3rd July 2011: The Death of Public Services

This weekend, Edinburgh Uncut decided to make the most of the fantastic weather by taking the opportunity to do a bit of outdoor protesting in Princes Street.

You might have already worked this out from the subtle clue on our Facebook page, but our special visitor was Death. Sponsored by the coalition government, the Grim Reaper himself had come to help usher our public services into the next world.

Our first stop was BHS, where Death – who bravely stuck it out all afternoon in a heavy, black cloak – and a group of Uncutters who each represented a different public service facing cuts, lined up in front of the shop. Death then stalked along the line, killing off vital public services, accompanied by a megaphone narration, and attracting a broadly supportive audience of shoppers. Most people seemed receptive to our message and our tactics; there were even some children who wanted to have their picture taken with Death.

After visiting Topshop and Vodafone, all that playing dead on a baking hot pavement was starting to take its toll (what can I say – we’re all a bunch of work-shy soapdodgers who are unused to that level of exertion), so we decided to strike out into new territory and take our protest into the air-conditioned surroundings of the St James Centre. It was the first time we had ventured out into this particular shopping centre, and I think we were all quite impressed by the facilities: it was a far more comfortable temperature than the street outside, and had very clean floors, which are always appreciated when you’re staging a die-in. Unfortunately, the security guards didn’t seem so impressed and tried to make us stop when we had barely started, but luckily there was a member of the public who was willing to stick up for us. Apparently we have to write in advance to ask for permission if we want to highlight tax dodging in a shopping centre, so we queued up at the customer service desk to get all of the appropriate information before we left.

Lothian and Borders Police were conspicuous by their absence; we only saw two of them all day, and apart from a quick visit at Topshop and Vodafone, and then again at the St James Centre, they seemed happy to leave us to our own devices. Perhaps after all of the fuss with arrests recently, they’ve remembered that we’re not a threat to the general public.

Refreshed by our brief trip indoors, we headed off to the final stop on our tax-dodger tour: Boots. The die-in was performed again, we handed out the last of our publicity materials, and then gracefully retreated to the pub before dehydration set in.

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15 Responses to 3rd July 2011: The Death of Public Services

  1. DC#6510 says:

    \’We will not pay for their crisis\’

    This sounds about right, as, presumably, you are all unemployed/students and therefore not paying tax. Ironically, this in turn makes you the very thing you\’re rallying against; fancy that!

    Sadly, I suspect this irony is lost on you all, as you no doubt believe that others, i.e. those you protest against should subsidise your current existence, whilst you happily suckle from the teat of the state and give nothing in return.

    It\’s astonishing to demand that others pay for the recession, whilst demanding that your own should be exculpated of liability for doing so. What a selfish attitude, and one befitting of a typical taxdodger. Hypocrisy!

    • K says:

      “you are all unemployed/students” – Well, heard that before … not very original (and not true either).

      • ii02853o says:

        So how do your employers feel about the fact that you are disrupting other peoples jobs and generally being a public nuisance? It is telling that the police never bothered to turn up this time; it’s pretty clear to all that your pathetic attempt at a protest is not even worth anyone’s concern. Do you realise no one is even paying attention to the lies and propaganda that you are attempting to spread?

    • Mac says:

      I am both a student and have a job (which I pay tax on) but even to take your original premise that we are all subsiding off the state and returning nothing, perhaps for three or four years but then we will become doctors, teachers, engineers and other jobs where we will pay taxes and contribute back to the state which has provided for us. The system works but only when we all contribute our fair share, that’s all we’re asking of these people.

  2. K says:

    ii02853o, a lot of passers-by were supportive and we even got a round of applause after the die-in outside Vodafone – that’s not exactly being a “public nuisance”.

    I also find it quite funny that you’re saying no one is paying attention to what we’re saying, yet you obviously care enough to comment on this blog …

    • ii02853o says:

      I saw you outside vodafone… And no one applauded… You were universally ignored… Why lie?!

      • K says:

        I’m not lying and if you were really outside Vodafone, then you would know this. And if I wanted to portray a distorted view of what happened, then I would just delete your comments instead of replying to them.

        Anyhow, I should probably not feed the trolls …

  3. A3001 says:

    Yeah, god damn those arrogant jerks taking the time out of their day to come and protest against corporate tax avoidance. That makes me so mad. So god damn mad. In fact, one could say I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more. I’m going to march right over to these people’s blog and show them just how upset I am. Yeah, I’m going to troll their comment section, that will really show them.

  4. A3001 says:

    Hey Edinburgh uncut, you’re a bag of dicks.

  5. A3001 says:

    Also, because you don’t pay tax you have no right to say other people should. My logic is flawless.

  6. A3001 says:

    Your mother was a hamster and your father etc etc

    I hope you have all learnt your lesson. Don’t make me come back here.

  7. M says:

    “This sounds about right, as, presumably, you are all unemployed/students and therefore not paying tax. Ironically, this in turn makes you the very thing you\’re rallying against; fancy that!”

    Ignorant and prejudicial, that’s nice.

    1) It was a Sunday. Why would you presume we’re all unemployed or students? In fact several of us are in full time employment.

    2) The only tax that students don’t pay is council tax (even then it’s only if everyone in your home is a student, and it doesn’t even include all students). This is because most students would still be living at home if they hadn’t gone to uni, and because they typically have an income of less than £7,000 a year. I had a job all the way through my degree and I paid income tax.

    3) We’re protesting against companies not paying tax on their profits. Not against the unemployed or students.

    “So how do your employers feel about the fact that you are disrupting other peoples jobs and generally being a public nuisance? It is telling that the police never bothered to turn up this time; it’s pretty clear to all that your pathetic attempt at a protest is not even worth anyone’s concern.”

    We’re being a public nuisance, and yet it’s not worth anyone’s concern…

    My employer has no problem with it. Like I say, it was Sunday.

    • A3001 says:

      You and your logic don’t impress me. Lol, haven’t you ever heard of the Adam Smith’s invisible hand? Just don’t know what you’re talking about.

  8. Caleb says:

    I’m performing a little something of the identical interest and are having be aware on this .Cheers.

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