Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sceptic tank leads to jail?

South Norfolk District Council are paving the way to bang up 72-year-old June Farrow for the most serious crime on the statute book – refusal to pay the council tax needed to keep greedy officials and councillors in their accustomed luxury.

Farrow, a retired nurse from Bawburgh near Norwich, has only been paying £25 a month in council tax for the last three months, instead of the £99 per month demanded. And she has been using her savings to pay the tax ever since her husband, Albert, died six years ago.

This, she now says, cannot continue. She and her husband had built their own house and it is now 50 years old. "It is at an age", she says, "where it needs a lot of money spent on it and I need my savings to pay for things like a new sceptic tank".

We would suggest that every house needs a "sceptic tank" (sic) – and that it would be better to spend the money on that, than the depredations of thieving officialdom. But the fact that Farrow is at risk of jail underlines that central – if uncomfortable – fact, that we are not free men and women in this country.

Given that we can be banged up at a moment's notice, without anything even approaching a trial, we are merely out on license. The bizarre thing about this country is that we, as citizens, face far longer jail sentences for not paying our "freedom license" than the excrement get when they steal considerably more.

But then, as mere serfs, we should know our place.