Hackney Against the Poll Tax Federation newsletter

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image 1991-114_1
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Hackney Against the Poll Tax Federation newsletter

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height (Whole): 296mm
width (whole): 210mm


The Hackney Against the Poll Tax Federation published this leaflet in 1990 in protest at the Community Charge tax, popularly known as the Poll Tax. The front cover features an unflattering photograph of Margaret Thatcher, a focus of anti-poll tax anger, and urges readers to sign up to the organised non-payment campaign. The legal rights of protesters refusing to pay the £499 Hackney charge are explained on the reverse.


HACKNEY AGAINST THE POLL TAX FEDERATION Newsletter 10p, May 1990. THATCHERS FLAGSHIP SINKING; POLL TAX CRUMBLES. The Labour Party leadership were vey keen to point out that last week's local government elections were an electoral test for Thatcher. Overall, the results were very encouraging for Labour - 300 net gains, securing 2,800 of the 5,000 seats on offer. There were three categories of local authority involved, each of them affected by different local factors, and each of them producing different results. The Tories suffered worst, with the Liberal Democrats doing little better. In Scotland, the regional council elections produced only a small swing to Labour of around 1% - but Labour support here is already overwhelming. In the English Districts, Labour gained 10 councils out of 152 - in spite of only a third of the seats in each of these councils being on offer. The swing to Labour was best in the South at 15%, with areas like Hastings and Portsmouth in the deep Tory south showing well. Best of all, Thatcher's favourite Bradford fell to Labour. But most enigmatic were the London results. An overall swing to Labour of only 1% was recorded, with Tories making big gains in Westminster, Wandsworth, Brent, Hammersmith, Ealing, Hillingdon and Harrow. But some facts are hidden here. Press desperation to keep Wandsworth and Wesminster Tory was aided by a fiddled Poll Tax in both boroughs, the government buying out voters with an effective cash handout of 117 a head. Overall in London, both Labour and Tories made gains in 11 of the 32 boroughs. Here in Hackney, Labour lost three seats to the Liberals in Soreditch, with the Labour vote generally down. There were some exceptions: Homerton, where the local party has actively supported non-payment through its newsletters, doubled its majority. Only five Labour candidates were committed to non-payment, and only three were elected: Andy Buttress (Leabridge); Tom Silverlock (Chatham); and Paul Foley (Northwold). Nationwide, the picture is favourable to labour, whatever the papers might say. Labour was building on a very high base from 1986. It's difficult to say what effect the Poll Tax had locally on election results, since no council anywhere was committed to even non-prosecution of non-payers, let alone non-collection. Neither high Poll Tax bills not capping seem to have deterred Labour voters; nor have low Poll Tax bills necessarily helped the Tories. [image caption: Mass non-payment of the poll tax "Tories on the run".

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