by PAUL COLLITS – THE other day, I received a letter from the New Zealand Electoral Commission informing me of my voting rights in relation to the forthcoming Kiwi election.
They have not registered that I left the Shaky Isles in 2018 and so don’t get to vote now. As a resident and property owner in NZ for some years, I could vote in their elections. Indeed, I did, in 2017.
Sadly, the Internal Revenue Department is more aware of my movements.
Coincidentally, I am now required to pay a considerable sum in capital gains tax for having sold an investment property there. And the tax rates are crippling, thanks to former PM Jacinda Ardern’s sense of social justice.
Which brings to mind, neatly, the twinned questions of taxation and representation.
It pains me considerably to have to have to shell out about a quarter of my capital gain to the government of “Chippy” Hipkins, the boy prefect who now runs Kiwiland.
Hipkins, an Albanese bestie, was previously known to Australian audiences for his part in outing Barnaby Joyce as a dual citizen. It caused a by-election.
(I have another interest in the NZ election, as I had a very interesting day with the alternate prime minister, Christopher Luxon, some years back, when he was CEO of the world’s best airline (Air New Zealand).
He is seriously impressive. Yet he will be, if elected, a John Key style wettish Left-liberal just a little to the Right of the Wellington establishment. New Zealand doesn’t generally do authentic conservative politicians, Bill English notwithstanding.
My ramblings arise after reflecting on George III, the Boston Tea Party and the post-COVID State.
Having to pay ludicrously high taxes to a government which bears little relation to the interests of ordinary voters concentrates the mind. And it happens to be a hot, if neglected, topic for our own politics.
The United States, in all of its subsequent real or imagined exceptionalism, is the outcome of a tax revolt.
The Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, which kicked off the American Revolution, was based on a simple principle – “no taxation without representation”. The colony was not impressed with British overlordism.
The King of England, George III, who may or may not have been “mad”, certainly was a statist taxer.
History tells us: “George III of England was irritated with the colonists in America. The colonists didn’t want to pay tax on English products; for example lead, glass, paint, wine and tea.
“In 1768 he sent 4000 British troops as well as a bunch of warships to the colonies to show the colonists that England was in control.”
It all sounds a bit familiar. Or it should.
Modern liberal democracies (not least the United States) are based on the Lockean compact of political obligation based on a “social contract”. Between citizens and the government.
We cede certain rights in return for State protection. In John Locke’s formulation, it was all very “liberal”. Limited government and all that. A minimal state.
But what if the State ceases to act in our interests? What if it ceases to be “limited”?
What happens then? Do we still owe such a State our unlimited obligation? And our taxes? Should we not take a Bostonian view of our obligations?
This happens to be both a core principle of political theory and an especially current problem.
The modern Western polity has long since ceased to be a worthy recipient of our fealty and our taxes.
One of the great libertarian contributions to political theory has been its insistence that “taxation is on a par with forced labour”. True enough.
Somehow, we just accept that the State has the right to tax us, come what may. Endlessly, without demur. For what they want to do.
For foreign wars to which we do not consent. For State-funded abortions. For State-funded child care for children that are not ours.
For wind farms and solar panels that we know are useless. For destroying our fossil fuel-based economy. For corrupt government contracts with consultants. In the billions. Every year.
For endless, limitless overseas immigrants. For the kickbacks to developers. For the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, whose main purpose now seems to be to relentlessly bag ordinary Australians and their values.
For the destruction of parental rights. For woke fantasies. For their ideological adventures (see under Victoria). For racist “voices”. For same sex “marriage”.
For unexplained handing-over of our rights to supra-national bodies. For outsourcing political debates and control to corporates. For spending trillions on Canberra thought-up fantasies.
This is what we pay for.
For things we never asked for, or consented to. We are the ones paying for the State to destroy us.
With their ideas and ideologies and preferences. The scams are endless. Make up your own list. And the key phrase is, “to which we did not consent”.
Elections no longer serve to inform voters of issues and debates. They are propaganda forums without meaning. Representative democracy is a figment of the imagination.
And a third of us have no representation. The deplorables who refuse to support the UniParty are, effectively, excised from the system. Ignored, silenced, parked “over there”, despised. Hillary Clinton, no doubt speaking for the elites, is still at it. She is medicalising us.
The question is raised, why am I paying taxes to support all this? When the two governing Parties have signed up to a system that duds a third of voters, who not only don’t vote for them but violently object to their plans and schemes.
Which bring us to the COVID State.
We already know that the State is tending-totalitarian. But what the past three years have shown us is that our elected democratic representatives have simply shafted us, shafted democracy, shafted rights.
These are our rights, and therefore not unimportant. Our rights underpin the system. Or did.
We lost our medical rights to informed consent. We lost businesses, livelihoods, jobs, careers. We lost parliamentary representation. (National Cabinet, anyone?).
We lost our economy. We lost a say in any of it. Because they just said so. And soon, we will lose our right to dissent, with the Ministry of Truth laws.
And they don’t care. They have vetoed a Royal Commission into the COVID response. They are in hoc to an international cabal of bad actors who wish us serious harm.
They have no accountability for their lethal crimes. They lied. People died. And the rest of us pay. Still.
Whither the social contract?
Why, then, should anyone feel obliged to support this system of amoral, power-driven faux-democracy?
COIVID, if nothing else, should cause a major rethink of political theory and of the basis on which we are expected to sign up for the social contract with the State.
I spoke of Locke and the American revolution. Another version of the social contract was the French revolution’s mastermind, Rousseau.
He spoke of “the general will”. Some of his modern adherents would be the good folks of Davos, the international corporatocracy.
The totalitarians, the modern adherents of the Rousseau version of the social contract. They have a plan, and it isn’t benign. Their reassuring words are driving us towards a miserable dystopian future. A future about which we-the-people will have very little say.
Poor old George III had absolutely nothing on his post-COVID successors, who clearly rule a post-liberal State not remotely envisaged by the authors of the original version of liberal, political obligation-based governance.
To which we are supposedly signed up, as we continue to pay our taxes, endlessly, to support things that we violently, viscerally, oppose.
Go figure. They only keep getting away with it because we let them. We enable totalitarianism.PC