Thursday, 28 January 2010

The laws of Time run in reverse.

A good meeting today. a couple of projects to put together, both quick enough to be billed at the end of March and the cheques won't go in until April 6th.

Last year I paid my tax bill on time, by cheque, which they managed to screw up so my payment was considered 'late' and interest added. This year I paid online by debit card and... it's still not showing on the website and no Email receipt has appeared. Well, not this time, matey. This time I took the precaution of printing the webpage showing that the payment was accepted. You're not pretending it was overdue this year.

I was amused by the new section of the tax form that asks if you were involved in any tax avoidance shemes. This popped up after I told them how much I'd made this year and if they linked it to that number, it would be immediately clear that I'm not in the 'offshore account' league so they could have safely skipped it.

The reason they ask that question now is clear. There has been a perfectly legal tax avoidance scheme running for years. The tax office knew about it but couldn't do anything until government finally closed the loophole that allowed it. It's closed now so that scheme is no longer legal.

So, anyone using that scheme in the future would be fined. In accordance with Labour's Tardis Legislation System, anyone using it in the past - when it was legal - will also be fined. One businessman tried challenging it in court but no, the judge ruled that it's perfectly fair and reasonable to punish people for doing something that wasn't at all illegal when they did it.

So even though you're doing something legal now, if Labour decide to make it illegal in the future, you can be retrospectively punished. The Time Lords have nothing on these people. Whatever we do now can be ruled illegal at any point in the future and they'll send the boys round to sort us out. Well, unless you're an MP and have been on the fiddle. Then, making rule changes retrospective is 'unfair'.

There will be a few lurkers who will whisper the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' mantra but with this system, you don't know whether you have anything to hide. Perhaps driving a car will be made an arrestable offence backdated to 1910 and they'll dig up Herr Daimler and fine him. Perhaps flower arranging will carry the death penalty, backdated. Nobody has any idea what will next be deemed illegal and backdated. You, literally, could be next.

I'm okay this time. I've never made enough money to even consider a tax avoidance scheme so this one won't affect me.

But if they get around to banning smoking in the street and make it retrospective, they'll be coming for me. If they make the brewing of beer and wine illegal and retrospective, there'll be a lot more of us.

It is not possible to trust any administration that exercises this power. You might consider yourself living perfectly within the law, living a clean and wholesome life and behaving impeccably now but anything you are doing now - anything - can be made retrospectively illegal and off you go to the Big House.

Just imagine, for a moment, what a real fascist party could do with this. Is it really safe to have this on the books?

The Tories must put a stop to retrospective punishment if they want any trust from the public at all. Not on the first day. On the second.

On the first day, they should declare the Labour party illegal, retrospective to 1940, and fine every member of it for enough money to clear the current debt. That seems only fair.


Shaun Pilkington said...

Please, please, puhleeeeease, start with Poly Toynbee! Redistribute HER wealth to let her lead by example rather than by Guardian, er, leader...

John Pickworth said...

"The Tories must put a stop to retrospective punishment..."

We shouldn't even be in this position in the first place. Britain used to have a proud reputation for not introducing retrospective (Spanish style) legislation. Even in matters quite serious like child pornography; the sins of the past weren't punished, only those occurring after the law was introduced or changed.

But then this is Labour's way. Except when it suits them.

Maybe the Tories could take a leaf out of Labour's book and introduce a law against being a twat in Government... and apply it retrospectively?

Anonymous said...

These laws seem relatively benign in the sense that most people don't feel their pinch. Yet.

Collectively, they are, in effect, a dormant tool, to be 'awoken' once the entire totalitarian apparatus is in place.

Then the fascist party will arise and these laws will no longer be dormant.

Anonymous said...

There can't be much apparatus left to be built can there?

Enabling Act
Acts of Attainder
Politicised Police
Freedom of speech restriction
Restrictions on lawful protest
Attempts to control people's actions and thought.

I'm sure I've missed squillions!

word verification - flabelab

They must know you Leg-Iron

Leg-iron said...


They've found me! I was, indeed, the secret third Flowerpot Man, one of the original trio before they replaced me with that damn weed in the interests of sexual equality.

The other two died of heroin overdoses and Weed had a nasty accident involving a pot of Roundup and a strimmer. I have an alibi.

Anonymous said...

an Englishman's home is no longer his castle.

Having struggled through life for the last 50 odd years, paying taxes and trying to be an anonymous law abiding member of the community (picked up a parking ticket and dodgy conviction under the litter act) I have now offended a Police Officer and received a fixed penalty notice for a public order offence.
I’m not looking for sympathy, I lost the plot for a short while - just a warning for anyone else finding themselves in the same position.
Don’t use the spoken word to defend your home. Don’t raise your voice. Don’t refuse them entry even though they don‘t believe a word you are saying. Especially don’t when they beat on your door at 1 am and you’re tucked up in bed. Even though you know they are at the wrong address, don’t complain. Even when they have spoken to everyone in the house and no one has called them. Even when, despite this, they get the battering ram out to take out your front door, don’t, don’t, don’t, whatever you do use any word beginning with F.
What you must do is……….. I still don’t know. Probably the best option would have been to let them in, apologise for bothering them, explain it was all a stupid mistake, allow them to search the house for battered persons, and let them go away happy. No help to real caller at all though is it?
Sleep soundly!

Leg-iron said...

Anon - if they turn up, someone's going to get arrested for something.

If they ever decide to make me into a criminal, I promise to do my best to be very, very good at it.

John Pickworth said...

Anon - I sincerely hope you are not entertaining the notion of paying said ticket?

Seriously, demand your day in Court and if you're so inclined, do invite the press to attend too. It'll be worth it and its not like the coppers will be doing anything worthwhile on the day either.

Furor Teutonicus said...

So, anyone using that scheme in the future would be fined. In accordance with Labour's Tardis Legislation System, anyone using it in the past - when it was legal - will also be fined. One businessman tried challenging it in court but no, the judge ruled that it's perfectly fair and reasonable to punish people for doing something that wasn't at all illegal when they did it.


Making law retrospective??

Since when was THAT allowed in the British legal system?

That, along with Habeus Corpus,and "Double jepordy" WAS one of the MAIN columns of English law!

I do not know how the E.U dictatorship effect it, but I have been researching our constitution and asylum laws, for another project, BUT what has become apparant in that time is, that British "citizens" could POSSIBLY claim political asylum in Germany!

And NO, I am NOT joking!

Snakey said...

I think their next step will be privatizing the government, shutting down democracy and charging us for whatever they want, whenever they like and with no way of getting rid of them due to their privatizing the military and surveillance industries. Then there will be red zones and green zones and natch we will all be in the red zones unless we have an RFID chip implanted that allows us to work for them licking their floors clean for a few pounds an hour (and be grateful for it).

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