1990s UK Poll Tax Riots. James Bourne, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Green Energy Fail: British Union Boss Predicts Riots, 1990s Style Uprising

Essay by Eric Worrall

Some good news – Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss has promised to allow fracking if she wins. But this belated outbreak of political sanity comes way too late to prevent the coming winter of carnage.

Workers’ anger at cost of living as strong as time of poll tax riots, union boss says 

Sharon Graham, head of Unite, on picket line with Felixstowe dock strikers, says people could rise up again as they did in the 1990s

Richard Partington in Felixstowe
@RJPartingtonThu 25 Aug 2022 03.22 AEST

British workers are at breaking point, with anger over the cost of living crisis reaching a level not seen since the poll tax riots of the 1990s, the head of one of the UK’s most powerful trade unions has said.

Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, said frustration at pay failing to keep pace with soaring inflation was spilling over into a wave of strike action that would extend from a summer of discontent into the winter.

Speaking from the picket line outside the port of Felixstowe, where thousands of dock workers are striking over pay this week, she compared the situation to widespread national anger over Margaret Thatcher’s controversial community charge, better known as the poll tax, more than three decades ago.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in towns and cities around Britain in March 1990, in a rebellion that culminated in clashes with mounted police in Trafalgar Square, central London. Regarded as key in bringing about the end of Thatcher’s premiership, the poll tax was introduced first in Scotland, then England and Wales before being dropped by her successor, John Major.

“I actually think there is a moment where people could rise to doing exactly the same thing again,” Graham told the Guardian.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/aug/24/workers-anger-cost-of-living-poll-tax-riots-unite-sharon-graham-says

The poll tax riots of the 1990s were a consequence of one of the few truly awful decisions legendary Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made. Thatcher attempted to replace property rates, UK property taxes based on the value of the property, with a flat tax levy on each adult – so every adult had to pay the same fixed sum every year, though there were discounts for students and registered unemployed. The problem was a lot of poor people couldn’t afford to pay. The implementation of and attempts to enforce the tax triggered a series of massive protests and riots, and contributed to the personal unpopularity which led to Thatcher’s downfall.

In the 1990s the discord was quelled by a change of leadership and a simple repeal of the tax – John Major replaced Margaret Thatcher. But it is not going to be so easy to fix Britain’s current problems.

When my family left Britain, my wife and I rejected options like Canada, because we wanted to be somewhere warm, warm enough that we could live without home heating if we had to. We considered the Caribbean, but ultimately settled on Queensland.

I’m not saying I predicted Russia would invade Ukraine, but it was very obvious from the gathering hostility to fossil fuel, and political commitment to useless renewables, there would be some form of widespread energy price crisis.

Unfortunately that crisis is now, and unlike the poll tax crisis, there is no quick fix. A problem which is the outcome of two decades of political green lunacy is not something you can set right overnight.

Even if Liz Truss wins the Conservative leadership contest, and immediately repeals the fracking ban, which is absolutely the right move, it will likely take at least a decade to set Britain’s energy supply right.

And we don’t know the depth of Truss’ commitment to restoring energy affordability. Even if she is committed, I believe there will be plenty of influential Conservative and Labour spoilers who have grown fat off Britain’s green energy push, through the green energy tithes they orchestrated, who will do everything in their power to derail the necessary energy policy correction, even if that means joining forces to ensure Truss takes a fall.

Anyone who thinks Washington politics is a snake pit has never experienced British politics. British politicians have had over 800 years of continuous government, dating back to the Magna Carta in 1215, to perfect the art of political conspiracy and back stabbing, and they are very good at it.

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August 28, 2022 2:10 am

Poll tax (community charge was its proper name) was a very fair idea with the idea that everyone who used services should contribute towards them. Students and the poor got large rebates. Those who hadn’t paid anything up till then didn’t like it of course. 99% of Britons never saw sight nor sound of a poll tax riot.

As for Liz Truss we shall have to see which way they go on energy. The UK needed an energy policy mostly based n Nuclear power 20 years ago but successive governments instead did nothing, then were bullied into going the green route.

All those with green tariffs should only get power when the renewables are working and get none when they fail, thus leaving more grown up energy for the rest of us.


Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 2:32 am


Spreading the considerable load of providing services as wide as possible was a fair idea provided those that needed protecting were protected.

As for energy, did you see that clip of Clegg saying 10 years ago when he was in Govt that the govt should not go for nuclear as it would be 2022 before they came on stream,? Govt is VERY short sighted

At least we didn’t put all our energy eggs in one Russian basket like the much over rated Merkel and we do have good wind power capacity-when the wind blows.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to pile in on solar panels at our latitude is probably in a position of power and comfort themselves, instead of stacking shelves in Sainsburys, where they belong.


Philip Mulholland
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 3:12 am

They don’t need large brains, just large stomachs.
Conflicts of the Orders Patrician and Plebeian

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
August 28, 2022 5:40 am

You must be thinking of Eric Pickles.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 3:41 am

The majority of those with degrees have Arts qualifications. Some have History degrees but seem to ignore history. About 80% are qualified to degree level

Politics – 20%
History – 13%
Law -12%
Economics – 10%
Philosophy – 6%
English – 4%

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 28, 2022 5:53 am

If you have a good STEM degree, why would you go into politics?
Possibly the best prime minister ever, had a STEM degree. Margaret Thatcher.

Liz is a PPE.

