Well, yes Ritchie

Fiona McTaggart MP said in a debate on Google’s tax affairs on Channel 4 on Tuesday that she expected companies to pay their fair share of tax.

Madsen Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute immediately jumped on her argument.

“Who is to say what’s a fair rate of tax?” he demanded (or words to that effect).

Fiona’s response was spot on. “Parliament” she replied.

Quite so. It’s called democracy Madsen. And it sets the rules, and the law.

And as we all agree that absolutely everything that Google is doing is legal then Google is indeed obeying those laws decided by Parliament, isn\’t it?

23 comments on “Well, yes Ritchie

  1. I’m not sure Parliament does set “a fair rate of tax”.

    Parliament sets the legal tax rates, conditions and exemptions. Some of the politicians might actually be concerned about ‘fairness’, some about re-distribution, a very few about maximising long-term economic growth. Most of them, being cynical, will be concerned about how tomorrow’s headlines in their supportive media will turn out.

  2. Like banging your head against a brick wall.

    They say the words but don’t believe them.

    A sort of ideological blindness. Facts don’t matter.

    I had to swallow hard when a rich (but none too bright) champagney socialist sat next to me at lunch the other day said, ‘But at the end of the day, I know that people on the left are morally superior to people on the right.’ ‘Just like that’ as the late Tommy Cooper would have said. The presumptiousness of it. I must admit to laughing at her.

    Other pearls from the same lunch:
    ‘Banking is not regulated. Margaret Thatcher did away with regulation and that caused this crisis’ ‘Some bastard in London pushing a key on a computer and we all die of starvation (remember we were eating a £50 lunch)’

    So, bilbaoboy, you are happy with 400.000 people losing their repossesed homes?

    ‘But darlings,’ I said, ‘didn’t you see what the secretary of state said in the article I circulated the other day? That includes companies and all property (offices and garages and warehouses). The figures for people being thrown out of their home is around 2.500/year and many are relocated or reach agreements to stay on having lost ownership.’

    ‘Bilbaoboy, I don’t care. Nobody should ever lose their home.’

    At this point fortunately and before I evaporated into the atmosphere, a Uni lecturer leapt to my help and took her to task over her bien-pensant stupidity and explained the moral hazard involved. Still she didn’t understand and didn’t care that she was emoting over non-facts.

    Feeling good makes them OK with ignoring facts.

    Google (and by association all major multinationals) are guilty of tax fraud.
    Ireland and Luxembourg are tax havens
    and people like you and me are uncaring unmitigated c**ts

    Had to get it of my chest.

  3. I ask for recommendations from Amazon. Yesterday they sent me a recommendation for “The Courageous State”.

    But good old Apple decided it was junk mail.

    Can there be a clearer instance of AI beating human intelligence and can I get my Turing Prize now please?

  4. So what do they want? Parliament to sit in judgement on individual taxpayers and say how much each has to pay?

  5. I am often amused that some people want companies to act ‘morally’. To pay ‘the tax they owe’.
    Ignoring completely the fact that morally and legally can be different, and acting morally can be acting illegally. Never mind whose morals are used – expenses cheating MPs? Jimmy Saville’s? the new archbishop of canterbury? Osama bin Laden’s? Ritchie’s?

    And ignoring the fact that the tax they owe is in fact being already paid – because its the tax they owe!
    Plenty of people do not understand tax even a tiny bit. Not helped by media referring to turnover and corporation tax together, linking them in the minds of readers – regardless of lack of link in reality.

  6. My northern neighbor’s post @2 is illustrating something I’ve been pointing out here for some time. The power of the narrative. Richie & his accomplices have created a fairy story about tax evasion/avoidance the two now being synonymous, thanks to them. They’ve taken a few items of truth, some half truth, a great deal of bull-shit & packaged it all together with a lot of lying & fake statistics. It’s almost complete bollocks but to the average punter, who neither cares nor has any reason to care or know about the intricacies of tax law, accounting & the rest of it, makes a narrative that’s not only believable but one they want to believe. Whether it’s intentional or not…… I’m not a big fan of conspiracy theories, so I’d say it’s largely a self generated narrative assembled independently by self professed experts like Ritchie who are very casual with the truth & all the other contributors with their odds & sods of nonsense. because it’s what they want to believe. Or maybe there’s an evil shadowy mastermind. Doesn’t matter.
    Any good conman will tell you the secret to a scam is a lot like judo. In the same way the practitioner will use his art so his opponent is overcome by his own movement & weight, so the confidence trick. You just need to instill sufficient belief in the mark & he’ll do all the hard work by conning himself. He won’t want to believe he’s being conned because the strength of the narrative of the con is greater than his own to see through it or others to debunk it.
    It’s very amusing to read Tim’s demolition of Richiebollocks & that of his pals & supporters. Others are trying to do the same but it’s a hard task. The narrative has become so strong & so oft repeated its threads are self repairing. Because they all lead back to its central concept expressed in three little words; “It’s not fair!”
    The counter is not to attack it piecemeal but to go for its core. To redefine ‘fair’ in the same way the narrative has. To create another narrative to leads to a ‘fair’ through low taxation & sensible policies. And not to be too scrupulous about writing that narrative either. There ain’t no prizes for honesty. It needs to be persuasive because to the believer, the truth it what supports the narrative, not vice versa.

