Online Archive  
Issue 11 - March 1973
Straight From The Parrots Mouth....

In 1966, 11½ thousand cases of tax evasion were completed. A further 9,300 cases were deferred due to pressure of work on the officials concerned. In 1969, 9,000 cases were completed and 31,000 deferred.

Out of 115 thousand tax evaders over the decade 1959-1968, 176 were prosecuted.

The Inland Revenue Staffs Federation have repeatedly asked for more manpower to tackle this problem.

Instead, the numbers of supplementary benefit special investigators were greatly increased, and Sir Keith Joseph instigated the Fisher Report on abuse of social security benefits.

In 1971 there were over nine thousand KNOWN cases of tax defraud (how many got away?) which cost the Exchequer nearly £12 million. In 1971 5,753 claimants were PROSECUTED for abusing their benefits; the sum involved was less than £300,000.

Social security benefit is £6.55 plus rent for a single adult or £10.65 plus rent for a married couple, minus as many deductions as possible. (Meagre increases will be imposed next October.) Fiddling taxes is no more than a rich man's hobby, while fiddling the SS is all but a necessity for the poor man.


On Wednesday 28 Feb a small group of public-spirited individuals gathered outside Durham prison and waved at it in a friendly fashion. Imagine their surprise when, within seconds, a screw appeared in a window, camera in hand, and started clicking away feverishly. Nobody knows why, since not even the most devious mind could suss out any sort of offence from that and they'll hardly want them for their snapshot album, pretty as they are, or maybe they've got a special album for prominent Durham characters (paranoid thinks).

Whenever we rang up the prison to ask the governor, Mr Steinhausen (honest to God, that's his name - jawohl Wilhelm), what he thought about this sudden interest in amateur photography, he was - we were told - not available.


Ever bought a stale packet of crisps? Thanks to a Muther Grumble special investigation you can now find out how old they really are. On the back of all Tudor crisps you will find a number - e.g. 11 AJ 32. The first two figures tell you the week of the year they were manufactured - thus 11 means the week beginning 12 March. The next letter tells you the day of the week - A being Monday, B Tuesday and so on. If your crisps are over a month old, refuse to accept them - they should have been sent back to the factory.


They 'topped off' (as we say in the trade) the new extension in Trevelyan College the other day. There were TV cameras, and the principal at the top of a wobbly-looking ladder, and the senior woman sipping a pint of beer with evident distaste and a frozen smile on her face. No problem where they got the bricks from though, they seemed to be falling off the main structure with embarrassing frequency.


Your own GP may refuse an abortion on any grounds or refer you to a consultant who again may refuse to abort just because he is a doctrinaire Roman Catholic.

You can then go privately to another doctor who can then arrange the operation on the health service - or you can contact the British Pregnancy Advisory Service at 8 The Headrow, Leeds SE1, tel Leeds 443861, a non profit making organisation.

The going rate is £50 if you are within 12 weeks gone with the operation done in Sheffield, £65 if between 12 and 16 weeks gone with the operation done at Birmingham or Liverpool, £85 if more than 16 weeks gone with the operation done at London or Brighton.

It is necessary to visit the advisory centre (and pay £10 down at the visit) and the abortion may be refused if good grounds.

But remember take action FAST. Not just because time is costly but because delay can make the abortion impossible and damage health.


Durham Claimants Union wishes to thank Lawrence for his donation which helped clear all the CU debts. Many, many thanks Lawrence. The CU still needs funds however in order to carry on. Leaflets, handbooks, SS acts don't grow on you as some people seem to think. We need funds to buy them as well as travelling expenses, which can be really heavy when you're in Durham one day, Chester-le-Street the next, and Sunderland the following day.

Are you for us or against us - you can't be in the middle. If you're for, send a donation, no matter how small, to the CU at 13 Silver St, Durham.

As it is so much of a hassle getting a bank account, as we're a union, but not a union etc etc, please make POs etc out to P Carroll.


The other week 'World in Action' did a programme on Sam Green, Durham Councillor, who is one of the first people in political life to declare themselves to be members of the Gay Liberation Front.

We congratulate Sam and 'World in Action' on the programme which must have done a great deal for the image of GLF.

The film should finally have got rid of the idea that gay people are freaks who talk with funny voices.

By contrast, Sam's fellow councillors must have stepped out of the stone age. On the programme one of them said 'Can't these people be cured by pills or something', and another said he would never invite Sam to his house.

I don't suppose he'd want to go.