UK politics: at war with the people

by Richard North

UK politics: at war with the people000a Telegraph-022 bailiff.jpg

The Money Advice Trust, via The Daily Telegraph and others has established that local authorities in England and Wales last year referred debts to bailiffs on 1.8 million occasions.

These debts include council tax arrears, business rate arrears and parking fines, with councils claiming that bailiffs are only ever used as “a last resort”.

This claim we know from personal experience, and from the experiences of many others, to be a lie. But then, that is what governments do: they lie. Local authorities uses bailiffs for debt collection as part of an automatic (and mostly illegal) process which ends up in these thugs being given a license to extract even more money from often hard-pressed debtors, in a system that lacks humanity or justice.

But then, to finance their increasingly extravagant lifestyles and reckless waste of public money, council officials have little option but to resort to threats, bluster and harassment, as they seek to extort increasing amounts of money from an increasingly unwilling population.

Alongside this, we also see the news that there are nearly 4,000 prosecutions a week for not having a TV license, with the number of prosecutions having increased by nearly 30,000 in 12 months. More than ten percent of all cases coming before the courts are for TV licence fee “evasion”, we are told.

This is yet another tax that lacks legitimacy, and thus we find people increasingly reluctant to pay. And once again, the establishment response is to flex its muscles and resort to threat, bluster, harassment, and then penalties, force and eventual imprisonment.

For all its claimed concern for women’s rights and equality, the BBC here is excelling, making sure that a high proportion of women are jailed.

But this is but one example of the government at war with its own people. Although that war has not been sanctioned by an overt declaration, and is poorly reported by the legacy media, day after day the shock-troops of oppression (BBC report) sally out from their bases, to spread their fear and misery.

Meanwhile, the forces of darkness are seeking means of increasing their “take”, in this case the police seeking to by-pass the “referendum lock” that prevents an increase in Council Tax without a referendum.

As we see from the BBC film report linked above, where the police support the illegal actions of bailiffs, we are moving to a situation where the police forces’ main activity will be collecting their fees from unwilling householders.

But, if our government and their agencies have launched an undeclared war against us, it is about time we started to fight back. Of course, some of us are but this is also a numbers game, and not everybody needs to go as far a North Jnr (although they are welcome to join him).

Even people deducting a penny from their annual Council Tax bill can take part in the battle. We are working up a scheme on how to organise this, under The Harrogate Agenda label, with the idea that it should be called the “Penny Revolution”.

As I wrote earlier, me doing this is a [very] slight irritation. A thousand people doing this is a problem. A hundred thousand people doing this is a crisis. A million people is a revolution. We have within us the power to make things change. All we need to do is use it.

Sadly, many people can’t see the point, or can’t be bothered with the inconvenience of having to make payments manually, instead of relying on automatic direct debit payments, happily giving government access to their bank accounts.

But if we cannot even be armchair revolutionaries, there is little hope for us. One by one, we get picked off by state thugs, who know only one thing – to keep coming as long as there is money to be extorted. Sooner or later, we are going to have to stop them. My feeling is that now is as good a time as any.

6 responses to “UK politics: at war with the people

  1. I don’t pay the TV tax. There is no terrestrial aerial in my house – it fell down years ago – and I don’t have a Digibox for the Sky aerial. So I can’t actually receive TV signals, although I do have a TV set that I can use to watch DVDs on.

    In any case, you just send the BBC a Withdrawal of Implied Right of Access letter by recorded delivery removing their implied right (implied by the fact you have a letter box) to send you mail and knock your door – and the letters stop. I haven’t been contacted for nearly 4 years.

    As for the council tax, this is a sad case, as most of the enforcement procedures are unlawful, but the smirking magistrates collude in this, and so unless you want bailiffs round (and I believe council tax bailiffs have more powers and can force entry in some circumstances, because they are collecting for the state), it is hard to engage in an individual campaign of non-payment. It would be wonderful if there were a can’t pay, won’t pay campaign like the poll tax. I would cancel my direct debit like a shot if there were – but only if there were safety in numbers.

    Unfortunately, the council tax is just fraud, plain and simple. And with 4 million people subjected to penalties (unlawfully imposed by the council computer) every year, you would have thought this would be headline news. There are very large numbers of people affected, but almost no political comment. You can see how the BBC keep these matters under wraps.

    Even worse is the way many candidates for local government are former magistrates and thus people who have colluded in the wholesale breach of the common law occasioned by the issuing of fines by council computer, or by magistrates reading a computer print out of 2000 cases at once without the slightest attempt to scrutinise each case.

    Basically, local government finance works the wrong way round. The way it works now is “we have these spending commitments, including our salaries, so how much do we need to raise to pay them?” What it should be is “we have so much money to spend, so how do we allocate the funds we have”, cutting their coat according to their cloth, as it were. As council tax is only 16% of local government revenue, they should be able to accommodate a 16% cut in revenue if council tax were abolished, and look at their budgets from the point of view of “this is how much money we have, so what shall we spend it on?”

    Instead it is all a case of salary commitments, pension commitments, and other long-term commitments they don’t want to get out of – and so the expenditure items are dictating the level of revenue that needs to be raised, instead of the other way round.

    • Nick diPerna

      I’ve never paid the TV tax. Never watched TV since leaving my parents home 21 years ago. Get the odd thug come round – but I just send them on their way..

  2. Nick diPerna

    Last count, there was 459 council staff allegedly on more than 50K in my city – one of the highest quantities in the UK. Can it all really be justified considering we have some of the most deprived wards in the UK, the forth lowest disposable incomes and generally low wages – with no signs of the situation improving?

    And recently, we’ve seen council tax rises, rent rises and also cuts to care services. People on low earnings, JSA and other benefits, are sent a bill for about 20% of standard council tax.

    Going on a tangent – it was reported that 1 in 10 UK court cases deal with people not paying TV licence fees.

    The term ‘neo-feudalism’ springs to mind when I think about the situation.

  3. I haven’t had a TV licence for years, decades in fact. When they come knocking on my door I simply refuse to speak to them, to tell them my name, anything. They are employees of the ubiquitous Capita of course.
    The offence is watching or recording tv programmes as they are being broadcast. How are the enforcers going to prove that? If I am at the door talking to a Capita employee I’m not watching tv, am I?
    And if they do manage to establish that a tv is switched on, how are they going to establish who switched it on and who is watching it?
    Our parrot has been known to switch the set on via the remote. Indeed my wife occasionally leaves the tv on when we go out to keep the parrot company (I know, I know!). That could be interesting if it got to court.
    Of course, what usually happens is that people in typically British fashion act all apologetic and willingly incriminate themselves. They grovel and treat these Capita employees with the reverence to which they are accustomed.
    I just tell them to f*ck off.
    The situation has got a lot more complex in recent years of course, since things like computers, mobile phones, goodness knows what electrical gadgetry that is capable of receiving a tv signal, requires a licence. More accurately, it requires a licence if you are using it to watch tv programmes as they are being broadcast, but that’s not how Capita & the BBC see it of course.
    And when I tell my friends in America that in England you need to buy a permit to watch tv, they fall about laughing.
    What’s wrong with pay-per-view?

  4. Nick diPerna

    We are tax cattle living in tax farms as Stefan Molyneux would put it.