Just who are the Taxpayers’ Alliance? Many people might assume from the name they are an authoritative body aiming to make public spending more efficient.
They do aim to make taxpayers’ money more efficient, but they also have strong links to the Conservatives and have campaigned to stop “Palestinian Hate Education”. Most importantly, however, they are pro-small government – they support a smaller state from a completely ideological position. With all of this, that in their name they claim to represent them is ridiculous. Of course, this is no problem for the right-wing tabloids. The Guardian article linked above from October 2009 above showed “In the last year the Daily Mail quoted the TPA in 517 articles. The Sun obliged 307 times, once bizarrely on page 3 when a topless Keeley parroted the TPA’s line against energy taxes.” This is an example from today in the Express, with the group seemingly taking on the role of representing public opinion.
Britain’s version of the Tea Party isn’t, however, as successful as their American counterparts: just 350 people attended the TPA supported a rally in favour of government cuts in May 2011. This was in response to March’s TUC protest, which attracted half a million people. The two groups do share a lack of basic political competence: just as Palin, Perry and Cain among others have lined up to say stupid things in the past few years, Emma Boon from the TPA showed that she didn’t do her research on Question Time on Thursday (from about 21:15 minutes in – but before his put-down an amazing defence of foreign aid spending from about 18:30 by Alan Duncan).