Well, I missed the CAMRA lobby at Westminster!
However, after a rather nasty, but thankfully short-lived, illness I can now report on the event attended by my intrepid partner Amanda.
The event was extremely well organised by CAMRA and as this was their first event of this nature it was all the more impressive. The view of the Parliament buildings was stunning as the sun shone over the Thames to hopefully enlighten the Members of Parliament that were about to be gently persuaded by the 1000+ CAMRA members descending on their workplace.
Everyone congregated at the Emmanuel Centre, just down the road from Parliament, and each CAMRA region had been given a time of arrival to enable an orderly procession to Parliament. Our region were ‘first up’ so there were few delays and soon Amanda was through security and meeting with Rt Hon John Redwood MP along with one other Wokingham constituent. The meeting was fairly brief and businesslike and will undoubtedly have added to the weight of opinion being expressed that day to over 300 MPs.
As no photography was allowed in the lobby I have no pictures to share however I can tell you that the event was extremely well attended, not only at Parliament but also ‘virtually’ through CAMRA’s Virtual Lobby.
So, what next?
Judging by our MP’s view of the situation my best approach will now be to furnish John Redwood with as much ammunition as I can to fire at the Treasury to show them the folly of pursuing this mad tax. The government can be in no doubt as to the strength of feeling about this issue, but I think we need to keep up the pressure until the next budget.
So far, in my research of this thorny issue, I have gone back as far as the Maasricht Treaty where there was an Article insisting on harmonisation of the member state’s legislation concerning turnover taxes, excise duties and other forms of indirect taxation. Hmm, not the most exciting reading, but it will help give me some pretty strong arguments!