Food Donations from Hereford arrive in Calais

Food clothing and other essential supplies continue to pour into to Calais from across the UK, and the people of Herefordshire are doing their bit to help those living in the Jungle refugee camp.

Calais Jungle Refugee Camp

Last week a van full of donated food and water left Hereford for the long journey down to Folkstone. This is the second time donations have been taken directly from Hereford to Calais. The Hecklers own Luthur Blissett went along to assist with driving.

All the food donations that are going from Hereford to Calais are being packed and organised via the Facebook group Food Donations for Calais and Dunkirk, Hereford Group. For this trip more than a quarter of a tonne of food donations were loaded into the van.

The rest of the load was bottled water kindly donated by a local mineral water company. In all a tonne of supplies left Hereford for the long drive down to the South East. The diesel and channel tunnel costs were covered by donations by people in Hereford and Ross-on-Wye.

After arriving in Calais late afternoon, a couple of hours were spent talking to local people to get their views on the crisis. Unfortunately for us the hotel we stayed in was full of French pigs. The copper we spoke to said of the migrants “We don’t want them here. We need to change the system so we can get rid of them”.

We were expecting an equally negative opinion from local people but were pleasantly surprised. Local bar owner Pascal told us that the main problem is that tourism in Calais has collapsed. English people no longer stop there on their way home. But he said many people are sympathetic to the plight of the refugees, and they are happy to help in any way they can.

Eric, a resident of Paris who was visiting Calais, said he knew who was blame for the crisis. “David Cameron, he’s the one who can sort this out. But he prefers to play politics with these people.”

After spending the night in Calais we delivered our van load of supplies to the warehouse in an industrial estate on the west side of Calais. A hive of activity, staffed by young British volunteers, they were very grateful for our delivery. We were told that the food and water would be sorted into individual food parcels and distributed within days.

Children in Calais Jungle

Children at the camp in 2015. Photo by Philippe Huguen

It was heartening to see the amount of tents, sleeping bags and clothing that had been sorted. Social media would have you believe that most people in the UK are antagonistic towards the refugees, but on the evidence we saw, many people give a shit and are donating a lot of essential stuff.

And it’s a good thing too. The charity Help Refugees estimates that there are over 500 unaccompanied children living in the Jungle. While British politicians argue about their tax returns, innocent children, many of whom have a right to come to the UK, are stuck in squalor and dependant on hand outs. It’s an utter disgrace but at least we can do something to help.

Once again ordinary people show that direct action can work when the politicians fail. Solidarity is alive and well and people in Hereford are playing their part.

These trips from Hereford to Calais will continue until the refugee crisis ends, and lets be honest that won’t be any time soon.

To make food donations, please click here or leave a comment below.

Luther Blissett

For more info visit –

Help Refugees




The Powys Tax Rebellion

“I will find you and your money” announced Chancellor George Osbourne in 2011. He was speaking after negotiations with Swiss Banks about tackling tax avoidance. Tory millionaire Osbourne claimed that “Tax avoidance is morally repugnant.”

Of course he didn’t mean it.  Because while the most vulnerable in society are suffering massive cuts to their incomes, multinational corporate giants are still getting away with billions in unpaid tax.

According to Tax Research UK we lose out on over £120bn in tax each year, enough to clear the deficit that politicians keep banging on about. Companies like Asda, Google, Apple, eBay, Starbucks and Vodaphone pay minimal tax on their massive UK profits. Cafe Nero hasn’t paid any UK corporation tax since 2008!

All this tax avoidance is done legally using loopholes that allow companies to divert their money to other countries where tax levels are much lower. Successive governments have failed to close these loopholes preferring to blame the unemployed, refugees and the EU for our financial situation.

Now a group of Independent traders in Crickhowell have found another way to force politicians to act.  The group which includes the local coffee shop, bakery, optician, and book shop are exploiting the same tax loopholes by moving the town ‘offshore’.

“We were shocked to discover that the revenue generated by hard-working employees in these British high street chains isn’t declared”. Said Jo Carthew who runs Black Mountain Smokery in the town,” We do want to pay our taxes because we all use local schools and hospitals but we want a change of law so everyone pays their fair share.”

“Until now, these complicated offshore tricks have only been open to big companies who can afford the lawyers’ fees. But we’ve put our heads together, and worked out a way to mimic them.”

Everything the traders have proposed is legal and they have met with HMRC to discuss their plans.

Coffee shop owner Steve said “I have always paid every penny of tax I owe, and I don’t object to that. What I object to is paying my full tax when my big name competitors are doing the damnedest to dodge theirs.”

One of the town’s traders discovered that he paid seven times more in corporation tax than Facebook, which paid less than £5,000 in the UK last year!

They hope that their DIY tax avoidance scheme could go national and force politicians to act.

The story of the Powys tax rebellion is to be covered in a BBC documentary to be aired in early 2016.

Luther Blissett


Key ideas for community organising

Acorn Bristol picketSome very broad basic ideas for getting started at organising in your local area.

Firstly, remember: If you are going to do community organising, do it in your own area; don’t be a missionary!


