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Prince of Sealand Dies At 91 218

Posted by timothy
from the interesting-character-fades-from-view dept.
jdavidb writes "46 years ago, occupying an abandoned WWII platform off the coast of Britain, Paddy Roy Bates declared independence, naming himself Prince of the Principality of Sealand. Today, Bates has passed away at 91. Long time Slashdot readers will remember Sealand as the site of HavenCo, an unsuccessful data warehousing company that tried to operate from Sealand outside the reach of larger nations' legal structures. They may also remember plans that the Pirate Bay had at one time to buy Sealand. Bates had moved to a care home a few years ago, naming his son Michael Regent of Sealand."
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Prince of Sealand Dies At 91

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  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:44PM (#41620469)

    If you don't pay taxes you shouldn't get anything.

    When are we going to get the converse? If you don't use the service, you don't have to pay for the service?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:47PM (#41620487)

    Probably never. We could just build the hospital and clinic when you get sick or surgery using your funds. Oh, and hire and train the doctors. And the roads and infrastructure. And provide schooling for the children of the people who work in the factory that will weave the bed sheets in case you want something better than hay when you're lying in your bed recovering. Heck, we'll be on standby. Not a problem.

  • by cplusplus (782679) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @01:40PM (#41620971) Journal

    The point is that society can't work that way. Everyone pays in some money so that services can be available when people need them.

    Yep, that. Taxes buy civilization.

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday October 11, 2012 @01:43PM (#41621007)

    Micronations are a pipe dream for libertarian morons. Your nation is only as strong as your ability to defend it. And that goes for whether it's on an oil rig or half of an existing country [wikipedia.org]. If you're going to declare independence, you're going to need an army that's as least as strong as the army of the country you're declaring independence from. Otherwise, you're just a nutball clown (like "Prince Roy" here).

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:39PM (#41621625) Journal

    The poor don't pay taxes either and they get healthcare in Britain

    Depends on what you mean by 'taxes'. If you're talking about income tax, then even someone with a full-time minimum wage pays a small amount, and that's a large proportion of poor people. I'd have to check the current figures to be exact, but if you're working under about 4 days a week on minimum wage then you're below the threshold for not paying income tax. The only people not paying any income tax are either unemployed, part time and on minimum wage, or on a low income with a non-working spouse.

    Even then, you are still likely to be paying council tax, although possibly at a lower rate. If you're in a shared house then this will, again, be quite a small amount. It's typically around £50-100/month for a typical house, depending on the exact size and location, with a 25% discount for a single occupant.

    Beyond that, if you're buying anything beyond absolute essentials then you're most likely paying VAT on most of what you buy. You'd have to try pretty hard to find many poor people who don't buy at least something that isn't VAT exempt (homeless people probably don't, but anyone who isn't completely destitute almost certainly does). Of course, they may not be paying much tax, but they are paying some, and the point of taxpayer-funded services is you're ability to use them isn't proportional to the amount that you pay.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:42PM (#41621657) Journal

    most here don't seem to grasp that "free" healthcare still has to be paid for by somebody.

    No, that's just a Libertarian talking point. Most realise that healthcare does have to be paid, but that it's significantly cheaper overall if you don't have two layers of profit in the middle and that society benefits overall if people are cared for when they become ill. I am well aware that the NHS adds to the bottom line on my tax bill. I'm also aware that buying the same level of healthcare in the USA now (as a healthy young person) would cost me about twice as much if I lived in the USA and that would either rise or (before Obamacare) simply become unavailable if I contracted a long-term medical problem.

  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @02:49PM (#41621749)

    Please name a few empires where this actually occurred.

    The Roman Empire after about 200 AD. A number of Chinese empires, for example, the Han dynasty (it's so common in their history that it becomes part of the way that the mandate of Heaven is lost). And the Mughals of India. The loss of England's American colonies. The decline of the Spanish empire and the loss of its American territories.

    In modern times, the Ottoman empire in the 19th century. A number of communist attempts to take over countries (particularly, the failure to annex Chile into the sphere of influence). The current weakness of the less economically sound members of the EU looks to me to be another such decline.

  • by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @04:47PM (#41623337)

    Micronations are a pipe dream for libertarian morons. Your nation is only as strong as your ability to defend it. And that goes for whether it's on an oil rig or
    half of an existing country [wikipedia.org]. If you're going to declare independence, you're going to need an army that's as least as strong as the army of the country you're declaring independence from. Otherwise, you're just a nutball clown (like "Prince Roy" here).

    Really/ You had better jump in your tardis back to 1776 and tell those 13 American colonies that they will fail because the only have a handful of militia men and are challenging the strongest military on the planet at the time.

    A cat can not attack and kill a dog but it can injure it enough that the dog will leave it alone.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @05:27PM (#41623917)

    I think you are being a bit pedantic there. While you are technically correct, it does not change the essence of his argument - that you need to possess sufficient force to give your declaration some credibility.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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