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112,813. In 1380 they introducted a new poll tax; not for the last time it triggered a revolt. (Monarchy & England & Richard II & Poll Tax) Monarchy by David Starkey s1e6: Death of a Dynasty
86,810. In 1989 the plan to introduce a Poll Tax sparked the worse rioting in living memory. In November 1990 Mrs Thatcher’s radical leadership of the country came to an end. (Riot & Poll Tax & Thatcher) Crude Britannia: The Story of North Sea Oil 3/3
86,811. Can’t pay, won’t pay. 1990 anti-poll-tax slogan, multiple attributions inc The Exploited song
86,812. In the Spring of 1990 Thatcher introduced a new local tax to replace domestic rates which would prove to be the beginning of the end. Thatcher’s new method of raising local revenue was called the Community Charge or Poll Tax. It would be payable by everyone. And the poorest in the land would pay as much as the richest ... When it was tried out in Scotland there was chaos. Huge numbers of people simply refused to pay. (Riot & Poll Tax & Thatcher & 1990s) Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain
86,813. We all know that the rates system isn’t at all fair. That’s why we’re going to get rid of it. John Gummer, Party Political Broadcast 1989
78,398. By the same token, the great agitation against the poll tax in early 1990 was constantly cut down and insulted by leading Labour politicians. The enormous demonstration of 31 March, which was attacked by the police and which refused to dissolve under the attack, was assailed on all sides in parliament, most of all by Labour. In the council chambers, local Labour politicians developed an acute form of political schizophrenia. On the one hand they explained that they were against the poll tax, that the poll tax was unfair, monstrous, the worst attack on the poor since the days of Wat Tyler. On the other, they called on their supporters to pay the tax, and threatened them with bailiffs, fines and even prison if they refused to do so. Gradually, the schizophrenia wore off. The councillors became first and foremost, unconditionally and militantly, collectors of the tax rather than opponents of it. A chasm opened up between those who wanted to fight the tax by not paying it, and the leaders of the party who opposed the tax but suppressed their opposition in their determination not to rock the Labour Party boat on its voyage to the next general election.
As Rosa Luxemburg predicted nearly a hundred years ago, the Labour leaders thus became not just milder and meeker fighters for the same aim, but ferocious opponents of all fighters. (Labour Party & Poll Tax & Left Wing) Paul Foot, The Case for Socialism ch 6
90,578. The poll tax completes the picture of a government hell-bent on further enriching the class which it represents at the expense of the people who create the wealth. ibid.
86,814. Thirdly, in 1987 the Tories were re-elected on a manifesto based on their ‘flagship’ – the poll tax. Four years later the same government, which made no new pacts and still had a parliamentary majority of nearly 100, withdrew the poll tax. Had they been terrified by the parliamentary opposition? Not at all – they were contemptuous of it. What changed their minds and abolished the poll tax was a mass campaign of civil disobedience, whose climax was probably the biggest demonstration since the war, which turned into a full scale riot. These huge political shifts in our direction were all set in motion from below. They were almost unaffected by what was going on in parliament, or even by which government was in office. The pace of events was determined by the ebb and flow of the struggle between the classes – when they win, we lose, and vice versa. (Poll Tax & Riot & Demonstration) Paul Foot, article May 1992 ‘Why Labour Lost’
86,839. I fail to understand how you can justify a poll tax on the entire population, yet exclude a significant proportion of that population from programmes that this tax is paying for. Jonathan Dimbleby
90,889. Her community charge never won the backing of her own supporters. (Thatcher & Poll Tax) Thatcher: The Downing Street Years III: Midnight in Moscow, Twilight in London
90,926. The Community Charge will work – trust me. (Thatcher & Poll Tax) Margaret starring Lindsay Duncan & Ian McDiarmid & Roger Allam & Michael Cochrane & Oliver Cotton & Philip Jackson & Robert Hardy & James Fox et al, director James Kent, BBC
90,979. The Community Charge will make local councils far more accountable to all their voters. (Thatcher & Poll Tax) Margaret Thatcher