Can you say colonialism?

Third, the threat to make the UK tax havens comply is in itself significant. It challenges one of the long held but wholly untrue claims of these places that they are independent locations that can legislate for themselves. In practice they can legislate but only with the consent of Westminster. In that sense they are like Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland at present, all of which legislate in parliaments whose existence is subject to Westminster consent. And that consent can be withdrawn: the ending of Stormont rule on occasion and the UK walking into and taking over rule of the Turks & Caicos Islands is evidence of that. The imposition of law on these places, which cannot pass any law in any case without the consent of the UK, is entirely possible.

Well, no. Some are Crown Dependencies, where internal law is a matter for the Queen as Duke of Normandy (at least, as the remnants of the Duchy) some are colonies (Anguilla) some are dependencies (say, Turks and Caicos) and some are fully independent countries. Those last don’t have to consult London on anything at all. To argue that they do is colonialism of course.

27 thoughts on “Can you say colonialism?”

  1. “some are fully independent countries”

    None of the ones that EdM is describing as UK tax havens are independent countries. Obviously, if he were suggesting Australia or Nigeria consult London then that would be absurd.

  2. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

    In fact, several bigger boats. A Navy, in fact.

    Richie can then send them steaming in and bombard their ports until they hand over money, because that is what a Courageous State does.

  3. What would it take for the Channel Islands to apply for UN membership? Or the Isle of Man. There are smaller countries.

  4. As someone with absolutely no formal education in economics I came across Richard Murphy’s blog a few months back. About 5 minutes in, as I was attempting to educate myself from someone sold to me as an ‘authority’, I began to get an urge to defenestrate my laptop. How is it possible that someone who has just been quoted by the BBC doesn’t appear to understand basic common sense economics, I mean the stuff you pick up just from being alive?

    Anyway, after fuming into myself for several months at the absurdity of celebrity, and the laziness of the media in quoting idiots, I found this blog last night, and spent a good hour laughing my bollocks off at the comments.

    Good stuff, apart from the UKIPism, I like open borders, they allowed me to move somewhere I find nicer than the UK. Trying to close the EU borders and restrict me to working somewhere I don’t want to work is a bit a Murphyesque, is it not?

  5. @ Superfluous

    “About 5 minutes in … I began to get an urge to defenestrate my laptop.”

    That exact same thing happened to me three or four years ago when I stumbled across there only to read some utter shite that very wilfully muddied and conflated tax avoidance with evasion.

    “I found this blog last night, and spent a good hour laughing my bollocks off at the comments

    I suspect that particular remedy works for a good number that visit here..:)

  6. “the BBC doesn’t appear to understand basic common sense economics, I mean the stuff you pick up just from being alive”

    Ah but, Superfluous, you had the benefit of not having had a formal education in Economics. There is some semi-scientific stuff, but that’s for very pointy-headed, and there are no right and wrong answers there either. Is QE good or bad? The intelligent answer is, ” well, depends, anyway not now”.

    A couple of things my formal economics education taught me (early 80s):

    1) There will shortly be no corner shops, because there are cheaper options. (The Asian cornershop explosion came right after)..
    2) Cinemas are finished.

    Both predictions are based on cast-iron rules.

  7. As a some-time resident of the Isle of Man, I can attest to the fact that although we are dependant upon the UK for certain things (like flight and ferry connections from the Isle of Man via the UK to destinations foreign), that is about it.

    All of the rest of the Isle of Man functions are managed for the people by the people and agreed for in the Manx Parliament which is a hell of a lot older (being of Scandinavian origin) than Westminster’s ram-shackled hut on the Thames.

    Where services are provided by the UK to the Isle of Man (specialist NHS treatment and Defence), then these are paid for by the Manx Treasury from taxes collected from Manx personal and corporate tax-payers.

    So while our tax rates may not be as high as the UK’s we have both taxation and representation. Any idea that the Isle of Man leaches off the UK is ridiculous, any more than Lithuania or Estonia do.

