UK Uncut has chosen its targets well

David Allen Green (Who I otherwise respect greatly) has written a quick note on his blog at New Statesman to say that UK Uncut are protesting against the wrong targets. He says “The UKUncut protesters should campaign for more funding for HMRC and improved tax legislation. If they should be protesting anywhere on a miserable day like today, it should be outside the Treasury.”

He is wrong, and here is why. Shouting at MPs achieves nothing. David Cameron recently said “It will make me unpopular. I recognise that. It’s my duty.” I don’t know what motivates our MPs (Well I have some idea, but that’s for another day) but one thing we know is that they never change their minds.

Making life hard for big business, on the other hand, makes things happen. Shutting down Vodafone shops and embarrassing Barclays makes things happen. HMRC is briefing its staff on UK Uncut. Boots, Vodafone, Barclays and other businesses have been forced to respond to negative press coverage with hasty press releases. Protesting in high street shops has made more happen than tens of thousands gathering in parliament square has.

Green argued that UK Uncut needs to campaign for better tax legislation and policy. They are campaigning for precisely that! You could argue that they are protesting indirectly by going up against business, but given that those businesses all have very large amount of influence over our tax policies, I say it’s a direct protest.

Green also suggested that protesters should target Labour since they got us in to this situation where companies can avoid so much tax. Well yes, we know Labour were just as bad as the Conservatives, if not worse, but they aren’t in power right now, are they.

Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

11 thoughts on “UK Uncut has chosen its targets well”

  1. I get infinitely weary of the political finger-pointing; people are protesting because their LIVES are being affected; I don’t care what party started that, and I don’t care what party finishes it as long as SOMEONE does.

    Or, as is being proven, the people will do it first.

    1. I think we’re going to have to finish it. What’ll it be? Smash? Burn? Lethal injection of community spirit?

      1. Well since I don’t think passive protest works for beans unless it “inconveniences” a lot of people – Egypt was pretty inconvenienced for a few days and look how many people who weren’t there cheered them on! yay, country falling apart in a way we never have to experience, go you democracy! – that is what it will take. Whether this country has the stones to do that kind of dramatic action remains to be seen, But push people hard enough, they will push back.

  2. I disagree that MPs don’t change their mind. For example, the student protests slashed the gap between the majority & minority by 75% at the vote over fees.

    But, I agree with the post other than that. Getting out on the high street also means the public can’t claim ignorance over the issue.

    1. I admit, claiming that MPs never change their mind is a generalisation. I do think that stubbornness is a problem for politicians though; I would love to see more of them altering their policies when presented with evidence and facts. I think many don’t partly because that would be seen as a sign of weakness and attacked by the press, and partly because due to selfish motivations.

  3. Barclays’ claim that they paid £2.8 bn of taxes in 2009-10 is correct, see their published results – after removing payroll taxes that is a corp tax percentage of about 25%. However, their 2008-9 results are convoluted and difficult to understand even for someone with a finance background, so I am wondering just what they were trying to hide in those figures. They still have some explaining to do about those results in my view.

  4. Very nicely put. You have far more patience than me! I couldn’t bring myself to respond to that idiotic piece in New Statesman. If I had I would merely have commented “trololololololololololo”.

    1. I have been practicing the art of restraint in my writing. It is difficult, but I am making progress. I mentioned Dorries in another post without using the words “psychopathic bitch.” Go me!

  5. As an ordinary working man of 70 I’ve seen for years how the people who have most, own most and live in luxury are always telling the poor of our country to tighten their belts. I have watched the big companies make laws that enable them to dodge paying their full dues into this country. The greedy grasping people who own around 85% of the wealth in this country and shout loudest about social security cheats are themselves the biggest cause of this present crisis. They made and caused this mess, and yes benefited most and are still doing so. How many of these great wealthy patriots are using off shore tax havens, paying millions to tax lawyers to dodge their responsibility to this country. How many business men at the first sign of greater profit upped sticks and deserted to third world countries with third world wages and conditions. I truly believe they would dearly love to see British workers go back to these conditions. Well if I were one of the captains of industry or money moguls, one of the movers and shakers in the City I would look at what’s going on in the near east and wake up in a cold sweat. You may think that you are pulling the wool over the eyes of the workers but BEWARE this misunderstanding of what is happening in our society coould cost you EVERYTHING

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