There is a plain red flag outside my house. I can see it from here.
“It is morally wrong, unjust and unfair to tax a person’s home.” Those are the exact words the leader of our country said before he got elected. After he got elected, he taxed every single home.
I remember back in early 2012 the news broke that the new government were to start taxing every residence in the country. So what services could we expect in return? Nothing! It was pay up or else! They didn’t care how tough the people were getting it.
Of course each day, as I drove along the highways and byways, the radio chat shows would be kept busy with callers discussing the most unfair tax since the middle ages. The people didn’t mind paying for a service like getting clean water or having bins collected but they were expected to pay and keep paying for a home which they had already paid plenty tax on at the initial purchase.
I can still hear those callers in mind’s ear; What are we going to do? The poor poor people of Ireland and The poverty and The drudgery and The best of times and the worst of times and Oliver Twist and Orphan Annie and The Famine and Wouldn’t our forefathers be spinning in their graves and..
I was spinning in my head listening to it. Some people had organised a few protest marches so I went along to put my shoulder to the wheel. Personally I didn’t have the money for any more taxes, between putting kids through college and paying a mortgage etc.
I was disgusted with the turnout at those marches. It turned out that the modern Irish person is all talk. This was no Tahrir Square. This was pathetic.
An Idea came to me that if Muhamad can’t make it to the mountain…you know the rest.
I suggested that those who have a problem with the home tax should dig into the wardrobe to find an old red tee-shirt or similar. Make for themselves a red flag and errect it outside. Marches are fine but a flag protests 24/7 leaving you free to live your life. Simple!
I got speaking on local and national radio stations about it. I had a Facebook page dedicated to it which was very popular. My wife and children bought red material and made lots of flags which were handed out free of charge, to get the ball rolling.
Everybody I spoke to thought the idea was so simple yet so effective. The local government politicians would be red faced everywhere they went. The anger of the people would be flapping in their face everyday.
It didn’t catch on. Why? I discovered there is an attitude, at least among the modern Irish, of “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Tomorrow came and by then it was too late. A community divided was no match for the might of the government who later came on telly with statements like “The people of Ireland are happy to pay their share. There was no resistance to this home tax.”
And as you can guess, the poor poor people are still on the radio with their violins and tales of woe. Because this year the tax is being increased, and in addition it has been announced that they are considering taxing Grandparents for minding their Grandchildren. I kid you not.
I don’t know if I would call myself Stubborn but some of us still keep the flag flying as a reminder to others how easy it could have been.
For the foreseeable future the tail will wag the dog in this country, because the dog is all bark with no teeth.
Thank you for reading