Shame on the elderly tax protestors

Elizabeth Winkfield should be ashamed of herself. She is refusing to pay her council tax, and says she is doing so as a matter of political principle, yet she suffers the media to portray her as unable to afford to pay. Given that her case is being handled by Max Clifford, such misrepresentation could have been avoided, but no doubt it was also convenient.

If the headline had been “Hardened rightwinger extends middle finger to state”, it wouldn’t have been news.

The Winkfield case is that the local council is legally disbursing money to some EU-inspired scheme with which she disagrees. She is a member of the UK Independence Party, and committed to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, and understandably wouldn’t want her money being spent in the way she believes it is. If the council were spending money illegally, her case would be very different, and could and would be taken up by many other people and insitutions, including public authorities such as the auditors.

But that’s not her case. Her case is merely that she doesn’t like the way tax money is being spent, so she is going to withhold some of her contribution rather than obey the law and vote and campaign against the spending policy. As a member of a political party, to which she makes substantial donations, she is already well positioned to give what effect can be given to her particular political beliefs in the complex modern society she happens to live in. But this just doesn’t seem to be enough. How is withholding her tax different from any other act whose purpose is to deprive someone of funds they are legally entitled to receive? What does society think of less respectable individuals who act in this way?

This sneering at one’s obligation to one’s community is an abuse of the respect in which elderly people such as Elizabeth Winkfield are held.

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