This is quite scary from Ritchie

Legality is the defence of far too many for that which is wholly and socially unacceptable

Just because the law says they can do it they shouldn’t because I don’t like it.

Starting just with the letter A I guess that’s adultery and abortion both banned in the New Britain then.

43 thoughts on “This is quite scary from Ritchie”

  1. Bloody rule of law!

    Much better in China where they have plenty of laws but the great and the good can do what the fuck they like, sorry, decide what is morally and socially unacceptable.

  2. Presumably if it suddenly became socially acceptable to string up podgy accountants then Ritchie would want to waive the protection that murder is illegal in order to comply with the public good.

  3. God knows I’m not interested in defending Ritchie. I do wonder though if this is just keyboard incontinence. It looked good as his fingers tapped away, an hour later it doesn’t seem quite as clever. By then though he’s in too deep and he cannot back down.

  4. He’s a moralist. He can’t tell the difference between immoral and criminal. Which ties into the long 14 year olds having sex discussion a few threads down.

    On adultery, I would guess that if the Femi-Proggies can find a way to word a law such that it only applies to male adulterers (“adultery is abuse perpetrated by oppressor males on their slave-wives” kind of thing) they’ll in due course make that illegal too.

  5. I’m finding Ritchie and his brown-nosing camp followers increasingly socially unacceptable. Any suggestions what I could do to demonstrate this to him?

    I’m nowhere near Downham Market so posting a turd through his letter box is not realistic.

  6. The ‘Passport Tax’ thread on his blog is superb. He’s been ripped apart by nearly every poster, can’t answer the points they raise, and retreated behind the usual ‘you’re off’ ‘get real’ and ‘my mates at TJN agree’ nonsense.

  7. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I recently had the argument about spirit vs. letter of the law, and think I got the better of it. The obvious position to take is that the law should be capable of reinterpretation in the light of prevailing circumstances (i.e spirit of the law). It’s obvious and wrong. It’s why I think things like the age of consent require a fairly rigid application. It’s the Sorites Paradox. Anything that has a spectrum of acceptability anchored at either end with uncontroversially acceptable/unacceptable positions (e.g. sex with 6 year olds definitely bad, sex with 26 year olds definitely OK) then you have to draw a bright line distinction somewhere in between (e.g. 16 OK, 15 and 364 days not OK). Exactly where is problematical, but it has to be drawn, otherwise you empower unfathomably repulsive little cunts like Murphy to ‘interpret’ things for you. And if it’s true for the age of consent, then it’s a fortiori true for things like tax law.

  8. Max:

    Yes, him trying to reconcile the “passport tax”, country-by-country reporting and his concept of “tax compliance” (right amount of tax in right place at right time) is incredible to behold.

    In a way you feel sorry for him, but he brings it all on himself.

  9. bloke (not) in spain

    The essential problem with your point of view, BiCR, is you’re accepting the law should have jurisdiction over whether a 26 y/o should have sex. On what basis? On what basis should the law have jurisdiction over when anyone has sex? It can only be harm or consent. If there’s either harm or lack of consent you already have laws to adequately deal with this.
    I’m not saying there shouldn’t be an AoC. But it’s the problem with those sort of laws. Once you have the principal the law can arbitrarily intrude into peoples lives, it’s hard to stop it.
    Look at the RM quote above:
    “Legality is the defence of far too many for that which is wholly and socially unacceptable ”
    Fix on the word “legality.”
    There’s no such thing as “legality”. There’s illegality. Against the law. The law’s got no business intruding anywhere else because the law should only apply where a law has been contravened. The concept of legality’s a phantom. So it’s not a defense. The true defense is MYOFB

  10. Bloke in Costa Rica

    bnis: in the case of the age of consent, we generally hold that there is an age below which consent cannot be meaningfully given. It is true that it might (will) be different for different individuals but that is exactly why you need a bright-line statute. There is a certain amount of leeway; between 13 and 16 it is a defence to say in good faith, “she looked 17, told me she was 17, and I believed her.” Before that it is an absolute offence. I’m not entirely happy about that, but I can see the reasoning behind it. Note this well though: such a limit may be arbitrary, but it is not capricious. This helps the knowability of the law, which Blackstone held to be a key principle of jurisprudence (and Hayek emphasised in, e.g. The Constitution of Liberty).

    As for the 26 year old, Common Law jurisprudence is silent. Anything not explicitly prohibited is legal. The law doesn’t say, “you’re 16, so now you can have sex”. It says, “you are not yet 16, so you may not have sex.” There is a huge difference.

