Co Op gets the Fair Tax Mark!


We are immensely proud to announce that the Co-operative Group is the latest recipient of a Fair Tax Mark.

Glory be!

And their pledge:

The Group does not and will not use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes.

And in their list of subsidiaries:

Violet S Propco Limited Cayman Island Walkers SPV
Limited Walkers
House 87 Mary
Street George
Town Grand
Cayman Islands
KY1 9002

Clearly, use of an SPV in a tax haven is not evidence of using tax havens for tax avoidance purposes. Which rather blows Ritchie’s insistence that that’s the only reason to have one out of the water, doesn’t it?

Not that my comment on this will get through moderation of course.

38 thoughts on “Co Op gets the Fair Tax Mark!”

  1. Thus proving the Fair Tax Mark is protection racket.

    Have a Caymans company, you are tax dodging scum and we’ll trash you in the press. Explain it to us, with a fee of course, and it’s ok by us and we’ll just keep it hush hush.

  2. Another of Murphy’s constant claims is that the number of companies NOT filing accounts with HMRC is practically proof that massive tax evasion just must be going on.

    He just won’t listen to counter arguments that there are a host of reasons why companies will exist but not be carrying on a business.

    Why else would these companies exist if not for tax evasion purposes, he bleats.

    Why doesn’t he ask the co-op why such companies might exist? In the list of subsidiaries of the co-op I have just counted 166 companies listed as dormant…….

  3. Seems you’ve been published, my alter ego was deleted for asking the same question. Anyway, I’ve asked the same to the Fair Tax Mark blog, let’s see how open they really are.

  4. What’s the story behind this subsidiary then? It appears to be connected with the Co-op’s 2008 purchase of Somerfield; but I can’t see why they’re still holding on to it seven years later.

  5. Fair Tax Mark assessment criteria – some relevant extracts:

    Having “Co-Op” in the organisation title = +200 points

    Being compassionate enough to employ as senior executives people with serious alcohol and substance abuse issues, addiction to use of sex workers and generally chaotic backgrounds = +150 points

    Having a store within convenient driving distance of the Old Orchard, Downham Market = +100 points

    Having a bank staffed by non-bankers = +100 points

    Making political contributions to the Labour Party = +200 points

    Having an establishment in a secrecy jurisdiction = -100 points

    Having an establishment in a secrecy jurisdiction and with payment of an additional assessment fee to Fair Tax Mark = -20 points

  6. @BraveFart


    Special gift from FTM for actually bothering to apply as no other fucker has: +5000 points.

    What’s that, 12 FTM companies now? 2 years in?

    In 2014 the FTM ran a competition for 25 small coffee shops and small retailers to win a free Fair Tax Mark. Since then, no winners, no awards, nothing. The Fair Tax Mark – we can’t even give it away.

    As for the Fair Tax Pledge, you’d expect some publicity. “Over 100,000 people have signed the pledge not to be tax dodgers.” Nothing. Silence. I signed it 100 times with the same email address. I even signed up Ritchie, Margaret Hodge and Bernie Madoff.

  7. And Ritchie won’t say whether the Guardian or Stemcor have applied! Of course they haven’t, they don’t need to. They know he will never criticise their tax planning whatever they do.

  8. @Sam:

    My requests were vague, to be honest I got pissed and thought “fuck you Ritchie for blocking me” so just wanted to see his response when the Corajus State jumped on him. However, the responses are interesting and probably merit some further work:

    “Initial searches in some of our Central Policy teams have not identified information within scope of your request.”
    Bollocks, you mean a simple search didn’t throw his name up? Or is Ritchie over cooking his influence? They did respond to his Tax Gap analysis so I’ll go back to them with that.

    “The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’”
    As expected.

    Not a quote but a summary – “we have all the information you request but it’ll cost more than 600 quid to retrieve it so fuck off”. Must be tons of it then!

    No. 10:
    “Following a search of our records, I can confirm that the Prime Minister’s Office does not hold any information relevant to your request.”
    So Ritchie has no influence there at least!

  9. @Noel “12 FTM companies now? 2 years in?”