Of the 541 MPs with higher education degrees in the 2015-2017 Parliament, only 93 (17%) held degrees in STEM subjects

Reply to  Leo Smith
August 28, 2022 10:52 am

I wonder if you happen to know how many had been responsible for running anything. Don’t include Sunak as a trader with Goldmans would be cosseted so long as the trades made money – if not, out!

Gerry, England
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 30, 2022 9:13 am

So is Sushi – it is just that they went to different colleges at Oxford University.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 28, 2022 9:52 am

It is not true that Arts qualifications are automatically worthless. Many may be but not all. Those with a solid reasoning or logic component may produce a more capable person than a science degree where there has been tons of memorization but little required in logic and working things out from first principles. Proof of this is easily found in many papers in top scientific journals.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 28, 2022 10:09 am

Dorothy Sayers (a writer and linguist), wrote in a paper 75 years ago: “Have you ever in listening to a debate among adult and presumably responsible people, been fretted by the extraordinary inability of the average debater to speak to the question or to meet and refute the arguments of speakers on the other side? Or have you ever pondered upon the extremely high incidence of irrelevant matter which crops up at committee meetings and upon the very great rarity of persons capable of acting as chairmen of committees? And when you think of this, and think that most of our public affairs are settled by debates and committees, have you ever felt a sinking of the heart?” (Lost Tools of Learning).

Jon R
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 28, 2022 1:34 pm

Agreed. A real liberal arts degree is what’s missing from many, many even on this board.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 29, 2022 1:16 pm

That used to be true. When I got my degree employers, in many cases, were not too worried what the degree subject was. They were really interested in people with a proven ability to think. The degree classification was important, but much less the subject.

That was back in the day when most larger employers had their own training schemes for new employees, and an expectation that these people would make a solid career with the company, providing incentives to ensure that they would stay.

These days employers want someone that they can hammer into a specific odd-shaped hole in their company, abuse them for a while, and fully expect that they won’t be staying, because the company has no real career structure.

Universities have responded by devaluing degree classifications. In the UK employers valued a 2.1 (upper second) or first class degree most. Universities were encouraged to produce more of these. When I received my 2.1 degree, that was limited to roughly the top 20% of graduates. These days, it is more like 75%.

A few years ago, many of those with 2.1 degrees would have receive 2.2 or even 3rd class degrees.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 28, 2022 3:39 pm

But they have staff for the menial work. They are Gentlemen, and they leave that STEM stuff to the players.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 30, 2022 9:06 am

Surely the most common degree is the PPE? Politics, Philosphy and Economics. Where it always seems that they skipped the economics lectures given their inability to see that there is no magic money tree and that most governments ideas are a waste of other people’s money.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 4:09 am

Politicians in general can’t do critical thinking or maybe thinking at all; just reacting.

George T
Reply to  Mac
August 28, 2022 8:35 am

No kidding. After the COVID fiasco and now the looming energy crisis, reaction will once again be applied with disastrous results. Is it that difficult to apply rationale critical thinking in solving problems? Indeed it is.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mac
August 28, 2022 11:32 am

The value systems of politicians in no way resembles that of regular people. I know; I was up close and personal with them for years. There is no more a tacky group in all of civilization.

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 28, 2022 11:52 am

Almost by definition, those who succeed at Politics are the least trustworthy and decent.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 5:37 am

Politicians the world over can do math in how many votes is it worth and how much more can I earn from our new rules .

Reply to  george1st:)
August 28, 2022 7:04 am

Yeah but counting is just the very edge of maths. Using it to predict and see the consequences of decisions requires a tad more competency.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 5:58 am

But if you can work a mob and blame someone else when it all goes wrong, it doesn’t matter how competent you are.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 8:11 am

And most (of them) would regard that as a sign of superiority!

Last edited 1 month ago by IanE
Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 4:37 am

Wind power is causing much of the problem. We are subsidising renewables to the tune of around £10bn a year. We are paying for a total of – very roughly – 25Gw or so and I believe wind and solar delivered around 8 Gw last year.

Whilst my numbers might not be wholly accurate, these are the level of disparities we are dealing with.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  HotScot
August 28, 2022 4:56 am

You’re right about wind capacity – it’s about 25GW.
I just checked, and right now wind is supplying, um, 1.14GW….
We’re led by donkeys

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
August 28, 2022 5:43 am

Earlier this morning, before the sun kicked in fully, on the traditionally day of lowest demand weather generated electricity was supplying about 4% of demand.
Wind has been below the radar for three days now.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 28, 2022 7:48 am

The renewable freaks always point to how well solar is doing in summer, what they fail to notice is that it starts around 6am, peaks at 12 noon, and falls away again until it’s zero at 6pm.


Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 28, 2022 12:53 pm

If you look at Gridwatch you would see that we have been in the “dark doldrums” for the best part of a month, not just three days.

Alan Millar
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
August 28, 2022 9:32 am

Yesterday it was 0.67GW and Friday it was 0.5GW!

Blimey, if only we had built five times more wind power, we would have had a mighty 2.5GW on Friday.

I am sure we would have no problems running the country with that munificence!

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 9:44 am

An interesting and related aside. Thirteen years ago South African scientists were making progress with pebble bed reactors. If reports are correct some 2000 were working on the project and developed a working prototype. They got a new president who had not gone further than infant school and he cancelled the project. The nation in now poorer and has far greater energy problems and the cost has ballooned. All the work and money wasted on an uncompleted project but this does not matter because it did not come out of the pockets of politicians.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 28, 2022 11:38 am

Politics always sink to the lowest common denominator.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 2:33 am

The structure causing hardship was the transfer of cost of local services from rich landlords to poor tenants with no associated rent reduction for the reduction in costs to landlords

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 28, 2022 4:31 am

Yet tenants now pay full council tax even though they don’t own the property and don’t benefit from the rise in the dwellings price.

