The Taxpayer’s Alliance: seeking to bring extremism to the UK

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I note the Guardian’s report today on the Taxpayer’s Alliance conference in London. I think they fairly summarise it as an attempt to launch a version of the Tea Party movement in the USA in the UK. As the Guardian notes:

Libertarian US Tea Party organisations attended a conference in London today to share tactics with British and European taxpayer lobby groups, and described their activities as "an insurgent campaign" against their government's tax and spending policies.

The move reflects an increasing desire within rightwing circles to establish a British version of the Tea Party "uprising", and a growing belief that expected union action against the coalition government's programme of cuts could be harnessed to mobilise vocal counter-demonstrations. The Taxpayers' Alliance also believes that public anger at the Revenue & Customs blunder that has left 1.4m people facing backdated tax bills could fan the flames of a wider anti-tax revolt.

"You could say our time has come," said Matthew Elliott, founder of the TPA, which has seen its supporter base rise 70% to 55,000 in the last year.

I also note Michael White’s comment that:

Europeans are not so easily inclined to hate the state or socialised medicine, more widely resistant to string-pulling by wealthy Berlusconis or Murdochs. The Tea Party too may implode. But as global power shifts eastwards, only the foolish would dismiss resurgent extremism on either side of the pond.

Quite so. The extremists – those who want to undermine the whole way in which our society works – are on the war path in the US, and want to be here in the UK.

It’s a nasty prospect – but then, this is a nasty philosophy: a philosophy that says that those who have cash survive and those who haven’t got cash do, quite literally not survive, at least as long.

A philosophy that says access to health care, education, retirement, security in the event of disability, legal representation, all means of leisure, safety and so much more is dependent entirely on your means to generate cash yourself – even if for any reason you are unable to do so. 

A philosophy that says nothing but money counts and that without it you’re worthless.

A philosophy that is brutal on learning for learning's sake, the arts, culture, and understanding.

A philosophy that wants society created on the basis of one thing and one thing alone: and that is fear, the fear that will hold people in the power of those with money who can exploit them.

The Taxpayer’s Alliance might think it’s time has come.

I say the time has come to expose it for the fraud it is: the extremists that they are, the nastiness that they represent, the harm that they seek to cause, the untold misery they wish to create.

That’s the reality of the Taxpayer’s Alliance – they’re a politically extreme threat to the ordinary people of the UK. No other description is appropriate.

And what’s really worrying is that, like the Trots in the 80s, these people are planning entryism into a major political party – the Tories – where they al;ready have powerful friends. I’m entirely willing to agree Cameron is not of this mould – but many in his party already are – and unlike Kinnock Cameron hasn’t the strength to throw them out. Which is also profoundly worrying.