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Thursday 9 May 2013

TPA – No Care For The Community

The so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) likes to portray itself as being on the side of ordinary individuals – who are patronisingly referred to as “hard-working”, or “hard-pressed” – and against large and by definition faceless organisations. This is a sham. The TPA sides with rich corporates whenever the choice arises, and the only organisations it challenges are in the public sector.

More bore from the second floor

Its latest “grassroots” post highlights this lack of concern for the individual. Here, Henry Zarb, another of the TPA’s retinue of non-job holders, takes Islington Council to task for promoting 20mph zones. He concludes that this is a waste of money, as the bill has come in at £38,300. He then smugly tells how he could do it all at a much lower cost. This is total bullshit.

Zarb includes no cost for siting and risk assessment, any consultation with Police and road safety interests, any materials testing, and of course the process of ensuring all of this was a cost effective proposition, especially given the determination of bodies like the TPA to denigrate and smear any such spending on whatever grounds can be dreamt up. Road safety be damned.

In other words, it’s another cheap publicity stunt intended not for serious debate, but to get the TPA into the papers. Meanwhile, in the North West, the support of the TPA for the community-destroying antics of big business was conveniently glossed over. Let me refresh the memories of Matthew Sinclair and his merry men on their support for PubCos not to be subject to further regulation.

These bodies, most of whom have no interest in the brewing industry, have developed a habit of selling viable pubs from under their tenants and cashing in what to them are mere property chips on a life-size Monopoly board. This was to be the fate of the Caledonia, a street corner local in Liverpool, sold by Admiral Taverns without any mention to tenant Laura King, who was then given notice.

Unlike the TPA, who despite assertions of being a “grassroots” organisation tend not to stray far from their generously appointed lair in SW1, Zelo Street decided a visit was in order, and a group met at the Caledonia yesterday evening to enjoy good conversation, good cask beer, and the unexpected plus of an open mic night of seriously good quality. The TPA were invited. But they failed to turn up.

This is the reality of the TPA: they sit in their office inventing taxpayer outrage where none exists, while the communities they claim to champion are ignored if the faceless bureaucrats treading them underfoot are from the private sector. They pretend to be on the side of pubs and their clientele, but look the other way as their pals screw over the public, trouser the proceeds, and run away.

The TPA is a beacon – of rank, stinking hypocrisy. No change there, then.

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