Civil disobedience led by Dr Gail Bradbrook Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

19 April 2016

I have signed this letter and will continue to refuse to pay my council tax, and with my appeal to the Appeal Court, on the grounds that it has been irrational since April 2013 for councils to tax the incomes provided by central government for survival and shelter, in a housing market creating ever more unaffordable rents,  and then enforce the tax by adding the councils' costs to the inevitable arrears of their poorest residents. 

Solidarity - Paul Nicolson

o   Link to the video to post on social media, e.g. I'm joining the Golden Rule Tax Disobedience #taxdisobey because I want real democracy in the UK - join me! -

o   Pledge address - it's essential for as many folk as possible to pledge on the CR website, because we now have to get to 5,000 people! - this is where to pledge:


The latest tax scandal is bringing the erosion of our democracy into ever sharper focus. Britain suffers under an enormous democratic deficit due to state capture by “free”-market neoliberal fundamentalism and its associated corporate and financial interests, in aggressive ascendancy since the 1970s. Notwithstanding the 2008 financial crisis, this capture of the state has remained unaddressed, with successive governments shamefully complicit in it. Despite copious corroborative research and endless petitioning and protesting, all we’ve seen is disingenuous hand-wringing and political evasion.

Our collusion with this apology for a “democracy” must stop. We, the citizenry, are therefore taking matters into our own hands – with a “Golden Rule Tax Disobedience” whose intention is grassroots mobilisation against systemic injustice, favouring far greater equality, shared and stable prosperity, enhanced quality of life and, most importantly, an environmentally sustainable future.

The evidential rationale for this action is overwhelming. Not least, £93bn of “corporate welfare” is given as handouts annually to businesses operating in our allegedly “free” market; and the government spends £26bn subsidising harmful fossil fuels, yet a mere £3.5bn subsidising renewables. “Free”-market fundamentalism has been an astonishing failure for the vast majority.

Our Golden Rule Tax Disobedience initiative asks citizens to withhold a small amount of tax (through VAT or their tax return – everyone can join in), and then donate it to conducive campaigning groups. This principled modelling of a redistributive ethos intends to shame our politicians into taking effective action.

Principled tax activism has a long and distinguished history in circumstances where the state has shown itself incapable of defending the public interest. With no serious attempt by government to correct Britain’s massive democratic deficit, our initiative is an idea whose time has come. We ask you to join with us in taking back power in order to create a fairer and more sustainable society.

Dr Gail Bradbrook Director, Compassionate Revolution
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett Co-authors of The Spirit Level
George Barda Social justice and Occupy campaigner, Compassionate Revolution
Leon Rosselson Writer/musician
David Drew Former Labour MP for Stroud
Polly Higgins Lawyer advocating for Ecocide Law
Joel Benjamin Debt Resistance UK and People vs PFI
Professor Andrew Samuels Analytical psychology, University of Essex
Professor Karín Lesnik-Oberstein Critical theorist
Rev Paul Nicolson Taxpayers Against Poverty
Dr Richard House Chartered psychologist, education campaigner, Stroud
Liam Barrington-Bush Co-founder, More Like People
Max Graef Broadcast engineer, company director
Andrea Halewood Chartered psychologist
Ben Jarlett Digital media consultant
Martin Large Publisher and author
Jojo Mehta Environmental campaigner
Beatrice Millar Steering group, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR)
Gabriel Millar Teacher, Stroud
Alice Murray Political activist and campaigner, Stroud
Aliyah Norrish Digital content associate
Mark Nurse NHS paramedic, Stroud
Councillor Brian Oosthuysen Gloucestershire
Maja Passchier Cellist and cello teacher
Hazel Raee Mobile digital champion, Isle of Skye
Skeena Rathor Movement therapist and teacher
Dr Ilana Mira Sluckin Paediatric doctor
Richard Wilson Director, OSCA
Matt Wimpress Company director

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