Who should pay?

A protester throws a brick at the window of the treasury building, the wall of which has been daubed with the slogan, 'make the rich pay'A BBC New report on the London tuition fees demonstrations included this image. I was particularly struck by the slogan that a protestor had apparently daubed on the side of the building; ‘Make the rich pay’.

The implication of this is that the writer clearly did not consider themselves to be among ‘the rich’ and yet, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post it seems that almost anyone in the so-called ‘developed’ world is, on a global scale, definitely among the rich themselves…

For the record, I don’t agree with politicians breaking promises they made in order to be elected but I don’t think we should hold them to higher standards than we are willing to be held to ourselves. I don’t know whether their promises were deliberately deceitful or simply ill-informed but the lesson for all of us seems clear, don’t make rash promises. As for the issue itself, I don’t claim to know the right or wrong of it – I certainly deplore the violence and vandalism of the protesters – but having made promises to the voters (however ill-advised they may now believe those promises to have been) it seems to me that the MPs who signed the pledge to oppose raising tuition fees should have done just that.