Monday, April 11, 2016

Party leaders' tax returns

I think Jeremy Corbyn has a cunning plan to kill off Tory voters over the age of fifty by giving us heart attacks as we roll around on the floor crying with laughter.

A few days ago David Cameron became the first British Prime Minister in history to publish his tax returns, which he did covering his entire time as Prime Minister.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also promised to publish his tax returns, but missed the timetable on which he said he would do so. The document was eventually rushed out today just as David Cameron began speaking in the House of Commons to give an account of his own tax arrangements.

Mr Cameron told Mr Corbyn that it was “incredibly convenient” that the document was not released ahead of the session and suggested this had led to reduced scrutiny.

The Labour leader however reportedly did not have a copy of the return himself and had applied to HMRC to obtain one urgently in time for the session.

When the document finally was published it showed that Corbyn seems to be making a habit of being late with tax returns as he had also been a few days late filing it and had been fined £100 in consequence.

Trouble is, if by any horrible chance Conservative divisions over Europe, or the next recession (and sooner or later there will be one) - allow Corbyn to slip into Downing Street by default, the joke won't just be on the Conservative party but on the country ...

Meanwhile Nigel Farage says that he will not be publishing his tax returns as they are a "private matter."

There are few politicians that I have less regard for than the UKIP leader, but on this one issue I will confess to a tiny germ of sympathy for that decision.

Before his election to the European parliament he was like the PM's late father, a stockbroker.

The row about the Cameron family finances proves beyond any possible doubt that the ranks of the mainstream media, various political parties, and social media are full of people who don't understand anything about large scale investment, or pretend not to, and those people will find ways to present the normal commercial activity of any remotely competent manager of large sums of people's money, even if 100% honest and within the law, as if he was on roughly the same moral level as the Waffen-SS Einsatzgruppen. Especially if they already disliked the poor devil for other political reasons.

The UKIP leader could have acted totally within the law, as it appears almost certain that both David and Ian Cameron did, but let's be honest - if Farage was remotely as good as his job as a stockbroker as the late Ian Cameron was, and the press had a chance to go through his affairs, they'd find something they could misrepresent as dishonest and as soon as they finished making silly attacks on the PM they'd be Farage-hunting for weeks instead.

What I am about to write is not a criticism of the PM's decision to publish his tax returns because it had become obvious that only something like that could demonstrate that all the ridiculous allegations which his opponents and the media were throwing at him really was a case of smoke without fire.

But Farage's refusal to do likewise was probably about the only wise political decision he's made for a year.

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