No, leave aside the hypocrisy and look at the logic here:
A regular punter who tried to make his tax payments conditional on a guarantee of anonymity from officialdom and a reduced tax rate wouldn\’t get far. But where the punter in question has serious cash in some Alpine hideaway, then HMRC is suddenly reduced to a humble supplicant, and so it has now made concessions of precisely this sort in relation to Swiss banks.
Yes, this is true.
And tax havens ought to be easy enough to bring to heel: they survive only thanks to the defence and other protections extended by real states,
Note \”real states\” there.
Forcing the rich to pay their share is perfectly possible, but it will never happen while there is such an egregious failure of political will.
Well, yes, except for that problem of \”real states\”.
Another word for the same thing is \”sovereignty\”. Other countries get to determine what the tax law will be in those other countries just as we get to determine what is tax law here. The reason that HMRC is a humble supplicant in Switzerland is because Switzerland is one of those sovereign nations, you know, a \”real country\”, one which gets to make its own laws.
Now, we have had a system whereby a few favoured nations get to decide what the law is to be elsewhere. Get to decide who is a \”real country\” and who is not. Some grouping of Wogs, Ragheads, Toerags or Picanninies was not a real country and required pinkish European people to impose law upon them whatever their own personal preferences. Some of the smaller places inhabited by pinkish European people were also so treated (think of all the various statelets of Germany that Bismark etc vacuumed up, even the Cantons of Switzerland who have gone to war with each other more than once over whether everyone should celebrate Mass with transubstantiation or consubstantiation).
We also have a name for this system: \”Imperialism\”.
What amuses (or horrifies, to taste) is that those who claim most vociferously that Imperialism was and is bad, M\’Kay, are exactly those who would impose a new Imperialism of taxes.
Which is something of a pity really for I thought we\’d got all of this sorted out in the 20th century. You know, rights of sovereign nations and the rights of self-determination? Stalin doesn\’t get to tell Poland what the country\’s social and economic system is, nor the US what the UK\’s is, and Richard Murphy doesn\’t get to tell Switzerland what its tax system is?