There is one very obvious penalty for not publishing news of a major political protest movement – it remains unknown to the bulk of people, and especially to the political classes who have a tenuous grip on reality at the best of times.
But, as I remarked recently, when you have four million summonses sent out each year in an attempt to gather a tax, and three million people refuse to pay until they receive a court order (and a goodly number then don't pay at all), there is a significant political event going on.
This is, in fact, where the media and the political classes demonstrate their fatal weakness. They will chase after union loud mouths and selected street demonstrations, as if they represent the reality of what is happening in this country, yet ignore the silent protest made by millions of us each year.
Nor even is the scale of that protest being properly recorded – as you might expect … which is why we have launched this probing exercise using FOI. As a reminder, the question we need asked is this, (slightly amended):
Please supply information on the number of Summonses and Liability Orders issued by the Council in respect of Council Tax, for each of the financial years since April 1992 to the present, itemised separately by year and document type, and the total fees charged for each year (specifically for the two documents), again itemised separately by year and document type.All you need to do is google your own council name, with the addition of "freedom of information" in the search string, and it will bring up a site which will tell you how to contact your council.
Meanwhile, completely detached from a political revolt which is happening under their very noses, the politicians at the centre believe they can milk property taxes even more, blissfully unaware of what is going on, and failing to understand its significance. They seem to think that, because people are not actually out on the streets rioting, their proposals are tenable.
The point we made yesterday though, was that with each hike in the tax, resistance stiffens, more people refuse to pay and it gets harder and more expensive to collect the tax.
If the Lib-Dims in particular thus think that they can ramp up the tax still further, they are mistaken. We are already beginning to get to grips with the latest "weapon" they are deploying against us – the high-intensity bailiff campaign – and short of jailing us by the thousands, they have nowhere else to go. And even that, we aim to circumvent. There are procedural means which can ensure that no person ever goes to jail for withholding tax .
For the moment, therefore, on day four of the Great Siege of Bradford, we are getting the measure of the beast. With nothing on the horizon, the bellicose posturing of the Council has not been translated into any action. Nor, at this stage, do we any longer expect it to. Bullies, as so often, are also cowards.
Thus, the paper tiger folds when it is challenged, and if the politicians really think they can screw more money out of an increasingly resentful and determined population, they are writing their own suicide notes.
So, incidentally, are the media writing theirs. With the momentum building, unreported, under their very noses, they are proving increasingly irrelevant. If they are not actually reporting major events, people ask, what is the point of having them?