Although the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has, as Zelo Street revealed exclusively recently, abandoned its street campaign against Trade Union Representatives’ facility time – which the TPA dishonestly dubbed “Taxpayer Funded Trade Unionism” – they have taken to the streets in pursuit of “competition” and “freedom of choice”, but no less dishonestly.
The TPA’s “grassroots coordinator” Andrew Allison – a title denoting a non-job if ever there was one – arranged this event on his home turf in Hull last weekend, with a “campaign” to end the supposed monopoly of Kingston Communications, Hull’s telecoms provider. Allison alleges that “almost everyone in the city wants a choice in who supplies their telephone and broadband services”.
Were I a betting man, I would wager good money that Allison and his pals did not canvass a statistically significant part of Hull’s population in pursuit of that proposition, nor that they put their questions in a way that was other than leading, or otherwise slanted. Ditto the assertion that “We also know people feel they are paying too much, and suffer from poor download speeds”.
I would challenge the TPA to share their questions and the way in which they were pitched with a wider audience, were I less than certain that Allison and his fellow non-job holders would prove, as so often, of less than perfect courage. But one thing of which I can be certain without further enquiry is what the TPA did not tell those polled, and what they didn’t in Ashton-under-Lyne.
And that is the remainder of the TPA agenda: to abolish the minimum wage, lower the poverty line, demonise any kind of Government, urge removal of assistance for local public transport, and spread misinformation about the NHS. Merely keeping schtum is not good enough: the TPA will claim the signatures gathered last weekend as a barometer of support.
Were the people of Hull to have been given that information before being offered the petition to sign, most of them would not have gone near it. Were they to be told after the event what the TPA was really about, many would be horrified. What Andrew Allison and his pals did last weekend was utterly and inexcusably dishonest: they should be ashamed, but this is not a condition the TPA recognises in itself.
No change there, then.