This is bloody rich from @RichardJMurphy

I have written today about the enormous threat to free speech that the government is intending to rush through Parliament in early September in the form of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.

This is actually amusing. For he’s claiming that the new law will restrict his right to free speech. Which of course is entirely untrue. It’s actually restricting his right to association. He can say anything at all he damn well likes: the limitations are upon who he works alongside when it is said. You’d rather hope that someone would get right which of their rights is being restricted.

But it gets ever so much better too:

As a chartered accountant, blogger and campaigner for tax reform – two of whose ideas (on a general anti-avoidance principle and country-by-country reporting) have been at least partly adopted by your government – I will be potentially barred from publishing my work, which is partly funded by donations given with the express intention that I seek to change public opinion on matters relating to tax justice, unless in the year prior to an election I:

1) register as a ‘recognised third party’;

2) comply with the requirements of your proposed law;

3) report the donations I receive in an onerous fashion;

4) do not cooperate with others to publish opinions without risk of substantial additional obligations and penalties arising.

Yes, that’s correct. The man whose entire political life is built on forcing everyone into transparency is now arguing that he should not have to be transparent. The man who insists that the groups of people voluntarily associating as companies have to tell everyone all about what they do is now insisting that people who voluntarily associate not as companies don’t have to tell anyone anything. And finally, the man who dismisses the costs and effort of the onerous transparency demands he makes on others seeks to be excused having to be transparent because of the costs and effort associated with being transparent.

That really is gorging on the gateaux while still insisting it’s there and whole and on the sideboard, isn’t it?

18 comments on “This is bloody rich from @RichardJMurphy

  1. Why should I have to register to use my right of free speech to rake in as much cash as I can peddling misinformation?

    All you neoliberals should pay taxes to have any rights to property, yes, but if I want to receive money in order to make up some numbers which express an entirely fictitious tax gap designed to change the public perception about the behaviour of big business, why should I have to say who has been paying me and how much?

    My grandfather died in the second world war specifically to prevent me having to say whose pocket I am in!

  2. It’s not “free” speech he’s concerned about. It’s “being paid loadsamoney for” speech he’s got his knickers in a twist about. Usual money-grabbing socialist principles rise to the top, as usual.

  3. Man whose income depends entirely on lobbying objects to controls to prevent inappropriate lobbying?

    What’s he worried about? That some of his donations are from questionable sources?

    Onerous reporting? He’s a Chartered Accountant, isn’t he? Used to advise small businesses? The reporting is hardly going to be burdensome for him. Unless, of course, he’s not a very good accountant. Or, rather than onerous, the reporting would merely be enlightening.

  4. “…funded by donations given with the express intention that I seek to change public opinion…”

    Oh really Richard! Well then, as a member of the public, I demand to know who it is paying out money for the express purpose of changing my opinion. I’m sure you would want my opinion to be freely formed wouldn’t you. Well then, I need to be able to judge the intentions of these parties trying to fund that formation. It’s exactly like a businessman funding a political party isn’t it.

  5. Oh and Richard, do you remember how you argued that the Leveson recomendations were actually to HELP the press ? Well this is entirely analogous. After all, the absence of total transparency only allows some nasty blogger to drop shitty innunendo about policy being available for sale or rent.

    What’s that Richard, you changed your mind? Well, as Adolf Hitler said to the Social Democrats when he banned them: “You’ve arrived late, but you came at last”.

  6. Just in…

    A friend has just shown me a Murphy tweet on the result of Cardiif City v Man City, witht he comment “Mark Swerotka will be pleased.”

    Now, pray tell, why would Richard Murphy care one jot about the Caardiff City result? Could a certain trades union leader be paying some bills? Could certain blogger be looking for more work? Is he at all likely to write a piece criticising the PCS?

    P.S. My boss is an Evertonian; he will burn in the flames of Hell!

  7. Can we start a Kickstarter campaign to pay Murphy to shut up, since he’s clearly willing to say whatever the highest bidder pays him to say? It’s not an entirely moral solution – the only entirely moral solution is for Murphy to hang himself from a lamppost so no-one else has to – but at least if we pay him to say nothing we won’t have to put up with his incessant idiotic lies.

  8. Surely be easy for an ex-accountant to report on monies received. Presumably a breakdown simply providing names and amounts would work – any basic bookeeping software can do it in my experience.

  9. One of his principal arguments is that his Grandfather died in the war in order to allow people to be unregulated paid lobbyists.

    An odd argument but for me the icing on the cake is the juxtaposition of this with his secondary argument that it will interfere with his rights of religious expression as a Quaker. Quakers, of course, are pacifists and oppose all war and violence, so a lovely way to end a piece which started with his grandfather fighting for freedom.

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