In the debate about the Panama Papers everyone seems to hold it as self-evident that the British government is a good cause, and that declining to pay it taxes is equivalent to stealing from the poor box.
Far from being a good cause, entire government departments in Britain are working for the triumph of evil, or behave as if they were. Depriving them of revenue is one of the few constraints on their capacity for malevolence, along with a free press, independent juries and some other things that I don't remember right now.
Their ID cards scheme, for example, was shelved for lack of money. If it weren't for heroes like Jimmy Carr and the Starbucks Corporation, we would by now be queuing up to be fingerprinted and have tracking chips implanted in our foreheads.
Blair took us to war in Iraq, Afghanistan and some other places that I don't remember right now. No doubt he would have liked to start some sh*t in other lands, but he couldn't because we were broke. If it weren't for heroes like News Corp and the Arctic Monkeys, we would probably now be at war with Chechnya, or some bloody place.
Paying taxes to the British government is no better than buying South African grapefruit during the apartheid regime. Whenever I say that, it starts a row, but the truth is the truth.
Not long ago, Google executives were hauled before a select committee to justify why they don't pay much tax in Britain. Our dim, resentful MPs took it as read that Google had behaved in a way of which it should be ashamed. But what is so special about Britain that anyone should donate it money if they don't have to?
Google has a duty to maximise returns to its shareholders. One of its biggest shareholders is Norway's state pension fund. Why is it better that Osborne should get his paws on this money rather than its rightful owners, the Norwegian pensioners? This is wealth created by other people's brains and energy, owned by Scandinavian codgers, and they feel entitled to wet their beaks. It is simply monstrous.
I do my bit to keep money out of their clutches, in my own small way. For example, whenever I return to Britain from abroad I always bring back cigarettes to sell. I like to think that, over the years, I have saved the lives of half a dozen Arabs by doing this (and earned myself literally tens of pounds!)
But as well as biffing the residents of hot, dusty places, does Her Majesty's Government not provide us with schools and hospitals? It does, up to a point, but you could say as much for Hezbollah and Kim Jong-un. And that have plenty of money to pay for these things already, if they had the slightest notion of how to go about it.
Perhaps if we gave them half of our GDP, rather than a piffling 40%, we could have functioning trains, and school children who can speak French? You can believe that if you like, but it doesn't seem awfully plausible to me.
You could make a case for the rich paying more tax so that the poor pay less, but there's zero chance of that happening. It is more likely that a rich man shall pass through the eye of a camel with a millstone hanged about his neck, as it says in the Bible. Any extra money they wring from the wealthy will just vanish into the Treasury's bottomless pit, never to be heard from again. The poor won't have their taxes cut in our lifetimes under any realistic scenario.
So I looked into the idea of paying taxes, and decided it was not for me.
Methinks the Hutton doth protest too much. Exactly how much did you have stashed away in that Panama bank, Harry? Did your name pop up in the files? You'll love prison - no-one pays taxes in there...
I've often enjoyed the witless mewling of some people about one's duty to "pay one's share" towards the State. Their attitude is grounded in the unacknowledged proposition that the collective State is always more moral and efficient than any individual. To say it is to refute it, of course, as a quick look in the nearest Vehicle Licensing office will amply demonstrate. Curiously, those folks get very upset when you point out that the same logic would apply to lynch mobs. But it's cruel to tease such simple souls, bless their hearts. Their tax bills are punishment enough.
Any British banknotes in your possession belong to the Queen, Harry. That's why they've got her head on them. This gives Her Majesty's government the right to seize your cash and rifle your arse with a didgeridoo for good measure. If you don't want to pay taxes, keep all your wealth in rum and bananas.
This is quite simply the first sensible response I've read on the entire Panama farrago. And was anyone surprised to learn what was going on? It's not as though an entire country's economy can function on hat sales and canal trips - even Egypt has diversified into pyramids and camels.