We the people, our families, as a nation, need to reappraise our relationship with ‘our’ government!
By Pat Greene
I would like to sincerely thank the author for writing this article and expressing his views in a candid succinct and passionate article. I also think he is expressing the same views as many people in our society, these views must be listened to and understood never ridiculed or demonised. My views on this subject are different and I hope they will be examined in detail and not dismissed out of hand. If we use emotions rather than reason we will react rather than respond. The article I am examining was first printed in The Irish daily mail, Friday march 4th 2016, page 14, by Philip Nolan. The head line on the article is “I am a fool, an idiot and a mug….for obeying the law. Well, I won’t do that again!” the original text is reproduced here in italics, and in good faith.
I also feel the need to explain that I know that taxes NEED to be paid in order for services to continue, my belief is that they don’t HAVE to be paid, two very different concepts. My hope is by the end of this article you will question what it means to have a democratic government and how our families can govern this nation of ours to serve us as a community and not as an economy.
“I have paid my water charges to date but I have no intention of paying a cent more. Why not? Because I have been a mug, an idiot, a fool. I did what I believed to be right and acted as a responsible, compliant citizen….”
The author states that he ‘believed it to be right’ and ‘acted as a responsible,
compliant citizen’. What do the words believe, responsible and compliant actually mean in this context? If he believes that what he is doing is right, he must then believe that he is free to make a determination that suits him. It is his decision to pay, for it is his belief that he must be compliant, he says it was the right thing to do, right and wrong are words of belief not logic, but then to say that he was compliant seems to contradict his belief, as to be compliant one must first get direction in the form of orders, do as your told, someone must be more equal than he.
“…I also pay my residential property tax, and the old saab, I submit it annually for the NCT. When I had dogs, I bought licences for them, even though only a tiny fraction of owners bother doing so and never face censure for their dereliction of duty…..”
In this piece he reinforces his idea of compliance and his sense of duty, the use of the word submit maybe his use of language but may just as well show us his way of thinking, that he is subject to control by others.
“….I do not pay for any of these things because I want to – last year, they cost me €1,953 combined, to be able to hold on to that money – but because I am obliged to. It is the law, whether I like it or not….”
This section tells me again that the author believes, perhaps unwittingly, that he is a subject rather than sovereign, (read the proclamation of 1916). For anyone to say that they do something because they were told to by a government is a freighting prospect. His use of the word ‘obliged’ reminds me of a conversation I had with a tax consultant, I told him a colleague of his, a professor of taxation, prompted by Pat Kenny on RTE when she was just about to leave the program segment regarding LPT ‘they have to pay the tax don’t they’ he said, she answered ‘oh yes they have to pay’, and I asked if he agreed with her statement? The tax consultant paused for a minute and answered ‘no I don’t’, he said that ‘we have a moral obligation to pay taxes’, I replied if we have a moral obligation to pay taxes then the government must have a moral obligation to us and that the government has lied to us three times, so tell me what moral obligation do we have to liars? He looked at me, smiled, ‘good point’ and walked away. There can only be an obligation if an agreement is entered into with performance on that agreement, basically a contract. I did not contract with Irish water, do I have an obligation?
To say that ‘it is the law, whether I like it or not’ is such a powerful statement, tell that to the millions murdered every year and the perpetrators hide behind “the law” is the author confused between what is law and what is legal? To say it is the law whether he likes it or not is such a powerful and dangerous statement my answer to that is there is a new law, you sir must wear a badge with journalist written on it then you need to report to the railway station tomorrow morning and you will travel to a new home with public showers and a place to work. This may sound dramatic but tell me what is the difference?…only the outcome! The paperwork is the same the “law” was passed, be compliant do the right thing.
