Oh dear Ed

Mr Miliband said: “Let’s take Stanley Fink who gave £3 million to the Conservative Party.

“He actually appointed him as Treasurer of the Tory Party and gave him a peerage for good measure. So now can he explain what steps he is going to take to find out about the tax avoidance activities of Lord Fink?

Lord Fink – who was chief executive of the hedge fund Man Group from 2000 to 2007 – is estimated to have donated £20million to charities over the past two decades.

But in a letter to Mr Miliband, he said the claims were “untrue and defamatory”, saying: “These are the facts: I was posted by the Man Group to run their office in Switzerland for four years from 1996 until 2000.

“During this time I had need of a local bank account to do simple things like receive my Swiss Franc salary and pay grocery bills.

“As I already banked with HSBC in London, I set up an account with HSBC. I subsequently set up an account with Credit Suisse as they had a branch much closer to my home and office.

“I submitted tax returns in both Switzerland and Britain showing my revised tax status, which was accepted by the Inland Revenue.

“I find it extraordinary that you have made claims against me that are without foundation or without contacting me.

“I challenge you to repeat your allegation outside the House of Commons – or to withdraw it publically.”

This is also interesting

In two thirds of the HSBC accounts, no tax was due, probably because of the fact that the account holders were not domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.

28 thoughts on “Oh dear Ed”

  1. He’s probably made the (hopefully mis)calculation that the average voter is as ignorant as the average Labour Party donkey and would rather vote to poison the well rather than let someone have more that what they think is a fair share.

  2. I assume there are loads of lefties on blogs and Twitter making the same allegation. If this goes to court and Fink wins he could go after those bloggers like Mcalpine did.

    I wonder if it will make them think before they post.

  3. Ed won’t have the balls to repeat it outside Parliament. He’s got what he wanted – the lefty seals all honking and clapping their flippers.

  4. Labour have confirmed that Ed will repeat the allegations at a speaking engagement today.

    Place your bets, please. Is this true or just a pathetic 24 hour lie?

  5. “just a pathetic 24 hour lie?”

    This. Although I will be ecstatic to eat my words. I hope the good lord has his legal team prepped with a writ already drafted.

  6. But is what he said actually libellous/defamatory?

    As we keep repeating, tax avoidance is legal, so basically Milliband has accused Fink of complying with the law.

    Genuine question. Can a lawyer explain?

  7. Glendorran, it doesn’t have to be an allegation of an illegal act to be defamatory. I’m sure someone more expert will comment soon, but it just needs to be untrue and damaging.

    Allegations of an affair, for example – an affair is legal but the allegations are still libellous if untrue.

    Reading what he said, Ed clearly regarded it as a bad thing, so he’d struggle to claim it wasn’t meant to be damaging.

    Didn’t a boy band singer successfully sue a couple of years ago over reports that he was gay?

  8. You can be libelled even if the thing of which you a accused is legal. Remember Jason Donovan suing over claims he was gay?

  9. Aah, so the key bit is “damaging”. In the public view tax avoidance is evil, so Ed has accused Fink of eating babies.

    Thanks – I learn something new every day.

  10. Boab: “He’s probably made the (hopefully mis)calculation that the average voter is as ignorant as the average Labour Party donkey…”

    Sadly, I suspect you’re looking at the ONLY time Milibandwidth hasn’t miscalculated…

  11. If Fink really wanted an out-and-out showdown with Miliboy he should have called him a liar–literally. The Redtie couldn’t duck that and still have much chance at a GE –esp if Fink repeated it several times on various media.

  12. Boab: “He’s probably made the (hopefully mis)calculation that the average voter is as ignorant as the average Labour Party donkey…”

    Sadly, I suspect you’re looking at the ONLY time Milibandwidth hasn’t miscalculated…

    Winston Churchill’s quote springs to mind here: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

  13. but of course it is not about the facts, it is about the “nasty tory” narrative. BBC picked it up and ran – no need to say any more as it has had the desired effect. Ed has managed to avoid facts since he took up the post. No reason he is going to start any time soon.

  14. “No one ever lost votes by underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” I dare say it applies here too.

  15. Millionaireband is working on the principle that if you throw enough mud, some will stick in the consciousness of the average voter even if it is all totally untrue.
    Yesterday the BBC website had a paragraph about “Conservative Party donors” with Swiss HSBC accounts – half the names were donors to the Labour Party, not the Conservatives!

  16. “He could be Prime Minister in 3 months!”

    Don’t. I’m already having an egregiously shitty morning – if I dwell on this too much, I’ll be throwing myself in front of a train.

  17. “Yeah, but he could well be Prime Minister in 3 months.”

    God I hope so. The shit’s going to hit the fan anyway, almost certainly late into the next term, and it would be really nice if the main perpetrators where in power when it happens. Maybe the sheep will finally look up and start taking a belated interest.

  18. Justin – Let’s hope not, no. Some of us have to live here. I’d rather have a permanent murmur of discontent rumbling in the background than Latin American style revolutionary swings from Right to Left and back again every few years.

  19. What swings from left to right? Milidick-less represents metro-Marxism with left Twix(TM) while Captain Blueballs represents metro-Marxism with right Twix(tm). Both with extra added shite.

    What is the line from Hamlet?–about all the men who will die to have possession of a piece of ground “that have nothing in it save the name”.

  20. Hmmm.

    Is quoting verbatim a libellous passage in Hansard libellous, or is that also subject to parliamentary privilege?

    If it is, what is to stop an MP quoting their own words from Hansard outside of parliament?

  21. bloke (not) in spain

    “Justin – Let’s hope not, no. Some of us have to live here.”
    And some of us don’t. I’m fondly looking forward to watching the guillotine repeatedly descending whilst doing my knitting. Possibly via satellite, in South America.
    I’ll even learn to knit for the occasion.

  22. BiG, I think it is not libellous to report that an MP has made an allegation in Parliament, including what that allegation is, but it is libellous to repeat the allegation outside Parliament (including, indeed I think especially, if the same MP does so).

    So a news report that “Joe Bloggs MP today said in the House of Commons that Lord Weasel had carnal relations with goats” is (I think, don’t do it based on my say-so) OK, but printing “”Lord Weasel shags goats” (Joe Bloggs MP, Hansard)” is not.

    Probably a fairly meaningless distinction to Lord Weasel and the goats, but the sort of thing that lawyers like.

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