    The Isle of Man understands its place in the world, which is one of history and joint enterprise with the UK. If however, the current Lord of Mann (aka Elizabeth II – Queen of England) wishes to relinquish her claims to the island, then she is free to do so.

    The Isle of Man is a bit small to be independent, but if the options are to do that or be joined at the hip to the Lord High Tax Denouncer, then we’ll go on our own way, albeit with a heavy heart.

    Ritchie has form on the Island and he’ll find few friends here.

  8. @Superflous

    I had quite a similar experience to you, in that Murphy popped up in a place he really had no business appearing. Namely our (Irish) national radio station, RTE Radio 1. Only difference was I was well aware of his ‘expertise’ (thanks to Tim’s blog) so it was quite depressing to hear him introduced as one of the UK’s “leading experts on international tax law”, or something equally bizarre.

    It was a debate surrounding the big U.S. corporations’ tax arrangements with our government, of course. After little in the way of insight, Murphy goes on to label Ireland a ‘doormat state’ that allows firms like Apple to ‘wipe their feet’ of their tax responsibilities. It struck me as being quite rude behaviour from someone invited in to give an outsider’s viewpoint.

    Needless to say he’s not the only moron our national station calls upon, so the BBC isn’t alone in that respect.

  9. Mainly because of The Knife and Me, I’ve been reading some essays by the brilliant Thomas Sowell.

    It crossed my mind that a debate between the great man and the Big Dick would be interesting.

    Then further reflection convinced me what a waste of time it would be, like throwing a stick for a three-legged dog that couldn’t shut its mouth.

  10. “Third, the threat to make the UK tax havens comply is in itself significant. It challenges one of the long held” bases of international law. It lines up Miliband alongside Mao TseTung, Stalin, the USA dealing with Noriega, Saddam Hussein and Putin as willing to invade independent nations who don’t do what he tells them.

  11. So Much for Subtlety

    Superfluous – “Good stuff, apart from the UKIPism, I like open borders, they allowed me to move somewhere I find nicer than the UK. Trying to close the EU borders and restrict me to working somewhere I don’t want to work is a bit a Murphyesque, is it not?”

    If some country wants to allow you to move there, fine. I have no problem with that. How, though, is it sensible to allow a billion people from the Third World to move here? How many Rotherhams do you want to see?

    Let’s ask the Australian Aboriginees how open borders worked for them shall we?

  12. @Jack C

    Yes, no formal education helps – has anyone come to a conclusion on whether banks actually create money or not? I just read a book on how Bitcoin was going to stop financial institutions from creating money – yet I don’t understand how a Bitcoin bank couldn’t just leverage Bitcoin deposits and loan books the same way as it does with any currency. A few minutes (hours/days) of Googling shows everyone disagreeing with each other. The dismal science is fun.

    @John Galt

    Ellan Vannin abu – I’m a resident of about 3 years now.

    @Beansie

    Dia duit – I hail from the north, originally, but I’ve been about the place a bit. Ireland might be a doormat state, but I’ve managed to utilise multinational companies to learn/extract skills and then sell to the highest bidder to make a life for myself – which was much easier than waiting around for a really caring government to deliver a life to me.

    @So Much for Subtlety

    I did say EU – I like a gradually expanding open door policy. I certainly don’t want to be one of these hypocritical “I’m alright Jack” characters, in opposing all migration but my own – I understand that too much might be a logistical problem even if we were all grand multiculturalists. Yet I left school at 16, left the country at 21, and I’ve lived in 4 different EU states in the last decade. I utilised the market and took advantage of the demand for labour – and eventually built some capital, and a life for myself. I just can’t block a Polish person from doing exactly what I did. The EU delivers a marketplace of states – I get to choose the Government I like, and flee the Government I don’t like. It’s personal democracy, and the fight should be on stopping federalisation – stopping it becoming a United States – stopping it accepting more states into the marketplace before they are ready – but not to stop individuals utilising the market of states.

  13. So Much for Subtlety

    Superfluous – “I did say EU – I like a gradually expanding open door policy.”

    So how many Rotherhams do you think we should have? The choice is between open borders or closed borders. There is no stable middle ground. You seem to prefer the extinction of the British people. That is a value judgement but not one I share.

