All entirely legal, of course:

A senior Labour politician was accused of hypocrisy last night after it was reported that she had received more than £1.5million in shares from a tax haven.

Margaret Hodge has been a fierce critic of tax avoidance and ‘secretive’ offshore funds as the chairman of the Commons public accounts committee.

But The Times reported she had benefited from a controversial scheme that lets wealthy Britons move undeclared assets back to the UK without facing criminal action.

But Mrs Hodge said she had ensured that ‘any shares I held were above board and that I paid all relevant taxes in full. Every time I received any benefit from the company this happened.’

Yes, but paying all relevant taxes in full. So have amazon, Google, Starbucks, Vodafone and the rest.

Yet you still shout at them, don’t you?

63 thoughts on “Bwahahahaha”

  1. It’ll be interesting to see what he does in response to this – nothing up on TRUK yet – my guess is he will adopt the same outlook as he did with Axelrod. Hodge’s progressive virtues outweigh any wrongdoing – lest we forget he was quite happy defending her failure to tackle endemic child abuse (to the extent that Ironman – under his real name exposed his hypocrisy in the middle of the thread in question) – my guess would be he sees no issue.

    Hodge is obeying the letter of the law. The companies you list are not ‘obeying its spirit’ (basically code for him not liking the latter) you cannot expect either intellectual consistency, lack of hypocrisy or reasoned argument from a man who it’s now widely acknowledged is one of the most stupid political commentators in Britain.

  2. As Van Patten (banned from Murphy’s blog) notes, the double standards and indeed sheer hypocrisy are what most ( among many things) infuriate about Richard Murphy.

    Well, this is his chance; this is his moment to “speak truth to power”. I’m not holding my breath, I still say he is a thoroughly dishonest little shit.

  3. Since when has politics been about reality? Politics is about the perception of reality. I believe the French have a saying – ‘The rules are for everyone else, not for me!’

  4. It is part of the mental makeup necessary to be a lefty.

    You simply MUST be a hypocrite.

    Of course, it helps enormously if you happen to lack any spark of human decency, a sense of shame and the ability to blush.

  5. Soooooo. ..

    It seems today is the perfect day to do a jocular little piece on chocolate biscuits.

    No, fuck off with chocolate biscuits you little shit. You were quick enough to jump and down and use Gary Barlow’s name; now talk about Margaret Hodge!

  6. Hey, he is “politically neutral”, so any defence or criticism of Hodge will be from the lofty seat of Truth and Social Justice.

  7. Ironman

    I find the chocolate biscuits piece fascinating, actually – as well as being about as funny as a Mark Steel piece, it shows that even on a subject as relatively uncontroversial as being unable to avoid eating snacks he comes across as:

    1/ Patently insincere
    2/ utterly lacking in a sense of humour
    3/ Possessed of an overweening sense of self-regard

    This morning’s other posts are good, though – I knew he’d go loopy over Cameron’s utterances on tax, though – and whilst I don’t think it’s the best idea I think Murphy’s reaction makes me think the giant forehead is on to something

    I am not actually banned from TRUK any more – and indeed when one of the ‘big five’ advocates of mass murder (usually Ivan Horrocks or Andrew Dickie) chime in with their bastardised version of history I will opine on the history if only to expose their political agenda – but of late that has been rare I admit…

  8. I have a confession to make. However I look at myself there is just a little too much of me. Only a few kilos, maybe, bit too much

    Judging by that chubby face, I’d guess close to 100kg too much.

  9. Richnan Guru-Murphy

    It is a disgrace that my good friend, the saintly Margaret Hodge, a tireless campaigner for social justiceness for the little people, is being attacked in this manner by neoliberals over her private and entirely socially just financial affairs. It is time that the courageous state took action to protect those of higher moral character from this kind of taxationally injust neolibel by right wing extremists.

  10. I have had two comments deleted this morning. That’s just ridiculous isn’t it; one tries to help and one is banned!

    All I asked was whether he would be obeying the letter or the spirit of the No Chocolate Biscuit rule…and what would Margaret Hodge advise?

  11. Well, we’re making progress with him.

    We’ve been calling him a fat ignoramus for years. He’s now admitted he’s fat. How long before he admits the latter part of our description?

