"The perception of tax as having your money taken, rather than it being your contribution to your country, needs to change."
As always, this begs the question: Who is to do the persuading? Will the public sector Unions do it? No. The Unions have too much to protest against to get involved in anything so constructive.
There are any number of pressure groups that have a profound interest in progressive tax reform. They can either offer...
- oppositional campaigning,
- smarmy lobbying, or
- actually going out and changing the public's mind
Only option three has any chance of working in almost any political situation. But they can earn their salaries by being seen to do the other two, so why bother getting your hands dirty, eh?
And another thing. We are - I'm told - about to be held to ransom again by the Forces of Conservatism. Government will, of course, face these bastards alone and be roundly blamed by everyone. Where are Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth while this is going on?
Counter-demonstrating? Making the case for fuel tax? Fat chance.
Greenpeace's UK website has decided to focus on GM and the usual diet of rainforests. Inside the site, we are urged to "send a Fax to Tony Blair" demanding higher taxes on gas guzzlers. Friends of the Earth's site offers an entirely different angle (they blame Gordon Brown).
That will really help deal with the protests, won't it? I can hear the crash of stout parties collapsing under the weight of public arguments up and down the country.
I'll say it again. Pressure groups are not accountable to anyone. They pontificate without any responsibility and their basic premise is that someone else should be forced to make their arguments for them. Most of them are a job creation scheme for the self-righteous.
(*hic*) Of course I know how many fingers you're holding up. Four .... er ... three....