I watched the tail end of a programme last night about our glorious Customs and Excise.
It was supposed to be one of those “look at us and all the great work we do on your behalf” type programmes, with a side purpose of convincing us that they will get “the bad guys” one way or another.
I found the programme rather nauseating.
A typical scenario was two women driving around looking for foreign registered cars and stopping them. They drove for hours and became more despondent until finally they stopped some poor foreign sod who had been using his car “beyond the allocated time”. They pounced on the poor bastard and threatened to impound his car on the spot unless he paid the fine. They then proceeded to drive him to a bank where he was forced to hand over a couple of hundred before he was allowed carry on his journey. It made the two women very happy.
Can anyone tell me the difference between that and highway robbery?
Why should anyone have to pay import duty on a car? If I go abroad and buy a vehicle at half the Irish price then that is what’s known as free trade. In fact why should anyone have to pay excise duty on anything? Alcohol? Tobacco? Petrol and diesel? Why does any gubmint have the right to decide that if I am buying a particular product, that they have the right to charge me double or treble extra just for themselves?
I can see a use for Customs all right. There is no harm in having someone to make sure diseased animals or plants aren’t brought into the country. There is no harm in having a body checking to make sure undesirables don’t enter the country. Some kind of border control is necessary, but who are they to say what legal products can be brought in or not? Who are they to decide how many packs of baccy I can buy or where I purchase a car?
Customs and Excise?
Highway robbery and extortion with menaces, more like.