Perhaps they’ve realised that Corbyn’s going to win?
Richard Murphy is a chartered accountant and tax expert from a rural market town in Norfolk. He is also the brains behind Corbynomics, the radical policy platform that has electrified Labour’s leadership campaign – and he is happy for you to know it.
Last Sunday, Murphy, who has forged a reputation over more than a decade as a pugnacious and effective campaigner against tax evasion, took to a podium to harangue a rapt street crowd in the centre of Cambridge about the iniquities of the country’s financial system.
As rather a large number of people around here have pointed out, if only he were a tax expert. You know, someone who understood how the tax system currently works even?
“How is it that the UK’s top bosses are paid 183 times more than the average worker in this country? This is because right now we let those bosses do what they like with our public companies,” he argued.
And isn’t that a glorious piece of mendaciousness? Conflating “public” as in ours and owned by the public, and “public” as in publicly listed?
But the former Southampton University economics graduate is also something of a polymath. He has written a series of books, held a variety of academic titles and was a founder director of a company that once held the European licence for the game Trivial Pursuit.
Polymath? Normally indicates someone who has mastered a number of disciplines, doesn’t it? Rather than not mastering any?
And there could be much more to come. It seems likely that Murphy will become a full-time adviser to Corbyn and some even speculate he could be a future chancellor, an idea even he is keen to dismiss.
Murphy said : “It will be up to Jeremy if he is elected leader to decide what if any role he would like me to play. And I would only give my response after discussions with my wife and family. Any job would clearly involve enormous change for my work life.”
Well, of course. Because the moment he takes any formal role whatsoever he’s going to lose his charitable grants. So, hold out for Baron Murphy of Downham Market at a minimum……and it’s even possible that he’s self-aware enough to know that any position he did get would last only months as a result of his own inability to work with others. So, perhaps be a little hesitant about burning bridges.
An enthusiastic user of Twitter and other social media, Murphy is known for expressing his strong opinions without fear or favour. The media, trade unions and NGOs have responded by beating a path to his door wanting comment particularly on the highly politicised debate about corporate tax dodging.
Opinions for hire rather….
If international investors took fright, driving up the cost of serving the UK’s £1.5trn in government debt, he would simply order Threadneedle Street to start creating money and buying up gilts. “We could sit out the bond markets for as long as we wished. We would simply restart QE.”
That’s going rather further than he has before. Entire monetisation of the national debt. Like that’s not going to cause inflation, eh? Roaring, spiraling inflation.
He insists there would be no sterling crisis if Corbyn were swept to power in 2020: another deep-seated dread of Labour politicians who fear the wrath of the City. “The sterling crisis would pass very quickly, because everything reverts to the mean, and the mean would be ‘what are the fundamental trading levels for sterling?’” says Murphy.
He insists the pound’s status as a safe haven for investors would soon trump any market panic about handing over the purse strings to the Corbynistas.
Umm, if he’s going to monetise the national debt then sterling won’t be a safe haven. And what in buggery does he mean “revert to the mean”? The Bolivar Fuerte should be worth lots because of all that oil, right?
Even if he does not get a call from a triumphant Corbyn, Murphy says he will happily carry on with the more low-profile tax blogging, the university work and the dog walking. It’s not hard to feel he would prefer the call – and the limelight.
No shit Sherlock.
Can you imagine the ego if he does get ermine?