Even the unemployed have to pay a proportion. Where I live that starts at around £400 a year instead of £1600 (or £1200 if you get the single occupier 25% discount).

We don’t see any rioting where that’s implemented.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 28, 2022 5:45 am

Don’t think you’re right about that. I was brought up in a rented house long before Thatcher’s era and we always paid council tax although it went by a different name in those days.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  JeffC
August 28, 2022 9:16 am

Council Tax is a local taxation system used in England, Scotland and Wales. It is a tax on domestic property, which was introduced in 1993 by the Local Government Finance Act 1992, replacing the short-lived Community Charge, which in turn replaced the domestic rates.

I’m pretty sure that the previous system of ‘rates’ was paid by the property owners, not tenants. It is in Australia. Almost nobody I discuss rates with in Australia knows what they are, because most people I know rent.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 28, 2022 11:40 am

Rental property owners pay no net tax. Work it out for yourselves, deep thinkers.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 2:56 am

The poll tax was a bad idea and Labour’s garden tax idea isn’t any better

They’ve had since 1660 to perfect the Parliamentary dictatorship. The referendum went horribly wrong, they won’t dabble with a democratic vote again

They are all signed up to net zero Unite are too…

Composite 17’, Labour’s Socialist Green New Deal, states that in power Labour will: “In collaboration with the trade unions and the scientific community, work towards a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2030

The vast majority of local party delegates voted for the motion, as did Unite, CWU, ASLEF, Bakers Union, TSSA and FBU. “


They are pretty stupid

Reply to  fretslider
August 28, 2022 4:49 am

They are all having second thoughts. The Conservative’s NetZero scrutiny group is gaining members.

Suella Bravermen and Kemi Badenoch are almost shoo in’s for Truss’s cabinet, both outspoken opponents of climate madness. If Steve Baker gets a cabinet job you know for certain NetZero won’t see the year out. Baker is a trustee of the GWPF, he’s a proper politician having had real jobs before he became one.

Labour couldn’t possibly survive, pretending to support the worker when green cultism is responsible for most of what’s happening.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  HotScot
August 28, 2022 5:26 am

They seem to be having problems trying to recruit someone to take over from Deben at the CCC. The deadline for applications has had to be extended.


A position liable to be first in line for those weilding pitchforks.

Last edited 1 month ago by It doesn't add up...
Dave Fair
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 28, 2022 11:53 am

The Committee’s work covers: climate change policy – including its social impacts; business competitiveness; climate science; differences in circumstances between UK countries; economic analysis and forecasting; emissions trading; energy production and supply; financial investment; and technology development and diffusion.”

The advertised position says only 2 days per month’s work is required to direct all those diverse efforts. Only Flash Gordon need apply.

Reply to  HotScot
August 28, 2022 5:58 am

That mein jocky mucker, is good news all round.
I am pinning hopes on La Truss, not because she is a Glorious Leader, because she is almost devoid of charisma, but because she seems to be a competent person with energy and works well with other people. A team building PM,not a Big Dog.

And I think that’s what the tory grassroots want.

Last edited 1 month ago by Leo Smith
Reply to  Leo Smith
August 28, 2022 7:18 am

Like Boris, Liz is an empty vessel; another potential shopping trolley.

Reply to  fretslider
August 28, 2022 7:55 am

My only hope is she’ll surprise us all and, to be honest it wouldn’t take much for her to vastly improve the country.

She won’t announce NeZero is ditched, it’ll just be shuffled into the long grass. The big test is whether she can drop the green levies on energy.

We are facing a much bigger problem than covid here. Businesses are already on their knees but at least during covid people had money to spend. Now it’s a double whammy, people have no money to spend and businesses are facing uncapped, crippling energy bills.

Reply to  fretslider
August 28, 2022 11:56 am

The British Unions voted for the Green imbecility, and are now whining about their enormous electricity and gas bills/ Well, DUH!

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 3:58 am

I disagree fundamentally; the opposition to the Poll was cited mainly by the Left in the UK (and especially in Socialist Scotland) and the “professional” protesters were given a gift for their next agitations. Essentially, the Left were violently opposed to their broad support base having to pay for a service they received. It was never a Tax – how could a flat rate charge with discounts be so? Things have not changed much; the political and Civil Service Classes of the last 40+ years have screwed up massively on many things but a “home based” energy source programme has been undermined at every turn by Whitehall mandarins, incompetent politicians and 100% ignorant UK citizens who swallowed this bollox.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 4:27 am

I think there is a remedy. It’s pretty certain that there is a large amount of frackable gas in the UK.

If Truss does give fracking the go ahead, and ignores the complaints of the local fanatics (because that’s the only ones objecting) it can be done quickly, one business claims it could have gas flowing by January.

There are deals to be done here, or in light of the genuine emergency the current situation conforms to, and as much as I hate to suggest it, nationalising fracking could be done on a temporary basis.

The government could subsidise every home in the UK until gas was flowing, and the price of that gas determined by its cost to extract, not the international market price, which is why it might only be manageable as a nationalised project.

