But you should talk to me, me! ME!

I could spend some time questioning the motivation for this report and the fact that if Maya was really serious about getting comment she might have actually consulted those in the NGO community who have been involved with the estimates with which she seeks to engage, but that is not my intention. I will stick to the issues, of which Maya


Actual report:

In particular, we would like to acknowledge our advisory group–Alan Carter (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), David McNair (ONE), Judith Freedman and Mike Devereux (Oxford Centre for Business Taxation), Marinke Van Riet (Publish What You Pay), Mike Truman (retired editor of Taxation magazine), Paddy Carter (Overseas Development Institute), Robert Palmer (Global Witness), Heather Self (Pinsent Masons), Wilson Prichard (International Centre for Tax and Development), Gawain Kripke (Oxfam America), Jonathan Glennie (Save the Children) and Jeremy Cape (Dentons).

But she didn’t speak to Ritchie. How sad, eh?

43 thoughts on “But you should talk to me, me! ME!”

  1. I am sure there must be some eloquent latin or greek expression for being quite so far up one’s own arse, but my lack of classical education is showing…

  2. “But that is not my intention”

    I really do think he believes he has been subtle and clever here. The mind boggles.

    “While Alice may look like a fat frump in that dress, sadly two sizes too small for her, and in a colour which clashes quite violently with what I assume is her natural hair colour, it is not my intention to make observations of a personal nature but instead stick to the issues of interest.”

  3. Even more amusingly, in the PDF we find the following:

    Others who provided inputs and comments on the draft paper, an earlier concept
    paper or to ongoing discussions include Kieren Holmes, Laura Bacon and Martin Tisne of Omidyar
    Network, Alex Cobham of Tax Justice Network, Mick Moore of the International Centre for Tax and
    Development, Vanessa Herringshaw of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, Tim Law of
    Engaged Taxation, Volker Nitsch at Darmstadt University of Technology, Iain Campbell of the
    Association of Revenue and Customs, Jesse Griffiths of Eurodad, David Lesperance and Rick Messnick .

  4. The most apposite and elegant word for Ritchie is panjandrum. However, it’s a little too long so I prefer the briefer tag of cvnt.

  5. Head so far up his own arse that all we can see are his feet, and all we can hear are farting noises?

    Murphaloon is getting quite hysterical about this Greece thing, isn’t he. Competing with Dr Eoin? Or after a holiday job as Village Idiot on an island somewhere?

  6. If I were working for Forstater I would produce a summary from TRUK of the various offensive comments (of which there are literally thousands) and the contributions from Guy Felching.Sue Queef, Deirdre Dutt-Pauker, Erich Mielke, Jang Sung thaek, Heinz Kiosk and so on to illustrate why she didn’t reach out to him – with some quip to the effect that NASA don’t usually consult with Flat Earth theorists to decide strategy (or some such metaphor)

  7. I’d have thought that the demonstrable fictions and fabrications would be more relevant.

    And the mathematical systems that seems to go 1 .. 3 .. Lots.

  8. but hist, the LHTD speaks!


    And I can tell you some withdrew because comments were ignored

    And those who remained have without exception never worked in this area

    I’ll leave it at that bar saying Tim Worstall comments on my work often: I don’t think you should take that as an endorsement by him”

  9. Tim Worstall comments on my work often: I don’t think you should take that as an endorsement by him

    Oh, I’m pretty sure it is an endorsement. The question is, an endorsement as what?

  10. Christie

    ‘What a piece of work is Murphy! How lacking in reason! how limited in faculties! how like an imbecile in misapprehension, how like a full embodiment of the world’s stupidity! the manners of an animal! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?’

  11. I’ve just read the actual report. While I’m not qualified to comment on tax, the author does a good job making clear the appalling misunderstandings, misdirections and mistakes made by the tax justice campaigners. No wonder Ritchie is pissed off at the report. If people begin to understand the real situation then his game is up.

    Incidentally, the case of the error in understanding the export cost of a small amount of ore posted from Switzerland is cited. Wasn’t that error spotted by Tim or someone on this blog?

  12. It was the same researcher, Maya Forstater, who found that one. I just explained it after she had found it (ie, customs prices include transport costs). and it was Alex Cobham who was at CGD who made the mistake and is now at TJN…..

  13. But he agreed there’d been a mistake and that the numbers needed revised. I think that’s stated in the Report.

  14. GlenDorran

    The viciousness of the piece is probably explained by the self-preservation instinct, absolutely!

  15. After passing Pluto tomorrow, New Horizons will disappear up Ritchie’s arse, in search of his head.

  16. My contribution was basically, “Get your numbers right at the outset or your argument crumbles like a sandcastle in the inevitable hurricane of review.”

    This constant quotation of huge loses to ‘tax dodging’ (what dat?) citing some report that itself never explains how it arrived at its estimate is ridiculous. When practiced by people like LSE lecturer Gabriel Zucman it approaches academic fraud.

    One of my favourite Twitter pastimes is to constantly ask people like Nick Shaxston for his definition of “tax haven”. The guy wrote a whole doorstopper on the topic and countless follow-up articles but can’t or won’t define the thing he has made his like work to close down. Another definition dodger is Joylon Maugham. Comes in uninvited with his criticisms but when asked a simple question he runs and hides. Not that I doubt for a moment that it is his legal talent that got him his QC. Its just that here in the colonies we got rid of the QC system decades ago because it had turned into a political patronage appointment. But I digress.

  17. Jolyon Maugham produces.some excellent, thoughtful.work. Unfortunately he does take day trips to Leftyland at crucial moments – general elections – where his objectivity deserts him. An example is a twitter exchange in which he once took me to task for supporting Maya Forstater’s aims and intentions because, in essence, to criticise was to undermine. When it comes to NGOs one must not do that. As a practicing Catholic perhaps I should adopt the same approach to complaints of paedophile abuse by priests?