  12. According to his “six tweets on tax”, he thinks pollution comes into the category of “goods and services”.

  13. John Miller

    And it’s easy: Gary Barlow is probably far more acquainted with chocolate biscuits; Garibaldi by repute had the better voice.

  14. One of his 6 tweets states that tax delivers prosperity. I made a comment on that piece of twaddle. It might not be there very long.

  15. Would the witnesses at the select committee be guilty of contempt if they said: ” Well Lady Hodge, you of all people know how it works given you do the same thing.”

  16. I have had two comments deleted this morning. That’s just ridiculous isn’t it; one tries to help and one is banned!

    All I asked was whether he would be obeying the letter or the spirit of the No Chocolate Biscuit rule…and what would Margaret Hodge advise?


    That’s unfair, and especially as Mrs Deirdre Dutt-Pauker has been allowed to comment freely on Lady Hodge.

    Looks very much like double standards to me..;)

  17. And we have the LHTD’s response. Apparently those who think Margaret Hodge may not exactly be practising what she preaches are just “pigs” who like to throw mud.
    He won’t be responding because wrestling with pigs in mud gets you dirty and the pigs love it.

    Really?! So those pointing out blatant and shameless hypocrisy are the pigs are they; not the bastard hypocrites with their snouts in the trough who want others to live by laws they themselves have no intention of following?

  18. I think he’s just invented “no representation without taxation”. To be is to be taxed. The untaxed are unpersons. Hmmm.

  19. Is that tax on income? We all pay VAT, so we are all taxed.
    The (“neo-liberal”) IFS said yesterday that in 2014 only 56% of UK adults paid income tax.
    So presumably RM wants tax rises for nearly half the country?

  20. He might be able to ban you from his blog, but he can’t stop you replying to his tweets. He’ll end up blocking you on twitter (easily circumvented*), but that only means he can’t see your replies, but many other people can. So he won’t be able to see his arguments pulled to pieces in public. His only recourse will be to lock his account so that only his minions can see him.

    * Log out of your Twitter account or use a program like which ignores blocks to a certain extent.

  21. Ironman

    Ah.. I read his getting all muddy with pigs comment as perhaps recalling childhood experiences?

    On second thoughts, I think your interpretation is much better…

  22. A few kilos? I saw 2 twitter photos recently and thought he’d really piled it on in the last year. Probably too much time spent being angry man at the keyboard.

  23. WTF?

    I effectively take a sabbatical from here for only a few months, having become absorbed in posting on the Scotsman website in opposition to the outright lies of the SNP supporters through and since the referendum – this is really a full time job – and I find that in that time

    Murphy has apparently ballooned into Mr Michelin Man of Downham Market and is in line for a knighthood? Surely the latter can’t be true, please?

  24. BraveFart

    Welcome back from the frontline – Indeed – a Peerage, appointment as Chief economic advisor to the incoming Labour government and a baronetcy are on the cards – he has ‘an obligation to serve civil society’, don’t you know!

  25. BraveFart

    Jeez, that is a hard task. The Scotsman website is full of total zoomers. OT, but have you seen the abuse Kevin Hague (@kevverage, chokkablog) has been getting just for quoting the Scottish Government’s own figures at them?

    The SNP has become a cult. There is literally nothing you can say that will make them change their mind. If Sturgeon announced the slaughter of the first born then they would say that it was a policy imposed by Westminster.

  26. > The SNP has become a cult.

    It always was. The trouble with nationalism is that everything else is secondary to it. They will say or do anything to get independence.

    “We need independence because it’s the only way Scotland can get A, B, and C!”
    [Westminster implement A, B, and C for Scotland.]
    “We still need independence for some other reason!”

    > have you seen the abuse Kevin Hague (@kevverage, chokkablog) has been getting just for quoting the Scottish Government’s own figures at them?

    Been there.

    “Vote Yes to save the NHS from Tory cuts!”
    “Er, but the NHS is devolved. The Tories literally cannot cut funding to NHS Scotland even if they want to, and have not cut funding to NHS England in over forty years. But NHS funding has been cut in Scotland, by the SNP.”
    “Here are the Scottish Government’s own figures. You will note that they show a budget cut.”
    “Well, OK, then — but that’s Westminster’s fault!”