For the next 5/10/20 years or however long it takes, the subsidy could be recovered by a small premium on a plentiful, long lasting source of reliable energy.

There are not many alternatives that I can see if people aren’t going to die this winter from hypothermia or starvation.

Some of the more alarmist claims is that we’re not finished yet and that households could be paying £7,000 – £10,000 annually for energy next year, that’s more than the state pension.

From memory, the average British wage is around £24,000 gross, net – roughly £16,800. If the cap is increased in January as is expected bills could hit £5,000. That leaves £11,800 to live on, less than £1,000 a month.

Riots won’t achieve anything other than forcing the government to frack. Johnson could have invoked that weeks ago but he was still considering pouring concrete into the wells until a few months ago.

We don’t have a problem with energy prices, we have a problem with the most shocking series of incompetent governments following Thatcher.

Reply to  HotScot
August 28, 2022 6:00 am

the complaints of the local fanatics (because that’s the only ones objecting)

No, its not the locals, its bussed in Green activists. Locals want the jobs.

Reply to  Leo Smith
August 28, 2022 7:45 am

Partly agree with that, there were some vocal locals. I say ‘were’ as I suspect they would be pretty unpopular now if they continue to object.

Frankly, if people could be punished for taking a walk during covid, anyone protesting against fracking ought to be locked up.

Personally, if prices go any higher I just won’t pay more than I can afford. I didn’t fall for the stupid smart meter scam so if they want to cut off my gas and electricity they’ll have to show up in person, and that’s not going to be pretty.

Reply to  Leo Smith
August 28, 2022 1:03 pm

If the locals object to fracking, then insist they take some wind generators and solar panels as an alternative, especially as the protestors are always asking for renewables.
I wonder what objections they would come up with next?

Dave Fair
Reply to  HotScot
August 28, 2022 11:59 am

Yep, Hot Scot, let’s nationalize gas “temporarily” because “We don’t have a problem with energy prices, we have a problem with the most shocking series of incompetent governments following Thatcher.”

Mark BLR
Reply to  HotScot
August 29, 2022 4:25 am

From memory, the average British wage is around £24,000 gross, net – roughly £16,800. If the cap is increased in January as is expected bills could hit £5,000. That leaves £11,800 to live on, less than £1,000 a month.

Willis Eschenbach started his last article here on WUWT, A Balancing Act, with the following : “I’m a visual guy. I understand numbers, but not in tables. I make them into graphs and charts and maps so I can understand what’s going on.”

While my “understanding” of the world is (much !) less detailed than that of Willis, for the UK “energy crisis” I came up with the graph below.

“Energy poverty” is often defined as “Households that spend more than 10% of their ‘net’, AKA ‘disposable’, income on their energy [ = electricity + gas ] bills”.

From the 1st of October that threshold will rise to ~£35K, which is a gross (before tax + NI deductions, typically a third of the total) income around £52.5K.

If the “cap” rises to £5Kin January, that means all families with a joint income of less than £75K (!) will be considered as “energy poor” …
… as you wrote, the “average (median ?) British wage” is around £24K, which is three times as “poor”.

Come the springtime (March/April) the harshness of the upcoming winter will help determine just how angry the survivors will be.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark BLR
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 5:45 am

Problem with poll tax wasn’t the principle, which was sound, it was the speed of implementation, that left people unable to meet it.

It was a gift to the communistsas.

Should have been phased in. Never throw the frog into boiling water.

As for energy, I dont think people are as stupid as Left Wing politicians think they are. Most people I know, even the ones without a great deal of money or education, understand that shit happens, and politicians are not omnipotent, and some clear plain truth and a plan that makes sense even if it doesnt solve things immediately, will be acceptable.

Other peoples gas today (thank you USA) , remove all renewable subsidies, green taxes and the EU laws that mandate them tomorrow, Fracking next year and nuclear as soon as we can.

Reply to  Leo Smith
August 29, 2022 2:43 am

IIRC the old rateable system was no longer fit for purpose, and Maggie didn’t want to see a property value based system. The old system was based on a very out of date notional rental value of the property.
In the end we ended up with a property based system, which is bad news for many elderly citizens living in large valuable properties, but who are cash poor. At the moment regional councils have to go to a referendum if they want to increase the precept by 5%+. (Parish councils are not constrained so, like our local parish council, they are enjoying spending everyone’s else’s money!)

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 6:51 am

Mrs Thatcher’s big mistake was to underestimate the number of spanners that Local Government would throw into the works. All Labour local authorities maxed out their budgets so that the Community Charge would be much higher than planned. Many Conservative local authorities copied this because, if they hadn’t they would have suffered electoral disadvantage later on. The net effect was that council spending jumped hugely, and Community Charge with it. Too late, central government realised that it had to impose curbs on local authority spending plans.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 7:48 am

America has reached a dangerous point, only a few percentage of Americans are being forced to bear most of the cost of funding government.
This has led to a sizable fraction of the population to believe that government services are essentially free, and all they have to do is continue raising taxes on “the rich”.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 9:03 am

Right idea, wrong implementation. I think everyone should feel like they have a stake in the country. My suggestion is for everyone on benefits to get a £1 increase and be taxed £1. No change in net but they should see money being deducted from their benefits to support their community. Everyone else would pay a minimum of £1 and the rest of the tax code left unchanged.

Then tell everyone that taxes will stay the same, or perhaps be increased to pay for any vandalism in their community – broken street lights, graffiti, etc.

