/ Welfare Abuse: Paradise Papers

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Shani - on 05 Nov 2017
I'm annoyed at welfare abuse and we need to clamp down on it.

The Appleby/Paradise papers suggest that the Queen really is biting the hand that feeds her.

Where does she think the money comes from to house, heal, educate, feed, and clothe her, her family, her military, and, her subjects?
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summo on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

> Where does she think the money comes from

Doesn't she get 15% of the profit the royal estate makes, the other 85% goes to the treasury?
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BnB - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

It appears that over 12 years ago a paltry 2% of her wealth was invested offshore. I'm not a proponent of tax evasion but don't you think the indignation is rather overblown, particularly when you reflect that the mood was very different then?
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Timmd on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to BnB:
> It appears that over 12 years ago a paltry 2% of her wealth was invested offshore. I'm not a proponent of tax evasion but don't you think the indignation is rather overblown, particularly when you reflect that the mood was very different then?

Can a principle on something like this be proportional?

If lots of people only invest a little bit of their total wealth offshore, it starts to add up, too.

In short, I don't agree. ;-)
Post edited at 19:55
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summo on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:
Selective tax dodging morals...? The estate invested £10m in total, in two different funds. The amount of tax the treasury was deprived of would been much less.

Amazon annually turns over £17-19billion and has recently paid a just £15m profit... There are plenty other Amazon like companies, celebrities etc..

Better to perhaps chase the big fish. Despite being the queen she is a minnow in this lake.
Post edited at 20:04
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Timmd on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:
It might make financially more sense to go after the bigger money, but as far as minding goes, it doesn't change the principle, if that makes any sense?

A principle is a principle is a principle.

I didn't post to be able to say this, but thinking about principles, I paid 5 pounds back to somebody this year after he lent it to me in 2014 while drunk. He'd forgotten all about it, but that wasn't the point, I kept remembering about it so I had to pay him back.
Post edited at 20:11
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Dr.S at work - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Is that the same Queen who pays tax voluntarily?

I appreciate that the Queen is in the position that she can volunteer to pay is daft, but on the basis that she does so it's hard to cast her in the role of tax dodger.
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andyfallsoff - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Do we actually know what the queen's offshore investments are, or just that they are offshore?

Is every investment in an offshore company necessarily even tax avoidance (much less evasion)?
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summo on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> A principle is a principle is a principle....

Can you say the same? Never used Starbucks, Amazon, sports direct, paid to watch a celeb who offshores etc.. ? A principle is a principle after all.
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summo on 05 Nov 2017
summo on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Is that the same Queen who pays tax voluntarily?

> I appreciate that the Queen is in the position that she can volunteer to pay is daft, but on the basis that she does so it's hard to cast her in the role of tax dodger.

She doesn't really pay tax. All the money the royal estate makes goes to the treasury. The allowance she is given is around 15% of that sum.
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Postmanpat on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> Can a principle on something like this be proportional?

>
Which principle do you think they have transgressed and how?
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andyfallsoff - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

Thanks. So she invested through a Cayman LP, which is likely transparent for UK tax purposes - meaning the investor will be taxed on the income it receives in accordance with its own circumstances.

Is this tax avoidance?
Timmd on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:
> Can you say the same? Never used Starbucks, Amazon, sports direct, paid to watch a celeb who offshores etc.. ? A principle is a principle after all.

Not after learning about their business practices, no I haven't.
Post edited at 20:25
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Timmd on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
> Which principle do you think they have transgressed and how?

The one you're going to obfuscate in saying that it isn't illegal.
Post edited at 20:28
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Postmanpat on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> The one you're going to obfuscate in saying that it isn't illegal.

No. You are now obfuscating. You define the principle and how it it has been transgressed and then we can discuss the rights and wrongs of it. I suspect you just have a vague notion that "offshore funds" are naughty and shouldn't be invested in.
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summo on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

> Thanks. So she invested through a Cayman LP, which is likely transparent for UK tax purposes - meaning the investor will be taxed on the income it receives in accordance with its own circumstances.
> Is this tax avoidance?

Only if the investment made a profit and it wasn't declared.
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Timmd on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
> No. You are now obfuscating. You define the principle and how it it has been transgressed and then we can discuss the rights and wrongs of it. I suspect you just have a vague notion that "offshore funds" are naughty and shouldn't be invested in.

I was being in good humour, and it seems that you're annoyed a little bit. Or less than agreeable. I genuinely have things to do, and am less likely to engage in an online discussion which has ill humour involved. No offence intended.
Post edited at 20:39
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Coel Hellier - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to the thread:

"Offshore" doesn't necessarily mean avoiding tax. It could just mean avoiding regulations.

For example, to sell an investment product in the UK requires compliance with a whole lot of regulations designed to protect the small and non-expert investor. But, an investor might want to accept greater risk and so go for an offshore investment instead. There is nothing morally wrong with that (presuming they declare any tax owed).
Postmanpat on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> I was being in good humour, and it seems that you're annoyed a little bit? I genuinely have things to do, and am less likely to engage in an online discussion which has ill humour involved, too. No offence intended.

But you are entered the thread by claiming some principle has been broken. I don't believe that was meant to be a humorous comment. Yes, I'm mildly irritated by people mounting high horses with nothing to justify their position.
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Timmd on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:
> But you are entered the thread by claiming some principle has been broken. I don't believe that was meant to be a humorous comment. Yes, I'm mildly irritated by people mounting high horses with nothing to justify their position

My post to which you replied which had one of these in... .... was.

I genuinely have things to do.
Post edited at 20:42
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BnB - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> "Offshore" doesn't necessarily mean avoiding tax. It could just mean avoiding regulations.

> For example, to sell an investment product in the UK requires compliance with a whole lot of regulations designed to protect the small and non-expert investor. But, an investor might want to accept greater risk and so go for an offshore investment instead. There is nothing morally wrong with that (presuming they declare any tax owed).