  7. To create another narrative to leads to a ‘fair’ through low taxation & sensible policies. And not to be too scrupulous about writing that narrative either. There ain’t no prizes for honesty.

    I suggest you check out the lunatics in the US then. Cato and Heritage and the like. Absolute nonsense.

    Worstall is wrong more than he’s right. He dismantles nothing. It’s opinionated amusement on a par with Littlejohn or Melanie Phillips. OK it’s cleverer, but it’s still only snipes without function.

    My earlier post got lost in broadband failure, but basically you care nothing for the truth, only in the desire to see people you don’t like get some sort of comeuppance.

    In the Tax Justice case, you are obviously unaware of the detailed and forensic analysis that takes place for their reports in the tax dodging game. Even if you are and you don’t trust it, all it shows is that you prefer people to be bastards just so those you consider bastards can stop offending your sensibilities.

    Your post is simply political opinion, not some grand plea for truth.

    Tax fraud is a real and present danger, it has been for ages. Your petty political squabbles in your head have no bearing on the truth. It’s not just Murphy and the TJN (note there is a difference, numbskulls), it’s being realised across the accountancy and legal professions.

    Really, what does Worstall know about accountancy? He gets his joys from nutters and then cherry picks lines from other sources to make it coherent.

    You and nearly all on this blog are simply opinionated, not clever nor constructive, not needing truth, just someone to have a laugh at.

    Usually girls, gays and the guardian.

    You Big Chiefs.

  8. I know you all hate the BBC (a bit like repressed homosexuality) but this is a good one

    Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream’Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream – iPlayer it on BBC4 – if your fragile political constructs allow you.

  9. Thank you Arnald for not only understanding my post but agreeing with it so wholeheartedly. You, before anybody have got the point.
    I take my hat off to you.

  10. Oh & thanx for the TV tip Arnald but that fragile political construct, the BBC, restricts its propaganda to its poor deluded license payers & leaves us foreigners, irons or otherwise, bereft.

  11. I find Arnald very strange. He is holding a lot of anger; he never seems (unless I miss it) to engage on the argument, which I would have thought might make more sense, but just to abuse people.

    I think this is silly, as I for one am open to argument on a lot of this stuff.

  12. Tax fraud is a real and present danger, it has been for ages.

    Good example of the narrative described by BIF. All throughout history, even from the Bible, the taxman has been considered the villain. Now suddenly, reasonably intelligent, but economically illiterate people all over the western world, suddenly thinks he is the hero. Naughty rewrite of history there Arnald.

  13. It’s all right Sally. It’s just another service Tim provides along with the scandium & the economics.
    Care in the community.

  14. So just to be clear, Ritchie is saying that (amongst others) Thatcher’s poll tax was ‘fair’?

    There you come against the cognitive dissonance inherent in the mind of collectivists like Ritchie. For indeed tax law is determined by parliament and therefore tax avoidance must be laid firmly at the door of the commons as well.

    What Ritchie is really saying is that taxes which push forward his collectivist agenda are ‘good’, taxes which don’t are ‘bad’ or ignored.

    From Ritchies perspective he poll tax was an ‘evil’ as the ‘rich man in his castle and the poor man in his hovel’ nominally paid the same amount of tax (disregarding things like income support, etc.).

    From my perspective, the poll tax was a good idea from a pure tax perspective, but a bad move politically.

    I suspect that only a land value tax would actually be ‘fair’, but despair of explaining / justifying its introduction to the wider electorate, especially with people like Ritchie screaming nonsense across the medja.

  15. The point made by Murphy is beneath contempt- is he denying that Ireland, UAE, Switzerland and Ireland are Sovereign States? For God’s sake, the TJN (and Yes,Arnald I recognise that it is not Murphy alone) has Denmark in its list of tax havens. The man is an absolute fool, and his instalment as part of the advisory team (his faux pas with The BBC and Ellie Mae O’Hagan has put paid to him being Chief Economic Advisor) is indicative that the new Miliband government will destroy the UK as an independent entity.

    There’s a very simple way to tackle tax avoidance/ evasion – lower tax rates and the issue will go away. Of course that won’t sit well if one is in the pocket of the Public Sector Unions, but it’s hardly atomic physics….

  16. You and nearly all on this blog are simply opinionated, not clever nor constructive, not needing truth, just someone to have a laugh at.

    Usually girls, gays and the guardian.

    Even from Arnald, this shows a depressing lack of self-awareness. Unless he’s now claiming to be a lesbian Guardian writer.

  17. I thought MPs were all bought and paid for by eeeeeeeevil corporates, though. That’s what the likes of Milne et al bang on about.

    So it’s democracy when it’s not democracy?

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