Doesn’t this sound like fun?

We would like to include you in a panel debate from 2 until 2.45, on ‘solutions to tax justice’. The other panellists are Richard Murphy and Prem Sikka and the chair will be the very diplomatic David McNair, who helped set up Christian Aid’s campaign on tax justice and now works at Save the Children.

On Monday 25th Nov in London.

Tax Justice – Are you serious?
Jointly organised by Action Aid, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Stamp Out Poverty, Tax Justice Network & War on Want
Monday, 25 November 2013 from 10:30 to 17:00 (GMT)
London, United Kingdom

Speakers & panellists include:

Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP – Chair Public Accounts Committee, Richard Brooks – Private Eye, Andrew Masiye – Activista Zambia, John Christensen – Tax Justice Network, Alex Cobham – Centre for Global Development, Rosa Curling – Leigh Day, Tim Dixon – Purpose, Martin Drewry – Health Poverty Action, Rich Hawkins – PIRC, John Hilary – War on Want, David Hillman – Robin Hood Tax Campaign, Polly Jones – World Development Movement, Government of Jersey representative, David McNair – Save the Children, Richard Murphy – Tax Research UK, Louise Rouse – Share Action, Professor Prem Sikka – University of Essex, Michelle Stanistreet – National Union of Journalists…

Slightly lion’s den sorta stuff.

41 thoughts on “Doesn’t this sound like fun?”

  1. I have a mental image of Tim going in there like Obi Wan in the Mos Eisley cantina.

    “These aren’t the liberals you’re looking for”

  2. Looks like they have a very broad list of speakers: it covers the full spectrum from nutjobs to lunatics via idiots and morons.

    I *suspect* that minds may have been made up already

  3. Philip Scott Thomas

    Slightly lion’s den sorta stuff.

    It has the potential, though, to be more like the Harrowing of Hell…

  4. A question: how in a live debate is Ritchie be able to delete any comments that expose his limitations or otherwise embarrass him?

    Can you say “that piece of neoliberal commentary candidly has been deleted from memory and nobody ever heard it”?

  5. On the plus side they would pay for your flight, hotel and dinner and you could ensure that you fly/stay with companies which make maximum use of tax reduction strategies.

  6. Nuking it would be a waste of good plutonium.

    Anything with the word ‘justice’ in its title, outside of a legal setting, should be taxed to fund social justice outreach community awareness blah blah projects. How could they possibly object unless they were hypocritical wibbling self-fellating lefti … oh.

  7. Personally, I think they’ve made a mistake: they probably intended to invite Tim Dixon once again.

    If the invitiation is genuine, I think you should jump for it. Not to be missed, though in all likelihood, the collective will simply coerce everybody into putting their fingers in their ears when it’s your turn to speak.

  8. Huh, only 10mins from my office. Might pop down and see the Timster in action.

    Buttt.. I get the feeling they’ve invited you for precisely two reasons.

    1) “Look at how fair we’re being, a broad range of opinions, etc”

    2) To act as a punching bag.

    You still should go though.

  9. Oh go on, go along. Don’t bother to be politic, though. If someone says something laughable, laugh out loud. If someone says something ignorant or idiotic, call them ignorant or an idiot.

    And then you get to present your ‘Solution to Tax Justice’. You could point out that the only moral solution to Tax Justice is for Ritchie and friends to hang themselves from the lampposts so none of us have to have the hangings on our conscience (however deserved they’d be). Perhaps we could have a whip-round before you go, and buy some rope for you to take along.

  10. It is almost certain that the questions will be loaded and leaked in advance to the other panellists, so prepare answers to the most likely ones in advance lest they claim that “the right-winger is floundering”.

  11. Take a leaf out of Ritchie’s book. Go along, but don’t participate. Instead, sit at the back tweeting and blogging about how awful they are. This is what the snide cvnt did when at conference run by the Oxford Centre for Business Taxation, leading to him being banned by them.

  12. The list of attendees reveals a shocking confusion between taxing and spending. What do Save the Children or War on Want know about international corporate taxation?

    Even if we were to change the tax system to raise more tax, there’s no reason to assume we’d spend it on saving children or fighting want. We might just as easily spend it on building more prisons and nuclear missiles. Not what the lefties want, surely.

  13. Debating “Solutions to Tax Justice” assumes a) there is a problem and b) there is injustice. Not a clear premise for discussion.

    Why don’t you get them to agree that:

    It is the responsibility for Politicians to pass laws that are within their powers and can be realistically implemented which will create the maximum amount of tax revenue in a sustained manner.

    Thereby avoiding the pointless ideological discussion on how that tax revenue is spent and focusing on the various proposals to create a maximized sustainable revenue stream.

    Then show in an apolitical way why each of the their popular proposals will fail to reach this agreed goal.