Precisely. I've had several offshore accounts because the interest rate was better. I earned interest gross and then declared it in my tax return under "Foreign Earnings". Not saying the Queen's investments were identical. In fact I doubt it. But the rush to conflate foreign investments with tax avoidance is rather quaint in a global market.
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andyfallsoff - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

Hang on, that's evasion that you are describing - i.e. illegally saying you don't have tax to pay when you do.

There is a finer point about avoidance (using legal structures so that tax isn't payable when it usually would be on a comparable transaction).

The latter is legal although often frowned upon. The former, not so much
Postmanpat on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:

> My post to which you replied which had one of these in... .... was.

> I genuinely have things to do.

But the post to which I replied didn't.....

Time for bed....
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summo on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

I don't think there is anything to suggest her staff evaded tax though, they just invested offshore. From what I can tell. Because of the way all profit goes to the treasury she can't really be a tax evader, as she doesn't keep the money she makes.
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andyfallsoff - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

I agree. This all seems like a huge amount of nothing.

It is frustrating a bit, as there is real stinky tax avoidance out there which could and should be tackled. Shouting about this undermines having a serious conversation about what is and isn't ok.
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MarkJH - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

> Because of the way all profit goes to the treasury she can't really be a tax evader, as she doesn't keep the money she makes.

The news reports are suggesting that it is Duchy of Lancaster funds, not crown estate. The Queen doesn't have to pay tax on this, but she claims that she does. So, if it turns out that tax wasn't paid on this then it would be dishonest, even if not illegal

wercat on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

it's just part of a plague of BBC attenpts to spread discontent and smear elements of our culture and society. The BBC is as guilty of degenerating as our political classes.

Who up there is there to Keep Calm and Carry On being sensible?
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nufkin - on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to wercat:

> it's just part of a plague of BBC attenpts to spread discontent and smear elements of our culture and society. The BBC is as guilty of degenerating as our political classes.

I think they'd probably argue differently. And it looks like there were plenty of other reporting organisations involved in the investigation as well
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Dauphin on 05 Nov 2017
In reply to MarkJH:

I was under the impression that 'the Duchies' i.e. all of them, operated above, before, after the law as far as tax is concerned and always have; they were set up as sovereign tax vehicles to ensure the royals pay as little tax as possible while collecting as much as they can from the serfs. This Bermuda or Cayman thing is a very small part of a wide network of legal evasion. Probably another rather large reason why you wont see offshore banking being rolled back anytime this century.

Anyway its that time of year again, so despite the finest minds in the world running our government for decades, mostly tories, we f*cked up a little on the sums and you need to pay more than last time. Quel surprise!

Chin up. Tighten those belts.

D
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Big Ger - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Let's get rid of them, and have a directly elected President, like the Yanks do, you know, that Trump fella.

We could have President Farage, Or President Boris, or President Blair instead....
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Jim C - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

> Doesn't she get 15% of the profit the royal estate makes, the other 85% goes to the treasury?

Maybe, but it begs the question how did she( royalty) get the money to buy the Royal Estates in the first place?
I'm pretty sure it was not earned.
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FactorXXX - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Jim C:

Maybe, but it begs the question how did she( royalty) get the money to buy the Royal Estates in the first place?
I'm pretty sure it was not earned.


Why does it actually matter?
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RomTheBear on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:
Not too sure why is everybody scandalised by some offshore accounts representing a tiny proportion of their holdings, when she and her family have been living in unbelievable luxury without having to do virtually anything, and everybody thinks it’s perfectly normal...

I’m more scandalised by their dynastic wealth they have acquired without lifting a finger, on the day they were born, whilst the rest of us have to work our asses off and try to do something useful to get a decent living, than by the fact they have used offshore banking. Most of us with money in a pension pot are probably unknowingly using some offshore banking at some point.
Post edited at 07:27
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mal_meech on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

So out of a £10m investment fund, just over £3k was held in BrightHouse, who are accused of dodgy tax dealings... so possible tax avoidance on 0.3% of the find then? Or did I miss something?
summo on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to mal_meech:

> So out of a £10m investment fund, just over £3k was held in BrightHouse, who are accused of dodgy tax dealings... so possible tax avoidance on 0.3% of the find then? Or did I miss something?

It's not tax avoidance though. You don't pay tax on what you invest, but the profit you make from it. How much profit did it make?

Next. If all the profit the royal estate makes is given to the treasury, which it is, 100% of it, then there is no avoidance or evasion. Under current agreement the royal household receives an annual allowance of 15% of the funds the royal estate made the previous year.

As the royal estate belongs to the people, 85% of the funds went into the treasury etc.. then technically it would have been us who benefited more than the queen.
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Andy Hardy on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Which principle do you think they have transgressed and how?

I can't speak for Tim, however the principle I would like to see adopted is that companies and individuals that earn money in the UK pay tax on all that money, in the UK.
L redbullxtremer - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:

I hope you and youre principles are happy together.

Shame the rest of us can never be as good as you!
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neilh - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

So the queen had put some money in a country in which she is the monarch anyway. Unless I am missing something what is wrong with that .

Now if it was the USA or Russia or some other dodgy country maybe news.
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summo on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:
I think people should be much much more concerned about all the other people on the list who are or should have been UK taxpayers and not let their anti royalist feelings or lack of understanding on how the monarchy is funded get in the way of the real scandal.
Post edited at 08:20
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andyfallsoff - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

That seems a reasonable principle, but there isn't really any grounds to think that hasn't happened here.
RomTheBear on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> I can't speak for Tim, however the principle I would like to see adopted is that companies and individuals that earn money in the UK pay tax on all that money, in the UK.

