According to Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Tory voters are annoyed at the way they are now having to cough up tax. Hahaha: crocodile tears!
The people only know how much property in London is owned by the president of the UAE (over £1.2 billion) because of the Panama papers which have revealed the links between certain unnamed accounts and the name of the beneficiary.
Those of us who want the best for this nation should be very concerned about all this. There is much more at stake than just the Prime Minister’s taxes. Cameron’s name is up there in Mossack Fonseca alongside the secret accounts of Chinese, Russian and Argentinian government officials, the ex-prime minister of Iraq, Sarah Ferguson (former wife of Prince Andrew), Mark Thatcher, and the names of many others whose affairs might be considered worthy of further investigation.
As I remember Mark Thatcher was given a four-year suspended jail sentence and a fine in South Africa in relation to the 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d’état attempt. He was heavily involved in UK arms deals. Conflict of interest or what! Not nice company to be sharing a business model with! Let’s be clear there are only two advantages to having offshore accounts: tax and secrecy.
How shameful is all this. If it is indeed legal it is almost more shameful. How can it be morally acceptable to jump through so many hoops in order to gain so much secrecy in one’s financial affairs? We have all learnt to be very cynical when we hear that a person or a business has paid ‘all the tax that is due’. We know that is legal-speak for ‘we have hired clever lawyers and accountants to cover our backsides’.
Chris Bryant, shadow leader of the House of Commons, reminds us of how Cameron does ‘deny deny deny’, as in the case, for example, of whether or not he went horse riding with Rebekah Brooks… “Oh, yes he did “, “Oh, no he didn’t”. It turns out “Oh, yes he did” and also, by the way, his brother is the lawyer who got Ms Brooks cleared of phone hacking charges. It is all very smelly and incestuous, and that’s not just the horses! It all brings democracy itself into disrepute. Does anyone trust anything the PM says anymore? Is this not a problem for our country?
Thank heavens for whistleblowers. We have a chance to see the way things really are and that gives us a chance to make some real changes. We should let no one off the hook and keep transparency and integrity firmly in the foreground of our efforts.
On the other hand, for many reasons, the response should not be allowed to become a witch hunt. There should be no restitution except where clear illegality is identified. If such behaviour has become widespread and it is legal then so be it. This is a call for radical change not retribution.