    -Wealth Tax: Your recent Forbes column tore this apart;
    -Robin Hood Tax: DOA because of Prisoner’s Dilemma making required universal international acceptance impossible to achieve;
    -Corporate Taxation on a Territorial basis: Your many columns;
    -Increasing tax on wealthy Golden Geese: They are mobile and can and do leave

    etc. etc. etc.

    Then you can show them your humanity in wanting to have the government get money but show the complete impractically and unexpected consequences of their ideologically driven populist impractical proposals.

    I would even fly over to witness this one.

  14. but they send all my taxes overseas to Brussels and in foreign aid?

    Nobody, has registered me as a charity?

    Think I’ll phone Oxfam, Save the children or, come to think of it – Luxembourg.

  15. Jesus Christ, that’s one hell of a line-up. My first two questions would be how much are those lot costing the taxpayer and where’s the justice in that?

    Do hope you go, Tim.

  16. KD: they’ve already got Tim Dixon listed. Along with a representative from the Government of Jersey, so there may be at least one friend among the speakers.

    And Arnald can have two people to fling poo at instead of one. Which will be so nice for him.

  17. Now who would attend such a day to hear people speak? Those who have an open mind? Or those who happen to agree with the people concerned?

  18. @ David S Lesperance

    “Why don’t you get them to agree that:

    It is the responsibility for Politicians to pass laws that are within their powers and can be realistically implemented which will create the maximum amount of tax revenue in a sustained manner.

    Thereby avoiding the pointless ideological discussion on how that tax revenue is spent and focusing on the various proposals to create a maximized sustainable revenue stream.”

    But it is not the responsibility of politicians of maximise tax revenue. Government should only raise sufficient tax to enable it to do for citizens what they cannot reasonably do for themselves. Accordingly, it is essential to identify how much money the government needs to spend in order to meet this aim. The debate is then as to whom and to what extent the burden of funding these government services via taxes should fall and what form the taxes should take.

    If government only needs x from me to fund its services, it shouldn’t take 2x to (in some cases literally) piss against the wall just because it judges that it can do so without me buggering off elsewhere or reducing my income.

  19. Tim, when did you receive the invitation? As it is only 3 weeks away it seems like short notice to me, I suspect they have invited someone from Jersey and also yourself at short notice in the hope that neither will turn up and they can do a big song and dance about how you (and Jersey) were invited but didn’t both turning up.

    If you do go then perhaps you could mention Stemcor quite a bit as an example, although you might get sued I suppose.

  20. “If you do go then perhaps you could mention Stemcor quite a bit as an example, although you might get sued I suppose.”

    Go wearing a Stemcor T-Shirt!

  21. Dear DocBud:
    Do I believe governments spend money on the wrong things? Yes!

    Do I think governments are an effective and efficient charitable vehicle? No!

    Do I recognize the reality that politicians get into office if they maximize the amount of tax revenue they collect in order to at least attempt to provide the entitlement programs that prior governments promised voters? Yes

    Do I realize the reality that politicians get to stay in office if the maximized amount of tax revenue is sustainable in order to keep on funding entitlement programs? Yes

    My suggested agreeing starting point was to a) recognize the last two “political realities” AND b) to cut the legs out from any distracting discussion on what collected tax revenue is best spent on. This would allow Tim a clear intellectual killing zone to demolish the usual “silly party” tax policy suggestions.

  22. I would remind you, this is narrative & the particular event pantomime. They are casting for the Sheriff of Nottingham, not Robin Hood. And the scripts are already written.

  23. In Australia, charities like these pay their top management extremely well, and they are eligible for all sorts of charitable tax lurks. Google their annual reports and spend 45 minutes talking about how much these tax dodgers earn.

  24. Boy on a bike,

    ActionAid – £88,900.
    Christian Aid – £126,206.
    Oxfam – £119,560.
    War on Want (2011-12) – nothing above £60k (nb all directors are non-exec.)
    TJN – £38,675.

  25. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Ritchie suggested Tim, so he could have a little hissy fit at the rightwingextremistneoliberalnazi who calls him rude names in front of a sympathetic crowd.

  26. I suppose this tells you everything you need to know. You were invited to attend, an admittedly lefty, meeting to obviously offer a balance of views. You, recognising that your arguments are morally and intellectually bankrupt…bottled it. Would you or you supporters invite someone from the left to an event, perhaps to get a different perspective, or even, you know, to just remove your heads from your @rses? No, of course not.

  27. Two things.

    1) I don’t live in the UK. There are therefore significant costs to my appearing in that country. Just because
    i don’t turn up might be to do with the hndreds of pounds it would cost to turn up.

    2) I am turning up….barring planes falling out of the sky etc.

    Your next is?

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