Ritchie gets a tongue bath from The G

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?

46 thoughts on “Ritchie gets a tongue bath from The G”

  1. “was a founder director of a company that once held the European licence for the game Trivial Pursuit”

    I do wish he’d make up his mind. He was either key to this company, and therefore does know:

    – that as a Director of “San Serif Print Promotions Limited” he licensed Trivial Pursuit from the Canadian owners via a Barbados company called “Sans Serif” – surely not the coincidence he claims

    – that the setup in Ireland was for tax dodging

    OR he goes with his other line that he was the hired help, knew none of this and was so shocked he left shortly after (so shocked he stayed as a consultant for 6 years).

  2. I’ve always read that as follows (and same with the other games company). It’s not exactly unusual to buy an off the shelf company and stick the local accountant on the board as Finance Director. They get a few hundred a year in fees and everyone knows that the tax return will be filed on time etc.

    What is absolutely certain is that he wasn’t an equity holder. He’s simply not got enough money now for that to have been true then.

  3. Worstall

    You come across, day after day, as a nasty, bitter shit. A failed mouthpiece for nasty, bitter shits. A crude platform for Thick.Racist.Pricks. Misogynist, clueless and a tabloid reactionary.

    I mean, the united kingdom independence party? Independence? Jesus in the yellow jersey.

    A no-one without any influence, except for a handful of lackeys tilting at windmills.

    You are jealous.

  4. Arnald

    You come across, day after day, as a nasty, bitter shit.

    Now start start strumming, some early morning shoppers are passing by.

  5. Arnald, have you been overdoing the auto-buggery on your Sybian machine again? Your anal sphincter must be red raw today for you to be so rancorous and embittered.

  6. I confess Tim I did find the article on the one hand extremely concerning – the idea that someone as blatantly unhinged as Murphy (witness comment #4 here from his chief cheerleader in these pages) could be allowed his hand on the tiller of the ship of the nation’s finances is the most concerning since the prospect of ‘Operation Sealion’ in the 1940s, but you make a valid point – he has a reputation for being unable to work with any people for any length of time and his ego is surely too fragile to survive the rough and tumble of a cabinet meeting. On the other hand, describing Murphy as a polymath and saying ‘social justice runs through him like a rock’ when he is wholly ignorant of almost everything on which he claims expertise and not much more than a widely quoted Collectivist totalitarian thug I did find amusing.

    One would hope he is self- aware enough to accept the Alan Walters role – but we shall see. Either way, I don’t think jealous is the right word – more incredulous that anyone so utterly ignorant of everything could hold such away – to quote the Late Lord Bauer:

    ‘Such ridiculous statements could be repeated many times over- their expression in the so-called ‘quality press’ tells us much about the contemporary intellectual scene’

  7. I didn’t read the Guardian profile as a tongue-bath because the writer clearly sees Murphy’s egomania. And that egomania will be Murphy’s undoing, eventually.

  8. Arnald–when not working as an apologist for socialist murder and tyranny needs a job and his role as informer to Murf maybe well be expanded to a paid one. Slimer Wormtongue to Ritchies Saruman.

  9. Is doing something “without fear or favour” another way of saying “behaves like an arsehole”? Genuine question, as the piece read like a veiled pisstake. It reminds me of Craig Brown’s ‘Diaries’ column in Private Eye.

  10. No Tim, they meant “polly math” – that is a man whose grasp of numbers is low even by Grauniad standards.

  11. Yes, it looks like Corbo’s gonna win.

    Which. Is. BRILLIANT.

    All the creepy crawlies will be out front and centre in what they laughingly call “the labour movement”. The race trolls. The IRA fanciers. The Chavismos. The lentil-snaffling tree-botherers. The hairy-arsed man-haters. Ritchie. Arnald.

    It’ll be like an episode of “Trapdoor”, but airing every night on the news.

    Labour’s done. They’ve all jumped in the clown car and driven it off a cliff. Soon, all that’ll be left is wreckage and greasepaint.

  12. I’m with Theophrastus – this piece wasn’t a boot licking exercise, it was a character assassination disguised as a boot licking.

  13. Straight out of middle England, Murphy largely works at home, enjoys a pint (preferably of Suffolk-brewed St Peter’s Ale) and a morning amble round the fields with his cocker spaniel, Hector.

    I thought he was called Arnald?

    BTW, Theo is right. This article slips the stiletto into Ritchie so deftly that he and his hard-of-thinking supporters won’t notice.

  14. “took to a podium to harangue a rapt street crowd in the centre of Cambridge about the iniquities of the country’s financial system”: ah, was Ms Proudman present, or was she still posing for photos in Free School Lane?

  15. Steve/ Jim / Theo

    Rereading it I think you are right – Not sure Murohy has a sense of humour mind and the author needs to be careful, lest in the unlikely event Corbyn wins he finds himself sharing a plane with the recalcitrant governor of the BOE…..

  16. Arnald

    Do you ever put your insults to music?

    Could be a centrepiece of your next live gig (unless busking is illegal on Guernsey?).

  17. Going back to what Ritchie actually said in this article:

    “We could sit out the bond markets for as long as we wished”

    Ritchie, like most lefties, seems to think that “the bond market” operates like a committee, with regular meetings, agendas, minutes taken etc. The concept of the market being the aggregate of individual actors has passed him by.

