Saturday 22 July 2017

War on tax needs a leader who isn't left wing or left field

The vacuum at the centre of Irish politics was bound to be filled by the opportunistic, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

Far from being deterred by the threat of being sent to jail for non payment, some might say that campaigners urging a boycott of the new household charge can't wait for it to happen. That they're rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect -- as excited by what's to come as little children at Christmas.

For your average left-wing protester, being sent to jail is the political equivalent of getting five numbers plus the bonus ball on the Lotto. It's like the final QED in the argument. You put me in jail, that proves I must be right. It was the same with the bin charges.

Of course, some people did very well out of that nursing ground for discontent. Socialist Party TDs Clare Daly and Joe Higgins both came to national prominence in the anti-bin tax movement after spending time behind bars in support of the principle of, er, getting someone else to pick up the tab for taking away your own rubbish. (Forgive me if I've missed a few of the revolutionary nuances, but that was basically it).

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