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Pat

The Bedroom Tax - Catalyst for Protest

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Have the government gone a step too far with the bedroom tax. Will this be a repeat of the Poll Tax, which reputedly brought the demise of Thatcher.

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Anger about the distressing impact of coalition austerity is gaining expression, focus and pace in the UK. There have been some marches, but NHS and welfare cuts were not met with mobs surrounding Downing Street brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches. I suspect the catalyst for mass protest might be the so-called "bedroom tax".

Do you remember the poll tax? Can we expect more boycotts and riots?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/25/bedroom-tax-protest

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I think this could be the straw that broke the camels back. Except the Poll Tax protests were in Scotland. A boycott would be a good idea as the failure to collect the poll tax was what caused some of the probloems and the rethink over that tax.

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How do you stop Housing benefit being cut at source?

What it may have to be is a rent strike and will be people be up for that?

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You can't stop Housing Benefit at source unless public sector employees make some muddles. And some will be tempted. There are bound to be protests because this looks like a step too fare. Houses with the windows blocked off dating back to the days of the window tax can still be seen and our good citizens have always found workarounds. I know of two people who have moved unemployed nephews into their 'spare' bedrooms and lets face it there should be plenty of them available.

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the unemployed simply won't be able to pay it anyway so there arrears will just mount up.... the council will get less money and if they ever take tenant to court the court will only be able to impose a very small payment plan which will be less than what's due so it would never catch up with what owed.

if that makes sense

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It does, tigs. I feel that this will go the same way as the poll tax, people will just not stand for it.

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the difference between this and the poll tax tho is that this wont effect everyone...it will only effect the poorest in society so do you think the people it doesnt effect will come out in en mass and protest against it too?

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my thoughts exactly tig; the middle classes will chatter but little else.

We are also currently lacking a figurehead for the weakest in society to go to for support - maybe Tommy Sheridan can ride again

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I think the Poll Tax protests mainly came from the poorest in society too. Certainly the only place I ever saw people get together to prevent the entry of the bailiffs was in the North East of the City rather than the West End – sometimes with Tommy Sheridan leading the protest. Indeed there may be a lack of a figure head this time round, however, there is another element to consider and that is the social media - a major factor in modern day protest.

Many of the middle classes see this as part of Tory ideology being pushed ever further forward so the poorest will not be on their ownsome.I think anger is going to boil over and there will be organised protests, if not riots. I think this will be coupled with what CL refers to as workarounds. Then tig's comment about refusal, or inability to pay, is also relevant. A furore is just round the corner as, one way or another, people are not going to take this despicable and unfair policy lying down.

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ye everyones interested if theres an epetition to sign but i cant see many doing much more

the chattering classes dont care unless it effect them really

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The e-petitions are one thing, tig, however, don't forget that many middle class people have lost their jobs, had their pensions cut and working life extended. There is a general disgust with the actions taken by the Coalition and Government policies are affecting more and more people. Scottish people stood together against the Poll Tax with many who could afford to pay not paying. Many Socialists care about these policies and it's often the case that it's the working classes and the middle class who take to the streets rather than the youngest and most vulnerable groups.

I think it trots off the tongue to glibly to talk of the chattering classes. Who are they?

Some of my friends joined the protestors outside Superdrug in Glasgow recently. They learned of the campaign to target this company through the social media - it also focused on Edinburgh, Brighton and other towns. Customers were stopped at the door to the stores and it was explained to them that 'workers' were being paid £1 an hour, the equivalent of their benefits, most of them knew nothing of this and about turned. Is this chattering?

There have also recently been protests in George Square. Okay that was about the design of the square so another type of disgruntlement but believe me there are plenty of pensioners with no significant money worries who are up for a protest and quite a few middle class among the unemployed who are none too happy with the way things are going.

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sore point Pat?

the people you refer to during the poll tax and superdrug campaign are not the chattering classes no......however how many people "like" or "shared" the campaign on social media compared to the people who actually turned up to protest?

the george squre fiasco was a perfect example....100 bazillion signatures on epetitions and facebook rants....yet 200 odd(if that) turned up to the demo....just shows how many people care enough to get off their bum

so for the topic i think the bedroom tax will not be a catalyst to protest because it doesnt effect most people.

i agree tho that all classes should be on the streets protesting for loads of different reasons...but they wont be because nimby take priority in peoples lives these days....especially the middle classes

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I don't know what you mean 'sore point', tig. You'll need to clarify that and also still waiting for you to answer my question about who the chattering classes are? The point I was mainly making was that I disagree with samsc's view : "the middle classes will chatter but little else.". That's not the impression I'm getting from my circle of friends, who include disabled activists, unemployed middle class, pensioners and those directly affected by the bedroom tax.

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the chattering classes are (as sam said) middle class wingers who will have a good moan on others behalf and say its just not right etc...but do nothing about it.

im certainly not saying only or ALL middle/upper class people are like that and i personally know a few so called "middle class" people who are certainly not like that at all....some of these people are more left wing than any other people i know

(dunno why thats in quotes there but i cant get rid of it)

so putting that into the topic is what i fear will happen with the bedroom tax......loads of chatter and very little action

the "sore point" was for the "we're hurting too" defence of middle class people which in a way proves my point....

as only when it is effecting most of them are they willing to do anything about it....or even then it mostly only amounts to chatter factor 10

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Thanks for explaining, tig. I wasn't aware of any 'we're hurting too defence.' So not sure what point you think has been proven. I was simply stating facts and you can't argue that people from the middle classes have not felt the effect of cuts. Thus many are already angry. As you point out - among these are also many left wing people. If they're not at their work, as was previously the case, then they are more likely to take to the streets.

