When I read The Sunday Times on good old-fashioned paper at the weekend, there was what seemed like an old story reheated, namely poll taxing the motorway.
Late last year there was a brief outbreak of ‘Poll Tax on Wheels’ headlines as proposals were being floated around as part of an overhaul of the motorway network.
It didn’t cause that much of a stink then, what with Christmas and everything, but a slow burn on this story now seems to be filtering through to other papers and outlets. If it wasn’t for the fact that our burgers now have added horse power, such a proposal should be nearer the top of the news agenda.
We really need to make a fuss about this: £150 is the figure that has been plucked out of the air, probably on the basis that driver’s won’t notice it that much. After all, it is not much more than a fill up and a half at the pumps, and not far off the £145 I have to pay to the BBC each year for some reason. Well if I don’t, they will arrest, fine and possibly imprison me.
Now I don’t need the BBC to survive, but the motorway is quite vital to my way of life and income. In that respect £150 isn’t a lot. If I work a little bit harder, charge my customers an extra few quid then perhaps I’ll make the money in no time. That is of course just what they want everyone to do. I don’t want to pay any more to drive my car on badly maintained roads and neither do you.
The trouble is that if we all ignore this it won’t go away. Indeed it will come to bite us very badly indeed, like the urban fox in your suburban garden with keys to the patio doors. Yes, news agendas are there to distract us from what’s really going on, whether it is the killer NHS, or ways of squeezing more money out of drivers.
So who’s written to their MP, made a banner or mixed the first Molotov?