Middle Britain and the tax protests

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The Daily Mail is a paper I usually read to see what the other side of the debate is thinking.

But then this week it shows a dimension that is surprising. It did a survey on student protests and found (if I recall correctly) that 76% of people supported the students.

This morning it goes a step further and publishes one of the lengthiest reviews of the causes for the UK Uncut tax protests in the major pres to date (although I suspect there will be a lot more this weekend if the number of interviews I am doing is anything to go by). And the analysis is good, as you would expect from anything written by Michael Gillard.

The headline is typical Mail:

To service Britain’s terrifying debt, the middle classes are paying ever more tax. Yet a group of the country’s biggest firms are moving offshore – and denying the UK exchequer hundreds of millions

I do, of course, disagree on the debt issue, but the message on tax is quite simply right. This is what is happening. The conclusion is also clear:

So the shameless strategy of tax avoidance continues in the world of big business, and the losers are the millions of hard-pressed taxpayers who are left to take up the slack.

Topshop and Vodafone will have repaired the shop windows that were smashed in the riots last week. Their reputations may take rather longer to mend.

This is also right: the tax avoidance is shameless, ordinary people are paying, UK Uncut is quite right to protest and their message will have impact.

This is the fastest developing alternative narrative there is to the cuts. I’m delighted it’s happening and I have no doubt it will continue. For those in doubt, these are the locations where protests are planned on Saturday:

Aberystwyth

Barnstaple

Bath

Belfast

Bournemouth

Brighton

Bristol

Brixton

Bury St Edmunds

Cambridge

Cardiff

Chichester

Colchester

Dundee

Durham

Eastleigh

Edinburgh

Exeter

Exeter

Glasgow

Grantham

Grantham

Hackney

Halifax

Hastings

Hemel Hempstead

Hereford

Ipswich

Kendal

Leeds

Liverpool

London

Manchester

Middlesbrough

Newcastle upon Tyne

Nottingham

Plymouth

Preston

Sheffield

Southampton

St Albans

Stroud

Swansea

Taunton

Truro

Tunbridge Wells

Walthamstow

Wrexham

That’s amazing for a new group with almost no infrastructure.

It shows the importance of the message – and the message here is right.