When people see such acts I want them to be saying, “Stop that now! I don’t want my taxes to go up!”.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 10:05 am

Eric, Tony –
The Poll Tax – properly called the ‘Community Charge’ (The distinction is important) was in my opinion a great idea. If Thatcher made a mistake in its implementation, it was that it came too late – it should have been instituted immediately she was elected, and I think she would have got away with it.

In USA the famous cry “No taxation without representation” has galvanised libertarians down the years, and rightly so. But the converse should also be true – “No representation without taxation”. The taxation system that the Poll Tax was intended to replace was a local tax levied upon property ownership, and was used (along with large central government grants) to fund local services such as education, police, refuse disposal, and whatever activities favoured by the local council’s whims

The catch was … it was only levied on those whose name was on the title of the property, irrespective of the services they required, and fell very hard upon the elderly widow with the big old house, long after husband had died and brood had fledged. N, All others paid nothing – but ALL had a say in electing the council which decided how the money should be spent. So, many people could elect councils to fund their desired outcomes, but only an arbitrary few had to pay for the consequences of that. Iniquitous.

It was said by opponents of the Poll Tax that ‘a Duke pays the same as a dustman’.
Well yes, so he should. If allowance is to be made for those with low incomes, then that should be done through income taxation (negative where necessary) and should not corrupt the provision of local services. A Duke pays the same prices in the local supermarket as a dustman.

A tragedy that the Poll Tax idea was dropped.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 10:50 am

People who had never paid anything towards local services were always goiung to take it badlyy when required to do so. One thinks of various parts of the British Empiure which were called upon to pay towards their own defence. The US didn’t like the ide also they went independant and they have not liked paying for defence since 1945 so the rest of the world has to do so throughinflation, from thime to time.

If the amount of subsidy which was sibsequently applied to Council Tax had been applied to Community Charge (aka poll tax) there would have been no problem. It seemed to me then and it seems to me now that the wets in Mrs Thatcher’s government used it to get her out. They eventually succeeded and the Tory Party has still not got over the experience.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 2:30 am

The Poll Tax effectively changed the cost burden of local services from the owners of property to the tenants. For home owners, it was mostly irrelevant. For everyone else, ie the poorest of society, it was an additional and significantly large new cost.

In theory, rents should have reduced immediately due to the reduced cost burden on landlords. Did they? Did they, heck!

Yet another shift of wealth from the poor to the rich. A minor success, before the CAGW boondoggle was properly executed, however.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 28, 2022 12:03 pm

On the other hand, property owners in Britain benefit from enormous and untaxed capital gains from increases in the value of real estate, whereas tenants do not. The Council Tax redresses this disparity somewhat.

Ron Long
Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 3:06 am

tonyb, I like your comment “…only get power when the renewables are working…” This is the kind of theme that would be a direct and inescapable Reality Check to the CAGW loonies everywhere. Nuke ’em!

Reply to  Ron Long
August 28, 2022 5:01 am

From https://www.energyaustralia.com.au/home/electricity-and-gas/green-energy-plans : If you’re an existing EnergyAustralia customer, you can choose the amount of accredited green energy you’d like EnergyAustralia to buy on your behalf, whether that’s 10, 20 or 100 per cent of your electricity bill.

The system needed is almost in place. They just need to change it slightly so that the “10 percent” option means 10% of your power is guaranteed to be from green renewables. So if renewables fall short, your power is cut off when non-green renewable energy reaches 90% of the total to date, and your supply gets restored when the green renewable energy is available again. The “100 percent” means you only ever get green renewable energy. If it fails, you get cut off. When it starts again, your supply comes back on again. As an incentive, when those much-vaunted negative prices happen, you can be paid to turn appliances on.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
August 28, 2022 5:04 am

PS. Energy Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Light and Power. Everything is already controlled by China. No wonder it’s all going crook.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Mike Jonas
August 30, 2022 7:24 am

There needs to be a “zero percent” option – I wouldn’t want a nickel of my bill to pay for worse-than-useless wind and solar ‘power.’

Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 3:17 am

but where the hell could students and poor find the upfront to pay it
regardless of later rebates?
you already had vat and the rest it was a govvygrab for cash, no wonder people rioted

Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 28, 2022 4:34 am

I lived in Scotland as a student at the time the Poll Tax came in. I was living in a halls of residence and I remember correctly my Poll Tax was something like £15 for the entire year. Students were complaining about it.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rusty
August 28, 2022 5:14 am

Agreed. I was a mature student when they finally caught up with me (having returned from Australia at the time, and had ‘never heard of the poll tax, honest’. I’m pretty certain I didn’t have to pay anything, and only £2 a month in back payment for 4 years of non-payment.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 3:35 am

England* (not the UK) has tried a Poll Tax twice. Both tines it created social unrest and rebellion.
*Richard II and the Peasants Revolt.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 5:42 am

““I actually think there is a moment where people could rise to doing exactly the same thing again,” Graham told the Guardian.”

This is a pretty wimpy reaction to perhaps the worst “Policy-Caused” looming disaster in centuries!! It’s global and unfixable in a couple of years, not the least for the lack of talent in the political sphere.I’m happy it will be the end of of this horrible adventure, but worried that the the reaction will be much more nightmarish than seems to be understood. It’s in the ‘nothing to lose’ category for so many.

When it comes to fixing it, we will understand the broad base of the diabolical plans put in motion by world leaders, Champaign Socialists, WEF misanthropes and supported and enabled by Corp Media, big tech, all the universities in the West, The UN and the NGOs, the ‘charitable foundations, the ‘Designer-Brain” education .. .