“….Now, though, water is back centre stage on the political agenda, as Fianna Fáilers have let it be known that the suspension of charges will be part of any deal they might make to form a government with Fine Gael, or at the very least support a minority administration. What it also is saying, though, is that anyone who actually did pay will not get their money back. that also is the view of socialist TD Clare Daly, who had this to say to Sean O’Rourke on Rté Radio yesterday. When asked what would happen to those of us who paid, she said: ‘It was a legally levied charge which they chose to pay and that’s fine. If the charge is abolished now, do I think they should get the money back? No, I don’t’. Mr O’Rourke interjected. ‘how is that fair?’ he asked. ‘the fairness is the campaign will have succeeded in abolishing the charge and those people will similarly benefit from not having to pay it into the future,’ Ms Daly replied. Mr O’Rourke put it to her that what she was effectively saying was: ‘tough.’ ‘I’m not saying “tough”,’ she said, but it sounded an awful lot like it to these ears, and the reason why it sounded like that was as a consequence of the first sentence I have repeated here, so let’s look at it again – ‘It was a legally levied charge which they chose to pay.’ Now ‘chose’ is an interesting word, especially in the same breath as ‘legally levied’, so allow me be absolutely categorical. I did not ‘choose’ to pay anything. I did not wake up the day the first Irish Water bill dropped on my mat and treat it the way I might choose to have my eggs poached or boiled. I paid it because a democratically elected government introduced it and did so, as Clare Daly pointed out, legally…..”
There are two statements that stand out in this segment the first is what Ms Clare Daily TD said to Mr O’Rourke on RTE ‘It was a legally levied charge which they chose to pay and that’s fine. If the charge is abolished now, do I think they should get the money back? No, I don’t….’. There was nothing illegal about introducing a new tax if the people agree to it, those who agreed I assume knew what they were doing. Remember our government needs you to apply to become a customer this is why they printed and mailed, at great expense, application forms. Failing that they get agreement by acquiescence. In reality it should go to referendum with a qualified majority of 67% in order to be accepted by the minority.
The second statement is the author’s reply, “I did not ‘choose’ to pay anything”, emphatic to say the least. If one does not choose to do an act one must have been told what to do, like the orders given to a slave by ‘its’ owner, consent is not asked for, it is not even demanded the slave reacts to the order as the author reacts to the orders of government. We are told that we live in a representative democracy the government is elected to re present our views, they do not and must not have any authority over us they must always need our consent or at least a consensus, if this pillar of our republic is not adhered to our republic will cease to exist, as all republics must be based on consent where all families are equal, hence our constitution states….
THE FAMILY ARTICLE 41 1 1° The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptibly rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.
2° The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.
The family is protected from the state and by the state. The family is above the state as it is recognised by the state. Does the Queen of England recognise her subjects or do her subjects recognise her, remember we are talking about a power struggle not good memory or eyesight. Nazi Germany introduced ‘laws’ that made deportations legal but they were not lawful. Legal and lawful are not the same.
“….Yes, it ran contrary to election promises. Yes, the guillotined debate that brought Irish Water into existence was disgraceful double taxation, given that we already pay for water through the portion of motor tax that was passed on to local authorities, rankles, but it was nonetheless legal, and what happened?…..”
“Yes, it ran contrary to election promises,” so lying is acceptable! The party manifesto is a contract with the citizens but has been allowed, by us, to become a meaningless piece of paper, this must change for the sake of our families. As for accepting “disgraceful double taxation”, when the initial water and waste water tax was applied it was specified for that purpose and we subsequently found out that this money was not spent on the purpose for which it was hard earned and freely given. Who was prosecuted for the misappropriation of funds? Who is answerable? Who is representing me/us? What obligation do we have to liars? What happens when they misappropriate the new funds? Ah yes they introduce more taxes and the author will be a compliant citizen and pony up….again! Sure wasn’t it voted on in the Dáil is what I hear from others, or in another way.. “…it was nonetheless legal..,”
“…anyone who registered for Irish Water was entitled to the €100 conservation grant, even if they actually had not paid their bills, and as many as 400,000 households may have received the grant without ever paying for water at all. as it happens, I made a few quid myself, because my total metered charges for the year came to just €88, so I was 12quid up on the deal when you factor in the grant. Crucially, though, I did actually pay, yet others who didn’t pay not only went unpenalised, they actually were rewarded, with money, for their civil disobedience. It is a compelling indictment of the utter ineptitude on which the entire Irish Water project was founded, and a reminder that the company is marbled with a streak of incompetence probably unparalleled in the history of the state. Ms Daly denies that what she is saying effectively boils down to ‘tough’, but that really is the only conclusion to draw…..”