    “I certainly don’t want to be one of these hypocritical “I’m alright Jack” characters, in opposing all migration but my own”

    Why not? There is nothing hypocritical about saying that individual countries ought to have the right to make the choice about what is best for them. If Germany, say, thinks it is better off letting you in, then it is not hypocritical to say it is a good thing to let you in. But if they let in 5 million Turks, it is still not hypocritical to say that that is not going to work out well.

    “I understand that too much might be a logistical problem even if we were all grand multiculturalists.”

    The logistics are irrelevant. Either the British will continue to exist. Or they won’t. They won’t once they are a small persecuted minority in their own homeland.

    “I just can’t block a Polish person from doing exactly what I did.”

    Why not?

    “The EU delivers a marketplace of states – I get to choose the Government I like, and flee the Government I don’t like.”

    No it does not. It delivers a Super State under a very thin disguise. You cannot even choose the tax regime you like as the EU is determined to remove that right from its member states.

    Nor does it matter what type of super state it is if that depends on outsource immigration to Britain to the likes of Greece, Italy and Spain. Who will always be happy to point as many Moroccans as possible in the direction of Rotherham.

  14. bloke (not) in spain

    @dearieme
    “Elizabeth II – Queen of England”: that is not one of HM’s titles.

    I have an early C18th document which styles the reigning monarch as King of England, Scotland, Wales & France.

    Has Brenda renounced one of those competences?

  15. Superfluous – welcome. A varied range of views among this happy band. Some support UKIP and some support other parties. We do not even all agree with each other.
    As in anything its worth checking up on what you read, we do not have all the answers or access too The Sole Truth. We do learn from each other or pull apart arguments and ‘facts’ that are not quite as factual…
    Seriously between this site and Ritchie’s site there’s plenty of entertainment.

  16. Ritchie’s playing at being an expert on constitutional and international law now.

    He’s getting an absolute battering in the comments – if it was a boxing match the referee would have stopped the fight long ago.

  17. GlenDorran,
    Indeed, I had no idea He was The Constitutional Expert as well.

    My own take is that anyone who says they fully understand the British Constitution is delusional. It’s like the Irish Question.

    It could get ugly in Cornwall.

  18. I have an early C18th document which styles the reigning monarch as King of England, Scotland, Wales & France.

    Her current formal title, for use in the various bits of the UK, is:

    Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

  19. So Much for Subtlety

    bloke (not) in spain – “Has Brenda renounced one of those competences?”

    I have just been reading a history of the battle of Waterloo by some retired officer type and he claims that the Crown gave up the claim to being the Kings of France in the Treaty of Amiens in about 1803 (by memory – I forget).

    He also says he encourages Foreign Office types to reassert this claim at every opportunity.

    It seems Napoleon did a lot of tidying up then. As he also got the Austrians to give up their claim to being Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.

  20. he claims that the Crown gave up the claim to being the Kings of France in the Treaty of Amiens in about 1803 (by memory – I forget).

    Typical. Scrambling cause and effect. Probably a Staff College graduate.

    The claim was actually unilaterally given up on pronunciation of the Union of the Crowns in 1800, whereby the “and France” was dropped from the “King of Great Britain and …”.

    Admittedly, it had be demanded, by the Frogs, at the Conference of Lisle three years previously. Not because they didn’t think we were right (although they probably didn’t), but because they were now a Republic, therefore there was no such title to claim.

    The Treaty of Amiens formally recognised the French Republic, us having previously been (and subsequently were, again) on the side of the Bourbons (despite our monarch having continued to claim the French throne during that time.)

    However, the Scarlet Pretender (i.e. Cardinal Stuart), kept the claim in his title until his death in 1807.

  21. GlenDorran

    My favorite comment on the second ‘Tax haven’ thread – referring to the various low tax jurisdictions in his sights (It could just as easily be applied to readers of this blog, though)

    ‘So we pick them off one by one
    but we will get them all in the end’

    We have been duly forewarned, I think, about this man’s true intent. What a ghastly individual….

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