Wednesday, April 27, 2005

White Riot - I wanna riot ...

The Council Tax

It’s not a very fair tax is it?

Based on a notional value of your property, two adjacent households will pay exactly the same tax bill regardless of how much income is coming into each house.

Well-off people love taxes like the Council Tax. Well-off people love any indirect tax.

And the Council Tax keeps rising remorselessly; year after year.

Fair play to the Liberal Democrats. They’re talking about replacing the existing Council Tax with a local income tax. The days of little old ladies having to pay the same tax bills as the professional couples next door would come to an end.

Mmmmmm, a local tax levied on individuals rather than the properties they inhabit. A tax more weighted towards an individual’s ability to pay…

Sounds something like the Poll Tax to me. I wonder if there are going to be any riots.

Yes, I remember the Poll Tax Riots, particularly the one in Trafalgar Square 1990. People seemed to be really rather annoyed.

Looking back on the Poll Tax it’s increasingly difficult to see what all the fuss was about. At the time, the Poll Tax was seen to be a tax on the poor. The reasoning being that more poor people would live in any given house than rich people. The Poll Tax was also seen as being a pernicious tax on your very existence, as if all the other taxes aren’t.

As it happens, most of these objections to the Poll Tax were bollocks. Of course it had its flaws but so what? Most taxes do, particularly indirect taxes. People on low incomes would have received a rebate to cover the Poll Tax and the system that it replaced, and the system that replaced it, were even less connected to an individual's ability to pay. What the Poll Tax did represent was an excuse to demonstrate against a hated government and burn down a few McDonalds at the same time.

I mention it now because the thought of 200,000 people running amok around the West End over any particularly issue seems rather unlikely these days.

This is partly down to the fact that our current, supposedly progressive, government has locked down security pretty tightly; marches and demonstrations are now policed to a ridiculous level, but mostly because most people on the Left of politics are hypocritical and full shit.

And lots of it.

Why am I picking on Left-Wingers? Well, people with more Right wing views don’t pretend to give a stuff about anyone else; Self-Interest is King. Whereas people on the Left are always prattling on about the Human Rights and twaddle like that.

They don’t really mean it though do they?

Forget for a moment the fact that the current government has presided over unprecedented levels of corporatisation and globalisation of this country or that the tax burden on the rich has been held back at the expense of the less rich. How else can you explain the conspicuous lack of any real resistance to the Government’s assault on the right to trial by jury, restriction of the right to protest, imprisonment without trial, the imposition of ID cards and that stupid, frickin’ war…

That’s the sort of stuff that should bring people out on the street to light bonfires and build barricades, not a few quid either way on the rate of property tax.

What little effective resistance there has been to the rise of fascism in this country has come from the likes of the House of Lords and the Judiciary. Both unelected and both despised by the Left.

That past generation of Left Wing protestors and the generation that should have followed them have been well and truly neutered by The Machine. Sure, some of them talk the talk but barely a handful walk the walk. Wankers.


Ian said...

I would welcome the prospect of 200,000 people running around complaining on the streets of London - it would lead to good photographic possibilities. I often look at people's 'riot' photographs / pictures of police beating striking miners with trunchoens and think 'I wish I had taken that photograph'
However, what with all the tourists around now as well, a 200,000 strong crowd in the centre of London would mean the likelihood of getting a seat on the tube home would be much reduced, as people return to their post-riot middle class lives in Clapham, Balham and Brixton, in time for tea.

Stef said...

Promotional openings of new IKEA stores - that's where the action is these days my old china ...

David said...

Like many others, I paid about a third as much in poll tax as council tax, and the innumerate idiots who blindly criticised it (mainly as an anti-Thatcher/Conservative protest) were the same pratts who voted Ken back so they could piss more of their money down the drain on the congestion charge. Unfortunately we have to accept that (this is official) half the world have two-digit IQs. The bright can never win in a democracy as they are so few they'll never outvote the masses. I don't know an alternative, admittedly, but it does explain why we get people voting for clearly dubious policies.

Stef said...

Yup, my council tax bill tripled as well. I wouldn't have minded if it had any connection with my ability to pay. As it happens, for most of the 90s I benefitted from this unfairness. Currently I'm losing out. But sod whether I'm personally a winner or not, is the current system fair? And where are all the arses who made so much fuss about the Poll Tax now that the Government really is doing some truly scary things?

Re. the bright controlling democracy. Sorry to say, this is not true. A subset of the bright DO control democracy - the bright and ruthless. You're just pissed off because you're not in on the action. So am I.