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The Peace Tax Seven

Who are the PEACE TAX SEVEN?
Clicking a name will display a relevant link

Brenda Boughton
(Retired Teacher, Oxfordshire)

"I'm a pacifist, but I didn't start life as one, but as you learn more abut the world you realise it's the way to go, we have to learn to get on with other people. So I've dug my toes in over this. When I was younger, the MoD used to be known as the War Office, and it's a much more truthful description. George Orwell talked about Newspeak, changing the names of things we are uncomfortable with. This is not about defence, it's about invading or struggles with other countries. How can we talk about 'loving thy neighbour' one minute while plotting to kill him the next? We have to learn that wars are not heroic, they are something to be ashamed of, a sign of weakness and failure."

Robin Brookes (toy designer and company director, Wiltshire)

"I am appalled by the huge amount of money spent on the military, which is ultimately only going to create misery, death and destruction. At best it is simply wasted. A non-violent conflict resolution programme is urgently needed. If a fraction of the money spent on military preparations was spent looking for the alternatives; training people as peace negotiators; solving the problems which lead to conflict and resolving conflicts before they escalate into violence we would go far along the road to abolishing war. I think this is a realistic goal - to make war a thing of the past. It only needs for us to break from the habitual mind set that war is inevitable and unavoidable to believe this is so. People are not natural killers, soldiers have to be trained to make them capable of killing. The norm is that people want to be at peace. Having the right to conscientiously object to taxes being spent on war preparation and instead directed to non-violent conflict resolution would enable citizens to influence the way our country approaches conflict in the world."
Links: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/cash/story/0,6903,1148220,00.html

Sian Cwper
(Buddhist, North Wales)

"The purpose of my Buddhist practice is to benefit all sentient beings. Killing and wounding people is the opposite, and I do not wish to pay for it. I want my taxes to go towards something beneficial."
"Pwrpas fyn arferiad i o Fwdiaeth ydi gwneud lles i bob bod byw.Y mae lladd a chlwyfo pobl yn hollol groes i hynny,ac nid wyf am dalu amdano.'Dw i eisiau i 'nhrethi fynd at rhywbeth buddiol."

Simon Heywood
(University lecturer, Sheffield)

"War tax is both a general and a personal issue. At the general level, in the long run, military preparations and operations have never made the world a safer or fairer place. Threats and violence have usually provoked answering threats and violence, or led to total devastation. If, as a species, we have the brains and initiative to set up military systems for use in reaction to political crises, then, as a species, we certainly have the brains and initiative to set up cultural and political systems to manage the crises in peaceful ways, or prevent them arising altogether. Building a culture of peace is therefore a question of imagination and political will. It is a difficult, complicated and uncertain process, but then again, so is war, and we manage that often enough. Tax arrangements are one part of the political and civic culture which must be developed in peaceful directions consistently at the general level. At the personal level, war tax is a more serious issue than any peacetime tax expenditure. I am not trying to claim the right to pick and choose issues right across the board regarding the use of my tax. But if any UK government tries to spend a penny of my tax undermining international law, then as a citizen of the world I have the legal right to forbid this use of my money. And if any UK government tries to spend a penny of my tax destroying innocent lives, then as a human being I have the moral duty to exercise that right."

Joe Jenkins
(Author and film maker, Hereford)
"This government, like all governments, knows full well that even where the British give general consent to the process of taxation it is always and everywhere a grudging and tentative consent, a resentful and querulous consent, a fragile consent that must always be nursed and safeguarded by positive public relations. But today there exists among taxpayers a reservoir of grievance and hurt that a British government has committed our armed forces into a misguided, mismanaged and illegal war. Increasingly it seems that there exists too, a potential of sympathy for war tax resisters, and, what is more, a vast subliminal potential for war tax refusal that only needs to be aroused by news of widespread tax resistance."
Links: http://books.kelkoo.co.uk/b/a/cpc_5101_vtl_author_c18859473.html

Roy Prockter
(Chartered Management Accountant)

"For all of my adult life I have held a strong conviction that all war, and all preparation for war, is wrong and contrary to the spirit of God, as experienced by many people of many different faiths and cultures, but most pertinently, as I have experienced it personally. I can no longer pay taxes for others to kill or prepare to kill in my name."

Dr. Birgit Völlm
(Psychiatrist and university lecturer, Manchester)

"I am a doctor. I chose this profession to help people and to alleviate suffering. Contributing to war directly or indirectly by paying taxes which are used for weapons that kill people is not compatible with my professional values. We could have built many new hospitals and employed much needed additional staff for the cost of the attack on Iraq. Every doctor should think twice before giving their money to this government."

What have their consciences led the PEACE TAX SEVEN to do?