It’s already pretty much the case.
Andy Hardy on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to neilh:

TBH it's less about the queen - although there is such a thing as leading by example, since she *lives* in the UK - and more about the likes of tech giants making billions in advertising (for example) and then miraculously not returning a profit because they have to pay a holding company (offshore) "licence fees" or other such obvious BS.
Moley on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

Don't know where you get the idea that they do nothing, ok Philip has taken early retirement at 96 years old but his missus is still slogging away at public engagements aged 91.
Reckon they ought to have a decent pension pot by now.
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Big Ger - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> TBH it's less about the queen -

Then it's a shame that every paper seems to have an image of her Maj fronting articles on the papers.
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MarkJH - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

> Next. If all the profit the royal estate makes is given to the treasury, which it is, 100% of it, then there is no avoidance or evasion.

Again, you are confusing the crown estate with the queen's private estate.
summo on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to MarkJH:

> Again, you are confusing the crown estate with the queen's private estate.

So how much profit did the investment make?
How much tax has she avoided or evaded paying?

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MarkJH - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

> So how much profit did the investment make?
> How much tax has she avoided or evaded paying?

As I said earlier; she pays tax voluntarily, so none has been evaded. I have no idea how much (if any) she has avoided paying. All I was doing, was pointing out that you were wrong in your assertion that 100% of the income from her estate goes to the treasury.
mal_meech on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

Agreed.

There is nothing wrong with holding funds offshore, provided profits are accounted for legally.

I just think highlighting that 0.3% of a diversified fund was in a company with alleged tax irregularities is sensationalist shite.
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Andy Hardy on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

Which is ironic given the tax dodging status of all our newspapers.
skog on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

There's really not much point in having a monarchy, then complaining that it's one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

It's good that this is being looked into, but the whole Queen angle on it seems a bit 'squirrel!'
Ferret on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Haven't read entire thread so forgive anything already covered. I'm also not massively bothered about what the Queen or any other person has done with regard to legal tax measures. But comments below are pertinent to all these similar stories over last few years.

Shock horror stories are busy blending/mixing the differences between Tax Avoidance (legal) and Tax Evasion (illegal). That's very dangerous.... and disingenuous.

There is probably not a person in the UK whop does not practice Tax Avoidance directly, let alone indirectly. Example. You use a PEP or an ISA or a Child Trust Fund - all are tax avoidance measures. Example - a comfortably off retiree gifts £100k to a child to avoid possible inheritance tax in future - legal. You are a zero tax payer (stay at home parent with working partner for example) and any household savings are made in your name and are registered for Interest to be paid gross as your personal income is below tax free allowances hence interest can be paid tax free (note, that system changed last year but it's a nice example) - avoidance, legal. All of the above are used by many. Add in anything you happen to have in either a self invested pension and/or a workplace scheme and these will also (quite rightly) use legal measures to avoid tax. Indeed, pension plan trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to their scheme members to get the best possible return...

Tax evasion where you lie, cheat and use illegal measures to evade tax is a different matter altogether.

Instead of railing against shock horror 'person X used legal and prudent means to reduce a tax bill' stories anybody concerned in social equality and fairness need to look at government (all government) tax policies and look for ways to alter the rules to reduce the amount of Avoidance that is offered to individuals. If more tax needs raised, and the rich need to pay more of it change the rules so that the vast majority who play within the rules, continue to do so but pay more tax. And go extremely hard against the altogether worse, illegal Evasion issue.

I have no doubt somewhere within these papers there will be criminality but mixing that with legitimate legal, UK Tax Authority/Govt endorsed exemptions, rights and allowances does no favours to anybody. If we all go off on one at one individuals legal use of tax rules, we are putting ourselves up for attack for all the legal tax rules we each make use of.

Change the system - don't attack anybody using the system legally.
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andyfallsoff - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Ferret:

I think you make some good points, but I also think it is disingenuous to conflate any use of a tax relief with avoidance.

Yes, avoidance includes a broad scale of activities, but it is usually accepted as describing situations where the outcome is contrary to that which the relevant legislation intended. The UK tax system now includes a wide number of targeted anti-avoidance rules which deny the availability of reliefs etc where this is the case, as well as a general anti-abuse rule.

The difficulty is in where the line is drawn between legal and prudent, and technically legal but morally unsound.
98%monkey - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

It was £3,200 of £10,000,000 so 0.032% error rate by a third party service provider.

Lets get real - would we all want to be publicly vilified if that was our error rate??

If you want to have a go at the queen, do it for the right fact based reasons and not because some heartless scumbag media editor tells you to.

Fact check.
Reality check.
Check yourself.



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Hat Dude on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to BnB:

> It appears that over 12 years ago a paltry 2% of her wealth was invested offshore. I'm not a proponent of tax evasion but don't you think the indignation is rather overblown, particularly when you reflect that the mood was very different then?

I'd swap a paltry 2% of her income for 100% of my income anyday ;-0
wercat on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Ferret:

It's aided by loose language. Tax avoidance, if taken literally by Jane or John Layman, hardly differs from tax evasion as it can be taken as meaning avoiding paying tax which is due.

If the public media were more technically honest, which I do not think is something they wish as clarity does not make good news in the modern idiom, they would use the more correct form "Avoidance of liability to tax" - completely legal and defensible in some sense as it simply means arranging affairs so there is no tax to avoid or evade paying. "Avoiding Tax" is hardly distinguishable to the uninformed from tax evasion as can be seen by the expression "evasive tactics" in the military sense, which can equally be described as "avoiding being hit", rather than diplomacy which seeks to avoid liability to attack by an enemy.

Ferret on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:

Interesting thanks - I've always been of belief that the 2 are entirely distinct - one is legal, one is not.

Doesn't the principle of 'anti avoidance' that you describe, where an avoidance rule is used but then another rule is overlayed over the top to stop people that weren't supposed to use the avoidance/relief simply smack of badly drafted rules in the first place however?

If it is legal for person X to use a relief to avoid tax in circumstance Y but not for person A to do it, surely the relief should be written in such a way that person A can't attempt to use it - or if they do it is a fraudulent use of a relief that they are not eligible for and is therefore illegal evasion?