    I think we can both agree that Murphy is a grubby authoritarian with distinctly fascist tendencies.

  11. I see Tim commented on the “passport tax” thread. I did too.

    Funny how he tries to square the circle between “passport tax” and being in favour of sourced based tax first and residence second for individuals…….. And somehow doesn’t see the contradiction.

    Then he just starts adding epicycles…

    Ironically, any “white list” would necessarily include his bêtes noire of CH (whose tax structure he never seems to comprened – try telling a batchelor living in canton Neuchatel that he’s living in a tax haven! He’s paying about the same overall rate as the UK on the equivalent salary [NB – the current exchange rate is skewed heavily, so for equivalency divide CHF by 2-ish to get GBP equivalent, not 1.45-ish])

  12. Good lord! One post, and then I’m awaiting moderation! First post, in case it disappears later, was:
    Dear Mr. Murphy,

    I think it’s very courageous of you to want to take money out of the economies of poor, developing countries to feed the gaping tax maw of the rich UK with a citizenship tax. Not only does this take money out of their economies that could be circulating and doing good, it also erodes their domestic tax base – money paid to the UK in tax for no services rendered is not being spent locally and attracting GST/VAT.

    I believe we have a word for taking money out of poor countries and paying it to rich countries – begins with “IM” and ends in “PERIALISM”.

    Furthermore, what happens when the other countries involved start demanding reciprocity of the UK, and the right to tax their nationals in the UK?

    And the US system is not one to look up to – they do not recognise most “foreign” pension schemes, so tax them. So US citizens can’t save tax free for a pension if they live outside the US. They also often treat the employer’s NI/pension contributions as taxable. ISA’s are treated as Passive Foregn Investment Companies, and are taxable and reportable on multiple forms.

    Furthermore, due to currency fluctations, real, local losses can be taxed as phantom capital gains (e.g. person living in a country with local currency A, A:$ starts at 1:1. Assets worth 100,000A, = 100,000$. In a year, portfolio loses 10%, drops to 90,000A. However, $ drops 20% against A to 0.8:1 (think 2007, 2008), meaning that the assets are worth 112,500$. US gain = 12,500, taxed at say 20%, so $2500, which 2000A. So, our chap makes a LOSS of 10,000 in local currency, on which he pays “gains” of 2000 in local currency to the US.)

    The US system is fundamentally unjust, and is not in any way a model to be copied -the US recognises this, cos they criticised Eritrea for doing it, although of course it’s “different” somehow when they do it… Anyway, if the entire world ran its citizenship and taxation rules like the US, my kids would each have to pay tax to 4 countries (2x jus sanguinis, 1x jus solis, 1x residency).

    I note that Pakistan is not on the OECD white list. I look forward to your just and courageous calls for British passport holders resident in Pakistan to pay British income taxes, and, for the sake of fairness, for Pakistani passport holders living in the UK to pay Pakistani income taxes too.
    – See more at:

  13. comment in moderation is:

    “with substantial potential tax being avoided by their residence abroad – probably in a tax haven.”

    “probably” != “only”. In any case, OECD lists Guatemala as a “tax haven”. Guatemala is a poor country. Thus a UK citizen working in Guatemala paying tax to the UK (in return for no services rendered – whatever happened to the social contract?) is taking money out of Guatemala’s economy. QED. Plus, as pointed out above your list does not include African countries, which are universally poor. So it would take locally-earned money out of their economies too, whether they fit your ad-hoc definition of a tax haven or not.

    And many millions of people would take umbrage at the idea that they are avoiding potential tax by not living somewhere. I have every right to live in e.g. France or Germany, and if I lived there, I would have a tax liability there. Am I avoiding potential tax there by not living there? Are my dual-national kids who live in a 3rd country avoiding potential tax in the countries of their citizenship, in neither of which they have ever lived?

    And simply saying that you’ve accounted for that, or doesn’t apply to EU/EEA/EFTA is just adding epicycles.

    Plus, it’s not so easy just to get another passport if you’re not born dual or otherwise eligable at birth – some countries have racial or religious requirements, or require extremely long periods of residency.

    “Arguing on what I have suggested, not what you would wish I said, would help” I believe I complied fully with your request.
    – See more at:

  14. I think Muprhy’s point is that there are two types of ex-pat:

    – Those who’ve gone abroad to avoid tax.
    – Those who’ve gone to live abroad for a genuine reason. These will always live in high-tax countries, as the only reason to live in a low-tax country is to avoid tax.

