addressed, and talk to other groups in your area about it. Get on the streets. Get on the internet. Talk to everyone you can. We need to build a strong movement for the sake of us all, and the sake of the planet. We need every one of you to be part of it, even if you can't offer much. Whether or not you stood up and were counted in the general election, all hope is not lost. The future depends on you and the world you help to create.

Over the next 5 years we need to be strong. We need to change the political narrative ourselves, not rely on parties to do it for us. If they want to stay relevant then they will need to reflect our views, not the other way around. And if they do not reflect our views then we should reject them.

Peace and love and solidarity in these dark times.

Get involved here:

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Election Special - Don't (Just) Vote, Get Active

Although this post contains sections specific to the Bath and the North East Somerset constituencies, many of the underlying ideas are relevant to other parts of the country. Standing Stone's Blog does not endorse any political party or the current political system. It is not our job to tell you who to vote for or whether or not to vote, but it is our job to talk about it.

We may not endorse parties, but some are clearly worse than others...
(Protest sign from Monday's David Cameron welcome party)
 In the next 24 hours the polls will close and the winners and losers of the election decided. Possibly. This election carries with it more uncertainties than any other election than we can remember (and some members of our team can remember quite a few).

To Vote or Not to Vote

Before we start addressing the issues with the individual parties and candidates, we will first address one of the most fundamental issues of this campaign. While some were turned against voting by Russell Brand before he came out in support of voting for Caroline Lucas in Brighton and Labour everywhere else, this is not a new idea. Many anarchists and revolutionary socialists have been saying this for centuries. Voting gives legitimacy to the government. It takes away our right to govern ourselves and puts it in the hands of others, who have not always acted in the best interests of the majority, or of oppressed minorities. Emma Goldman famously said on the matter 'if voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal'.

At the same time, few would argue that Westminster-style representative democracy is not an improvement on a monarchy or a dictatorship - at least we have a say in who runs the country and can vote them out if they aren't any good. People in Britain have fought and died for the right to vote throughout history. There are some differences between the parties, and any one person is likely to agree with the policies of one party more than the others, even if they do not support the current political system itself. By voting for the party you agree with the most, you are in with a chance to have some of your views represented in parliament. But don't expect them to always keep their word.

While there is disagreement amongST our team and comrades on this issue, many of us agree that if there is no-one suitable to represent you, don't stay at home tomorrow. Not turning up to the polling station will not bring down the system, and you will be put in the 'apathetic' camp. Spoiling the ballot shows that you do have an interest in politics, but none of the candidates (or any of them, no matter what their views are) are suitable to be your MP. Maybe one day the spoiled ballots will get a majority somewhere and cause a constitutional crisis.

Deciding who to vote for (if you're that way inclined)

If you are among those who feels that voting can make a difference, then you'll need to carefully consider who to vote for. The first thing you need to be aware of is the whipping system. Essentially, even if your MP agrees with something, if they belong to a party that has whips they can be whipped into voting the other way, and in some cases MPs can lose their position if they rebel. Of the main parties, the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats use whips. The Green Party of England and Wales and UKIP do not use whips. Proponents of the whipping system claim that it helps create strong governments, while opponents claim that it is a barrier to true representative democracy. We agree with the latter. So if you oppose the badger cull and your Tory candidate does also, be aware that it does not necessarily mean that they will vote against it in parliament.

Bearing this in mind, we recommend making a list of key issues that you are concerned about and reading up where candidates (for non-whipped parties and independents) and parties (for all candidates, but especially for whipped parties) stand on these issues. Here's our table for the 5 main parties as they currently stand in this election on the issues that we have covered in this blog over the years:

Green= good, Yellow=intermediate, Red=bad
Notes: Even though UKIP score a yellow, we consider them to be worse than the Tories in general due to their xenophobic policies and popularisation of casual racism. However they are more in favour of referendums and public engagement in politics than some of the other parties. Although we consider the Greens to have the most democratic policies of all 5 parties, they do not go as far as we would like.
Again, please note that even where parties have scored as green, don't expect them to live up to all of their promises - while some things will get through in some form or other, U-turns are not uncommon.

On Tactical Voting

Let's say for instance that you find yourself agreeing with the Greens more than the others and disagree with the Tories more than the others. It's neck and neck between Tories and Labour in your constituency. Do you vote Labour to ensure the Tories don't win, or do you stick to your principles and vote Green?

Tactical voting can help to keep the party you definitely don't want in power out. However, it means that someone else you don't like stands a better chance of getting in. By tactical voting, you are in effect diluting the message that you want to send to parliament. It means that the people you actually like are never going to get a chance. We recommend that if you feel that there is one candidate that you feel is suitable to represent you, then vote for them. They might not get in, but they will be in a better position next time. Here in Bath we've had several leaflets through the door from the Lib Dems saying "Labour and Greens can't win here - only the Lib Dems can stop the Tories!". We say that's nonsense. If people voted for Labour or Green then they would have a better chance of stopping the Tories - and would also be less likely to prop them up in government for 5 years!

So in summary, we recommend that if you think a candidate is suitable to represent you in parliament, then vote for them. But it's your vote - do what you will with it.

In Bath

We report on activism and radical politics in Bath, North East Somerset (and sometimes Bristol and further afield). So we assume that many of our readers would like to know which of the candidates running in Bath have supported causes that matter to us and our comrades.

First, let's talk about the ones who have not publicly stood up and supported any causes given space on these pages (to the best of our knowledge). Ben Howlett (Conservative) and Julian Deverell (UKIP) have not been seen by us on any political event or demonstration that we have covered (although Ben Howlett was seen with David Cameron on Monday, but on the other side of the wall to the demonstrators). Jenny Knight from the far-right English Democrat Party has not been seen anywhere near a demonstration that we have attended. The independent candidate Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst, a former Lib Dem who stuck to her principles and left the party due to their U-turn on tuition fees and supporting the Tories, has also not to our knowledge attended any events that we have covered. Apologies to the candidates if they have been present - and if they are reading this, feel free to comment below.

Steve Bradley (Lib Dem) was present on the recent Reclaim the Night march, but has otherwise been absent. Ollie Middleton (Labour) marched and spoke at the Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts (BSAFC) march in December 2014. We have seen him at various meetings also. Dominic Tristram (Green), and the North East Somerset candidate Katy Boyce (Green) have both attended numerous demonstrations covered on these pages. Dominic is the local NHS governor who was elected due to his anti-privatisation stance, and has been present on union picket lines and BSAFC marches, amongst other things.

As for the council seat candidates, those who have attended events or publicly supported causes that we have covered include Lin Patterson (Green, Lambridge), Jon Lucas (Green, Westmoreland), Rory Lee (Green, Paulton), Joe Rayment (Labour, Twerton), Vicky Drew (Labour, Lambridge), Sarah Huggins (Green, High Littleton), Vipul Patel (Green, Walcot), June Player (Independent, Westmoreland), Pam Richards (Labour, Kingsmead) and Sally Driver (Green, Widcombe). Again, apologies to any candidates not mentioned, we didn't have the pleasure of meeting you - but feel free to leave a comment below.

There are no Class War or Left Unity candidates running for MP in Bath, although there are two LU candidates running for council seats in Southdown.

For more information on candidates and where they stand, visit Democratic Accountability Bath

The Last Word - Don't (Just) Vote, Get Active

That's almost it from us - the choice of voting or not voting, and who to vote for if you are voting is up to you. Whatever you decide, choose wisely. Electing a government every five years or so is not the end of public engagement in politics. Politics should work from the bottom up. Most good things that politicians have done over the centuries have not been out of the goodness of their hearts, but because of public pressure and targeted campaigns. Direct action works. Whoever wins this election, be they the best or worst on offer, or somewhere in-between, the government will (almost certainly) get in. It is the job of the public to hold them to account, pressure them to work for us and, if necessary, get rid of the lot of them. History has shown that voting is only of limited effectiveness and that power can change people. You can find details of groups and events on these pages and by looking around on the internet, and we strongly suggest that you do. Nothing changes unless people stand up and fight for it.

Whether you are voting or not voting, if you stand for something, don't (just) register to vote - register your protest.