Posted by: Rob | January 20, 2010

Britain’s New Taxation System

Stacy Herbert, with the help of an army of commenters, manages to find some of the most interesting news items on the web these days and posts them to  I save a lot of the links in my blog reader for future reading, but I clicked on through to this one, which links to a recent article in Britain’s The Independent, entitled “The laughing policemen“.

The Independent has what appear to be fairly comprehensive copyright protection and they want to sell me the right to post even a sample of the piece here on my blog.  I’m too lazy not interested in chasing that down, so I’ll paraphrase a few of the more outrageous activities that Britain’s bobbies are up to these days in the interest of generating revenue for the municipalities that employ them.

Do you remember hearing about Britain’s vast implementation of surveillance cameras in order to help reduce crime?  Well, apparently that didn’t pay.  At least not as well as “catching” people putting their trash cart out on the wrong day (£100* fine) or, heaven forbid, overfilling their trash cart (£210).

We have pretty stiff fines for littering here in Canada, but can you imagine a £75 fine for a popsicle stick?  No? People have been fined for flicking cigarette ash out the window [disgusting habit, I say anyway, especially when the lit butts are flicked out] or for dropping a slice of tomato out of a sandwich.  A slice of tomato?

The CCTV system is also being used to nab motorists for “illegal” parking and speeding.  Apparently, last year UK drivers paid something like £330 million in parking fines and another £100 million in speed-trap fines.  [I can relate to this one, with an as yet unpaid $187 fine owed to the bastards fine folk at the Town of Hinton AB for a nice speed on green ticket.]

Roadside stops can evidently become a nightmare when, finding nothing amiss, the police will attempt to provoke strong reactions from motorists and if a motorist responds in an abusive manner, the police then promptly arrest them for a public-order offence.

This must be a sign of things to come.  High levels of unemployment tend to deplete the coffers of big spending governments.  Turning advanced crime fighting technology to the task of fleecing the law abiding populace is, I suppose, one way of replenishing those coffers.  Trouble is, it will only work for a short while before an open revolt takes root.

* A British pound is approximately C$1.70 as of the date this was posted.



  1. ack. great britain has a huge number of surveillance cameras. municipalities in the US are considering this… especially the ‘red light’ cameras. our city removed two cameras, once it was disclosed that they were operated by a ‘for profit’ entity, and the city simply collected a portion of the proceeds. safety my ass…

    • The City of Edmonton has just installed hundreds – yes, hundreds – of so-called “Speed on Green” cameras at intersections throughout the city. A recent provincial government ruling has paved the way for this and municipalities across the province are adding “Speed on Green” to the existing “Red Light” cameras. None of this is about safety. It’s all about the “revenue”; just another way to squeeze the serfs and vassals for the “money” they trade their life’s blood for.

  2. next thing you know they’ll start charging service fees, demanding payment BEFORE they’ll respond to your 911 call. ouch…

    • I was telling a work colleague about the story (who is a Brit originally from Middlesborough) and he laughingly told me that some of the police chiefs have come up with a novel concept to combat crime: Put policemen out on the street and have them walk around the neighbourhoods.

      What an idea!

  3. Sehr geEhrter Roberto

    C’est interessant …. and rather depressing

    Under the UK’s wretched Gouvernement-General, presentation and illusion is everything …. and nothing, certainly not Truth seems to be matter in the increasingly God-forsaking UK

    …. and we are seeing a deterioration of Englisch, as Government deficits and unEmployment rise and we have institutionalized LYING

    eg In what used to be Saxon “Northworthy” (Derby, in modern parlance) just a few years ago, the City Council replaced TWO Police Traffic Wardens with 25 (Fünf und Zwanzig) Council-employed PARKING SERVICE PROVIDERS

    * Of course, they are NOT “PARKING SERVICE PROVIDERS” but Stealth=Tax Collectors, yearly raising £700,000+ in parking fees

    * They have made lots of Parking Spaces available …. because folk no longer go into Derby to Shop, because of the punitive Parking-Meter charges

    This has reduced the Council’s Business-Tax base

    Tragicquement, in Central Derby many Shops are now empty – closed down, as their Customers increasingly decline to go into the City-Centre – they shop elsewhere to avoid punitive parking charges

    Surely the Canadians must run their affairs more sensibly !!! ????

    • Greetings Herr Eagle, and a belated welcome to my humble blog.

      Sadly, the Canadians are not so sensible in the running of their affairs. The governments at all levels see no problem in fleecing the ratepayers to pay for the things that they “think” the electorate “needs” (or wants). The movement to penalize people for simple acts of living through ever increasing and inventive methods of taxation would put even the most vile of olde Englisch Kings to shame.

      I frankly do not know how voters can continue to elect such stupid to office. Could it be because only 20 to 30% of eligible voters vote? C’est possible.

      Aside from an all out revolution, I do not know what we can do. And a revolution is only possible if we can pull the masses away from their television sets.

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