The Guardian today printed an editorial about the recent announcement by Alex Salmond that Poll Tax debt was to be wiped in Scotland after attempts by some Labour councils in Scotland to start collecting outstanding debts from 25 years ago after all the people who’d newly registered for the Scottish Independence referendum were on the electoral register. It should be pointed out Poll Tax debts were wiped in England and Wales in 1999, and that Labour didn’t support non-payment of the tax as a method of protest at the time. I mention these things which need to be noted because they’re exceptionally relevant in relation to the version of history and current events the Guardian is painting in it’s editorial.
See, what the Guardian is trying to paint is that £425 million of unpaid taxes are floating around in Scotland from people who should pay it, and Alex Salmond is being a ruthless popularist in abolishing people’s Poll Tax debt and that people should pay their taxes!! Problem is that these Labour councils were breaking the law by going after cases more than 20 years old as in Scotland, there’s a 20 year law (it’s seven in England and Wales) saying debt over that time cannot be collected.
In fact Alex Salmond called into a radio programme not only to make this point clear, but to hand Jim Gifford, one of the Labour councilors intending to go after people fro money, their arse. Listen for yourself.
One of the things you’ll not see in the Guardian editorial is any mention at all of the 20 year law, mainly because it’d utterly change the intention of the piece from something that criticises Salmond to something that should attack Labour councils going after debt illegally and praising the Scottish government for wiping clean the slates of people who were paying their debt off who’d probably repaid it several times over by now. It’d attack Labour for standing by the Tories but no, instead it’s an attack on Salmond written for I assume, Labour and Lib Dem supporters south of the border in order to I assume, whip up a concentrated assault on the SNP and probably Scotland itself by those supposedly of the left.
It’s an astonishing bit of media manipulation whatever the reason which beggars belief that they think that people wouldn’t complain or point out the truth. So here you go. Facts are clearly not sacred when it comes to attacking your political opponents which also means printing articles which don’t just do that, but also get incredibly preachy and the Guardian really shouldn’t get on it’s high horse about people not paying their taxes considering what they do to avoid paying taxes themselves. That makes it even more repulsive and I suggest emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re angry enough to make your voice heard.