From tax probe to spying on citizens?

February 26th, 2008

From Mr Peter D. Hahn.

Sir, Your editorial “Liechtenstein loot” (February 19) correctly points to the complexities and sophistication of tax evasion among those wealthy enough to afford it. I can’t claim higher morals because I have never had the wealth to consider such a strategy, but I am deeply troubled by the FT’s seeming endorsement of Germany’s techniques.

Germany’s encouragement and payment for stealing property is something no state should ever engage in except if it means securing the life of its citizens (such as in the prevention of terrorism or drug dealing).

Had a tax inspector, an employee or another individual obtained the information and provided it to the German authorities without payment, I would surely support such efforts to prosecute those who have committed an injustice and avoided paying. However, the German government’s payment for such information is certainly a greater injustice.

The state that justifies immoral behaviour in pursuit of taxes is the state that can too easily justify spying on its own people for any disagreeable behaviour and here the Germans have a historical record that should suggest extraordinary restraint. This is governance at its worst.

Peter D. Hahn,

FEM Fellow,

Corporate Finance and Governance,

Sir John Cass Business School,

London EC1Y 8TZ


What is happening in Britain today is so fundamentally wrong, so insane and un-British that there are very few people who do not see these wrongs for what they are.

Peter Hahn is merely the latest.

Every day we see more voices turning to the sound of BLOGDIAL. That is a good thing. It means that we are reaching a tipping point.

The other day I was in a cab heading to a fine restaurant in Soho, and the driver promised me that there was going to very soon be a mass uprising in the UK, because the people had been pushed too far.

Those words warmed my heart better than any Cognac ever could

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Thank you to all the people who posted on this blog over the years.

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