The money to do it should come from taken ill-gained and ill-spent billions from Bloomberg, Rockefeller, Steyer, Soros, Gates, and the rest of them. Complicit and stupid climate scientists alike should be pensioned off on reduced rates… okay, that’s enough!

Reply to  tonyb
August 28, 2022 8:59 am

But the poorer paid the same as the rich… the rich got off lightly.

Reply to  griff
August 28, 2022 11:19 am

WHy should the rich pay for more than what they consume?

August 28, 2022 2:40 am

You are ignoring the cause of the present situation. The globalist politicans are stage managing these rises. their aim is to bring in the nazi new world order, a reign of terror!
Both Truss and Sunak are disciples of the NWO. Dont fool yourselves. Face the truth

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 4:34 am

them, or at least not so dissatisfied they risk all the awful
things which can happen to insurgents”

While the UK gubmint declared a national emergency for a 2-day
“heatwave”, mostly likely done to scare everyone, seeing this
headline about a real crisis should scare the heck out of them:

“Three Quarters of Pubs Facing Extinction”

That’s representative of not just pubs but every business in
energy strapped Europe as well as individuals’ homes, too. Throw
in a dry spell affecting all those people, too, & it’s looking a
lot more like Sri Lanka than the charming Europe I visited 40
years ago. Just as terrifying to those like you- who are fully
aware of the situation- is the long list of nasty & stupid things
the gubmint can & will do to keep their gravy train going. The
Wuhan Flu will only provide them more cover to do so.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 6:01 am

Most politicians I’ve met want to win and keep power

That’s why UK politicians love the FPTP system, unless they’re unusually extreme (Corbyn, Foot) or incompetent (Johnson) they can usually stay in power for three elections. Both parties are quite happy to let the other lot have power for 12-15 years as long as they get their turn of a dozen years. Whether it is good for the country is a moot point as after about 10 years it all ends in tears, well in fighting and incompetence and a lack of leadership or direction, this government for example now our 12th year of Conservative control.
The last time a UK party got over 50% of the vote was 1935.
Thatcher’s record was 43.9%, 42.4% and 42.2% the first after the Winter of Discontent, the second after the Falklands so not sweeping popularity. Blair’s third election victory was on 35.2% of the vote.
Talk of “Landslide” election victories in the UK is political propaganda hiding the truth of government on the back of a minority of voters

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 6:33 am

Makes one wonder why UK voted Brexit. I was delighted about it, but what did the country do different than it did before? They were all-in on the worst policies of the EU. Indeed, they seemed to be outpacing the EU in evil green stuff.

Richard Page
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 28, 2022 10:47 am

I think what just tipped it over was having an arrogant American politician come over here and lecture us on how we should vote. Obama seriously screwed up in thinking that we would take that well without any backlash whatsoever – the UK has always been a bit bloody-minded about irritating foreigners poking their noses in where they weren’t wanted.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 11:25 pm

Causing impoverishment to make everybody dependent on government would win them power. (Especially for people with their truly remarkable incompetence at actually governing.) Not much work is needed to keep a government position in a Communist state.

Reply to  Terri Jackson Msc MPhil InstP
August 28, 2022 3:20 am

and like many others now ruining nations are they WEF young leaders grads too?

August 28, 2022 2:51 am

The UK energy price cap (basically, an index of the average household’s gas and electricity bill) will have gone from about 1,200 sterling to about 6,000 sterling in the course of 18 months.

Faced with this, and with the fact that the energy bill alone will eat about 2/3 of the state pension, the government will find itself obliged to do one of two things. Or maybe both.

Its a given that it is going to have to subsidize fuel for the poor and lower earners. The only question is how the governmnent finances it. There are two choices, one it borrows. The other is, it raises income tax on the higher brackets. Or it may do a combination.

What is certain however is that its not going to just allow the increases to work their way through the system. Because that really would lead to large scale hunger and freezing cold. They cannot get away with that. So its going to be a massive financial intervention.

My bet is on a combination of tax and borrowing. But that will only put off the crisis.

Reply to  michel
August 28, 2022 9:58 am

Michel, they have a third option. Print money, whether physically or cybernetically. The result will be that people who have saved lose everything. That’s what Old Labour did to us in the late 1970s. But that won’t prevent riots; it will just be different people rioting.

Reply to  michel
August 28, 2022 11:53 am

Problem is, such government interventions may temporarily reduce the economic pain and kick the can down the road, but it is not simply a cost question. It is moreover a supply question. High prices ordinarily reduce demand and spur increases in supply. But how can you sufficiently lower demand when even maximum conservation isn’t enough to keep the lights and heat on and vehicles fueled to protect life and livelihoods?

At times, there may not be enough energy at any price to keep the heaters and lights on, and there may be no immediate means to ease those shortages. Restart idled coal plants if they haven’t already been dismantled? Increase domestic gas supply through freedom to frack? Build and startup new CCGT plants along with the supply of gas to fire them? Site, design, license and build new nuclear plants? None of these are immediate fixes.

August 28, 2022 3:15 am

well bright side it would be far worse if you were still in EU
next “they who must be obeyed” needs to throw the greenery regs and the rest out first
before then trying to restore coal gas oil and manufacturing
hard call

August 28, 2022 3:17 am

British politicians have had over 800 years of continuous government, dating back to the Magna Carta in 1215, to perfect the art of political conspiracy and back stabbing, and they are very good at it.

