vendredi 18 avril 2008


In Britain, another threat of a back bench 'rebellion' this time over the abolition of the 10 pence starting rate of tax. The principle is quite clear. Money is to be taken from the poorest in society (here about 5 million of the porest people in Britain) and effectively given to those 'better off', earning over £18500 by cutting the next tax band down from 22 to 20 peance. On Sky news over here, the people who will lose out are dismissed by a presenter as 'just young single people' who obviously don't need any money and only spend it on beer and fags anyway when they are not busy shooting eachother. It is a scandal pure and simple but one which passes by without to much protest. A government minister threaten to resign and then denies it, the other wings of the establishment, the Tory and Liberal leaders make some tired remarks and Polly Toynbee writes something in the comment section of the Guardian. Gordon Brown tries reassure and assuage any bad consciences by saying that the tax credit schemes will assist those most in need. But the tax credit system has broken down, families who try to 'work their way out of poverty' have had money taken back off them leaving them bereft and hundreds of thousands simply don't apply for what they are entitled put off (reasonably enough) by the bureaucratic complexities they would face.

That election day in 1997 was a day I will never forget. 11 years later, disillusionment has not set in, for there were no illusions in the first place, but a shame lingers at the memory of all the leaflets and canvassing done on the estates of the people the party now so blithely robs.

Bank bench rebellions? It is a bit late for that type of thing isn't it?