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We beat the Poll Tax


There is one victory of the Militant Tendency, (the forerunner of the Socialist Party) which stands above all others: the defeat of the hated Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's poll tax.

The poll tax, or "community charge" was a very unfair tax brought in by the Conservative government under the leadership of Mrs Thatcher. It penalised working class people far more than the rich.

Militant led the battle against this iniquitous tax, and was victorious. Thatcher said:

"... the eventual abandonment of the [Poll Tax] charge represented one of the greatest victories for these people ever conceded by a Conservative Government."

Thatcher was forced to resign when she refused to abandon the tax, after between 17 and 18 million people refused to pay. It was the Militant Tendency that crushed Thatcher.

Thatcher was christened the "Iron lady", and together with Ronald Reagan in the United States, she began the anti-working class, anti-union "Neo-liberal" crusade which labour leader Tony Blair has enthusiastically continued.

Peter Taaffe describes the poll tax battle in his book The Rise of the Militant (opens in new window). We have copied some chapters from this book to this 'We Beat the Poll Tax' section of the Socialist Party website, together with other material, including one of the five pamphlets produced by the Militant at the time.

In the first chapter of the "Rise of the Militant" copied here, we read

In the afterglow of her re-election in 1987, Thatcher confidently declared that the poll tax was to be the ‘flagship’ of her government

Militant sank that flagship. The full story is detailed in this section.

We have also included the 'We beat the poll tax' pamphlet published by the Militant in 1991, scanned in for the website by Huddersfield branch of the Socialist Party in 2007.



Some Reference Notes for the Militant chapters can be found here (opens in a new window)


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