Murphy’s law

Richard Murphy, the former tax account and practising tax avoider whose Damascene conversion to the idea of ‘tax justice’ means that he now spends his time pontificating that tax avoidance is immoral and should be illegal, has apparently decided that, against all logic, the time has come to open a new front in his never ending campaign:

That’s right, because something isn’t codified in law it can’t – in Murphyworld – be legal.

Sorry Ritchie but in this country we follow something called ‘Common Law’. You may have heard of it. The general principle is everything is legal unless it has specifically been legislated against.

If you want a legal code in which anything which hasn’t been declared legal is automatically deemed to be illegal then can I suggest you move to mainland Europe and live under the Napoleonic Code?

13 Comments

  1. K says:

    Oh he has heard of common law… his blog post uses it to (bizarrely) back up his argument:

    “…there is common law which can be, and often is, used to attack tax abuse. It’s the law on cheating.”

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/06/23/lets-deal-with-this-its-legal-argument-for-tax-avoidance/

    Bonkers.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      Common Law == cheating? Murphy really is going doolally, isn’t he? Tax avoidance doesn’t defraud anyone so how the hell can it be cheating?

  2. […] In which we subcontract out the necessity of Murphy being taught the difference between Common Law and the Napoleonic code with a damn girt cluebat to the Misanthrope Girl. […]

  3. […] In which we subcontract out the necessity of Murphy being taught the difference between Common Law and the Napoleonic code with a damn girt cluebat to the Misanthrope Girl. […]

  4. Peter S says:

    By the way, “anything which hasn’t been declared legal is automatically deemed to be illegal” is not true of Napoleonic law. In fact it’s the other way about: the Criminal Code defines what is a criminal offence, if it isn’t so defined it’s legal.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      I know I’m not a lawyer and that my knowledge of the law on the continent is even more sketchy that my knowledge of the law in the UK but my crude understanding is that the Napoleonic Code worked on the principle of explicit permission, e.g. if you don’t have explicit permission to do something, it is forbidden.

      Is this not the case? Or was my statement “anything which hasn’t been declared legal is automatically deemed to be illegal” simply too wide an interpretation of this?

  5. […] In which we subcontract out the necessity of Murphy being taught the difference between Common Law and the Napoleonic code with a damn girt cluebat to the Misanthrope Girl. […]

  6. andi says:

    It is the post-modernist (stealth Marxist) sensibility—if it advances the agenda it is moral, if it doesn’t it is not. Any law can be deconstructed.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      Morality and law should be kept poles apart.

      • andi says:

        Post-modern Marxists have deconstructed this distinction. No law, no morality is above their collectivist imperative. BTW, Hitler’s atrocities were legal in his land.

      • john77 says:

        I don’t think that they should – ancient english laws reflected commonly understood morality “thou shalt do no murder”, “thou shalt not steal”, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”, and, to a certain extent “thou shalt not commit adultery”. Since modern governments abandoned morality as a basis for law and replaced it with administrative convenience the quantity of laws has increased, the quality declined and the complexity multiplied to the point that the Inland revenue don’t understand the taxation laws they are supposed to implement.
        However, Murphy’s assumption of supreme power in which he alone can interpret English Law and morality [God’s Law] and defines democracy as what he wants, not what the first government since 1959 to be supported by a majority of voters decides, has not yet reached the point where it affects reality and “cheating” still means “breaking the rules”, not “obeying the rules that Murphy dislikes”. One might say that *some* tax avoidance practices are “gamesmanship” but the ones I use (contributing to a pension and Gift Aid) are not and I *can* find a law that permits each of them.
        That tweet just shows that Murphy is either a liar or a twit.

  7. Furor Teutonicus says:

    XX f you want a legal code in which anything which hasn’t been declared legal is automatically deemed to be illegal then can I suggest you move to mainland Europe and live under the Napoleonic Code? XX

    THAT is a load of bleeding BOLLOX!

    Think logically. Do you think we are arresting millions of people per day, because when the red man turns to green, they step off with the left foot first, when the law does not say they can do that?

    It does not say I can drink beer directly from the bottle. Think I will get arrested if I do?

    Why is the largest “sign market” in Germany for “### ist verbotten!”, when, according to your theory, it should be “### ist erlaubt.”??

    “anything which hasn’t been declared legal is automatically deemed to be illegal”
    TOTAL FUCKING BOLLOX. and TOTALLY FUCKING LAUGHABLE. To say nothing of the fact, illogical and unworkable.

  8. penseivat says:

    FT, Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think!