  27. @SQ2:

    Glad it’s not just me that’s been having those conversations then.

    A local SNP activist was banging on to me about the evils of buy-to-let and how it was causing newborns to die in the street. I pointed out that the candidate *that he was trying to get support for* is the owner of a business that gives advice to BTL landowners. He switched topic straight away to something about Trident; not even a moment of doubt.

    It’s gone beyond cognitative dissonance; it’s now alien mind theft.

    Scotland is even more fucked than it was before the referendum.

  28. GlenDorran

    Yes I enjoy reading chokkablog. Frances Coppola also references it.

    Depressingly, the vile SNP candidate Neil Hay who looks likely to depose the existing Labour MP Ian Murray in my constituency of Edinburgh South was caught abusing pensioners and the mentally ill online under a pseudonym and still has the effective support of Sturgeon. He also accused MPs of being among other choice terms tax dodgers, while at the same time working to refer business to a tax advisory firm.

    It is a cult, full of cvnts.

  29. Neil Hay, who only returned to Scotland following the collapse of his Spanish property business in unclear circumstances….yep, he is vile. (Despite being Labour, Ian Murray is a pretty good constituency MP. )

    Or what about George Kerevan, SNP candidate for East Lothian, who has said he wants to crash the UK economy in order to get independence.

    Your description is spot on.

  30. “It is a cult, full of cvnts.”

    So when people refer to the SNP as the “Scottish National Socialist Party”, that’s not some ironic hyperbole but a sober description of their policies and personalities?

  31. I appear to have attracted the locusts to Fatguy’s site. Just by pointing out that Marx was not a fan of taxation.

  32. Hodge (noun, verb) To denounce others from a position of moral superiority for that which one does oneself, esp. with regards to tax affairs. She is a hodge, she hodged, she hodges, she was caught hodging, etc.

    Like that perhaps? Also, I claim credit for “Scots Natzi Party”.

  33. Philip Scott Thomas

    Ian B

    Also, I claim credit for “Scots Natzi Party”.

    LOL, I was going to comment that “our own dear Ian B has come up with the best neologism: ‘Scots Natzis'”, but you beat me to it.

  34. What I would like is for the next person hauled in front of Hodge’s kangaroo court to defend themselves using her direct quotes.

    The problem is that those hauled up before the Hodge Kangaroo court are explicitly told that any mention of her hypocrisy (a la Stemcor) will be treated as contempt.

    The latest news about the revelations that she got a big chunk of money through HMRC’s Lichtenstein Disclosure Facility is beyond the pale though. Because that is essentially a mechanism for tax evaders to pay a penalty and come clean and since Hodge has acknowledge receipt of the funds, she has been a beneficiary of tax evasion.

    How else can this be interpreted?

    Lock the fucking bitch up and throw away the key.

  35. John Galt

    Did she pay the prescribed penalties? If so, no problem. However, if she knew what was going on and is sneaking this action into the UK, then we have a WTF moment.

  36. Posted at TRUK – unlikely to survive moderation:

    I have to take minor issue with one of the points here.

    The only reason for using the LDF is to declare tax evasion, not avoidance. Using the LDF guarantees no criminal proceedings and minimises penalties for the evasion. Avoidance is not illegal, therefore there would be no purpose to using the LDF. I think we can safely assume evasion took place here.

    Whomever carried out the evasion, whether Ms Hodge or not, has used this facility to avoid criminal proceedings. I had a similar case with a client and a secretive European trust which we disclosed under the old Swiss regime for similar reasons. She had no idea she was a beneficiary (despite being in her late 80s, early 90s from memory), and the Trust was so secretive is was a nightmare getting information on the income which had been omitted (and, needless to say, which she had not seen a penny of. However, tax doesn’t work like that: as beneficiary, she was obliged to declare the income and pay tax). I don’t believe we ever did find out who the Trustees were; the only reason it came up was the Swiss bank which held the Trust’s funds wrote to her as part of the UK-Swiss agreement going on at the time. How they knew she was involved we never did fully find out..

