|Are They Still Laughing?|
The Tories are all of a quandary they don't know what to do since George Osborne the so-called "master strategist" completely out of the 'blue' flung the cat among the Tory pigeons with his "pretendy" plans to force all cabinet ministers and MPs to reveal their tax details. I think Osborne's strategy was to lob this ball into the court of the Labour party and the Labour party were then supposed shriek in horror and run scared, only they didn't, (yet another master Osborne strategy bites the dust) and this morning on BBC's "Not the Andrew Marr Show" Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, knocked the ball firmly back into Osborne's and the government's court where it dead bounced and rolled into a corner when he said; Labour will be happy to comply and show tax details.
Now something tells me a few in the cabinet and some Tory MPs (and Liberal Democrat ones too) have suddenly got an attack of "squeaky bum time" (and it isn't the winter vomiting bug either!) They are probably worrying about their off shore accounts etc watch this Ch 4 Dispatches programme on How The Rich beat the Taxman. The Cayman Islands and other little safe haven jaunts and those who suddenly transferred all their funds into a spouse's name Mr Phillip Hammond Tory defence Secretary! Andrew Mitchell the International Development Secretary, invested funds in a network of privately owned firms which is now at the centre of a tax avoidance case. And not forgetting the Tory Chancellor and "master strategist" himself, who apparently is not averse to a little "creative accounting when it comes to saving himself a whopping £1.6 million in inheritance tax! George Osborne likes to say "we're all in this together." But a while back Channel 4 revealed that he's avoiding paying tax. He pays accountants to help him find loopholes which Channel 4 reckon will help him dodge £1.6million. These kind of "legal tax dodges" cost the rest of us billions.
How can we trust George Osborne to do all he can to close tax loopholes when he uses the loopholes himself?
Not forgetting either that George Osborne also allowed Vodafone off of paying a staggering £6 BILLION it owed the British Treasury in back tax!
At the same time through Osborne's incompetent management of the economy small businesses who are literally clinging on by the skin of their teeth and struggling to survive he has instructed HMRC to hound them within an inch of their lives, threatening them with bankruptcies and foreclosures. No leniency shown to these people, still let that be a lesson to them they should aim to owe billions then they will get a personal pardon from the Tory Chancellor himself. However, I suppose George has to do something to make up the non payment of the billions of pounds in tax from multinational companies who he has granted a tax amnesty, but "we're all in this together" right? (Well George and his multinational businessmen mates are any way)
Not to mention all those on the Tory front bench who benefit from the new 45p tax rate set to save a nice little £42,000 each! And where has Tory peer Lord Ashcroft disappeared to? He is rather silent on the issue, perhaps I am being a tad harsh on the billionaire and he has just popped off to have a little Easter break in Belize to see how his little multi million tax dodges are coming along? I bet there are a few in the Tory party who would like to tell George Osborne what to do with his "master strategies" but they sound too brutal to repeat here!
Of course this is proving to be yet another cock-up of monumental proportions. Keep going Gideon you are doing a fine job - George Osborne, Conservative Chancellor and "Master Strategist". Thinking about it though perhaps we should all have sympathy for the "poor overworked" stressed chancellor as it is affecting his memory poor lamb, when he was asked if his new 45p tax rate will benefit him he said no his minister's salary is £134,565 under the threshold, he obviously forgot all about his little earner letting his swish luxurious £2 million pad netting him around £153,000 per year and his 10% share in the family's wallpaper business, on top of which he will eventually inherit £4 million from.
