Boston Tea Party comes to …. Boston!

Boston Tea Party

On Sunday July 12th, Rupert Matthews and I, with a group of dedicated activists, conducted a symbolic re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party — appropriately enough, in Boston, Lincs!  Furnished with a monster tea-cup, Rupert poured leaf tea from the Town Bridge into the River Witham (I’m not sure whether this amounts river pollution, or simply littering, but I believe that tea-leaves are bio-degradable!).
 
The original Boston Tea Party took place in Boston Massachusetts, of course, not on Boston Lincolnshire, but it seemed a good plan to bring it home.  On December 16th 1773, American colonists boarded a ship in Boston harbour and poured its cargo of taxed tea into the water.  This seminal event is often regarded as a trigger of the American Revolution.
 
Our interest in the symbolical re-enactment was not, of course, to give comfort to protesters against the Crown (indeed I still hope that the rebellious colonists may yet have second thoughts and return to a true and proper allegiance), but to celebrate and re-create a protest against excessive taxation.
 
The Tea Party movement in the USA has come to prominence in the last year or so, and is exercising considerable influence over Republican politics.  They believe that government does too much, and raises too much tax to support it.  The Tea Party Movement (TEA = “Taxed Enough Already”) is about smaller government and lower taxes.  It’s a reaction against the tendency of many governments to assume more and more responsibilities, and to spend more and more money.
 
In the US, Republicans love to talk about “Jeffersonian Principles”, which include low taxes and limited government.  In the UK, we are all too familiar with Labour governments which sooner of later run out of money.  As Margaret Thatcher put it, “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”, which is exactly what Gordon Brown has just done.
 
Ours was a cross-party event, with Derek Clark of UKIP and Robin Tilbrook of the English Democrats.  We have our differences, but we all agree that governments do too much and spend too much.  I at least was able to point to the coalition’s determination to pass more power to local people on schools, on policing, on the NHS.  I am delighted that we are working to raise tax thresholds and take lower earners out of tax (though I was less kind about our failure to repeal Labour’s counter-productive 50% income tax rate).
 
Just now, our commitment to spending cuts is driven by the pressures of the financial and fiscal crisis.  We must be sure to maintain the momentum if and when the immediate crisis has passed.  Low taxes are a political, economic and moral good.  We should leave more money to “fructify in the pockets of the people”, as Gladstone famously remarked.

Derek Clark MEP, UKIP; Robin Tilbrook, Chairman, English Democrats; Rupert Matthews, former Tory euro-candidate; RFH

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1 Response to Boston Tea Party comes to …. Boston!

  1. Boston says:

    I hope you guys had a great time re-enacting the Boston Tea Party.

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