Classic Ritchie

It\’s a perfect example of the man\’s working methods.

He gave evidence in the Brighton UKUncut trial and in explaining why he did so he states:

As a result it is clear that the Coalition is choosing to leave money with the tax crooks and cheats instead of collecting it to pay pensions, educate children, fund the NHS, keep our armed forces armed and so much more. It’s that choice that UK Uncut were highlighting – picking on Top Shop because Sir Philip Green’s family are widely reported to have actively avoided £285 million of tax in one year in the mid noughties.

But that very estimate of avoidance was prepared by Ritchie himself.

Which is the working method. Make up some shit, bandy it about then claim that someone else has reported it so therefore it\’s a true figure that must be taken into account.

This goes through all of his reports and papers. You start looking at the references in a paper for, just as an example, the TUC and you\’ll see that the references are a R. Murphy paper for PCS, a Tax Justice Network (R. Murphy) document, or a Christian Aid (advised by R. Murphy) piece.

And every time what is somewhere between conjecture and provably wrong in the original paper is taken as clear evidence and proof in the subsequent ones.

It\’s all entirely self-referential. And it\’s never explained that it is.

As to Green\’s family actively avoiding tax. Ritchie still refuses to understand that no tax was due. At all.

This was not tax avoidance this was that strange beast known as \”obeying the law\”.

Arcadia was bought by a company called Taveta. Taveta was, at the time it purchased Arcadia, owned by Tina Green. Tina Green is neither domiciled nor resident in the UK. Dividends paid to Tina Green are therefore not subject to UK taxation: that\’s it.

You could argue that if P. Green had handed over the shares three minutes before paying the dividend that this was deliberate \”avoidance\” and to be honest, I\’d find it hard to argue against you if you did so.

But that absolutely is not what happened.

A foreigner, not resident or domiciled in the UK, has got dividends free of UK income tax.

As all foreigners not resident or domiciled in the UK get their dividends from UK companies free of UK income tax.

And that\’s it folks, that\’s just all there is.

6 thoughts on “Classic Ritchie”

  1. Importantly, in the same blog, Murphy passes himself off as an expert witness; a term used to describe an accredited, regulated professional who is called upon by the court to give statements of fact on their area of expertise.
    Murphy is not an accredited expert witness, is not a member of the ICAEW forensic faculty (that holds their register of expert witnesses) and was in court presenting opinion not fact.
    After the verdict, he’s made spurious allegations about the judge’s integrity & accused the CPS of a malicious prosecution. These are things a member of a professional body should be very wary of doing in their professional capacity.
    As he is passing himself off as something he’s not, and clearly attempting to bring the profession into disrepute, will his institute finally take action against him?

  2. Enoch_R,

    I am certainly not trying to defend Mr. Murphy but there are lots of expert witnesses that are not members of the ICAEW and that e.g. called by the parties in arbitrations and civil suit cases. So it is very possible that Mr. Murphy acts as an expert witness (not that that would have anything to do with the case at hand though)

  3. In the UK, expert witness testimonies are regulated by the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. (I’m not certain this also applies to criminal cases, I’m not a lawyer.)
    Someone claiming to be an ‘expert witness’ must conform to certain rules & behaviours, regulated by their respective professional body. As Murphy is an ICAEW member, they would be the body regulating.
    The facts appear to be that he was not an expert witness, but passed himself of as one. When his side lost he then made statements that are verging on libellous. I’m not a libel lawyer or a member of the ICAEW ethics committee, but if I were, I’d be carefully considering Murphy’s statements.

  4. I’m not a lawyer either but I still think that you are confusing expert witnesses nominated by the court with expert witnesses brought forward by the parties. It may well be that the latter should not formally be called expert witnesses but they still often are and Mr. Murphy is not the only one doing so.

    Let’s blaim Mr. Murphy only when blame is due – I mean there’s still plenty of things to talk about

  5. That method explains his astonishing level of pomposity. It’s the result of a positive feedback loop with very few external constraints.

  6. Of course the usual end-result of that is a horrible squawking noise, everyone shouting, “turn it down!” and the sound engineer pulling the plug. We’re well past the horrible squawking stage; I hope the end is near.

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