Who is speaking?
Who is he speaking to?
Members of the European Parliament
What is he talking about?
What does he want to achieve?
Persuade others that his opinion is right
What, according to the American philosopher Murray Rothbard, is the state?
An institution of theft
What, according to Godfrey Bloom, is tax? What is its objective?
A system where politicians and bureaucrats steal from citizens
“You are the biggest tax-avoiders in Europe!” – Who is the speaker accusing, and what methods of tax-avoidance does he accuse them of using?
MEPs; composite tax rates, high tax thresholds, non-contributory pension schemes
What consequences does Godfrey Bloom suggest might result from these practices?
People will vote for Eurosceptics in June, they will storm the European Parliament and they will hang the MEPs!
determined; going (to)
say the exact words someone else has said
on a large scale
to squander in the most disgraceful manner
to waste without shame
keep a straight face
not to smile or laugh
all sorts of special deals
talking as if with supreme authority
the message is getting home
people are beginning to understand the truth
People who do not believe in the European Union
in ever great numbers
more and more
people get your number
people see what you really want /what you are really trying to achieve
storm this chamber
to siege this building; to take this building by force
How does the speaker grab the attention of the listener?
a controversial statement, in the form of a quote
A quote [In what order does he use the following:]
Dramatic consequences [In what order does he use the following:]
Generalisation [In what order does he use the following:]
Personalisation [In what order does he use the following:]
‘Dramatic’ words e.g. squander, storm, hang; superlatives e.g. the most disgraceful, the biggest tax avoiders in Europe; lexical fields e.g. theft, steal, tax evasion:
Quote – Generalisation (the state is…; tax is…)Personalised accusation (You.. you….etc.), consequences; Interjections implying attitude (I don’t know how you can keep a straight face..)
Crescendo. First crimes grow in number, culminating in a climax (You are the biggest tax-avoiders in Europe); Then the consequences grow in seriousness to a climax (..and hang you)
Again, climatic. A more ‘polite’, detached academic tone in the introduction is replaced by an increasingly angry tone marked by heavy emphasis and intonation, culminating in ‘and they’ll be right!’
Is tax more than this? What would happen if nobody paid tax? Should we pay more or less tax than we do at the moment, to the same or different bodies as we do at the moment?
Dear Mr Bloom
Having listened to your contribution to the debate on European taxation, I cannot help feel that you have given a very exaggerated and one-sided view of a complex topic.
In the current climate of financial and political scandal within the European Union, I have to say that I was immediately attracted to your arguments. At times, one gets the feeling that taxation punishes the hard work of some, and prizes the laziness or corruption of others.
However, if we imagine a system without taxation, the world we live in is inconceivable. How would roads, hospitals, and the general infrastructure of the country and of the European Union be maintained and improved.?
What then is needed is not the abolition of taxation, but rather a more efficient and controlled distribution system. The money gained through tax should reduce the tax burden on some and increase the benefits for Europe as a whole and not only for the individuals that run the taxation system.