Personally I would encourage as much chat as possible because that leads to awareness being raised and with a bit of luck some action.

With regard to discussion on the social media - there are many disabled people and elderly and infirm, who wouldn't be able to take to the streets but can still voice their displeasure through epetitions etc. I wouldn't be too disparaging. I get a bit fed up with being asked to save every animal in every country on the planet but lobbying Westminster in relation to the bedroom tax is something which I hope will grow to an extraordinary scale.

I don't think anyone can afford to stand back and watch a full scale erosion of human rights and that's the way it appears to be going. The more folk shouting about it the better and if they take to the streets then I'll be happy to join them. It's a matter of organisation and there have been many recent examples of how that has happened through the social media.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the ilk of Tommy S appearing. That's all that is required and jaded talk is counterproductive.

What do you see as being the difference between the anger that is being roused by the bedroom tax and the opposition to the Poll Tax?

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Tigs, I think the bedroom tax could be a tipping point because of the sheer viciousness of it. I work in a solid, true blue, local authority and some very high profile tories are balking at this as a step too far. The resistence and undermining of this evil tax may not echo the public protests of the Poll Tax era but I believe it will be undermined and eventually disbanded.

I don't much subscribe to the idea of the chattering classes because, like Pat, I am not sure who they are. I don't much subscribe to the fantasy that it is only the working class or people on welfare who get stuffed by life either. I have as much concern for the two city workers who jumped to their deaths last year because of the pressure of work, as the people currently being penalised for having spare rooms. These cuts are pushing many people to breaking point GPs are reporting an increase in people presenting with stress, anxiety and depression and the biggest rise in suicide this year is amongst men in their 50s, a marked change from the profile a few years ago. People are suffering out there and that probably includes many of the so called "chattering classes".

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the difference between the poll tax and whats happening now is social media and the internet....if you wanted your feeling known then you had to get out the house to express them.

i really hope on the 30th the masses do take to the streets to protest from all classes but i doubt it will be on the same scale as the poll tax.

simply dismissing the idea of the chattering classes because you dont know who they are seems a bit ridiculous tho

the bedroom tax may well be the tipping point but where where all these people when the cuts started to effect the disabled/ unemployed/homeless?....they weren't on the streets but as soon as the middle classes starts to feel the pinch n lose jobs its a different kettle of fish totally.

im not having a go at any class or group of people(only stating reality as i see it) but i do get the feeling that as soon as you say anything about a certain group of people they get all defensive because they know people who suffer......wonder what difference it would make if they didnt?

i would hope none but thats just not being realistic

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You're right, tig, it should make no difference. Where were all the people? Possibly needing some sort of catalyst to move them. I think that was the question I was asking - is this it? I agreed with the Guardian article that possibly it was but you seemed to disagree.

The disabled and other vulnerable groups certainly need everyone's support. As harper points out people are becoming desperate and suicidal - hard to ignore!

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/bedroom-tax-left-feeling-suicidal-1734813

However, perhaps we should be reassured that Cameron has pledged to "look at any individual case and the Department for Work and Pensions will look at any individual case."

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/prime-ministers-questions-david-cameron-1733636

That could be a very big task. :lol:

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i hope and have been hoping for years that something would sway the masses to do something other than moan...

as the article says tho...welfare cuts or the dismantling of the nhs didnt do it so will this?

i just dont see it happening really.....there will be protests yes but i cant see it being on par with the poll tax.

i could be wrong tho as something has to break the camels back but then it would be just reinforcing my point that most people are only interested when it effects them.

and will it make a shred of difference tho?...students rioting on the streets or the other demos didnt

the poll tax riots worked because of mass disobedience but can you imagine the media on that now?

we'd all be outraged at the hooligans wrecking our towns and villages and how the price of everything has gone up because of these non payers....no good spongers refusing to pay their way..JAIL THEM ALL :lol:

im refusing to say iTs name but its her legacy.....the fekk you jack im alright mentality lives on

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Good on you, Tommy, and hope that Mike Dailly makes a worthy partner and that the two can take on Clegg and Cameron.

I love the promises of 'human walls of solidarity' to stop evictions in Scotland.

"The pair are trying to force the SNP Government to change the law so no Scot can be evicted if they can’t pay their rent after having their pockets picked by the Tories.

And in a development with striking parallels to the poll tax protests, Tommy is organising a network of campaigners ready to take more direct action to prevent evictions.

“In terms of the viciousness of this attack I think everyone in Scotland needs to take a stand,” he [Tommy] said."

“This is similar to the poll tax in its cruelty and its targeting of the poor.' Too true.

Dailly’s Govan Law Centre has submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament calling for a change to housing rules to stop people being evicted and Tommy is organising a network of campaigners. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/bedroomtax

Hope the troops are also waiting in the wings.

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Away yie go, harper. Word of the new duo surely hasn't been in the Evening Standard. :lol:

I've not seen it on the News. Although, I've been out all day. However, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Good to have some pressure put on the Scottish Government. They say they are opposed to this so now's their chance to show what they're made of.

I wizna referrin' to the duo. I wiz referrin to the fact that this would attract strong opposition - as if you didnae know. :P

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