“.. anyone who registered for Irish Water was entitled to the €100 conservation grant,..” Correct me if I’m wrong the €100 was not given in cash it was a credit note if this is so, nobody was paid. The government will stop at nothing to deceive us into giving consent to their demands, throw out a sprat to catch a fish, but don’t let on what you are really doing…think of loyalty cards in your local retail outlet, all that freely given valuable information, you are the loyal one and they profit from your loss of privacy but it’s your choice. There is no difference, consent was given and accepted by the entities concerned knowingly or not it was given. In describing the set up of Irish water this debacle is accepted by the author via his support in giving them his family’s hard earned money. The government will use his payment as tacit acceptance of their policies, consent through the back door.
If one believes in obedience and compliance to ‘orders’ from a representative government then ‘tough’ is the true meaning of Ms Daly’s comment, but if one believes in the concept of consent one must accept ones actions. If you consent to a double tax and others do not then why should you blame them for not paying? Why should they now pay? They did not consent,… you did.
“…. On social media, the water warriors, the people who linked arms across the entrances to estates to keep the meter installers at bay, showed yesterday that they actually believe I am part of their problem, a collaborationist and a quisling. My paying made it more difficult for them to resist, the logic runs. If everyone in the country had refused to pay, the fight would have been over sooner, but because I was compliant, I deserve everything I get, short of having my head shaved and being paraded through the streets in shame. So where does this leave us? In short, in a place where anyone who personally takes issue with a charge levied by the state can simply refuse to pay it. In a given week, if you watch only BBC, UTV and sky, should you have to pay the licence fee to Rté? Based on the water logic, probably not. If, however, you do, it seems you now have to remember one thing – you ‘chose’ to do so, that’s right, your legal and civil obligation to pay charges legally constituted and imposed is seen by the hard left as little more than a whim….”
The words of a slave owner are getting stronger ‘…legally constituted and imposed…’ Imposed what a word, wow! Tyrants impose representative politicians cannot impose and must never have the power to impose, research Mussolini, General Franco, Pinochet etc. The word represent is a giveaway, our government ‘re’ presents OUR views, and with regard to the water charges, who are they representing? When was the vote directly asking for our views, our consent to allow for double taxation and change in the method of paying for the delivery of the most important substance for maintaining life? This fundamental pillar of our society, our vote, our consent, was never sought!
When the beliefs of a group run contrary to those who oppose the installation of water meters there is division in our society and sides are taken, willingly or not, those who pay are accepting the new system and indirectly opposed to the democratic right of others to say enough, we are not paying any more.
Is the author also saying that the people have no right to refuse to pay a given tax? He might say that we have a democratically elected government not a tyranny, and then at what stage would the author say this government is acting like a tyrant, that he has had enough, he is not paying any more! I suggest the answer is dependent on how deep his pockets are, and the same measurement for tyranny is used by most readers, if you can afford it you pay it. Do you pay because you are a good compliant citizen I think not, you act like a slave until you realise you need to be free. It’s more the pity, readers that you do not realise this the day you receive your first pay packet.
“…In one of their favourite terms, so juvenile and hackneyed now it is laughable; you are one of the ‘sheeple’. So let’s say – and yes, we’re in a parallel universe here, but bear with me – the left actually had the numbers to form a government and went ahead with its plans to impose a higher rate of tax on those earning over€100,000. What if the self- employed on that sort of money extra, but to continue paying simply decided not to pay the existing rates? here’s what would happen, they would be publicly vilified, and rightly so, because they would be refusing to submit to the rule of law and the wish of the government…..”
The authors’ stand point of being a compliant, submissive, obedient citizen who submits to the wishes imposed by government reinforces my belief that he is acting as a subject and not a member of a sovereign republic. To whom or what he is subject to is for him to say. To be living in a republic and acting like a subject is like a sheep on a farm constrained by its own inability to think beyond what the farmer instructs it to do, sheep are submissive obedient and generally compliant with a death sentence imposed by the same farmer who owns them because he wishes it so. People acting like sheep are sheeple.
When people are over taxed voluntary deductions reduce and the black market increases in volume, they vote with their pockets or their feet and leave the country. As for the self employed they are thrown to the wolves when it comes to lack of supports and heavy taxes, how to redress this issue is a discussion for another day.