Research and preparation

Look around your local area and determine what issues it faces. Talk to your neighbours, what issues do they think are important regarding the area. Determine what kinds of projects you can develop or direct action you can take that meet the area’s needs or address the community’s issues.

Find out if others are already working on the problems in their area and if they’ve been effective and what you can learn from them. Determine what kinds of resources you have available and who in your area might be useful allies in accomplishing your goals.


Volunteering or starting your own group

If there is a group doing work in your area and they are effective, it would be a good idea to volunteer with them to gain experience. If there is no group doing work on the issues you are concerned about or existing groups are not effective, start your own group but try to remain on friendly terms with existing groups.



Set a goal. Devise objectives (or strategies) to achieve the goal. Devise actions to achieve the objectives.


Community-building projects

Plan everything you do in your area with an effort to bring people in the community together and get them involved. Make a special effort to get people in the area who are not politically conscious to work on projects and become active.

In short, gear your work towards not just helping the community but towards actually strengthening a sense of community.


Fight prejudice as you organise

Make a special effort to ensure that your organisation and its projects reflect the racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the community and make sexual equality and anti-racism explicit parts of your organisation’s politics and policies.


Get attention

Be visible in your area, make every effort to let people nearby know you exist. Seek press attention when you do an action, gain a victory, or establish a project.

Boycott Hereford United

With less than two weeks till the start of the football season the situation at Edgar Street continues to sadden and amaze many fans. The real story about the demise of our club will surely come out in time, but it’s clear where much of the blame lays.

Fans say it like it is

David Keyte. What a wanker. How dare he call himself a fan. His time in charge of the club started off so well and ended with utter mismanagement and complete disregard for true supporters. The rest of the board who operated under him also have a lot to answer for. A great many hard working staff and players were lied too and ripped off by Keyte and he should never be allowed to work in football again.  This imbecile’s final act of treachery was to pass ownership of our club to bunch of crooks.

Tommy Agombar, Andy Lonsdale and the rest of these cowboys are nothing more than gold diggers.  They’ve come to Hereford with easy money on their minds. Edgar Street is prime development land and they know it. They have continued the Keyte legacy of lying and ripping off people the extent that all members of staff have walked out. They have no respect for supporters of the club they claim to have saved.

As ever in these situations the ones who stand up and make a real difference are the fans. It was the fans who dug deep last season to avert winding up orders. It was fans who organised themselves into a Trust in the hope of taking the club forward after Keyte. It’s that fans who make a football club and after Tommy has fucked off back to London we’ll still be here. What is left after he’s gone remains to be seen but what is clear is that we shouldn’t give him a penny.


Click here to join HUST

Hereford United Supporters Trust (HUST) called for a boycott of the current regime until all outstanding debts have been paid and we fully support this. In fact we’d rather see the back of Agombar before returning to the Meadow End. The club listed as a member of the Southern League for next season is not the true Hereford United and shame on the League for allowing them to join.

We urge all supporters to promote the boycott of Hereford United to other fans. Agombar and his crew are here to rip us off, don’t give them any credibility by going to Edgar Street.  HUST and other supporters are arranging an alternative fixture list for next season supporting the Hereford United Fans Team. Get along to the matches to show what real Bulls fans look like. We’ll either get our club back or start afresh, either way HUFC will live on. COME ON YOU WHITES.

For up to date news on the Bulls visit BullsNews

For Fans Team fixture details click here

Luther Blissett

Radical change needed in green movements

Edgar Street trees cutLast year’s loss of the Edgar Street lime trees left many people in Hereford feeling angry and disappointed. The trees were removed by the scheming and collusion of Herefordshire Council and the Environmental Agency. In opposition to their plans was a small but determined campaign group, which we at the Heckler were initially supportive of.

Whether this road widening plan has reduced congestion or will speed up entry to the soon-to-open shopping complex is open to debate. But there is no doubt that any traffic-management measures on Edgar Street are welcomed by those people who have to drive along there on a daily basis.

The passionate campaign that opposed the felling was driven by environmental concerns about the reduction of green space in Hereford, and it’s hard to argue with that—it seems obvious that green spaces should be an essential part of any city. But do these views take into account the realities of living in the world as it is today?

We live in a world with an ever-increasing population and with it comes the need to build more houses, roads and other infrastructure projects like high-speed rail links. No matter how efficiently we organise our communities a certain level of growth is inevitable and necessary. But we need to ensure that this growth is sustainable.

Another driving factor that comes at odds with environmentalism is economic growth. Many campaigners across the globe make the link between capitalism, growth and environmental destruction and promote a revolutionary, anti-capitalist form of ecology as a result. Unfortunately some of the environmentalists in Britain and other countries remain stuck in a green ghetto, seeing things in black and white terms of beautiful planet v. destructive humans. It is a ghetto that is as isolated as it is unresponsive to modern needs.

If we really want to challenge the destruction of the world around us we need to move on from NIMBYism, signing petitions or voting for ‘sympathetic’ political parties and instead think about real, radical change, both social and personal. Otherwise it’ll be the same faces holding hands and singing songs when the bypass ploughs through the Lugg flats in a few years.