That’s because being a politician is now a career, not a way of giving something back to your country.

Many politicians these days have never had a proper job – leave school > study politics at uni > work for a politician > become an MP

Richard Page
Reply to  Redge
August 28, 2022 10:57 am

Actually it goes back to the Anglo-Saxon government as advisors to the King but it hasn’t been continuous for that 1300 years or so, you’ve got to factor in the Anglo-Norman Kings and 3 civil wars over 9 years among other breaks. The present system evolved somewhere between 1215 and 1399 though.

Ben Vorlich
August 28, 2022 3:31 am

She’s got to persuade companies like Cuadrilla that they’re going to get a minimum 10 years production from multiple sites. Same for North Sea oil and gas. Most fossil fuel companies in Europe have transitioned and closed the departments dealing with exploration and exploitation.
Very much a case of what recruiters for the British Army found in the Highlands and Islands after the people were replaced by sheep.

“We have no country to fight for! You robbed us of our country and gave it to the sheep.

Therefore, since you have preferred sheep to men, let sheep defend you!”

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 28, 2022 8:15 am

Hmm – and where would be much better? Canada, USA, NZ, EU?

Quite so: not too easily done.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 28, 2022 4:58 am

My understanding is that she said “fracking where people (locals) support it. Thats probably nowhere in UK

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  sid
August 28, 2022 5:36 am

I judge that she understands there is a need to secure consent, and that will entail providing benefit to areas where fracking proceeds. Remember that in the UK mineral rights are vested in the Crown, so there is no right to negotiate a royalty as there in the US. I also suspect she has in mind something like local referenda to squash out the mostly out of region protestors.

Dave Fair
Reply to  It doesn't add up...
August 28, 2022 12:15 pm

Money to locals takes care of most opposition. Look where fracking is taking place in the U.S.: Mostly private land.

Reply to  sid
August 28, 2022 7:35 am

I think a lot of people in towns where there is high unemployment and massive energy bills would happily trade an earth tremor a week for a job.

Its not locals who oppose – its well organised Putin funded useful idiots bussed in to make a noise in front of the cameras.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  sid
August 28, 2022 10:53 am

and having just moved to near Wisbech (South West Norfolk), it seems that one Elizabeth Trusss is/will be my Member of Parliament 🙂

Plenty highly fertile silt soil around here but, No Shale.

Nearest is probably where I’m moving from, Barnby Moor just beyond Retford, maybe North Notts or South Yorkshire
Have driven past/through there while exploring and they were out on the roadside at the time. Placards and flags and ‘stuff’.
Most notable tho was a very strong line of police bollords to stop them jumping out in front of the traffic
First Impressions:“Ugly, vociferous and rabid

Climate believer
August 28, 2022 3:52 am

Let’s be honest, she’s a union leader, what else would she say?

August 28, 2022 4:08 am

People get hungry and cold enough and all this leftarded stupidity will be thrown out, and a lot of the “leaders” who have been pushing it will pay a heavy price for it.

Reply to  2hotel9
August 28, 2022 6:27 am

Oh yeah, that’s worked a trick in Germany and the Netherlands with the farmers. Lots of noise and smoke, but I’m not seeing the government bowing down to the people. When you control the police and army, other people have to do a little more than drive tractors around and block the little people from going to work to get your attention.

Reply to  Spetzer86
August 28, 2022 9:43 am

I sure hope that farmers are stockpiling assets – I’m not talking about just monetary assets either.

The farmers by my woods are forgoing planting their traditional cash crops or letting their fields go fallow because the profits don’t cover their expenses or they just don’t have the available cash to proceed with normal activities. I’m sure that farmers in lots of other areas are doing the same thing.

We are looking at not just higher prices but shortages of food.

Maybe we’ll have to start eating bugs.
I hear rats are edible too – tastes like chicken.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 28, 2022 3:51 pm

Rat tastes nothing like chicken, neither does snake, or cat or monkey. Ate’em all, be surprised what you eat when you are actually hungry.

Reply to  2hotel9
August 28, 2022 10:57 pm

“Tastes like chicken” is an expression that folks in my neck of the woods state when you are offering something out of the ordinary, like wild game, to unsuspecting fellows. It is not meant to be taken seriously.

I’ve eaten plenty of different wild game. After eating lion, alligator, moose, bear, bison, elk, antelope, turkey, dove, frog, and venison, I’ve come to the conclusion that strict vegetarian game tastes best.

I’ve never eaten rat, cat, dog, or monkey that I know of but a Chinese restaurant that I had frequented while on a job was closed down for following some recipes too closely. Strangely enough, there were no more strays in the neighborhood.😉

Reply to  Spetzer86
August 28, 2022 3:41 pm

Yea, crawl on your knees and beg for mercy. I will not defend you, coward.

Reply to  Spetzer86
August 29, 2022 7:52 am

Are the people in Netherlands starving and freezing? When they are this shit will change.

August 28, 2022 4:41 am

“Sharon Graham, head of Unite, on picket line with Felixstowe dock strikers, says people could rise up again as they did in the 1990s”

She means like they did in 1990. Society and people were rather different back then, not quite so hobbled by a bad education and ceaseless climate and environmental propaganda etc. In 1996 there was a riot in Trafalgar Square – after England lost against Germany in the semi-final of the Euro’s. But I doubt she means that kind of uprising

“I actually think there is a moment where people could rise to doing exactly the same thing again,” Graham told the Guardian.”

