Council tax, rebellion, and a day in court

Friday 8th October 2010 – A Friday October morning at the Magistrates` Court in the small Welsh town of Brecon seems an unlikely setting for a case that promises to have a fundamental effect on the entire British legal and tax-collecting system. Amongst the usual run-of-the-mill cases that turn up in a small rural community was one involving Powys Council`s application over the non-payment of Council Tax, issued against John Hurst and his wife Tina.

Before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, John Hurst is no free-loader. He is a highly responsible and patriotic citizen, a former police officer with an impressive record. His decision not to pay is based on thorough research indicating that councils have no legal right whatsoever to levy such a tax on its citizens. Believing this to be true, John would have therefore committed an offence by actually paying the tax, as the majority of us already have. Given that ignorance of the law is no defence, it places the overwhelming majority of hitherto respectable British citizens in an invidious situation and the courts in an even worse one.

John, a committed supporter of Lawful Rebellion, arrived at the court with his wife, along with her Mackenzie Friend. The court official took down the details but then returned some time later stating that Tina Hurst’s case was no longer listed. This was an extremely odd development, given that Tina is registered disabled with visual impairment and would have hence qualified for a Council Tax rebate, which had not been awarded and for legal aid should she decide to take the case further. It would appear that suspicions of skulduggery would not be entirely unfounded. The official was challenged over this and shortly afterwards brought out a more senior figure, a pleasant young man, who invited the little party into a private office. There he declared that on checking his information, Tina Hurst was on the list after all!

Much later, the group was invited into Court. John Hurst, representing himself, immediately questioned as to why there were only two magistrates on the bench instead of the required three. The Council`s solicitor stated that he had to agree but that this was not contentious. John immediately retorted that it was and insisted on exercising his legal right to have three magistrates present. The court officials had to concede and the group was asked to leave the Court whilst a third magistrate be found.

Amongst John Hurst’s contentions, was the fact that this court had no jurisdiction to make a firm decision on his case. Therefore, it was welcome when the council solicitor appeared, telling John that the court had decided that the matter should be passed to the Court in Llandrindod Wells for trial on Friday 5th November at ten a.m.

The group re-entered the Court shortly afterwards for the formal decision to be announced, but John consequently and successfully challenged the by now hapless and bewildered clerk of the court over a number of legal and procedural issues.

It was not all over, as John stated that he had not yet received disclosure of the Council`s documents. The Council`s solicitor conceded that they had only been posted on 29th September, two days earlier. The clerk then stated that in order to enable Counsel to examine the Hurst’s skeleton argument, the time of the coming hearing would be delayed by thirty minutes. John immediately stated that he failed to understand how this would allow Counsel to assimilate the information as it consisted of thirty pages. The clerk again seemed baffled by this, as she was unaware of this attachment. The Council`s solicitor was immediately questioned and became somewhat incoherent. He asked if John had actually sent the documents with the attachment, to the Council. John stated that he had and furthermore had a printed e-mail acknowledgement from the Council to prove it.

Hence, it was established that the Council`s solicitor must have knowingly or recklessly failed to disclose vital evidence to the Court, a criminal offence.

The Court was hastily concluded and the officials and the solicitor were assured that a formal complaints would be issued, including one to the police requesting the arrest and charge of Powys Council`s solicitor for withholding evidence from the Court, which, moreover, would have not have been discovered but for the unfortunate clerk`s statement.

It must be said that John Hurst`s performance in Court was magnificent, assured, authoritative and knowledgeable at all times, invariably leaving the court, including the magistrates, trailing along hopelessly out of their collective depth. He and his wife deserve every possible support for their courageous stand, which is an important stepping stone on the way to exposing the inefficiency, unlawful conduct and even possible corruption on the part of those responsible for administering our legal system and the behaviour of other state-funded officials, particularly in this instance, those employed by Powys Council.

This court report was originally written by journalist Robert Green.

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About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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20 Responses to Council tax, rebellion, and a day in court

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Council tax, rebellion, and a day in court | IanPJ on Politics -- Topsy.com

  2. Excellent!

    John is a regular commenter over at my place. It is fantastic to see him and his good lady challenging this illegal and unlawful tax. It is, as you point out, ground-breaking stuff.

    John has offered his help in my war with HMRC and has already supplied some stunning advice.

    Odd, isn’t it, how life turns out? If it wasn’t for their insane legislation forcing smokers out of pubs, I would never have even considered becoming an activist. And here I am, just months away from proving that taxation, in all its’ forms, is illegal. (Assuming HMRC are daft enough to take me to court).

    But, this is about John’s current battle, and I can’t wait to see how it ends. Good on you John!

    And good on you Ian, for keeping us informed on the progress and of the court shenanigans.

    CR.

  3. Nick says:

    Brilliant piece of standing up for themselves! Thanks for posting it and good luck to them.

  4. JJ says:

    Wonderful stuff!

    It just makes you wonder though how many laws out there that are illegal and should not or cannot be enforced. Humans can be so gullible, simply accepting what others – those they perceive to know more than them – tell them to do.

    Capn’ Ranty has said on his blog that there are about six major flaws in the smoking ban legislation, but the cost around £300,000 of hiring a top-class barrister is just too prohibitive. It would be nice to see the smoking ban pulled apart in court and shoved in a place where the sun doesn’t shine…shame it’s just the huge legal expense that’s propping up this iniquitous piece of legislation.

    Over recent weeks and months you’ve had the blogosphere showing just how important it is when it comes to sharing information that can, and does, help others.

    If ever the blogosphere has shown it’s true worth – then just look at the case of 70 year old Sheila Martin.

  5. Harbinger says:

    Brilliant!

    Well done to John Hurst and his wife Tina. I commend him on his expert knowledge. I must say that I’m quite new to all of this and I have a great deal of reading to do in order to understand the procedures, but one day I’ll be where John is hopefully with a much larger population also, ever growing.

    Again, it’s great to see how this has turned out.

  6. Indyanhat says:

    Well done john and tina full marks 10/10 which makes today a 10/10, 10/10/10 well done you!

  7. Excellent stuff! Good luck to everyone involved in this.

  8. Pingback: Council tax, rebellion, and a day in court | The Albion Alliance presents

  9. Pingback: Council Tax rebellion – John Hurst Statement | IanPJ on Politics

  10. Poppy says:

    Please spell ‘Powys’ correctly

  11. Pingback: Council tax, rebellion, and a day in court | Centurean2′s Weblog

  12. Pingback: Council tax, rebellion, and a day in court - The Crack Has Appeared! | NoCouncilTax.com

  13. Pingback: John Hurst prepares for next round in court | IanPJ on Politics

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  16. Pingback: John Hurst – tax rebel « Ampers' Rants

  17. Ampers says:

    Now we are probably about to see just how much power the state wealds on our legal system. I am bearing in mind that most MPs belong to it, being lawyers themselves.

    I wish John all the best and hope he succeeds but this doubting Thomas is not holding his breathe.

    Good luck John!

    Ampers.

  18. Alan says:

    So the new hearing was on the 5th…… what happened??

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