  18. Ritchie’s methods and psychopathology are laid bare here. I was once warned by a friend with a VERY senior position in PCS to be very careful indeed if I intended to engage with Richard Murphy. “He is ‘the man’, the one who knows everything. He reacts very agressively to any challenge and he strikes directly at the person”. Christie Malry will know this only too well; Murphy would dearly love to unmask him and make a professional complaint.

    His.response.to Maya – and Alex Cobham’s – fits perfectly with his outlook. “I have mailed her” He says. No, he didn’t contribute on an.open forum; Christie, or Andrew Jackson or even I might be waiting for him there. So he writes a blog post, where he has total control over the debate. He nowadays very, very rarely ventures into any for public forum where he might be exposed to disagreement, research and knowledge. He also.has the audacity (and one does have to admire this) to claim his commlents policy is open.
    He is a piece of work. His aim is nothing short of the destruction.of Maya Forstater’s professional reputation. May I be very impertinent here Tim and suggest you have a small duty to help defend it.

  19. Ironman

    Well said.

    His response to Maya Forsterer’s comment is entirely typical. Utterly unable to respond civilly or engage in “serious debate”. The usual insults and ad hominems, dressed up in what he thinks is polite language.

    I have noted that he is mentioning Tim again. Hopefully we’re getting under his skin; he just can’t bear to be criticised.

  20. Without commenting on anything particular, I don’t understand why people have a problem with a blogger who controls the output. It’s very common.

  21. I have no problem with someone who controls what appears on their own website, including comment moderation, according to whatever criteria they like. But, if you do refuse to engage in debate, don’t go on about how you’re always open to debate.

  22. S2

    But why not? Surely anyone can write whatever they want to? It’s open to criticism of course, but as a point in itself it’s childish.

    And still with this fascination – Van_Patten reckons:

    A genuinely nasty piece of work, and needless to say, one of the most dangerous men in Britain, if not the world.

    What? Are you acknowledging that the man has any sort of influence?

    And if he’s so wrong and basically a niche commentator, why is Worstall wasting so much time publicising it? It’s OCD.

    Everyone says the same thing on every thread. All half-a-dozen of you. As Murphy does, Worstall plays to a tiny gallery.

  23. Arnald

    “Everyone says the same thing on every thread.”

    Er, no. You’re on this blog and we’re not trying to throw you off; so just wrong.

    S2 has answered you. If you say one thing but do the other -which is Murphy – you are quite simply a hypocrite.

  24. Arnald

    I think Tim quoted from Burke to the effect that:

    ‘For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing’

    The Forstater column is proof of this – largely (but admittedly not entirely) thanks to Murphy, a variety of wildly misguided proposals have made their way into mainstream political discourse. As the Excellent GlenDorran points out:

    ‘making clear the appalling misunderstandings, misdirections and mistakes made by the tax justice campaigners. No wonder Ritchie is pissed off at the report. If people begin to understand the real situation then his game is up. ‘

    Fortunately his odiousness, and the good sense of the British electorate prevented him from being advisor to a Labour government, but still he swans around, resolute in his pig-headedness, expecting to be consulted on all matters concerning international taxation and business and getting mighty shirty if he is not consulted.

    I know it’s arguably pointless attempting to engage with you but just try reading the reply to Forstater’s valid objections and his subsequent blog post on it. If you don’t think he has serious issues then I’m afraid you’re even more purblind than your prose makes you appear to be.

  25. > Everyone says the same thing on every thread. All half-a-dozen of you.

    Actually, I very rarely get involved in the discussions about Murphy.

    > Are you acknowledging that the man has any sort of influence?

    He has huge influence.

  26. And

    > But why not? Surely anyone can write whatever they want to?

    I think you are perhaps taking my “don’t go on about how you’re always open to debate” too literally. It wasn’t an order. Allow me to rephrase.

    If you do both refuse to engage in debate and go on about how you’re always open to debate, people will take the piss. And those people will have a point.

  27. Squander

    I agree with you, but does it need to be restated every day, several times? It suggests the readership is stupid, or perhaps at the level of the proverbial goldfish.

    Worstall can say he likes and no doubt it may be valuable to some, a spleen-vent at someone that is so influential that they are a public enemy


  28. “It suggests the readership is stupid, or perhaps at the level of the proverbial goldfish.”

    I’m far from the brightest person who comments here, but I’m not stupid.

    Part of the reason that I have such a fascination with Ritchie is that inevitably his pieces end up being quoted by others (e.g. Owen Jones, as I pointed out the other day) and before you know it his “research” is endlessly recycled, no matter how howlingly wrong it is.

    Cutting off the nonsense at source should in theory be easier than trying to correct thousands of gibbering loons.

    The experience of the Scottish referendum really hammered home to me how myths and lies take hold. A year later people are still peddling “facts” that have been comprehensively disproved.

    So it is with Ritchie.

  29. Glenda

    “his pieces end up being quoted by others”

    OK, Owen Jones (surely irrelevant in your sphere), probably Polly Toynbee (surely a known quantum of ridicule here), and various derided charities.

    It’s hardly a global takeover.

  30. @Arnald:

    …and several of the new cohort of SNP MPs have quoted him (or his work) favourably. Admittedly they haven’t yet received the global ridicule they deserve, but they do get to vote on grown-up, important things.

  31. Company CEO’s have been hauled in front of Parliament and made to explain themselves in response to his bollocks.

    (It would be more accurate to say “in response to the ideas propagated by him and people like him”, but I’m going to stick with that phrasing because I like the imagery.)

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