I don't see tax payment as a moral issue where people get to choose where on their moral compass they believe the line beyond which they should pay is. People shouldn't have external criticism of where they decide to draw that line (say a sports personality hounded in press for using a relief that lots of other people do, but they are hounded simply as a figure 'in the public eye'). There should be a clear set of rules - you play within the rules and all are happy, or you play outside and you are committing a crime. No grey areas. Moral compass then kicks in on how much you then choose to donate to charity after your tax is paid... Tax isn't a charity that you choose on, you simply follow the rules and nobody should judge you personally on the outcome. The outcome is then driven by Govt tax policy and the Government are judged and voted back in on how well they frame that policy to create a society that generates sufficient tax, promotes creation of business, employment and wealth, and tackles Evasion.

MargieB - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Ferret:
So when it comes to party politics and voting, vote for a party that wants to clean this all up.
A principle is a principle is a principle.
Post edited at 11:04
RomTheBear on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:
> Don't know where you get the idea that they do nothing, ok Philip has taken early retirement at 96 years old but his missus is still slogging away at public engagements aged 91.

Sure they do stuff, charity work and looking good on camera.
They’ve not created most of their wealth though. They were just born with it.

As I said, it doesn’t really shock me that they’ve used offshore structures, as it seems they’ve paid the taxes anyway, I’m more bothered by the fact that the royals have special deals to avoid paying inheritance tax, creating the kind of dynastic wealth that should belong to the 19th century.
Post edited at 11:08
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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Timmd:

"Not after learning about their business practices, no I haven't."

So I assume you will stop reading and using the Guardian for backing up points on here? GMG didn't pay any corporation tax on their sale of 50% of Auto trader (due to their off shore status in Cayman)

But don't take my word on it, this is what Alan Rusbridger has to say on the awkward matter of exposing use of tax havens whilst your employer is an avid user "If the argument is that no one should write critically about tax avoidance unless they can show total purity in all their dealings and investments, both personal and corporately, then the probable blunt truth is that not a single journalist would be able to write on the subject."
fred99 - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Do you really think the Queen actually, personally, had anything to do with an investment of £3,200, or is it far more likely that some employee did it.
And is it not also highly unlikely that she didn't audit the books herself to see exactly what her employee did, but instead left it to some accountant.
Shani - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to fred99:

Ignorantia juris non excusat.
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mypyrex - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Have you never paid a tradesman cash in hand?
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andyfallsoff - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Can you just summarise what you think the queen / whoever manages her affairs has done wrong (which you are implying is not just morally wrong but possibly illegal)?
Postmanpat on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> I can't speak for Tim, however the principle I would like to see adopted is that companies and individuals that earn money in the UK pay tax on all that money, in the UK.

Well, if it's offshore it's not in the UK is it ?

But that aside, what evidence is there that the Queen didn't?
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Andy Hardy on 06 Nov 2017
Postmanpat on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to andyfallsoff:
> I think you make some good points, but I also think it is disingenuous to conflate any use of a tax relief with avoidance.

> Yes, avoidance includes a broad scale of activities, but it is usually accepted as describing situations where the outcome is contrary to that which the relevant legislation intended.
>
No it's not, and that is the problem. The media deliberately conflates the issue for the sake of a good story. Basic offshore investment is deliberately sanctioned by the Government and regulators but the media is cycnically ignoring this fact.

This Queenie story is absolutely stark staring bonkers. £3 grand invested indirectly in a company with a convenient domicile and another pittance indirectly in a company that went bust ( why do they even mention the latter?).

There's probably barely a pension fund or global/US investment fund in the world that doesn't invest in Amazon , Google, Starbucks etc and many (all) other companies that endeavour (legally) to minimise their tax liabilities. And they invest on behalf of Joe Public (and probably the Queen). There is a very good case to say that such companies should be forced to pay more tax but that is not the one that is being made here.

It's an utter non-story.
Post edited at 15:07
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Postmanpat on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:
> TBH it's less about the queen - although there is such a thing as leading by example, since she *lives* in the UK - and more about the likes of tech giants making billions in advertising (for example) and then miraculously not returning a profit because they have to pay a holding company (offshore) "licence fees" or other such obvious BS.

See mine above. That is not the point being made in this case. One would almost like to think that that the media are being deliberately cycnical and manipulative because the alternative is that they haven't a clue what they are writing about.
Post edited at 15:10
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andyfallsoff - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

Sorry - when I talk about what avoidance is usually accepted as meaning, I'm speaking from a professional or legislative position not in respect of the press.

I agree that the reporting is shocking. However, the relevant legislation itself manages to define avoidance to a reasonable level of certainty.
Moley on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Apparently Mrs Brown's boys (puzzlingly, 2 boys and 1 girl) have been at it as well.
Don't know who Mrs Brown is, possibly her majesty's cleaner?
mypyrex - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Moley:


> Don't know who Mrs Brown is, possibly her majesty's cleaner?
Or Queen Victoria

Tanke - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:
Tax avoidance an tax evasion are a same thing dishonest to keep more for you rather the pay what you should to state.It is one more in the line of gross obfuscation to confuse by wealthy people an large corporation to screw working people as they benefit most than any one other. Look a words 'Avoidance',and the'evasion'made to look positive and not dishonest and crime.near sound like the same on the purpose.
Post edited at 17:40
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Yanis Nayu - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Lewis Hamilton ain’t gonna be SPoTY...
Shani - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Ferret:

> There is probably not a person in the UK whop does not practice Tax Avoidance directly, let alone indirectly. Example. You use a PEP or an ISA or a Child Trust Fund - all are tax avoidance measures.

The law prescribes saving, so a PEP or an ISA simply cannot be tax avoidance. To argue otherwise is ridiculous.
5
Trangia on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

> I'm annoyed at welfare abuse and we need to clamp down on it.

> The Appleby/Paradise papers suggest that the Queen really is biting the hand that feeds her.

