Britain needs a revolution on the anniversary of America's independence, says Colin Brazier
People have started to wake up to the fact that the Government doesn't have any money, only what it takes from us. And right now, it’s taking too much.
Where is Britain’s Tea Party?
When will we see a grass-roots movement of taxpayers fed-up with being used by the state as human cashpoint machines?
Well, did we see the first stirrings today? The go-slow protests by motorists sick of paying 45p in every pound of diesel or petrol to the taxman? Was this the silent majority waking-up?
These demonstrations should not, for a second, be likened to the road closures enforced recently by a handful of environmentalists.
Today’s convoys consisted of drivers for whom political protest is something other people do.
These were accidental activists; normally too busy getting on with their lives – running small businesses or the kids to school – to take a stand. Now – to use the language of the Left – they are getting organised.
If I were in Government, I wouldn’t have given two hoots about Insulate Britain gluing their hands to the M25.
Those people were little more than caricatures; often people who didn’t need to work, stopping other people from getting to work. They claimed to speak for millions; but were often just trying to impress each other. Self-indulgent, priggish and easily ignored.
Not so of today’s protests. Of course, they may fizzle out. But what if they don’t. What if there’s a repeat of the fuel protests of 2000, when Tony Blair’s Government wobbled, after lorry drivers blocked motorways and the country ground to a halt?
What if Britain is about to get a dose of what France saw with its Yellow Vest movement? Such movements usually don’t last long. They’re often an angry spasm directed by apolitical people who are disaffected for a variety of reasons.
The cost of living crisis, epitomised by rising forecourt costs, might spawn something which endures. A coalition of Brits who are sick of being taken for granted.
It’s not just that they’re hacked-off with paying taxes higher than at any time since the war. It’s the perceived unfairness.
They ask: why should we pay so much, when so many abuse the system?
Today we learned that during lockdown £10billion was stolen from taxpayers. £1 from every £8 paid out in Universal Credit was fraudulently claimed.
What working people really notice is they keep being told the country doesn’t have enough tanker drivers, care workers, bricklayers. They hear commentators blaming labour shortages on Brexit.
But then they look around. And they see the millions of Britons who don’t work. Now, dividing folk into the deserving and undeserving poor is a bit like breaking wind in public – it’s frowned on.
There is a difference isn’t there? A big difference between someone struggling to fill up their car so they can work and someone who could work, but elects not to.
More than five million Brits are on out-of-work benefits. The number of people now saying they are too poorly to work has increased by a fifth since covid - to nearly two point five million.
And how many job vacancies are there in Britain? Can you guess? 35million.
Jeremy Corbyn would say the answer’s simple. Squeeze the rich.
But the richest one percent pay a quarter of all income tax already and, anyway, this isn’t about the super-rich. This is about ordinary working folk forced to give up a massive slice of their incomes so they can simply drive to work. It’s about the legacies of lockdown; of massive fraud and hundreds of thousands who would rather let other people work for their living.
Many people can’t work, and taxpayers have no problem with subsidising them. But tough times make people tougher. Public tolerance of waste and fraud and slothfulness is waning, even as prices are rising to levels nobody thought possible.
Today – July 4th - is the anniversary of America’s independence from Britain. What started as a tea-party, as a protest against high taxation, eventually led to revolt.
Today, maybe Britain also needs a revolution. Too many of us believe the State is responsible for everything that goes wrong with someone’s life. Too many of us believe that every problem can be cured with Government money.
Some people have started to wake up to the fact that the Government doesn’t have any money, only what it takes from us. And right now, it’s taking too much.