Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Damning Indictment

Following on from my previous posts about the poverty line existence of pensioners and the exploitation of the new lower middle class, a story today of a 76 year old man who was sentenced to 34 days in jail for not paying his Council Tax.

Richard Fitzmaurice, who spent 22 years in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, had declared in court: "I am here on a matter of principle. The way old age pensioners are being treated is shameful."

To make a bad situation worse, a pair of handcuffs was slapped around his wrists as soon as his 34-day sentence was passed at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court, Norfolk. As the handcuffs were put on him, the former warrant officer asked: "Is that really necessary? You don't need those for me."

But the court ruled "procedures had to be followed". A phrase that was probably very reminiscent for him, as it's remarkably similar to the line trotted out by the lower ranking Nazis after the war ended: "we were only following orders"

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