Why I signed the road tax petition

Some people just don’t get it about the “road charging” situation.

I signed the petition, along with well over a million others. No doubt, the government will simply brush it off, as they brushed off the mass protest against the war in Iraq.

Does it mean that I want them to just build more roads? Does it mean that I don’t believe that congestion needs cutting for the sake of both the health of the country, and the towns in particular, and the environment? Does it mean I don’t think global warming is taking place?

No, it doesn’t. What it means is that I don’t believe in establishing a police state, where a government agency can track every vehicle, quite possibly knowing who is driving it, 24 hours a day, in order to do it. It is only the latest in a long line of schemes proposed since 9/11 which make it easier for the state to keep watch on us all. The only difference with this one is that it’s dressed up as an environmental measure, when in fact only better public transport, accompanied by the removal of commuter parking in places like central London, will get people out of their cars.

And by the way, we already have a charging system in operation - it’s called fuel tax. People who use gas-guzzlers like four-by-fours, which emit more carbon dioxide, pay more. People who drive in ways which waste fuel pay more. People who use hybrid electric/fuel cars pay vastly less for their fuel, and thus less tax. None of this requires a big government surveillance infrastructure. I don’t mind replacing it if it’s not doing its job; what I mind is someone looking over my shoulder every time I drive a car!

Why is this so difficult for some people to understand?

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