Her union voted for what they are getting, albeit from the Tories – exorbitant energy costs as part and parcel of the yellow brick road to net zero. And they voted for net zero by 2030. Yes, by 2030.

Composite 17…
“During the compositing process, the aim of the more ambitious motion stayed at 2030 but was changed from “zero” to “net zero”, in a bid to secure more support from trade unions.”


Unions should stick to wages and conditions

Richard Page
Reply to  fretslider
August 28, 2022 11:06 am

Yes the unions should stay out of playing politics. Which makes the timing of these strikes extremely interesting – pick a time when there is no effective PM and down tools, complain bitterly that Tory ministers are ‘interfering’ in the process whilst also complaining that the government isn’t doing enough to help workers. And of course Keir Starmer has clean hands as he stopped Labour MP’s from joining the picket lines, thus ‘proving’ it was completely non-political!

August 28, 2022 5:21 am

Color me skeptical. The masses went quietly along with the draconian COVID measures so I find it hard to believe in the possibility of mass anti-climate change revolts. And union leadership is easily bought off; they are just asking for the bribe required for them to repress any dissent from their membership.

Reply to  tgasloli
August 28, 2022 7:37 am

People believed those draconian measures were needed. They do not believe net zero is needed and they do not believe that windmills and solar panels have imroved their life experience. They may get very angry about that

Coach Springer
August 28, 2022 6:00 am

“…  there would be some form of widespread energy price crisis.
Unfortunately that crisis is now, …”

Just one? It’s coming in waves.

Old Man Winter
August 28, 2022 6:03 am

“I’m not saying I predicted Russia would invade Ukraine”

Your standard’s way too high & you’re being too hard on yourself. The fact
that you knew he was overly aggressive, nasty & unpredictable puts you far
ahead of 80% of the crowd as you realized he’d never be reliable, much less a friend/ally. Also, more than likely, you’d eventually have to stand up to his aggressive activity.

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Winter
Richard Page
Reply to  Old Man Winter
August 28, 2022 11:11 am

Some of us thought Putin was piling the pressure on to convince Ukraine to sign the Minsk agreements, we had little idea that Zelensky had completely bought into Biden’s narrative by that point and was convinced that US troops would be sent as soon as Russia stepped onto Ukraine soil.

Old Man Winter
August 28, 2022 6:16 am

“Anyone who thinks Washington politics is a snake pit has never experienced British politics”

At the public level, you’re more than likely right as we have a bigger group of
hardliners opposing the nonsense. For at least the past 7 years, our intel
community’s been heavy handed & is much, much closer to the KGB than
everyone else. Some good news is that Bill Maher, a classical liberal who’s
taking on the woke crowd, just stated that the MSM buried the Hunter
laptop story to get rid of Trump (Rob Reiner was a guest). With the FBI
having had it since Dec 2019, it’s been a long, hard slog to even get this far!

Last edited 1 month ago by Old Man Winter
Insufficiently Sensitive
August 28, 2022 7:05 am

widespread national anger over Margaret Thatcher’s controversial community charge, better known as the poll tax, 

How quickly these ‘journalists’ buried the fact that Margaret Thatcher largely got the PM seat by opposing monster labor strikes of the winter of 1979 which locked up streets and frustrated ordinary citizens who needed to go places.

CD in Wisconsin
August 28, 2022 8:11 am

Burning and protesting their electricity bills in Glasgow, Scotland a few days ago….

August 28, 2022 8:58 am

Dear old Liz will say anything to any audience, if she thinks it will go down well with them (see her comments on President Macron)

Fracking is not going to happen in the UK… certainly no announcement this side of an election…!

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
August 28, 2022 11:16 am

Griffy, those are words to live by. We should put them up on WUWT as ‘Griffy’s Prediction’ that “Fracking is not going to happen in the UK, certainly no announcement this side of an election….”
What’s the forfeit to be if you’re wrong?

Dave Fair
Reply to  griff
August 28, 2022 12:23 pm

Griff, what must happen will happen.

Climate believer
Reply to  griff
August 29, 2022 3:16 am

“Dear old Liz will say anything to any audience, if she thinks it will go down well with them (see her comments on President Macron)”

There are very few people here in France that would disagree with her, Macron has a laughable approval rating, he’s the most despised president ever, and rightly so.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Climate believer
September 4, 2022 4:21 am

Yet they keep electing him. You’d think they would give someone else the helm after years of his stupidity…

August 28, 2022 10:06 am

Thatcher attempted to replace property rates, UK property taxes based on the value of the property, with a flat tax levy on each adult.”

So this was an attempt to spread the misery to everyone – what we call Equity now. No wonder she got booted.

“British politicians have had over 800 years of continuous government, dating back to the Magna Carta in 1215, to perfect the art of political conspiracy and back stabbing, and they are very good at it.”

The government has, no doubt, continued to grow over those 800 years.
I have an axiom that posits that the larger an organization gets, the less efficient it gets. The axiom applies to any organization public or private. It also is subject to increasing levels of corruption including cronyism and nepotism.

The U.S. has had less than 250 years to become as inefficient and corrupt as the UK but the present administration is making great strides to catch up.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 28, 2022 11:30 pm

I have an axiom that posits that the larger an organization gets, the less efficient it gets.

Conquest’s Third?

Reply to  Lark
August 28, 2022 11:39 pm

You mean I’m not the first to have thought this? Say it isn’t so.😎

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