Regular Zelo Street readers will know all about the dubiously talented array of non-job holders at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), and most recently of their attempt to co-opt beer drinkers by launching a campaign against a potential rise in duty on the product. What might not be so well known is that the TPA appears not to want the targets of its propaganda to know who they are.
Now it's anonymous guff from Tufton Street
This came to my attention through My Other Blog and a retweet by the Hops Belgian Bar in Crewe (see the review HERE) of a Tweet from one Rory Meakin, who is the TPA’s “Head Of Tax”. Meakin has been at the forefront of pushing the TPA’s 2020 Tax Commission report, which pretended to promote fairer taxes but in reality was a front, shilling for tax breaks for their wealthy backers.
Who're you working for, Rory?
So one might expect the Meakin Twitter feed to show some sign that his day job is with the TPA. But that expectation would remain unfulfilled: there is no mention of his employer on his rather brief bio. Why that should matter is that he has used the account to contact literally scores of pubs and clubs – hence the Hops Bar receiving a Tweet from him – to push TPA propaganda.
Meakin’s publicity push yesterday took in rugby clubs (he even lowered himself to including League as well as Union targets) and then pubs in London, Bristol and York (how he hit on the Hops Bar is a mystery). All were urged to sign up to the TPA campaign called mashbeertax.org. And here is another example of the TPA proving reluctant to put its name in the public eye.
Loading the mashbeertax.org site, there is no sign – again – that the TPA is involved. Many will have emailed, Tweeted or shared on Facebook without knowing this is a TPA campaign. Scrolling down brings mentions of the House of Commons Library, the British Beer and Pub Association, and CAMRA, but none of these organisations is a partner in the exercise.
Only at the very foot of the page does the TPA’s name and logo appear. This is, at the very least, overly discreet, and it doesn’t appear to be working too well: as I type this, all of 19 UK pubs are showing up on the accompanying map as having the TPA’s beermats. So even hiding their presence is not working. But this does show just how little grassroots support the organisation really has.
And remember, this is after the campaign was endorsed by the Sun. Expect Rory Meakin to fire off lots more Tweets to pubs and clubs across the UK, while not letting them know who he’s working for, in an attempt to turn around what thus far is looking like a damp squib. In the meantime, the TPA will not address the behaviour of the PubCos, which have forced the closure and selling off of thousands of pubs.
Not that the TPA would be soliciting donations from such people, of course.