    So what he proposes is that everyone British pays UK tax, unless they are being adequately taxed elsewhere (the white list). If you live in a high-tax country then there is no difference, as you will get UK credit for that tax; if you live in a low-tax country then either you went there to avoid tax, in which case you deserve to pay more, or you didn’t care about the tax in whch case you won’t mind paying more.

    As the situation is that simple, the answer need only be that simple.

  15. The other part of Murphy’s thinking is that tax is a necessary part of the contract you have with the state you’re a member of: you shouldn’t get any benefits of being a UK citizen if you’re not prepared to pay for them.

    My feeling there is that if you make someone pay full UK tax to have a UK passport, then you’re treating them as if they’re a resident here. In which case they should get full rights to vote, NHS care, pensions, benefits, police protection, and so on and so forth. If they get less than full rights, in my view, they should pay less than full tax.

  16. All his arguments confound virtue with putting more swill in the public trough rather than getting snouts out.

  17. bloke (not) in spain

    “in the case of the age of consent, we generally” don’t “hold that there is an age below which consent cannot be meaningfully given.” The UK “bright line” is over a year higher than the population weighted average across the EU, for a start. ( Your own CR – AoC15)
    As IanB persuasively argued, in another thread, it’s just the arbitrary imposition of the morality of those who get to shout the loudest. (Maybe why Eire’s got the highest AoC in the EU. Certainly nothing to do with the relative maturity of the Irish, as anyone who’s had anything to do with the Irish diaspora will know)
    AoC’s may be convenient for legislators, law enforcers, lawyers & other vested interests. But people are individuals & this is their personal private lives you’re meddling with.
    And this is the problem. Start down this route & you’ll get asswipes like Murphy insisting on using the law to impose his personal morality on the rest of us. Hence I reject the whole concept of “legality”. Because it gives him an avenue to meddle in laws. It’s not an area for the law because it’s not “unlawful”.. He should MHOFB.

  18. the man’s infuriating. I don’t think he even understands what he’s writing, or the implications of it. I guess we have to define the “spirit” of what he’s writing rather than the words he puts down on the page.

    So now he wants this system, but wants to exempt the vast majority of the world from it. So what’s the point? I suspect his epicycles have simply coiled up into his own rectum.

  19. bnis

    “(Maybe why Eire’s got the highest AoC in the EU. Certainly nothing to do with the relative maturity of the Irish, as anyone who’s had anything to do with the Irish diaspora will know”

    On this, I would just point out that R Murphy is an Irish passport holder and so a member of that diaspora. Or is that an example of the exception proving the rule?

  20. it’s sweet, really. Anyone who disagrees goes immediately into moderation until he replies, and no further replies are permitted…..


    “The ‘passport’ element of this merely extends the definition of residence”

    … to people who are in fact neither resident nor receive services. And will result in triple taxation of joint UK/US citizens resident in third countries on your naughty list. Quadruple for those who happen to have a parent from Eritrea also.

    Anyway, if you’ve exempted “most of the world”, exactly to which countries would this apply? You have not specified. Please elaborate – I’m struggling to comprehend the full scope of the spirit of your proposal.

  21. I think he wakes up in the morning, an idea pops into his head and then he just makes it up as he goes along.

  22. Now he’s contradicting himself – he said it wouldn’t apply to poor countries, only tax havens. Now he’s saying it only applies to countries not on the “white list” (presumably the OECD list), which includes…. a whole bunch of poor countries, some of which are also tax havens!

  23. Oh wait, he’s explained that it’s HIS white list, but hasn’t defined which countries would be on it.

    We are supposed to be telepathic, I guess.

  24. I just read through the thread. in some comments he specifically states it applies to ‘passport holders’ only then in another comment he bizzarely states that ‘passport is a metaphor for something bigger’. Mad as a box of frogs.

  25. Contradiction, obfuscation, watering down the proposal to nothingness, unwillingness to clarify any details. Problem is, Labour listens to him.

  26. @abacab: “Anyone who disagrees goes immediately into moderation until he replies…”

    It’s nothing personal: all comments go into moderation until he releases them (or deletes them). Comments appear in clumps, when he gets round to approving a batch. They normally appear in even numbers, as most comments get a reply from him when he approves them. He also gets them stripped of context (and doesn’t take time to find out what the context is), so he can only reply to anything that is in the comment he is replying to or to his impression of what that commenter might have said before – extended discussions are therefore slightly tricky.

  27. “Included

    And no, that does not mean money is taken from the local economy

    It would be paid to the one to which it was then owed
    – See more at:

    He really does think that all money belongs to the state – he just can’t fathom that taking PRIVATE money takes it out of the local economy, in which it would otherwise be spent, invested, or put in a bank to be invested by others. UK demands, UK gets. I guess money not spent in tax does not really exist?