> Where does she think the money comes from to house, heal, educate, feed, and clothe her, her family, her military, and, her subjects?

Her Majesty does not have to pay any taxes under the British constitution. She opts to pay it voluntarily and you should be grateful for that.
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mypyrex - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Tanke:

You need to understand that avoidance and evasion as far as tax is concerned are two different things. Do you never check things like your tax code. Indirectly that is making sure that you AVOID paying tax at too high a rate. Conversely, if you have ever paid a tradesman cash in hand(anyone who says they haven't is probably lying) then you have probably been complicit in tax evasion.
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Yanis Nayu - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

I don’t have a big issue with the royal family, but I loathe that kind of fawning attitude.

Do you genuinely see her as some kind of supreme being anointed by God?
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Trangia on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
Of course! Do you not believe in the Divine Right Of Kings (Queens)?

Your lack of acknowledgement towards Her Majesty's gesture is disappointing.
Post edited at 19:13
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Yanis Nayu - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Trangia:

I shall definitely be going to hell then.
Irk the Purist - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Actually, I have never paid a tradesman in cash. Most give an invoice these days and I pay by bank transfer. I used to pay by cheque.

That said, your statement is nonsense. I am no more complicit in tax evasion if I pay a tradesman in cash, or I buy my shopping in Tesco with cash. It is entirely the responsibility of the person you're paying to run it through the books.

2
mypyrex - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:

My point was that there are probably many who pay cash in hand do so willingly in order to abet the tradesman in evasion.
Mind your halo doesn't slip ;o)
4
Irk the Purist - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

Why must anyone who wants people to pay the tax they owe, or does so themselves, have a halo?







2
bouldery bits - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Class troll mate.

Wad.
1
Shani - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Class troll mate.

> Wad.

;)
Big Ger - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Which is ironic given the tax dodging status of all our newspapers.

Very much agreed.
Ferret on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:
> The law prescribes saving, so a PEP or an ISA simply cannot be tax avoidance. To argue otherwise is ridiculous.

As a tax payer you have a choice to save in a less tax efficient manner or in a legal and encouraged tax efficient manner (using PEPs as was, ISAs now etc) - that is tax avoidance - you are using a legal method to avoid paying tax you otherwise would. Of course if you want to be all selfless about it you could choose to pay more by not using the efficient route.

As I said - tax shouldn't really be about moral choices - you play by rules and pay less tax (avoid it) or you play outside rules (Evade it) and are committing a crime. If you pay the correct tax, you can then make moral decisions around whether you wish to donate to charity, support causes etc if you believe your government hasn't taxed you enough yet.

Note also please that all the press coverage gives the shock horror, 'person X is using' but then follows it up with the statement that there is no evidence of any illegality. As I also said, I'm sure these leaks will discover illegality but avoidance is not illegal and should not be treated as such. This nonsense sells papers by misrepresenting facts and manipulating an outpouring of ill thought out outrage. If you Shani, use any of the techniques I listed you avoid tax. If you have a pension you avoid tax. If your pension invests in funds they avoid tax. And most likely some of those funds will use an entirely legal offshore structure to do so. If all of that is immoral or raises insufficient tax for our society, change the rules so that enough is collected, or wealth is better re-distributed or whatever political aim is being looked for. But don't complain about people acting within the law and try to imply that those people are immoral for doing so.
Post edited at 08:14
5
stevieb - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Ferret:
But surely if you want the tax laws of the country changed, then this is far more likely to happen if you publicise what you consider to be unfairness?
If this information is hidden from the general public, then it is far more likely to persist?
wercat on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Tanke:

Your point is fair - that is why I prefer the term Tax liability avoidance as it does not sound the same as avoiding paying tax that is due. For the everyday person using a government savings scheme or saving for a pension is tax liability avoidance and entirely honest.
wercat on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:


> The law prescribes saving, so a PEP or an ISA simply cannot be tax avoidance. To argue otherwise is ridiculous.

But of course it is tax avoidance - that is precisely why people become confused by the term. Where tax avoidance sails too close to the wind is where there are ways of avoiding liability they are misused - for instance Holiday schemes set up with NI tax concessions to employers to allow a highly mobile workforce to acrue holiday pay in a personal pot despite changing employers frequently were abused by the likes of city professionals - bankers, lawyers etc spotting the concession and setting up schemes for themselves. That was why the one reason concession ended.
1
Ferret on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to stevieb:
I read all this stuff as an attack on individuals going about normal and lawful behaviour (except where anything unlawful is found). Fairness or not is less focussed on.

The approach should be more along the lines that tax avoidance/relief X is estimated to cost the exchequer Y, therefore it is being reduced/phased out. Not Tax avoidance/relief X is being used by individuals X, Y and Z - Shame on them, how could they!!

The inference is hugely skewed towards anybody using an offshore trust, investing in a fund domiciled in an offshore centre is guilty of some form of nefarious wrongdoing.
Post edited at 09:56
Bob Kemp - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Ferret:

> I read all this stuff as an attack on individuals going about normal and lawful behaviour (except where anything unlawful is found). Fairness or not is less focussed on.

> The approach should be more along the lines that tax avoidance/relief X is estimated to cost the exchequer Y, therefore it is being reduced/phased out. Not Tax avoidance/relief X is being used by individuals X, Y and Z - Shame on them, how could they!!

I agree that presenting the use of offshore methods in terms of individual moral choices is a distraction from the real issue. The people involved use specialist lawyers like James O'Toole and others whose skills are centred around ways of moving money around that keeps the process technically legal. In most cases they are not in themselves acting illegally. The problem lies in the structures that allow for the various loopholes that these specialists exploit. The issue then becomes a set of political and moral choices: is it right that these structures exist? My opinion is that it is not, and that the structure of tax havens should be dismantled. (I'd suggest that this debate is worth a separate thread.)
Shani - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Sadly the revolving door between the big four accountancy firms and HMRC shows no sign of slowing.
Ferret on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

That's an interesting point.

