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Posted on 19 December 2013 at 14:12 GMT

Modern-day Scrooges in a Tory London council

It seems that Charles Dickens' fictional heartless boss, Ebenezer Scrooge, has been surpassed by the ruling Tory group on Hammersmith and Fulham council. These neo-Scrooges, having bludgeoned the borough's poor and vulnerable residents with the iniquitous bedroom tax and cuts in council tax benefit, have sent 17,000 households 'Christmas cards' telling them: "Don't overindulge this Christmas. Pay your rent!"

Apart from insulting those tenants not in rent arrears, the inference that tenants - many of whom are cutting back on heating and food because of Tory policies - are instead spending their dwindling incomes on revelling, underscores how Victorian and odious Cameron's 'modern' Tories really are.

Indeed, the architect of the hated bedroom tax, Iain Duncan Smith, walked out of the Commons' chamber as MPs discussed the escalating use of food banks by an increasingly pauperised population.

The Tories' hatred towards the working class also coincided with a statement by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee which says that, despite the government's pledge to crackdown on big business tax avoidance, HMRC actually collected less tax in real terms last year than in 2011-2012.

In Dickens' tale the visit of ghostly apparitions leads Scrooge to become generous and compassionate. Today's establishment figures embody not the Christmas spirit but the veneration of big business at the expense of the poor.

Dave Carr

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