This morning a group of dedicated low-tax campaigners descended on Barnet County Courthouse to support TPA activist Rick Stratton in his bid to get justice over his council tax bills. Rick’s case revolves around Hertsmere Council demanding council tax on a property they declared as “unfit for human habitation”, a sum running into the thousands of pounds Rick just can’t afford. I doubt that even our over-paid council bureaucrats could afford a lump sum payment were they issued it, despite how overpaid they are. But, in the current system, it’s one rule for them and one rule for the taxpayer. The Council declared the property unfit for human habitation and yet still want thousands of pounds in tax from Rick.
Our morning began in a rather sinister fashion. Literally as soon as we left the station, we were met by a couple of police officers (see left). Apparently they got a tip off from someone about the protest and it ‘necessitated’ a continuous police presence throughout. What rubbish! The police surely have better things to do than marshal a dozen activists politely protesting against the injustices handed out by the greedy state. Needless to say, passers by were less than amused that we were being monitored by the police, which brought us even more attention and support.
In another shocking twist, Rick told us after his case was heard that the court had switched judges at the last moment, apparently aware of the protest outside. As they gave no reason why, we can only assume the first judge would have seen sense and rectified the huge bill imposed by Hertsmere Council. Moreover, the court authorities barred a journalist from the Hendon Times from sitting in on the proceedings. So first they had the police on permanent surveillance of our protest, next they conducted the proceedings in secret. Some democracy…
Rick here explains the result, and it isn’t pleasant:
So, pay your council tax, year on year – no matter how much it goes up – or the council take your house!! It’s that simple and ruthless.
On a brighter note, all throughout the morning passers-by came to join our protest, one gentleman demanding to hold a placard in support of lower taxes. An elderly couple joined us for around an hour, boosting our numbers and showing that although a TPA protest may start off as a humble event, it will end with more people participating, taking notice and spreading the word for lower taxes.
By the end of the morning we had distributed well over 250 TPA leaflets, as well as attracting enough car ‘honks’ to show overwhelming support for lower taxes. The politicos in Westminster may think tax cuts aren’t popular. But they should do what I did today and go and meet the people and get their views. The people are saying with one loud, clear voice that they are overtaxed and are becoming increasingly impatient as our politicians fail to act.
But it is one thing knowing the virtue of our arguments; we still could have had more people out in support. Never forget the value our action has to our other activists. Yes we are always promoting the low-tax cause. But we are also standing with people the state is trying to bleed dry. There’s a human element to our action that reinforces our campaigns. Put simply: tax cuts ease the burden the state imposes on ordinary people who just want the government to back off and let them live their lives.
Here Rick tells us why you should get involved in our campaign. If you want to organise a protest or leaflet action day in your borough, contact me today so we can prepare and invite people to come along. So until the next time we take to the streets to build the majority for lower taxes, I shall leave you with Rick’s wise words…