    I think these discussions are very worthwhile, since they expose his worldview and contradictions to everyone.

  28. bloke (not) in spain

    “On this, I would just point out that R Murphy is an Irish passport holder and so a member of that diaspora. Or is that an example of the exception proving the rule?”

    More likely why the country’s got the highest AoC in the EU. Religion riddled shithole’s large reason for the diaspora. Trouble is, creeps like him crept out with the rest.

  29. He has tried to row back from this in the hope that nobody notices. However, let’s be clear, his “white list” includes very few nations and does not include most nations with whom we presently have or would like a DTA; his own word on DTAs is “sparingly”. So many poor non-tax haven countries are excluded because they are not “major” (his word again).

    abacab is exactly right here: this has appalling implications for many countries. Imagine a UK doctor who wishes to take his expeertise to, say, Uganda; a laudable enterprise you might say. So would Ritchie in grandstanding mode. However, Uganda is not on his white list – I gave him the opportunity! So that doctor would need to declare all of his worldwide earnings on a UK return or risk being stripped of his rights as a UK citizen. Result: no British doctor of sound mind would bother to go to Uganda.

  30. “The other part of Murphy’s thinking is that tax is a necessary part of the contract you have with the state you’re a member of: you shouldn’t get any benefits of being a UK citizen if you’re not prepared to pay for them” – thank you Pellinor

    I’m afraid I’ll have to chant that pesky “Rule of Law” mantra again. In LAW (geddit; LAW) you are ‘a member of a state’ for tax if you are resident there or if you have chargeable income or gains there; citizenship is not the test. Attempting to introduce some other critierium is just self-pleasuring.

  31. @Ironman,

    You seem to assume he plans his great campaigns. He doesn’t, he just gets up in the morning, hammers away at the keyboard after something he’s read in the FT or Grauniad triggers something in his head, then it rapidly unravels as people point out he’s written crap.

    The only exception is country by country reporting, that survived until he actually tried a real world worked example. Then that too fell flat on its face.

    In other news, perhaps the most ironic tweet you will ever read:

  32. He’s deleted one of my comments:


    I’m glad you agree that your proposals would involve HMRC prosecuting British citizens on behalf of foreign countries which said British citizens have no connection with save for a place of birth.


    I think you will find it is called mutual assistance

    Me (deleted):

    Aye, the Vichy regime were big on that.

  33. Noel Scoper

    Agreed; I think I said much the same earlier on.

    Tim Newman

    Yep, I’ve been blocked too. It didn’t need to be this way. Had he written in a more humble tone, invited comment etc, he might well have chaired a good discussion on the nature of citizenship etc. He didn’t though. Instead he threw in his hastily prepared but stubbornly held prejudices about double taxation agreements, his arrogant and thoroughly nasty attitudes towards individual taxpayers and citizens and his partonising view of the world outside Europe.

    In short, it would have been a different, better discussion if he were a different, better man.

  34. Just spotted this: “And you will note it only applies to those with UK income above the basic rate level – See more at:

    So… does this apply to non-UK residents who have UK source income above the basic rate level, or non-UK residents who have income above the UK basic rate upper threshold, as the Uganda doctor example suggests? Does he even know which he means?

    He is truly a man who cannot express himself clearly and concisely who wants to reorganise society according to the spirit of his whim.

  35. @ abacab
    ‘He is truly a man who cannot express himself clearly and concisely who wants to reorganise society according to the spirit of his whim.’

    He’s just an obnoxious twat really. And very, very dangerous as people listen to him.

  36. On a brighter personal note, if he was listened to by Labour; they get in; and they implement some of his suggestions; then I can retire early on the massive legal fees I will earn on UK a Golden Geese flying the coup. BTW what is the name again of that charity which supports the esteemed Mr. M?

  37. I have been out of circulation for a while and have only just read the Passport Tax thread. Hard to add to the comments of Max – every poster on the thread (and Ironman, you seemed quite forceful to the extent I’m surprised your comments survived moderation) ripped him to pieces and his arrogance doesn’t allow him to admit it.

    The only thing I can surmise from the desperation and willingness to alllow so many comments through is that with the unfolding sex abuse scandal leading many to question why we should have even a ‘cowardly state’ if its primary function appears to be to shield people who abuse children, he can see the writing on the wall, and has decided to go out with ‘all guns blazing’. That was literally the worst post I have ever seen from him and that is up against strong competition….

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