Being white and middle class, I’ve often thought about what it
would be like to be part of an oppressed minority. Now I know - I’m a
I pay 600 per cent tax on my petrol, which goes up by 6 per cent every
year. Then I get harassed by parking inspectors who, with the backing of
the local council, impose arbitrary fines on me, very often on poorly
marked roads. And then there’s the fact that as a young man driving an
old car, I get constantly stopped by the police.
Of course, drivers are easy targets. Our vehicles are lethal and they
produce polluting fumes. But I resent the fact that we are treated like
Russian peasants in that the Chancellor draws taxes out of us just
because he can.
In the US, the fuel tax is just 33 per cent of the price, which
Americans probably think is an attack on their constitutional right to
free movement. Yet in Blighty, we don’t have such a right and there is
no sense among citizens that taxes can be unfair and should, at times,
Of course, I am being selfish, but I don’t see Gordon Brown being
particularly giving with his multi-billion budget. I just see another
Chancellor using drivers, like smokers, as an easy source of tax income,
and cynically dressing it up as environmental concern.
But unlike smoking, millions have no choice but to drive.
The Minister for Energy and Industry, John Battle, said the UK has the
highest fuel taxes on the planet. What isn’t recognised is how this
feeds through to the rest of the economy, since so much of what we do
and what we consume is transport-dependent. American goods are cheap,
and so is their gas. Our goods are expensive, and so is our petrol. That
is no coincidence.
I think redistribution of wealth is good, but I call redistribution of
income from all car drivers to the Exchequer legalised theft.
So I’m going to blow up Lambeth Parking Services’ office and then park
my car on Brown’s lawn since I can’t afford to run it or park it
Read my lips, Gordy: stop oppressing this silent minority and raise your
money from the rich like a real Labour Chancellor.