Council Tax pensioner jailed
Cranmer finds it interesting that the country is short of prison places for rapists, paedophiles or murderers, and so much so that some have to be released on remission half way through their sentences in order to create space for the likes of Mr Fitzmaurice. And we serve aspiring terrorists with ASBOs, and absolve those who preach hate and threaten murder, while pensioners are jailed for non-payment of a increasingly burdensome tax.
This is an apalling state of affairs, and a perversion of the meaning of 'justice'.
While Cranmer firmly believes that one should render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, he expects Caesar to show a little compassion if Caesar wants Cranmer’s loyalty. And that compassion must begin with the elderly, the infirm, the sick, the widow and the orphan. The reality is that pensioners face rising fuel and food costs, and a council tax that has increased 100% since New Labour came to power – from an average of £688 in 1997 to £1380 in 2007. Over the same period, pensioners have received meagre increases of just a few pounds each year, and New Labour is oblivious to their consequent hardship.
Yet what is remarkable about Mr Fitzmaurice is not that he cannot pay, but that he will not, and he chooses not to in order to raise the plight of the thousands of pensioners on fixed incomes who cannot. He is a martyr to his cause, and, in an age typified by celebrity, self-obsession and ego, such selflessness is a dying virtue.
Mr Fitzmaurice may be stubborn and principled, and he may be breaking the law, yet he is evidently sufficiently desperate to deem this the only way to inform the country of what is actually going on. Pensions could be re-linked to average earnings at a cost of £600 million, yet no party is contemplating this. While the
The party that once prided itself on its working class credentials and its commitment to social justice has betrayed its roots and perverted its philosophy. If Christian Socialism ever had any credibility, it was in its understanding of community, of brotherhood, of compassion. Yet Christian Socialism is no more, or it resides very quietly in the heart of Frank Field.
Cranmer can hardly wait for the first pictures of when the People’s Rock starts to evict the elderly and vulnerable who are incapable of paying their mortgages – only to find the state then has to re-house them and give them even more expensive benefits in order to survive…