    Even if it did operate as he seems to think, I don’t think that his inarticulate blog ramblings will be enough to convince the likes of Pimco that the UK hadn’t been taken over by a lunatic.

  18. Steve: Are you sure that picture of Arnald and Ritchie is a drawing? It looks like a photograph to me.

    Jim/Steve/V-P: There’s a certain fraternal regard among journos. Whatever their political perspective, they swap notes, and they have a high (if often misplaced) regard for their own collective role. Anyone, like Murphy, who is arrogant or disrespectful (or who mutters about censorship of views he dislikes) will be resented. In time, some journos will decide to take him down a peg or two by running critical pieces or live interviews. He will inevitably over-react….And this Guardian piece is one more straw in the wind that Murphy’s stalinism, ignorance, arrogance and self-promotion will be his undoing. Sic transit gloria murphy, as it were.

  19. Arnald is from the Channel Islands. I suspect that Grandpa Arnald was one of those who collaborated with the men in Hugo Boss uniforms in the 1940s.

  20. Glendorran

    I have often wondered how a Bond Market would work in the Courageous State- I’m not sure if such. Concept existed in the USSR…..

  21. @ Van_Patten
    The concept of government bonds did exist in Eastern Europe. The government-owned savings banks invested their clients’ deposits in government bonds – but I don’t think there was a market.

  22. John77

    That is what I thought – I presumed there was no retail market and certainly no Corporate Bond Market- Thanks for info!

  23. Let’s hope Corbyn and Labour generally don’t go entirely off the deep end.

    Having no genuine competition is a disaster in pretty much all walks of life.

    However funny it may appear now (see also 2015 Election).

  24. Steve,

    “Labour’s done. They’ve all jumped in the clown car and driven it off a cliff. Soon, all that’ll be left is wreckage and greasepaint.”

    Give it a few years and we’ll get a new centre-left party like the Lib Dems or New Labour. The Corbynites aren’t just about getting power, they’re also about cleansing the party of the moderates so they can never get back in again. People like Kendall and Hunt will have to find a new home.

    I think that party will destroy Labour. That old style socialism is jurassic now. You might win in northern shitholes, but it can’t win in places like Nuneaton and Swindon. Even Miliband’s more moderate socialism couldn’t win some of those seats.

    And it’ll kill Labour because most people don’t have an association to that name. If you spent your day putting bumpers on Allegros or rivets into ships, “Labour” meant something. It was part of your identity. Few people are going to fight to keep a party of that name going, today, except for the idiot nostalgics harking back to Major Attlee.

  25. Loving the Quaker roots stuff:

    “He has for a while wanted to have a broader canvas,” says one fellow campaigner. A relentless self-promoter, Murphy clearly enjoys the limelight, but social justice runs through him like a stick of rock – which some put down to his Quaker roots.”

    Is that usual standard G research, or is there some background.

    I thought Lord Murph was a middle aged convert.

  26. Jack C

    I can see Murphy as a minor henchman in a Bond Film actually! The token thug who is too stupid to give more than a few lines……

  27. Matt Wardman

    As someone who attended some Quaker meetings in the 90s I just don’t see it – unless his public persona is wholly different to his written work – he is a vicious thug – the Quakers I met were almost universally genuine and nice people – I just cannot credit he has anything more than a casual connection…..

  28. I suspect this whole episode will give a new lease of life to the limp dems who can try to much as tehy did back last time labour split.

    they’re in the market for a new leader as well, market sorry chaps didnt mean to swear.

  29. VP

    “Quakers I met were almost universally genuine and nice people”

    Agreed. My family has quaker connections, so I know a few. However, most are also soggy left in their politics, whether Green, Limp Dicks or Labour. Like you, I find it hard to see Murphy fitting into a Meeting, though the quakers do tolerate the mentally disturbed.

  30. What do Quakers do if someone stands up to witness then continues to ramble on and on? Does RM have a mercifully weak bladder to limit his addressing his coreligionists?

  31. Arnauld – why don’t you do what Ritchie wants for all the tax havens and pay tax voluntarily? Oh, thought not. Mind you, f*ck all from sh*t music means f*ck all in tax.

    Go on son..jog on. Tw*t.

  32. Ljh:
    They sit there silently. Usually, the bore runs out of steam. If the ministry of someone seriously threatens to disrupt meetings regularly, then the elder might confer about how the disturbed individual can be referred to social services.

  33. I read it as a subtle pisstake, I kept waiting for the phrase ‘Renaissance Man’ which maybe even the journo thought was a bit too far.

  34. Now that Corbyn has won then Arnold should appreciate that this further legitimises (not that he needs that) Tim calling attention to such I’ll thought dross and he should in fact step it up.

  35. “Quakers I met were almost universally genuine and nice people”

    Having done some work for Quakers recently I have revised my opinion. On the one hand the Quakers I have encountered in the past, including some life-long friend certainly fit the “genuine and nice people” description. But they do tend to be the wooly liberal type. My recent experience suggest they are too liberal for their own good and therefore too tolerant of far-left infiltration.

    Even the nice Quakers I know admit that Quakers as a group are extremely fractious.

  36. An old online CV of his described him as a “communicating Anglican”. I understand that his conversion was tied up with the transition from the first to the second Mrs Richard J Murphy.

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