Greasy Polls

TaxPolitical scandals can make for unlikely allegiances, at least as far as the media is concerned. In the case of David Cameron’s tax returns, we have the Guardian springing to his defence from the left, while on the right he gets a kicking from his ‘critical friend’, the Daily Mail.

Of course, this latest frenzy has much more to do with the EU referendum than it has the fiscal probity of our political leaders and has taken us in every direction except for the Brexit debate, down the cul-de-sac of inheritance tax and class warfare.

More worrying is the people shouting ‘I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours’ as politicians on all sides queue up to publish their tax returns, as if that has anything to do with the price of fish. (That’s something we leave to Brussels of course) Jeremy Corbyn, George Osborne and Nicola Sturgeon all rushed into print with their self-assessment forms in a fit of holier-than-thou-ism, proving absolutely nothing, except that Corbyn was fined £100 for submitting his after the deadline.

The one interesting fact to emerge from Boris Johnson’s return was that he declared very precise £266,667 he was paid last year for his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph. Since he is on record as saying that this occupies him for just ten hours a month, that means his hourly rate is £2,200, rather more than the £7.20 his could expect under the much trumpeted National Minimum Wage.

They say that politics makes great theatre, but it is in danger turning into a West End farce if carries on like this. Roll on 23 June when we can get back to the ‘serious’ drama.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 12th April 2016

    It is nice to see Cameron squirming. The thing is that the rich have always been incredibly skilful at getting their money to make more money and dodging the official nets that the rest of us get caught in. It would be good to see a thorough investigation into Samantha Cameron’s family wealth but I doubt that that will ever happen. Besides, all the time that the spotlight is falling on Panama or the British Virgin Islands, the rich and their advisers are already seeking other shady channels and get out clauses. Twas ever thus.

    • Shooting Parrots 12th April 2016

      I agree, but it seems this whole business has nothing to do with what is right or wrong (morally at least) but on whether the pros and antis want in or out of Europe. It’s a complete distraction. We all knew that Cameron, Osborne, Johnson etc had family wealth and that Corbyn couldn’t be relied upon to find his tax return because it wasn’t behind the clock on the mantlepiece where he left it. It’s all about the media shading public opinion.


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