“….Yet, on the basis of what has happened with Irish Water, it would be that very government that codified their right to withhold taxes and charges, because the left is now telling us we ‘choose’ to pay them, instead of reminding us we are compelled to do so. This is an extraordinary suggestion, and it paves the way for civil disobedience on a grand scale. It sets two halves of the community on a collision course – those who reluctantly accept new taxes and charges, and those who have not paid a solitary cent…..”
Am I to understand that it is the politicians on the ‘left’ of politics in government are telling us we can choose to pay and the politicians on the ‘right’ of politics in government are telling us to be compliant, obedient, submissive, and that we the people are compelled to obey rules imposed on us by government giving those on the ‘right’ absolute power. These descriptions and the use of words belong in a country ruled by a monarchy or dictator…. all this time I thought we won the battle of 1916 and the war of independence in 1922, looks like I am wrong.
Civil disobedience, on one hand, is not always a bad approach, on the other hand total obedience is always a bad state of affairs as power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
“…So, until any new government tells me exactly what is happening with Irish Water, I’m done with it. If they promise me that no one will pay again and that those of us who did will get our money back, fine. If they tell me that I won’t be getting my money back, but those who did not pay will be chased for arrears, that also is fine. But if they tell me that I’m getting nothing, and also that people who did not pay won’t be pursued, then I have a new relationship with my democracy and, trust me, it is not going to be a harmonious one.”
Am I to understand by the authors’ language that ‘his’ democracy was fine up until now? That if he does not get his way he will start being less harmonious by this does he mean that he is going to examine why, what, how and can government do as they wish and at what point do the people take back control of our country from a dictatorial regime, I do hope so. I have said time and time again that the government will use the fear of tax collectors to drive home their policies, their orders and where a government uses fear to get compliance they have lost the support of the people, it is a dangerous slippery road to civil strife if not killings.
Having a better comprehension of how the ‘right’ in politics think it is clearer to me why the author signs of in this way. People can have ingrained preconceived ideas of what a democracy is, let alone the idea of a sovereign republic. Challenging someone’s belief systems is never easy challenging one’s own is even harder. Reader, as I am endeavouring to challenge your beliefs and in-order to help this process these quotes may be of some interest to you.
In the opening paragraphs of her talk at the 33rd MacGill summer school in Glenties the then chairman of the revenue Commissioners Josephine Feehily stated in her talk “….that if the state fails to deliver the expected services or if there is strong evidence of widespread evasion, compliance declines. In a representative democracy such as Ireland, the state rules by consent and, by extension , taxes by consent and so to the concept of no taxation without representation with which everyone is familiar….”
(33rd annual MacGill summer school, Glenties Co. Donegal. From Revenue web site, speeches)
Rules by consent, …himmmm…, I prefer to be governed by consent. Is it the mind set of tax collectors that they rule us? We do not elect rulers!
Avril Doyle MEP (FG) stated in the EU parliament “….You can only govern with the consent of the people and by 2010 domestic water charges could well be acceptable to the Irish electorate. At the moment, it is a hugely politically-charged issue….” she went on to say “…public opinion will probably change by 2010. If we do not apply household or domestic water charges by then we will have to explain our action to the commission. …”
(Debates Wednesday, 6th September 2000 – Strasbourg)
Avril Doyle seems to be of the impression that she is an emissary from the commissioner, representing the commission not the Irish people, relaying back to her boss the “conditions” in Ireland vis- á-vis implementation of their orders.
This is not democracy, this is not what families living in Ireland expect from democracy, our families expect the government to manage our affairs in our best interest and in the interests of our nation as the Germans and French do for their people and the British for their subjects. This is why I believe that We the people, our families, as a nation, need to reappraise our relationship with ‘our’ government!
When our government represents the interests of others they are no longer ‘our’ government and our freedom as a people is then under threat. The only way we Irish people can control our collective destiny and our relationship with other nations is for us to take control of our government by changing our representative democratic to a Direct democracy as we had in our constitution of 1922. This will give us a direct say in what and how policy is implemented in our country on a daily basis not, as the situation prevails today, having to wait five years to correct the “governments” mistakes and then to find out there is no difference in policies between the ‘main’ parties. With a direct democracy system ‘the government’ becomes ‘our government’. I would like the people of Ireland to have the ability to vote for our government …not the government.
Direct Democracy Ireland.