Sunday, April 10, 2016

Things we've learned this week

1) Jimmy Carr cannot spell the word "hypocritical" (he wrote it as hypocrytical in a tweet he could reasonably expect millions of people would see)

2) Apart from the unfortunate spelling error, Carr's response to the fuss over DC's tax affairs was a masterpiece of (wise) restraint.

3) On becoming PM David Cameron sold all his shares, closed down all trusts, everything that could possibly cause a conflict of interest making his tax and financial affairs vastly simpler than those of almost every other middle-class adult in the country.

4) Since David Cameron still got accused of tax dodging because of shares he had held before becoming PM, in a perfectly legal unit trust which had been set up by his late father, and on which he had paid UK tax, but which was still presented almost certainly wrongly, as a tax avoidance vehicle: it is reasonable to derive:

Whiteside's second law - any reasonably affluent person who becomes Prime Minister will at some point be accused of fiddling their taxes, and whether the accusation is fair or not millions of people will believe it.

5) Until this week, the most common criticism of David Cameron has been that he is all spin and no substance.

But among the minority of people who have even attempted to view the charge sheet against him which has been all over this week's newspapers in a dispassionate and balanced way and with regard to the actual evidence, there is a general consensus that neither he nor his father broke any law or failed to pay any tax that was due, that there is no evidence that Blairmore Holdings was a tax-avoidance vehicle at the time David Cameron held shares in it, and that he has had no conflicts of interest while a minister as he sold any asset which could create one in 2010. As one journalist put it

"The only thing David Cameron is guilty of is being rubbish at spin."

(except that he used a ruder word than "rubbish.")

So perhaps it is time to retire the "just a spin doctor" line

No comments: