Why tax is key to the case for Brexit.

As the inevitable mud slinging and bullshit battle gathers pace ahead of the European referendum on June 23rd, there is one issue I have found increasingly irritating.

My growing annoyance was given further momentum in the wake of the budget and the subsequent, and wholly justified, furore about the Tories plans to mess about with the Personal Independence Payment.

It is, quite simply, the issue of taxation. Not the fact that numerous corporations are somehow allowed to avoid paying it nor the fact that we as individuals have no choice but to pay it, but the way that we, as the public, perceive it. For the reality is that when it comes to the subject of tax, the majority of us are idiots because we fail to grasp, and keep a very firm grip on, one simple fact.

When the press and the government talk about taxpayers, they are talking about us. You and me. Therefore when they talk about taxpayers money, what they are actually talking about is YOUR money, OUR money, MY money.

So the next time you read about the £20,000.000,000 we hand to the EU every year, take a second to think about how much of that is actually yours. Picked from your pocket via income tax, VAT or any of the myriad ways the government have developed to remove your hard earned from your pocket. Then think about where that money could, and should, be better spent.

If you are anything like me, the list will be long and it will be local because I don’t want my taxes propping up the Greek economy or wasted on bizarre projects like ‘Donkeypedia’ (Google it!) I want them spent where they will make a difference to me and the people I care about. That’s why I will be voting to leave on June 23rd. Well, that and security, sovereignty, etc, etc.

However, if you are still in any doubt as to where your own vote might go, if there is a more graphic illustration of the need to leave than the current situation regarding the 5% VAT paid on sanitary products, I can’t think what it is.

The fact that our government has only been allowed to even talk about scrapping this ridiculous tax after a long and protracted spell of grovelling at the feet of the European Parliament is a shame on this once proud nation.

Do I really need to say any more?

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

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Chants about Hillsborough? What’s the big deal?

supporters, liverpool,manchester United,hillsborough,fans,footballMuch is being made today of the fact that during a game at Anfield last night, Manchester United fans were singing a song about the Hillsborough disaster. Or to be specific, they were singing ‘The Sun were right, you’re murderers’, amongst other things.

This is obviously unpalatable and on the face of it, unacceptable. Indeed, were you to walk along the average Liverpool street belting it out, you could reasonably expect either a kicking, a nicking or both. And quite right too.

However, we are not talking about a street, we are talking about a football stadium. And inside a football stadium, especially one holding two sets of supporters with a long standing and very bitter rivalry, the gloves are pretty much off. Which in my opinion, is exactly as it should be because to me, grounds are at the very best when they akin to fully functioning bear pits.

That might not sit comfortably with the over sensitive watchers of Sky Sports or the journalists sitting in their free seats moralising about fan behaviour, but speaking as someone who has been to hundreds of games over the years, it’s safe to say that the majority of the most memorable were played out in atmosphere’s which would have had Nero reaching for a cold flannel. I’m not just talking about the kind of rivalry that has always been a part and parcel of the game, I’m talking about outright hatred. That, in essence, is what my book Derby Days was about.

Of course, those days (or at least the worst of them) are long gone and in this politically correct football world where happy clappers and half and half scarves have become the norm at games rather than the exception, there is obviously a line to be drawn. The problem is, thus far, aside from the issue of racism, no one has ever been able to decide where it sits. Why for example, is Hillsborough a chant too far when songs about Munich -which ironically were allegedly being sung by Liverpool fans last night- aren’t? 

And what about Heysel (more irony), Bradford, Istanbul, Yids, Jimmy Saville, Adam Johnson, Mathew Harding or any one of a hundred subjects which are routinely sung about inside grounds? Would they be illegal in this new sanitised and banter free environment? Even if you were able to work out what’s permissible, how would you let the fans know? Song sheets perhaps, or big screen subtitles? Would swearing be included? Or gesturing?

More importantly, how would you police it? And what would be the punishment for transgressions? Bans? Fine’s?

The sheer number and nature of the questions is proof enough that the very idea of any kind of ‘banter boundary’ is laughable and any attempt to enforce one would be doomed to failure and ridicule from day one.

Singing, chanting, shouting, screaming, moaning and even abusing are fundamental elements of the match day experience and the simple reality is that there is only one thing that will ever define what is and isn’t acceptable inside football grounds and that is peer pressure. Therefore if the clubs are genuinely serious about dealing with foul and abusive chanting then the only way to do it is to empower their own supporters and encourage them to get their own houses in order.

Because until they do that, none of them, not even Liverpool FC, have the right to bleat about anyone else’s.

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

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Peace in our EU time? Dream on.

brexit, leaveEU, British.britainOne of the more ludicrous and offensive claims being made by the ‘Safer In’ lobby is that the existence of the European Union has resulted in peace across the region since the end of hostilities in 1945.

Now there will of course, be those who swallow this claim but anyone with a brain in their head (or access to Google) will know instantly that the very idea is laughable. More importantly, this blatant lie is incredibly disrespectful to the British servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in such shitholes as Bosnia and Kosovo following the decimation of the Balkan region which exploded into civil war in 1992.

Equally, the last time I looked, Northern Ireland is part of the UK and therefore the EU, yet I don’t recall ever seeing a soldier from any of our European allies on the streets of Belfast. I do however, recall the 1441 British soldiers who gave their lives trying to keep the peace there. Do they not count?

And whilst the Falklands might not actually be part of Europe in the strictest sense, is that really an excuse for both France and Belgium to supply arms and equipment to Argentina when we were at war with them? With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Even when one looks toward the East and the cold war which threatened nuclear armageddon on a seemingly daily basis, speaking as an ex-servicemen who spent much of their 18 years in uniform keeping the Soviet military might at bay, I can say with some authority that it wasn’t the EU that kept the peace, it was the fact that we were a part of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). And  irrespective of what happens in the referendum, we will remain a member of NATO so there will be absolutely no impact on the future of the region. At least in a military sense.

Yes, there are very real concerns about security across the region but just as pressing, if not more so, are the ones we face on our own little island. In my opinion the best, if not the only way to deal with them is to secure our borders and gain greater control of who enters our country and deal with those who have already smuggled themselves in.

We simply cannot do that whilst we remain a member of the EU which is why I’ll be voting to leave on June 23rd.

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

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