We have a growing culture of not wanting anybody in a public job to be seen to be paid 'lots' - naming individuals who earn over X per year, capping salary at 'no more than the Prime Minister is paid' and all that sort of stuff. I know it's hard for some to swallow that large salaries exist, but when the big 4 etc can pay whatever they want it is hard for public departments to attract and keep the best talent to fight back against the legions of accountants and lawyers and tax advisors out there.

I don't know what the solution to that is to be honest. I love to hope that tax law can be framed in a precise manner that doesn't allow loopoles that 'clever' types exploit for a while until the government catches up and closes them but I can see its a hard one sided battle. Limited headcount and constraints on pay and bonus on one side and an entire world out there unconstrained by such considerations.... Perhaps those that shout down the prospect of paying up for talent in public departments might want to think about how one sided the battle already is and will further become. Wouldn't surprise me to find that the head of HMRC probably gets paid less than 1 partner in a moderate specialist tax firm... and think of all that the head of HMRC is responsible for..... manages the entire structure for the UK while the Tax Partner bills himself out and has a handful of staff under him all focussing on one small area.....
Martin Hore - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Quite a lot of self-righteous criticism in this thread of rich people who perfectly legally avoid tax.

I wonder if any of those commenting have ever stocked up on booze before returning from the continent, or bought their cameras in Hong Kong or as grey imports, or voted for the Tories in the clear knowledge that they wouldn't raise taxes sufficiently to pay properly for the NHS, for schools or for a more effective HMRC.

If we really want top quality public services in this country we have to be prepared to pay for them. And that means most of us being prepared to pay more, not just the rich.

Martin




Shani - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

In a hunter/gatherer society, although the leader of the hunt may get preferential cuts (the liver, for example), if he didn't share the 'the kill' equitably, he'd have been ostracised or hacked to death.

Of course it would never come to this as the leader would realise he depends on 'the pack/tribe'.
bouldery bits - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:
I'm amazed this is news. Surely you'd have to be a total simpleton not to realise that once you get to a certain level of wealth you don't have to pay tax anymore.
Post edited at 23:08
2
Shani - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:
> I'm amazed this is news. Surely you'd have to be a total simpleton to realise that once you get to a certain level of wealth you don't have to pay tax anymore.

Indeed! In fact once you get to a certain level of wealth you don't even work anymore!

And, in fact, if you are born in to royalty, you never really work and you get very generous welfare payments. Curiously, total simpletons will flock to defend royalty.

EDIT: I'm greatly enamoured by the (currently) favourable dis/like ratio of my OP. Well done UKC! Rides the lot of yous!
Post edited at 23:10
2
Big Ger - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:
"If Mrs Brown's Boys get done for tax avoidance it will be the funniest thing they've ever done."

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/11/07/11/4619CC0F00000578-5057715-Furious_license_fee_payers_hav...
Post edited at 02:30
Jim C - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to FactorXXX:

Well if the Royal family are obtaining an income from money that taxpayers gave ( willingly or otherwise) to the Royal family then is it not right that the taxpayers would share in that income ?
So it does matter how they obtained their cash.
Jim C - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> "If Mrs Brown's Boys get done for tax avoidance it will be the funniest thing they've ever done."

I can't believe they have been paid such sums for that rubbish, the very least they can do now for society is put something back as a recommence for the drivel they have produced.
1
Jim C - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

> Quite a lot of self-righteous criticism in this thread of rich people who perfectly legally avoid tax.

> If we really want top quality public services in this country we have to be prepared to pay for them. And that means most of us being prepared to pay more, not just the rich.

> Martin

I don't often agree with much Corbyn says ,but when he said that we all have to pay a higher percentage of our salary in tax to fund public services because the rich avoid paying their fair share, he was of course correct.



1
summo on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> I don't often agree with much Corbyn says ,but when he said that we all have to pay a higher percentage of our salary in tax to fund public services because the rich avoid paying their fair share, he was of course correct.

Technically yes. But given income tax receipts are 780 billion annually, the proportion of tax avoided is proportionally very small, and if covered by a tax increase it isn't likely to even amount to 0.1% (my maths not Diane abbots).

1
Shani - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
> "If Mrs Brown's Boys get done for tax avoidance it will be the funniest thing they've ever done."

Genius!
Post edited at 07:24
Irk the Purist - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

Voting conservative is as bad as avoiding tax? I'll have whatever you're having.

2
Big Ger - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Shani:

Not mine I'm afraid...
Bob Kemp - on 08 Nov 2017
oldie - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:
> I am no more complicit in tax evasion if I pay a tradesman in cash, or I buy my shopping in Tesco with cash. It is entirely the responsibility of the person you're paying to run it through the books. <

Surely if you suspect the tradesman is evading paying tax then you are at least morally and probably legally complicit. Also we know Amazon, Sports Direct etc are avoiding paying tax (apparently legally) and we are morally complicit when we make purchases through them.

I, like many others, conveniently forget that taxes pay for my hospital treatment, child's education etc.
Martin Hore - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> I don't often agree with much Corbyn says ,but when he said that we all have to pay a higher percentage of our salary in tax to fund public services because the rich avoid paying their fair share, he was of course correct.

But I fear that we'd all have to pay a higher percentage of our salary in tax to properly fund public services even if the rich didn't avoid paying their fair share. That was my point really - pointing the finger at rich tax avoiders may make us feel better, and government certainly should be more proactive in closing the loopholes, but most of us have to be prepared to pay a little more if we really want better public services for everyone.

Martin

Martin
Martin Hore - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> Voting conservative is as bad as avoiding tax? I'll have whatever you're having.

Are you a conservative voter?

