The Null Device
The Grosvenor Square Congestion Charge Party
Staff from the US embassy in London are asserting their God-given right as Americans to drive where and as they please by refusing to pay London's congestion charge
. The staff claim that the charge is a tax, from which, as diplomats, they are exempt; Transport for London asserts that it is not a tax but a road toll, for which no exemptions apply. The Tories, opposed to both taxation and the abridgment of private transport, are making hay:
"Most of us have been making this point for some time. The Americans may only just be waking up to the reality of having Ken Livingstone for Mayor."
The US Embassy has run up about £142,500 of unpaid congestion charge fines since stopping paying the charge in July; there is no means for the government to collect payment other than by threat of sending diplomats back. More recently, the German embassy has joined the revolt.
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