Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

London Pollution Charge

Plans to charge a daily £200 pollution tax were announced in May 2007, but as of February 2008 has come into effective force. Even considering the 9-month time lag between announcement and becoming enforceable, this simply imposes a charge on pollution and is one clear scheme to make money with absolutely no intention of combating the actual cause of the pollution.
   Greater London is the top-level administrative subdivision covering London, England. The administrative area was created in 1965 and covers the City of London and 32 London boroughs. Its area also forms the London region of England and the London European Parliament constituency and it just happens that Greater London has by far the highest GDP per capita in the United Kingdom. So, the wealthy Londoner will find it affordable.
   Traffic speed control cameras are a different case entirely. It's within the powers of the plaintiff to avoid the consequences of speeding so the imposition of fines cannot be argued to be such a scheme. Those who complain raise their own profile and self-importance as though they are not a menace, but decent law abiding citizens. The police and courts should be relieved of this avoidable situation. It's what cameras are there for and raising money is actually a bonus. It's not as though drivers are led into becoming a criminal.
   It's somewhat similar to illegal parking and 'wheel clampers'. If a car is legally parked, then it is different. Of course, it's different. Some drivers just 'abandon' their car because it's convenient to leave a car in a very inappropriate place. They may get clamped. Tough. Sometimes such a poor attitude to parking may be understandable, especially in London or some other busy place without adequate legal parking, but convenience is never an excuse. Unreasonable behaviour cannot simply be 'conveniently' justified, but when the majority are inconvenienced a complaint seems to be justified. Peculiar and perverse logic.
   A more sincere action towards this pollution charge would involve removing the vehicle from the roads. A time scale of 9 months was allowed to find a solution so that pollution no longer occurs. This would have its consequences, but the causes of pollution problems would be tackled not just the symptoms. However, the cost involved in 'fixing' the vehicles is prohibitive and in many cases businesses that only occasionally operate are effectively barred from entry by this obscene tax. Charity organisations rely on older (still very road worthy) vehicles to ferry about those in their care. The idea of a pollution charge is not original and such a system has recently been introduced in Milan (Italy).
   Taxes do not provide solutions, but simply more problems. Trading carbon emissions is another cynical ploy. This does not reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but simply passes the buck that will never be picked up and dealt with. The 'wonderful' trick with this type of tax is that the cause of the tax is (literally) blown away into other areas and eventually becomes just an addition to the overall global atmosphere. But once something like tobacco or petrol has produced its pollutants, it has destroyed itself and a fresh tax can be imposed next time. The result of the pollution disappears (moves on), but the tax remains. The argument would inevitably involve the fact that pollutants are not destroyed and, of course, they're not.
   Then there's nuclear energy. Neither the cause nor effect of this enormously more dangerous pollution would go away and, by definition, could never avoid a tax. It's as though taxation is the solution to radiation problems. Wait for the tax on the UV screens in sun creams. It'll happen. When the potential to make more money has been realised. Tax from a natural phenomenon. Fascinating.

  • Tax imposed if 'it' goes away.
  • Tax imposed if 'it' stays.
   'It' refers to any combustible product that consumes life-supporting oxygen in order to burn. Completely perverse and bizarre: remove life-giving oxygen and charge a tax on promoting death. But it makes money. The creation of money cannot happen and it's like a sliding door. Watch the leading edge and it appears to be moving across the growth scale. But take your eye off the trailing edge and you'll fail to notice that it is moving at the same pace as the leading edge, (if not even faster). There is a 'fixed' space between the two, not obviously getting any larger or smaller.
   Taxation (as a charge - DA) is the leading cause of modern-age despondency and has (almost) become accepted that tax is always just imposed. The reasons themselves (if there are any reasons - DA) are not challenged. Blind acceptance by conditioning the majority and it cannot be a surprise that tax avoidance and evasion happen.
   Or crime.
   Crime is illegal, but tax collection is quite legal.

Legalised extortion

   Taxation is also one of the major causes of inflation and is completely self-perpetuating.