I know I'm being pedantic but I do despair a little when even accountants or financial advisers cannot spell the (then) Chancellor of the Exchequer's name correctly.
The problem will not be technology leading people to lose sight of their obligations, it will be technology extracting tax from people automatically, silently and without transparency.
The OTS has plenty to do in attempting to get the tax code simplified, without it digressing into areas it clearly doesn't understand.
Actually, Neil, the old saying is that history does repeat itself. This is Karl Marx's take: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”
You haven't answered the second part of Blackadder's question!
Why would the UK need to examine goods arriving from the EU any more rigourously than is done now?
Terrifying misuse of the term "democracy". The trades unions would stitch up the employee director selection the same way they have been stitching up Labour parliamentary candidate selections for years, only now with added Momentum. Most unions' memberships are notoriously apathetic, leaving the futures of ordinary workers in medium sized companies to be decided by left-wing activists working on the instruction of Len McCluskey et al, rather than by the workers themselves.
You'd have a point if the EU really was a rules based organisation. In fact, they break their own rules whenever it suits them. Otherwise, how did Greece get to join the Euro? Plus countless other examples.
The strange thing is, none of this customs catastrophe appears to be affecting the 60% of our trade that is currently done with countries outside the EU customs union.
Basically, the EU is perfectly able - eager even- to ignore its own rules when it wants to, otherwise Greece could never have joined the Euro. All these supposed problems can be avoided if the Commission wishes to avoid them. If the Commission doesn't want to avoid them, why would we want to stay in such a malicious organisation?
Why do you assume that one of them must be trustworthy, Rebecca? It's perfectly possible (many would say, likely) that both are dishonest, incompetent or both.
While the Treasury mandarins I have met certainly exuded a certain smugness in their assumed intellectual superiority, it's perfectly possible for intelligent people to do unintelligent things if that's what their political masters order. The pre-referendum dodgy dossier the Treasury produced was based on a catalogue of inappropriate assumptions. The Gravity Model they used to forecast trade outcomes is known not to be valid for trade in services but they used it anyway. Most egregious was the assumption that there would be no policy interventions to mitigate the perceived detrimental effects of Brexit, despite the Governor of the BoE telling everyone he was making detailed contingency plans (unlike everyone else) and was ready to use them.
Incompetent or devious? I'd say the latter.