Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How Many Ways You No Longer Have a Private Life:

Two days ago I said this:

IRD operates above our Privacy Act: it can raid my business premises without warrant; it will never be denied a warrant to raid my home; it can demand my bank statements from the bank and my bank will acquiesce without my knowledge; I have no right to remain silent when an interview is 'requested' by IRD; and as a taxpayer the burden of proof is turned against me - unlike for an accused murderer, burglar, et al, I am not innocent until proven guilty before the tax courts, IRD can simply assess me and I have to prove my innocence, so breaching a fundamental tenet of a free society.

Some years ago I wrote how the Revenues around the world routinely snoop on social media for thought crimes - if you look at the footnoted update, you'll see IRD read that post.

Yesterday I wrote on how your bank is now required to snoop on you under Judith Collins’ Anti-Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Act:

RIP the economy (and any privacy you ever had). This National government is generating more red tape than the previous Labour one did. To capture a minor subset of transactions, every single commercial and private transaction, be it financial (where your bank has to report you to police if irregularities are found), or property, are being delayed, and weighed done by cost on cost on cost on penalty of the snitch society. God I want out.

Over the weekend Rodney Hide wrote a chilling piece on the investigation on him by the Official Assignee, covertly targeting his friends and family:

The interesting thing for me is how upsetting it has proved to be. I have nothing to hide. I am well used to being in the public spotlight. It was once part of my life to have others talk about me in less than flattering terms.

I would have thought it no big deal to have a state agency do similar.

But I have found it extremely disturbing to have friends and colleagues compelled to appear under threat of arrest and answer questions about me and my family put to them by a private investigator under contract to the Government.

Oh, and to have those friends and colleagues warned not to tell me what they were asked.

 It's extremely invasive and sinister. It's what we expect of totalitarian regimes, not free and democratic societies such as ours.

So of course today we find the police have taken their pointless war on drugs to your Facebook page:

The monitoring has been exposed by members of a blackmarket Facebook group, who complained of receiving letters out of the blue from police, warning them they were being watched.

One unidentified user received a letter from the Canterbury Organised Crime Squad, dated July 15, warned that their membership of a group suspected to be aiding illegal drug deals had been noticed.

There are no parts of our lives not being surveiled and intruded upon. From a letter to the editor of today’s Press, penned by no other than Sir David Hay:

ECan employees who screen for smoke from wood burners invade our domestic lives and put people who try to heat their homes affordably at risk of a $750 fine. The invitation for neighbours to inform on neighbours reeks of a totalitarian state.

But hey, the sacrifice of our private lives is justified: we’re catching the tax evaders, we’re catching the money launderers, we're catching the polluters to ensure they don't heat themselves, and we’re catching the druggies.


For freedom lovers, the price has been too high. Those who’ve read George Orwell’s 1984 will remember the proles thought everything largely fine in the prison cells of their minds, it was only those who had foot-tripped over the State who figured out the nature of the entrapment, and the total loss of liberty that defined them. Which explains why the below photo is not from that novel, it’s from a street in England, courtesy HMRC – though I think I know what they’re using as their manual:

Next time you’re updating your Facebook, you be careful out there. Don’t go thinking you’re living in a free country. That, and we all live in the snitch society now. Forget the threat of external terrorism, we have an internal surveillance state which is far beyond the bounds of what a free, western society should have settled for without (at least) civil rebellion.


  1. If it burns and don't give off cyanide and suchlike, it goes on the fire. I have the local Lordship's permission to pick up firewood from his land. That goes back to Magna Carta, how goes that in this modern, progressive age? If the buggers want to sniff my chimney they'd better be mega-bong tested first! Silver birch will send them to sleep, cherry will give them a headache, and Spanish chestnut will spit at them.


    1. Definitely. Plus what's the greatest health hazard: smoky air which you're hardly out in, or cold homes?

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. (Removed only because a double up with post above :) )

  3. Hi Mark

    I'd be interested in reading discussions on:-
    1. The legalities/tax implications of NZers using crypto currencies.
    2. How a NZer can legally not file tax returns.
    Any chance you can blog on these topics without getting crucified by the IRD?



    1. I can answer the first directly. Crypto currencies aren't illegal in NZ. However, of course, any business, et al, transaction that generates income otherwise taxable, remains taxable whether it is performed by business cheque/transfer, cash, barter or crypto-currency. We run a self-assessed tax system meaning it is up to the individual to declare all their taxable income; if they don't and are found wanting, IRD will throw the book at them and they will be crushed by first penalties and interest, and if big amounts involved, probably criminal prosecution. So crypto-currency is a non-issue, IRD views it as no different to any other form of exchange. (In US IRS have issued a paper to say that increases in value of the crypto-currency - like currency gains - is likewise taxable.

      It's a little similar to the misconceived notions people have about using tax havens. NZ's international tax regime is pretty vicious: if you are a NZ tax resident (via day counting rules *or* permanent place of abode [meaning you can be a NZ tax resident even if you aren't here for a year, or more]) then you have to declare your worldwide income and pay tax on it in NZ (also note the CFC and FIF regimes). Just because the tax haven might generate no paper trail, and some (fools) might take it into their heads not to declare, doesn't change the legality: income earned there will be taxable for NZ tax residents. As with crypto-currency, although the mish mash of tax law is confusing (often around deductions and how income is calculated), the liability to pay tax is unforgivably black and white.

      Regarding (2) similar answer. There are many people (for example straight out salary and wage earners wholly in the PAYE system) who don't legally have to file a return - but these are in the system. If you don't pass the criteria for only having to have a 'personal tax summary', and therefore having to file an IR 3, then in every case you have to legally file an IR3 to declare business, trust, investment et al, income.

      The tax system is ruthless, and on liability, painfully clear cut. The politicians ensure that because the tax system funds their wet dreams of the surveillance state (and junkets).

      In some cases this reply is simplified, but in broad strokes you get the point?

    2. Okay, (1) I understand.
      Regarding (2) what if a person makes no income (e.g. someone who lives in a commune or someone who just has money) would they still have to file a tax return? What would the IRD do to them if they didn't file anything?

    3. So long at their 'cash' is earning no investment income there would be no liability to file a tax return.

      But why would they not be earning at least some income?

      Note if you are only earning interest income and you've set your PIR at highest rate, or all your investment is in a PIE, then you still won't have to file a tax return (although you are of course being taxed as source).

      Note also a standard audit technique is to look at the assets owned by an individual, and their lifestyle, and if declared income does not seem to be up to either, or both, to assess/query on that basis.

      You thinking of sticking your money in a mattress on a commune?