However, I think it would be grossly unfair of me not to mention that as far as "cock-ups" are concerned, Gideon does have stiff competition from the "Minister for Panic", Francis [jerry can] Maude, who has waded into the tax argument pronouncing that the Coalition wanted to make Britain a place where wealthy foreigners came to avoid paying high tax was “a compliment"! Maude obviously thinks this fits in perfectly now Prime Minister, David Cameron has given his assent to the City of London to be "officially" known as the "money laundering capital of the world! (Max Hastings is now a Conservative supporter)
We shouldn't forget either that hidden in the chancellor's budget was not only the fact that he is robbing the NHS and pensioners in order to pay for the new 45p tax rate reduction, the "master strategist" has decided to drag 300,000 more workers into the 40p tax rate by lowering their personal tax allowances (and not announce it) those workers will include nurses, teachers and police etc (who are already very unhappy with this government) and has refused to stop his planned 4p hike on a litre of fuel in August which is yet another blow to struggling motorists and families. It's a move that will further antagonise motorists and hauliers and will inevitably feed through into the supply chain and re stoke the fires of inflation further damaging jobs and growth. it's seems suicidal however, could the cunning "master strategist" have a plan to take the threat of his fuel rise right to the wire and then suddenly drop the policy to garner him praise? If so Theresa May's cat just escaped from the bag and we will be watching him and his
Also in the
Which brings me neatly back to number 10, where Dodgy Dave is feeling the pressure from a few weeks of bad Tory press where his plan for
So here we have Dave's "master strategy"
Question is what is occurring in "Murdoch Land"? They seem to be squaring up for a fight with David Cameron. Their attacks on him are beginning to look coordinated! Could it possibly be that "dear old Rupe" feels mightily affronted by Dodgy Dave's attitude towards him and did not much care for the way in which Dodgy Dave dumped all over him as soon as the political heat was turned up during the phone hacking scandal select committee hearings?
The Sun's Trevor Kavanagh has been shedding his "bleeding heart" all over the place, he is not happy with Rupe and Rupe is not happy with Dodgy Dave, where is all of this going to end? A word for Trev though, when mentioning "freedom of speech" he may like to have a word with the government he recommended we elect, they are not only taking away freedom of speech, they are riding roughshod over people's human rights. civil rights and workers rights, taking away legal aid which will render poor helpless and are generally terrifying disabled people, terminally ill people, the unemployed, women and the most vulnerable in society. After all Dodgy Dave called on the Sun to do his dodgy 'divide & rule tactics and the Sun obliged by inferring that everyone on benefits, genuine or not is some kind of cheating defrauding scrounging scum, the fact that genuine benefit fraud is but a mere drop in the c ocean compared to cameron's mates dodgy tax dealings doesn't seem to resonate with the editor at the Sun. We have a prime minister acting like some kind of civilian Augusto Pinochet on speed and Kavanagh, the Murdochs and the Sun helped put him there!
Could it be that "dear old Rupe" has finally had an attack of conscience as he sits in the lap of luxury, flies about in his luxury jet while job seekers are forced to work for nothing and the disabled and terminally ill who are judged to have longer than 6 months to live are forced to work for nothing indefinitely under the guise of "work experience"? The only people this is really benefiting are those multinational companies who get to have taxpayer funded free labour, it seems beyond the Sun's reasoning that if these places have real and proper jobs then hey should be hiring people properly, a fair day's pay for a fair day's work and NOT sponging off the state getting a huge chunk of their payroll paid by the taxpayer! It also beyond the Sun's comprehension to realise that this country cannot function on "fully trained managerial grocers and burger flippers alone" we need proper jobs across the spectrum.
Back to Dodgy Dave though, could it be that Rupe is giving Dave a a lesson in loyalty that will culminate in him silently issuing an ultimatum? Do Rupe and James still hold out hope of getting their ultimate prize of buying up the rest of the 60% of BSkyB? Will they say to Dodgy it's BSkyB or else we "publish and be damned? What will Dave be left with if the publish? A reputation in even more tatters than it is now and absolutely no hope of another "big job" abroad? Or face the public backlash for allowing the BSkyB merger after all but retain some of his reputation?
"The forthcoming report by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee into the allegations of phone hacking would only increase the pressure on him as chairman. Then there was his appearance, at around the same time and alongside his father, at the Leveson Inquiry into media standards and the relationship between the industry and politicians, up to and including the Prime Minister.Both could happen in the final week of April – a perfect storm Murdoch feared he would not survive."
And here is something that should chill the heart of the Sun's editor, Trevor Kavanagh, Sun staff and the Times and Sunday Times:
With Mockridge and Murdoch on the BSkyB board, close observers of the situation also say that another attempt by News Corp to buy the 60pc of BSkyB it does not already own cannot be ruled out – particularly if News Corp spins out the UK newspaper business. The Telegraph
The Murdochs are likely to do this with or without acquiring BSkyB and if it is without acquiring BSKB Dodgy Dave can expect some fireworks equivalent of New Years Eve Embankment, I believe there is much to come out about Cameron and Osborne's use of the media and their involvement with the whole phone hacking scandal, I mean how did the Tories get hold of copies of private emails and private telephone conversations of Cherie Blair, and later Gordon Brown etc which they used to prime the media with?