Bristol City Council is Desperate

Credit reference agencies and their role in council tax collection

As we all know Council Tax has been frozen for at least three years, this might seem a good thing but it will have a colossal impact on public services, on the jobs of public sector workers and on their spending power which will in turn impact on other low paid workers and their jobs. And as services are centralised there will be less accountability and if and when the private sector takes over public services, costs will inevitably sky-rocket.

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Harassing the harassers?

As a follow up to an earlier article on creditor harassment we are repeating out call out for information if you have been feeling harassed by creditors. Two recent examples we have heard about via a local advice work are pretty horrible. One is a single parent mother , on income support who had run up a small debt via a catalogue company. She had fallen behind with her installments and was receiving letters which to her meant she was due in court any day now. She panicked, she stressed, she cut down her food budget to scape together £50 per month to offer the creditors.

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EBDA at the Bookfair – Drop the Debt!

One Trap Fits All

EBDA, along with the Bath Activist Nework will be hosting a workshop at this year’s Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, calling for a debate on the idea of cancelling ALL personal debt.

The workshop will take place on Saturday 12th September at noon until 1pm – drop by and say hello!

Here’s one argument for the debt cancellation, in comparison to the arguments used to cancel debt in Developing Countries: Continue reading

“Telerrists”: Info needed

We’ve been hearing a few examples of people being terrorised by debt collection agencies constantly calling them, so it was interesting to see the Dispatches documentary a few days ago. Here’s C4’s website on it:

Please contact us if you are suffering from these invasions of privacy. Email us on and we will put you in touch with fellow sufferers, and also build up a picture of local evil-doers so we can rip away the anonymity they enjoy and invade THEIR privacy for a change!

Obviously it’s always good to have scum like this exposed on TV, and to share information on these ‘telerrists’ so that people can be forewarned about their underhand terror tactics.

BUT……. why did the presenter have to keep making it clear that “of course no one is saying that these debts should not be paid”?

Should Chile have paid it’s debts to the IMF, even though the money was spent by a junta that butchered those forced to repay? Should African countries have to keep up their repayments on loans made for jet fighters and gold palaces even though it means that tens of thousands die of starvation? Me and Bob Geldoff don’t agree on much, but we do agree that 3rd world debt is unjust and immoral. Should we ‘honour our debt to people like Fred Goodwin and allow him his pension? Isn’t the way that UK individuals were lent money they couldn’t afford to repay, by institutions looking to make a securitised buck out of their misery: isn’t that lending just as immoral?

Is it so crazy to demand that personal debt shouldn’t also be ‘dropped’?

How to deal with Bailiffs

Bailiffs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are just doing it as a job, some justify what they do by being disgusted at those they shake down, some do it for the power trip of making you feel vulnerable and afraid.

Whatever their reasons, you’re not going to make them change their ways by shouting abuse at them, calling them ‘fascists’, asking how their mothers feel about what they are doing or whatever. Remember, these are just the messengers, the ‘muscle’ – the ‘brains’ of the outfit are the people who decided to put you through all this pain. They sit in air-conditioned offices and click buttons on computers, talk about ‘increasing recovery targets’ and sleep very well at night. If you want to get back at someone, get back at them.

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Rather than build more houses…

Council tenants offered £30,000 bribes to move out.

A classic Nu labour response to the crisis  – persuading people with secure tenancies and ‘fair rents’  to leave for the murkier world of 6 month ‘assured tenancy agreements’ (meaning after the 6 months you can be evicted for no reason with 2 months notice) and ‘market’ rents (meaning ‘unfair’ rents’).  And the people moving in are already victims of the housing crisis. in the mortgage sector as people struggle to keep up payments.


The other option would be to turn all those ‘luxery’ developments, those vast empty blocks build by greedy developers planning on making a packet by charging people £250,000 for a bedsit , i mean ‘studio flat’,  into social housing and cut the waiting lists at a drop of a hat.