Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

Editorial: Beware the TrIRDs

There are two major organised crime gangs in this country. They have a great deal in common. They both break into private premises, they both steal, they both kill. One is the Triads, the other is the Inland Revenue Department (& its sponsors in the Beehive, the politicians — they whom I call the Molesworth Mafia). There is one (cosmetic) difference between these two mobs — the Triads are illegal; the IRD is legal (the Department of Legalised Theft, hereinafter referred to as the Trirds). In fact, it is more than merely legal — it is above the law.

The Triads are ruthlessly efficient at what they do; the Trirds are seriously inept, but still manage to harass, steal & kill — by driving people to suicide — on a scale sufficient to justify the description, "organised crime." (See Horror File, Issue 28 & this issue, & Errol Taylor's article on Pg 2.)

Another thing the legal gangs manage quite well is to place themselves beyond each other's reach. The Molesworth Mafia protects itself from the Trirds by means of a "secure unit" — a place where all politicians' tax files go & are protected from the sort of snooping to which the rest of us are exposed. That's why you never hear a politician, who lives off the blood sucked from us by the Trird vampires, complain about the blood-sucking. The files of the Trirds likewise go into a secure unit, so the vampires themselves are protected from each other's sorties.

For obvious reasons the Triads don't commission reports about themselves; for reasons best known to themselves the Trirds do. The latest of these is a 140-page literary monstrosity called Taxpayer Attitudes & Perceptions & Their Link to Behaviour: A Literature Review, by a Trird employee who, judging by the hilarious gobbledygook with which her report runneth over, has to be a sociology graduate (with an MBA degree as well?). At the outset, she informs us that for purposes of her study:

"An attitude is defined as an association in memory between a given object & one's evaluation of that object (Fazio, 1990, p 81)";

A perception is, "An interpretation or impression based on one's understanding of something (Thompson, 1995, p 1,014)";

Behaviour is, "How a person acts or responds to a given stimulus. Behaviours 'are in principle verifiable by an external observer' (Sudman & Bradburn, 1982, p 289)."

Thank heaven for Sudman, Bradburn, Thompson & Fazio ... where would we be without them?!

Ms IRD/MBA then summarises the responses common to all the Trirds' attitudinal surveys over the past twelve years (here the language is clear, reflecting the unambiguous nature of the responses):

1) "Taxpayers believe that the tax system is inequitable."
Goodness, what a surprise!

2) "They think Inland Revenue & government are inefficient."
No, really? It took them a mere 14 years to wrap up Geoff Sinclair's case (discussed often by Geoff on Radio Pacific) — and so what if they then re-opened it?!

3) "Taxpayers fear Inland Revenue & are anxious when they are dealing with us."
More astonishment. Yes, there are those who will claim that it's normal to experience fear in the presence of hoods, but that's only those damned productive types.

4) "Taxpayers perceive Inland Revenue as bureaucratic, unhelpful & inflexible."
Never! I mean, it's not as though they would arbitrarily bill you for an outlandish amount, refuse to discuss it & call the police if you broke down & cried on IRD premises. Yes, all right, someone on Radio Pacific did recently claim that this happened to her, but she was only a common ... taxpayer!

5) "Small businesses are frustrated by the amount of paperwork they have to do & their compliance costs."
Now this is ridiculous. What ARE small businesses on about? There's only PAYE, the Government Slavery Tax, the Entertainment Tax, Provisional Tax, the Fringe Benefit Tax, ACC & some others I may have momentarily forgotten. What a bunch of cry-babies! Anyway, do they seriously think they have something better to do than fill out IRD forms? Create wealth? Create jobs? Give me a break!

6) "Taxpayers feel powerless in their dealings with Inland Revenue — having no input into tax legislation & lacking control over how their money is spent. They also feel as if they have no opportunity for redress against Inland Revenue."
What DO these goddamn taxpayers mean — THEIR money?! This is presumptuous in the extreme. It's not theirs! By producing a good or providing a service they merely earned the money — so that it could then be transferred to its rightful owners: politicians, bureaucrats, state-worshipping academics & Trirds.

7) "Many taxpayers feel that Inland Revenue treats them as guilty until proven innocent."
But they ARE guilty. The IRD says so — that's all the proof anyone could require, surely?

The Associate-Minister of Loot, David Carter, got very upset with MP Rodney Hide when Rodney asked to see the report. Mr Carter said it contained "nothing startling." In the sense that it confirms what all of us already know, that's right, of course; but Section 6 of the Tax Administration Amendment Act 1995 obliges all Ministers & officials of the Crown to "protect the integrity" of the tax collection system. The definition of integrity includes: "(a) Taxpayer perceptions of that integrity."

This report shows very clearly that taxpayer perceptions, based on their actual dealings with the Trirds' goons, are that the integrity is non-existent. Mr Carter has a statutory responsibility to be startled. If he's not startled, he should resign.

Mr Carter says Rodney should concentrate on the good things about the Trirds, like the fact that the majority of customer telephone calls are now answered within thirty seconds. Well what a stunning achievement! Dial-A-Hood, response-time is good!

The fact is, folks — we're not the Trirds' "customers," we are their victims. "Customer" is a term that designates a voluntary relationship; our relationship with the Trirds is involuntary — it is based on coercion: theirs. And as long as society has institutions that are propped up by or directly perpetrate coercion, it cannot call itself civilised. As we move from where we are to the banning of coercion & the consequent abolition of such bastions of it as the Trirds, we must demand that they at the very least behave politely in the interim & be beholden to such judicial norms as innocent till proven guilty. We must support Rodney Hide's demand for a public inquiry into their behaviour thus far, & into the police-state powers handed to them by the politicians on whose behalf they practise their thuggery. Those politicians also must be made to account for what they did. Comrade Birch, for example, will retire on $600,000 of our money expropriated by the thugs to whom he handed their current powers & whom he has dutifully protected when those powers were questioned. He must not be allowed to get away with this.

When we do achieve our freedom revolution, every last one of these bastards must be brought before a "truth commission" like the post-apartheid one in South Africa, where they must recount & recant. They have lied, bullied, stolen & murdered for too long. Government by organised crime must cease.

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