    But I digress. It is entirely possible in my view that Ms Hodge knew nothing about this Trust at all until recently, as she has stated. However, that does not mean that if she was beneficiary she is not guilty of tax evasion. Ignorance is no excuse in the law. I find it less easy to accept at face value that she was not a beneficiary prior to this point (albeit ignorant of the fact): who has she received the shares from? We can only assume it is a close family member (unfortunately random strangers are not in the habit of passing on shares in companies to people they don’t know), in which case why pass shares on to someone in the family who has no need of them (I think it fair to state she doesn’t need the money). It doesn’t pass the smell test that she has only recently inherited shares from a family trust. Who were the previous beneficiaries? In family trusts this would normally be the previous generation. Are they really still with us? Beneficial ownership would have passed to Mrs Hodge on their death.

    What this highlights to me in particular is the dangers of strict liability for tax evasion, which I believe you are unfortunately a supporter of Mr Murphy. It is possible, and we have now seen, for people to be unaware of income for completely innocent reasons. But a beneficiary of a Trust must declare to HMRC; to fail to do so is evasion.

    Perhaps you might speak privately with Mrs Hodge for the real details. If my suspicions are correct, then I would hope you revise your position on strict liability.

  37. So Much for Subtlety

    BraveFart – “Depressingly, the vile SNP candidate Neil Hay …. was caught abusing pensioners and the mentally ill online under a pseudonym”

    In fairness much of the comment around here concerning Ritchie could be described as abusing a pensioner (or near to it) and the mentally ill.

  38. Well, I’d never been to that strange place before, having relied on TW to read it so I didn’t have to.

    What a weird place.

    But I did love “Deirdre Dutt-Pauker” (shurely Ironman in disguise) pointing out that a stinking rich Oppenheimer, a Lady, an MP, an MBE who is also a Privy Councillor, is, in fact, NOT PART OF THE ESTABLISHMENT. And it is the ESTABLISHMENT who is criticising her.

    At that point I had a vision of Peter Cook lost for words…

  39. So Much for Subtlety

    John Galt – “The problem is that those hauled up before the Hodge Kangaroo court are explicitly told that any mention of her hypocrisy (a la Stemcor) will be treated as contempt.”

    How did we get ruled by such c*nts with such c*ntish laws? What possesses this woman to think this is acceptable in a society with some remnants of a civil society and a liberal tradition?

    In other c*ntish news concerning c*ntish laws we did not ask for but somehow got anyway:

    C*n ts, the lot of them.

  40. How did we get ruled by such c*nts with such c*ntish laws?

    Because it’s an offence to get Snippy at The Hodge Kangaroo.

  41. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “Because it’s an offence to get Snippy at The Hodge Kangaroo.”

    I am not. Cause or effect? Which came first? I tend to think it is all the Baby Boomers’ fault. People who hold Ho Chih-minh and Pol Pot up as role models are unlikely to be good liberals.

  42. > The problem is that those hauled up before the Hodge Kangaroo court are explicitly told that any mention of her hypocrisy (a la Stemcor) will be treated as contempt.

    No, I don’t mean they should attribute the quotes. Just use her exact words. Whatever they say, she’s going to reply that it’s an unacceptable excuse. So they should use the exact same words she does and get her on record saying her own defence is an unacceptable excuse.

  43. @ SMFS
    I am a Baby Boomer: the people who held up Ho Chi Minh as a role model were Guardian journalists when we were first-year undergraduates

  44. She didn’t know, so move on. She also apparently didn’t benefit until the shares were transferred back into the UK using the LDF.

    The thing about dissembling cleverly is one tends to slip into…how shall we say..outright lies. Not that she has of course!

    And the thing about being a fearless tax campaigner, speaking truth to power, is you lose all credibility when your real day job requires you to defend the indefensible, aka Margaret Hodge.

  45. Toby Young in the DT:

    Margaret Hodge is the secular equivalent of one of those American evangelical preachers who turns out to be living in sin with a 16-year-old stripper.

    Ian B

    “Natzi” – can you somehow make that “nasty” at the same time?

  46. People do not speak truth to power. They speak what they have been told to power. Rather different.

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