Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Sun

The group UK Uncut aims, through peaceful demonstration, to force rich British tax-dodgers to pay their taxes. These people, like Sir Philip Green, are alleged to have avoided paying billions in tax to the British Government. In an age where these billions could see the reversal of harsh government cuts, these actions billions would, if collected, ease the British economy. This is no purely economic issue - this money would mean less cuts in areas such as the NHS, Education, welfare, and so on - saving and improving the lives of many. As such, then surely the aims of this group are applaudable? Surely, even the harshest right-winger would support this group, which aims to see the rich obey tax law?

 Not so, as the Sun deftly demonstrates in an article about yesterday's protests. Also, look out for some splendid misunderstandings about political ideologies! What fun!
Oxford graduate Thom Costello, 22, aims to cause chaos by organising mass demonstrations in 50 towns on the busiest shopping day of the year. (Then he must be very wide, to single-handedly do so much in so many places)

The TV researcher's anti-capitalist group UK Uncut (It is, as you point out later, a 'loosely-knit' group of people, so I doubt the whole group shares the anti-capital, evil Marxist image you want it to have.) will hit Vodafone and Arcadia stores - including Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins - potentially costing them millions in lost sales. (Wow, well done. You got the point)

The loosely-knit group of up to 30,000 anarchists (Anarchy: "a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society." Anarchists aim to dismantle the state and form a political system where people work together through a willingness to co-operate for the common good, not because they're forced by governments or suchlike. This protest aimed to enforce the law, as should be championed by the government. Instead of weakening the state, these protests aimed to strengthen it by increasing it's capital through taxation, which would be spent on public works. It is really quite different to anarchy - indeed, if this group achieved the anarchy you claim they strive for, there would be no taxes. And that seems counter-productive, given their goal is to make the rich pay the taxes they owe... You probably aimed to invoke images of anarchist terrorists from history, to scare your readers though. Well done, it was a rousing success.) will use Twitter and Facebook to tell the mobs which stores to hit.

On the organisation's main website called today "our next day of mass action". (Well, that's what they would do, when calling for their next day of mass action)

Followers will be urged to set off stink bombs, leave mouldy cheese in clothes and rack up huge sales at tills and then refuse to pay. (Bloody hell, it's like Kristallnacht all over again, isn't it?)

Last month UK Uncut demonstrators shut down 30 Vodafone stores in three days using action such as sit-ins and protesters supergluing themselves to windows.  (Yes. So the protests are working. Splendid)

Costello said: "We are in the process of planning something significantly bigger than what we have done so far." (I assume you're building up to making a point here, Mr. Sun newspaper sir.)

The group has been monitored by undercover cops and tagged on to the student protests last week. (Has it? Interesting... Since they make their plans on open, online pages, I wonder if the cops need to be "undercover"? Do they sit at home, in false moustaches, on Facebook?)
English graduate Costello set up Uncut in October and it has 9,000 followers on Facebook. (Sounds popular then. It also has 11,000 followers, but that could be a 2,000 increase in the one day gap between your article and mine. Which suggests the movement is growing rather fast...)

Among its claims are that Vodafone owes £6billion in tax and Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green gave £1.2billion to wife Tina to avoid tax. (Yes. You're not going to discuss those claims, are you? You just want to slag off young people like the cooler newspapers, hanging round the schoolyard, smoking and cursing. Didn't your mother warn you about them?)

Sir Philip has said his affairs are "not relevant" and that he pays "tens and tens of millions of pounds" in tax. (Well, I see you fully support him. How nice for you two, have you set a date yet?)
What really interested me about that article was how it was pretty much pointless. Yes, the Sun implied the protesters were bad, but it didn't really do much except misunderstand political ideologies and aims. And it offered nothing much expect a collection of points, one after the other, from which it formed no argument, or drew no conclusion. To be honest, this article was a bit of a non-starter.
  You're probably then wondering why I wrote about it? Well, mainly I was bored. But I also found it interesting that the Mail, usually a bastion of anti-youth, right-wing hate, offered some quite balanced, supportive reporting on the UK Uncut protests. Of more interest are the reports focusing on how the "disruption" caused by these riots was actually well-received by the public, who apparently supported and even, on occasion, joined in the protests across the country.

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