A curious miscarriage

Not free to go

It was Monday morning, the weekend had been longer and more tedious than usual, and Norbert was preparing to leave for the office, when there was a knock at the door. Norbert was surprised to find Jeremy the local bobby outside.

Good morning, Jerry. What brings you here today?

I am very sorry, sir, but I must take you away to a place of confinement where you will remain for an indefinite period.

I don’t understand, are you saying that you are taking me to gaol?

Yes, sir, that is what I must do. You were condemned by the Court yesterday, and I have been instructed to escort you to the lawful place of confinement.

I know you must do your work, Jerry, but perhaps you would enlighten me. For what have I been condemned?

I have not been told, sir. I am aware that your statement was presented to the court, one witness was called and then came the judgement, but I was not permitted to enter to courtroom.

May I have a few moments to pack a bag? Please come in and take a seat. I shall not be long.

As he packed, Norbert reflected upon the situation. He had been called into the station several weeks ago to give an account of his movements on a particular day in December. He thought carefully about what he had said in that document. He had been out of town all of that week on business, and could think of nothing in it that could give rise to what was now taking place. He mused thoughtfully, as the absurdity of the situation pressed home upon him. Here he was about to be committed to a place of confinement on the judgement of a court at a hearing of which he had no knowledge. He supposed that had he troubled himself to go to the court every day, he would have seen his name on the list of cases to be heard: Person or persons unknown v Norbert Smith Defendant 1230 Room B, he imagined to himself. What had been said about him? Why had he not received a call to attend the hearing and reply to his accusers?

He resigned himself to his fate. He remembered that the wise man said: the first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. (Proverbs 18:17)

Coco © 2015

Coco wonders how many of us feel a little bit like Norbert. There are flaws in many processes which would not be permitted in the legal process in a liberal state. And if you wonder why Coco wrote this, it is quite simple, there are two reasons. Firstly, the document, which claims to be an assessment, appears to be empty. Nothing has been said, so there is nothing to which a reply can be given. And secondly, there has been no process meeting with the preparer of the document, but only an informal chat with the one who has been interposed between Coco and the Assessor. It is of course nothing less than is expected to happen or not happen however you may wish to look at it.

[Coco attempts to make some changes and add comments to the document, and then having second thoughts to remove them.]

“Ah, but how strange, it seems not to be possible to remove comments, even draft comments, after they have been saved….ah well I shall post the whole thing again with the correction…”

[It is for this reason that the first related tale finds its way into the document. Then there is a question to which an answer must be given, but the only answer available is not the answer which Coco either wished to give or would have been true if given]

It would seem that there is only one possible answer to the question. HMRC require non trading partnerships who wish to file on-line and also to complete the additional information box, which is intended only for trade use, to pretend that they are trading partnerships (ie to lie) and to declare that the type of trade is NO TRADE. In the light of this and in the same spirit I have selected the only option available.

[Coco is left as perplexed as Norbert was at the process which led to his gaoling, but without having to face the same consequences.]