Yes, I'll stand by what I said. Voting conservative is certainly not as blatant or excessive as leasing your private jet from a virtual Isle of Man company, but the root motivation is the same - to reduce your own tax burden and not care too much about the consequent impact on the funding of public services. I accept there are lots of other reasons why you might vote conservative but over the years I think this has been a core conservative message: "vote for us and we'll reduce taxes and rein in public spending".

Martin
1
summo on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

Didn't Labour promise no tax rises for 95% of the population etc.. so many people voted Labour thinking tax wouldn't increase for them and they'd get all the other things Labour promised to give them for free, unlike the lib dems who said 1% across the board.
David Martin - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

I think that is pinning and unfair degree of loathsome self-interest on Tory voters. Its up there with saying everyone who votes labour does so because they want a free ride.

I am friends with a one time Tory Counsellor, formerly of the UKC parish, son of a vicar, all-round thoroughly decent, liberal minded (yay gay marriage, yay cannabis decriminalisation, etc.) chap. Also a strong proponent of flat taxation, and clearly not from a self-interested, screw the poor, point of view.

Likewise, attend any talk from the Adam Smith Institute these days and you'll hear thoroughly Tory ideas argued from a practical, compasionate and equalities angle, and strident cases made for the Conservatives adopting hard-Labour ideals (e.g. complete open borders for the free movement of people).

The political tides have turned, and what distinguished one group of voters from the other is not so clear. I'm starting to suspect there is at least as much self-interested "screw everyone else" from Labour supporters as there is from Conservatives.
1
Dauphin on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

I think this has been a core conservative message: "vote for us and we'll reduce taxes and rein in public spending"

They never do this. Haven't since early eighties.

D
1
Martin Hore - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to David Martin:

I agree with a lot of what you've said. There are certainly some well-meaning Conservatives, especially at local council level. When I first started working for Suffolk County Council in the late 80's it was Conservative controlled with a leading group who were strongly in the "one-nation" Tory mold. They believed it was their job to do the best for all Suffolk residents, rich and poor. The only substantial difference they had from other parties was that they believed theirs was the best way of achieving this. Sadly this did not continue throughout my time at the Council, with the Conservative leadership passing to a group of ideologically motivated, tax-cutting, "small government" individuals and great damage resulted. There were still several "one nation" Tories on the Council, one who I got on particularly well with, but they were not the leaders at that time.

I fear that the current government, weak as it is, is far too dominated by the ideological right. And I acknowledge that Labour has drifted to the left under Corbyn. What we badly need in Britain is one or more strong parties firmly rooted in the centre ground to which I suspect, you, I, and those Tories we regard as friends would choose to belong. But to achieve that, we badly need to modernise our voting system.

You'll not be surprised, I suspect, to know that I'm a card-carrying Liberal Democrat.

Yes, people vote according to self-interest. Not doing so is, I accept, a luxury afforded to those who are already reasonably well off. I just think that people should accept that in doing so, and voting for a party that they believe will cut their own taxes, they are not so very different from anyone else who legally tries to minimise their own tax bill.

Martin
Bob Kemp - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:
" people vote according to self-interest. Not doing so is, I accept, a luxury afforded to those who are already reasonably well off"

Voting according to self-interest is not in itself necessarily a moral wrong. A key problem is that many people, especially on the right, appear to have a very narrow view of their self-interest. I see my self-interest as closely involved with family, friends, other people in my local community my society and country and the world as a whole. I can't disentangle my interest from that of the rest. As in John Donne's poem: 'No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;'.

Of course there is the additional complication of how we recognise what our self-interest actually is. As in the discussions about people who voted for Brexit even though it is likely to harm themselves and their communities.
Post edited at 14:57
Shani - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> A key problem is that many people, especially on the right, appear to have a very narrow view of their self-interest. I see my self-interest as closely involved with family, friends, other people in my local community my society and country and the world as a whole. I can't disentangle my interest from that of the rest. As in John Donne's poem: 'No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;'.

A grave mistake of the Right in their approach to welfare policy, is in thinking it is 'about the poor'. It is actually about what happens to all of us when we find ourselves poor.

Irk the Purist - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

My voting preference is irrelevant.

I believe people's voting preference is vastly more complicated than you imply. I also believe that very few people would vote or have voted for worse public services, regardless of which party they chose.
David Martin - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> I believe people's voting preference is vastly more complicated than you imply. I also believe that very few people would vote or have voted for worse public services, regardless of which party they chose.

I think people might be willing to completely disregard public services.

I was reading a backlash article today, some public figure having ventured forth a viewpoint that was decided to be utterly abhorrent and deserving of a Twitter war. I think it would be fair to say that 99.9% of that backlash was from liberal-left labour voters. They were outraged at what had been said. From what I can tell, the content of what was so outrageous was nowhere near as outrageous as the tabloid headline made it appear. Offensive, yes, and clearly pushing buttons, yes. But in the grant scheme of things...the furore all seemed so contrived, self obsorbed, and most probably hadn't read the article even.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a Trump voting, Chomsky supporting, old-school American journalist about 18 months ago. He wasn't surprised at all that the majority would go with Trump. He thought pundits were utter cretons for being surprised that people appeared to vote against their economic best interests - i.e the poor and working classed voting anything other than Democrat or Labour. The very fact that pundits claimed to know what the masses best interest were said it all.

As he put to me, the vast majority of people, even those who might have a reasonable income, are dealing with all kinds of grief in their life and largely dealing with it stoically. They face employment uncertainty, mental health issues, suicide, serious illness, relationship crisis and massive cultural changes in occupation, educational gender and social structures. These changes are beyond the control of any political party.

Yet, faced with all that, what they see in the media, and mostly from the left, is repeated outrage at what in comparison to their own lived experience are utterly inconsequential issues - gender pronouns, offence, claims of discrimination etc. The left to them looks completely out of touch with reality, putting petty concerns on the same level of gravitas as their personal concerns of life, death and financial ruin. This constituency might be prime liberal voters normally, especially in terms of public services. But the left looks so out of touch with what really is important, too busy fighting minority issues, that their would-be supporters are willing to vote against all kinds of benefits simply to have someone who appears to understand.
2
Big Ger - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

> You'll not be surprised, I suspect, to know that I'm a card-carrying Liberal Democrat.

