Jordan Williams shoots and misses | The Jackal

25 Jun 2020

Jordan Williams shoots and misses

Jordan Williams
It’s pretty obvious to all and sundry that the Taxpayers Union, run by Jordan Williams, isn’t really a union at all. Instead it’s a small lobby group for privileged white folk, namely the old fools behind the scenes of the corrupt and largely defunct Act Party.

With an incorrectly attributed name, it should come as no surprise that the Taxpayers Union espouse the inconsistent neoliberal beliefs of a dwindling and very small minority. But every once in a while the Taxpayers Union comes up with a real doozy!

That was the case when Williams recently argued that the Government wasn’t legally allowed to request any payment from Kiwis who were returning home because of the COVID-19 pandemic currently raging overseas.

Last Monday, the Taxpayers Union reported:

Government cannot charge New Zealand citizens to return to New Zealand 

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Jordan Williams said, “Inherited from British constitutional law is what is called the ‘right of return’. Governments can’t put barriers up preventing their own citizens from coming home. Putting a tax or ‘co-payment’ on citizens, even to cover the costs of quarantine, is almost certainly unlawful.”

Don’t give up your day job Jordan. The law referenced here is one of only a few that remains from a year 1217 charter of rights called Magna Carta. But unfortunately for the deluded Williams, the right of return law is superseded here by the the Health Act 1956, which states:

118 Regulations as to quarantine 

Regulations made under this Act may provide for all or any of the following matters: 
(cc) the payment by any person who has been isolated pursuant to regulations made under this section of the reasonable cost of his treatment and maintenance while in isolation.

Now I realise that Williams might not be able to understand this, so let me break it down for him. The Government can legally impose payments on Kiwis returning from overseas who are required, also under law, to go into isolation.

Clearly the Taxpayers Union isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and as if to prove just how dull they are, Williams then starts incorrectly quoting from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In addition, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), article 13:states that Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. 

The problem with Jordan Williams' argument here is that we’re not talking about stopping Kiwis from returning home. Instead we’re talking about them making a contribution towards their costs incurred while in managed isolation.

Mr Williams says “The purpose of these rules are to prevent statelessness. While it’s painful for taxpayers, it’s a true public good, and the cost is right to be socialised.”

Get that! The Taxpayers Union, who has always argued that the welfare state should be gutted, is now saying that the cost for people’s food and lodgings should be socialised.

What Williams is essentially saying is that taxpayer money should only be spent on people who are wealthy enough to travel, while the poor still deserve an even smaller slice of the pie.

Maybe the Taxpayers Union should have spent some of that $60,000 on an actual lawyer.

But if this wasn’t enough to convince you that the ideology of the Taxpayers Union is terribly flawed, they followed up their previous examples of stupidity with a considerably dumber tweet the next day:

Obviously the issue here is that New Zealand doesn't even have a constitution. If we want an actual constitution, New Zealand would likely need to become a republic first, which is something I'm sure the Taxpayers Onion would argue against as well.

So that would be three strikes and you're out Jordan. Better luck next time.