    The target set out in their prospectus was 350 companies by the end of year 3.

    They’d better get a move on.

  10. All the concerns about the mismanagement of Co-op have been assuaged by the rigorous process, scrupulously applied, that they went through to get the Fair Tax Mark.

    I’m sure that transparent explanations such as “The issue was addressed during our assessment and marking as appropriate was made” would satisfy auditors, regulators and analysts.

    And, judging by the fist typing, Tina G is getting under his skin again. Expect her to be blocked soon.

  11. I wonder what would happen if Co Hse took up his recent invitation to sur him for lying about their numbers?
    Put in a defence of fair journalistic comment? Accuse them of harassment?
    I suspect they’ll not dignify it with any legal action.

  12. Henry Crun

    He has – note also Mike Hunt at the beginning of the piece! What an utter fraud – it really is hilarious to see him tergiversate – given his health issues I’d give him five years at best!

  13. My good friend Pardeep has raised the issue that if Murphy is now claiming the FTM is ahead of schedule, wouldn’t that mean the prospectus trying to lure potential investors in must have been miss-leading?

    I wonder if there’s anyone that should be reported to?

  14. Where’s he been lately?

    Last I heard of him he was having an episode because I made fun of the fact that he was begging people to listen to his music over at his web site.

    Touchy, he is, when he isn’t busy squealing on people.

  15. Has Ritchie explained why he believes Companies House is falsifying data?

    Also, has he explained why he believes their count of dormant companies is wrong?

    (I don’t know anything about legal/tax definitions of dormant companies beyond what I’ve just googled, so he may well be correct in his assertion. Past evidence leads me to believe however…..)

  16. What a lovely FTM thread.

    Can we keep him hopping over the skipping rope going till Christmas? Like an Advents Calendar for Murphophiles?

  17. GlenDorran,
    You’re clearly a member of the “Extreme Centre”, and should therefore be ignored. However, in Arnold’s absence, and as a friend of a friend of the truth, I shall try to explain.

    You ask: “Has Ritchie explained why he believes Companies House is falsifying data?”

    Yes, he has. “I have dleat with all the issues you note and why the Companies House stats are false in published work”.

    You ask: “Also, has he explained why he believes their count of dormant companies is wrong?”

    Again, yes. And very clearly: “And yes, I am saying Companies House falsify records: they may sur me if they wish but to be candid their claims are 100% fabrication. Call them lies if you wish.”

    What else could you be looking for?

  18. GD: “Has Ritchie explained why he believes Companies House is falsifying data?

    Also, has he explained why he believes their count of dormant companies is wrong?”

    He believes CH is falsifying data because their count is wrong. Their count is wrong because they’re falsifying data.


  19. Try, if you have to, The Missing Milions. I think there are two editions. Many calculations based on assumptions turned into facts

  20. Dennis

    I am picturing the scene in the film ‘The Lives of Others’ (Which Arny old Iron starred in as an extra working for free) at the end of the film where he is steaming open letters with an iron, examining them and resealing them in some dingy basement. Sadly he will, like a bad penny, no doubt return to ‘win the argument’ (at least in his eyes) once more……

  21. Van_Patten –

    Talk about a ‘cue’…

    Arnald –

    You know, if I took myself as seriously as you take yourself, I might be wounded… But that would require two things: First, I’d have to take myself as seriously as you do, which I don’t, and secondly, you’d have to have the intelligence and wit to mock my efforts in an entertaining fashion, which you don’t.

    You know, the only difference between you and Gypo Nolan is that Nolan was smart enough to know what he was doing was wrong when he did it.

  22. Peasant

    Yes, so seriously that I put up a few songs on the local newspaper website. 5 or so years ago. You may not take yourself seriously, but you have done the same thing except it is your website. You wouldn’t leave it there if you weren’t proud.

    I find the idea of Muffy telling you to fuck off quite amusing. She should have shot you right at the start.

    And a ‘cue’? If it were a cue, me commenting 6 hours after a post, then I would have referred to that cue. Since it’s Van_Patten I’ve decided not to bother the senile old man.

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