You're not interested in politics then?
5
Nevis-the-cat - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to David Martin:
That accords with my view to be honest. the left has drifted out of the consciousness of most people.

As much as my Momentum and Corbynite friends will harangue me for it, it would be better to move to a more centrist position, and take far greater ground from the right, than follow a leftist political line that's alien to the man on the Clapham omnibus.

Minority issues are (rightly) better served when in government, than in opposition.

Something both the Labour party and the Democrats forgot. People won't vote if they think you're not relevant. This allows populist, blow hards to become the alternative, and they clearly do not have the well being of the common man forefront in their minds.

The saving grace for Labour is the possibility that after years of austerity there is a government seen as out of touch; uncaring and arrogant.

However there might be a return to a more One Nation, paternalistic form of Conservatism growing in the ranks.
Post edited at 08:16
RomTheBear on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> You're not interested in politics then?

You mean, he’s not interested in the populist politics of labour and the tories.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to David Martin:

Even as a liberal-left Labour voter, with many friends of the same ilk, there's only one person I'm aware of who's actually obsessed by identity politics. Can you guess who that is? Clue: they just used the words "gender pronouns" in a discussion about offshore accounting.
1
Martin Hore - on 09 Nov 2017
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> My voting preference is irrelevant.

I respect your right to keep it secret but I very much doubt it's irrelevant.

Martin
David Martin - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
It was relevant if you want to understand why people appear to vote for reduced public services.

You can play the game of taking offence to the way I reference the Left (i.e. gender pronouns or the term "sjw"), or pretend that identity politics isn't an issue. But that does rather make my point. There is a chasm of denial between what the Left wants and reality.

In case you missed it Trump is in the White House and May is the Prime Minister. After years of austerity, if the Left's concept of man's desires was to be believed, they'd already be in power with the biggest majority ever. They aren't, no matter how badly the Tories cock things up.
There's a reason for that which many people still appear blind to.
Post edited at 05:24
3
RomTheBear on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> Yet, faced with all that, what they see in the media, and mostly from the left, is repeated outrage at what in comparison to their own lived experience are utterly inconsequential issues - gender pronouns, offence, claims of discrimination etc. The left to them looks completely out of touch with reality, putting petty concerns on the same level of gravitas as their personal concerns of life, death and financial ruin. This constituency might be prime liberal voters normally, especially in terms of public services. But the left looks so out of touch with what really is important, too busy fighting minority issues

Says the guy who brought up gender pronoms on a thread about tax avoidance and bored us to death with long rants on gender issues on multiple threads...
You have to laugh, really.

You are clearly too busy fighting people who are too busy fighting minority issues...
Post edited at 06:32
2
David Martin - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:
> Says the guy who brought up gender pronoms on a thread about tax avoidance and bored us to death with long rants on gender issues on multiple threads...

It's not like I'm preaching live from the airwaves or lecturing in a classroom. You can always not read the thread or fast-forward over my messages if you are bored, or if the words hurt you.

You have entirely missed the point of the message you replied to. Presumably intentionally as it was a criticism of the Left.
Post edited at 07:08
3
Shani - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> It was relevant if you want to understand why people appear to vote for reduced public services.

> You can play the game of taking offence to the way I reference the Left (i.e. gender pronouns or the term "sjw"), or pretend that identity politics isn't an issue. But that does rather make my point. There is a chasm of denial between what the Left wants and reality.

> In case you missed it Trump is in the White House and May is the Prime Minister. After years of austerity, if the Left's concept of man's desires was to be believed, they'd already be in power with the biggest majority ever. They aren't, no matter how badly the Tories cock things up.

> There's a reason for that which many people still appear blind to.

The reason is strong right-wing media bias. Blaming immigrants and other minorities taps in to our atavistic tendencies. That and the Wykehamist fallacy explain things sufficiently.
Jim C - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin Hore:

> But I fear that we'd all have to pay a higher percentage of our salary in tax to properly fund public services even if the rich didn't avoid paying their fair share.

Possibly, but it would be a smaller higher percentage.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 10 Nov 2017
In reply to David Martin:

> It was relevant if you want to understand why people appear to vote for reduced public services.

> You can play the game of taking offence to the way I reference the Left (i.e. gender pronouns or the term "sjw"), or pretend that identity politics isn't an issue. But that does rather make my point. There is a chasm of denial between what the Left wants and reality.

No one's offended. I know that doesn't help your "one man brave enough to tell the truth" narrative, but hey ho. If you can explain how "the Left" can be simultaneously making this about identity politics and yet cleverly not mentioning it I'm all ears. Again, please feel free to hammer this response in to fit your narrative as you see fit.

> In case you missed it Trump is in the White House and May is the Prime Minister. After years of austerity, if the Left's concept of man's desires was to be believed, they'd already be in power with the biggest majority ever. They aren't, no matter how badly the Tories cock things up.

> There's a reason for that which many people still appear blind to.

Yes, the conflation of the economics of the left with a cartoonish version of extreme liberal social politics absolutely suits the agenda of those pushing a continuation and consolidation of the disaster economics we've seen since 2008. Just because it's an effective strawman doesn't make it less of one.


RomTheBear on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to David Martin:
> It's not like I'm preaching live from the airwaves or lecturing in a classroom. You can always not read the thread or fast-forward over my messages if you are bored, or if the words hurt you.

> You have entirely missed the point of the message you replied to. Presumably intentionally as it was a criticism of the Left.

No, the point was pretty clear, I happen to agree with you, it’s just that coming from you it’s really laughable. You’re the first one to obsess about minority issues, especially gender issues, and the criticise “the left” for doing exactly the same (although they may have different views).
Post edited at 12:31

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