Why won’t they listen to me? To me! MEEEE!

First, I think that estimate of the tax gap is wrong, and despite the fact that the NAO know of my work (I have discussed it with them) there is no hint of a reference to it in their work.

That would be forgivable if they had clearly satisfied themselves that HMRC’s estimate was fair before considering whether the work done to address the issue was appropriate. Candidly, I do not see how they could do anything vaguely approaching something called an audit without doing this: the first job in any audit process is to establish that the population being considered is fairly stated.

I cooked up some fairy tale figures at the behest of my union paymasters.

Why won’t anyone take them seriously?

21 thoughts on “Why won’t they listen to me? To me! MEEEE!”

  1. The internet, giving a permanent presence to people who otherwise would write innumerable letters to government bodies and newspapers.

    He’s slipped from “Potential Advisor to Government” to “Lobbyist” to “green ink using loon” in the space of six months.

  2. the first job in any audit process is to establish that the population being considered is fairly stated.

    Bollocks is it.

  3. In terms of his own self regard, he is the grotesquely expanding Mr Creosote.

    In terms of actual influence, he is the incredible shrinking man, shouting in an ever higher pitched plaintive voice while disappearing from view.

  4. This reminds me of a piece his one – time mentor from Southampton once wrote, to the effect that he had written his advice to the Central Bank of Japan but it wasn’t taking thay advice. And on Japanese heads be it was the drift.
    I can understand, say, MI5 having a small department to field letters from cranks, but the Central Bank of Japan must have been struggling to know what to make of random emails from a knobhead in Hampshire.

  5. It is hard to believe that he qualified and practised as an accountant. Surely the point of the audit is to assess whether the population being examined is existent, complete, accurately added up, valued properly, etc. Only then can you reach a conclusion about it being fairly stated.

  6. BraveFart

    It is hilarious to watch – although it does beg the question – should he have gone for a job with the Corbyn opposition or not? If they are reduced to a 1931 style rump it might in retrospect be easy for him to at least escape association with the implementation of Corbynomics.

    Otherwise seeing him rage in frustrated impotence is arguably the highlight of my year. Hopefully this misguided, wicked individual will succumb under the strain and retire from public life gracelessly…

  7. …the first job in any audit process is to establish that the population being considered is fairly stated

    The depth of Ritchie’s professional competence demonstrated in less than 20 words.

    Neither financial nor tax auditors audit “populations”. Never have and never will. Ritchie butchers professional terminology.

    Auditors do not audit to establish that whatever being audited is “fairly stated”. They audit to form an opinion as to whether the evidence generated by said audit is sufficient to support the proposition that whatever appears to be “fairly stated”.

    Moron.

  8. It is hard to believe that he qualified and practised as an accountant. Surely the point of the audit is to assess whether the population being examined is existent, complete, accurately added up, valued properly, etc. Only then can you reach a conclusion about it being fairly stated.

    In an audit, populations of whatever are tested, which constitutes the first phase of the examination of said population. Neither examination nor testing of a population constitutes an audit in the sense that Ritchie uses the term.

    This is Audit 101 stuff and he hasn’t mastered it. Sad, really.

  9. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I think in the modern parlance he ‘identifies’ as an accountant without, as it were, having the necessary bits and bobs to actually be one in the traditional sense.

  10. As a famously vocal Quaker, he seems to have taken to heart one biblical verse, Proverbs 23:7 –

    ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he’

    He believes he is an accountancy expert so he is; he believes he is an economics expert with more knowledge than 300 years of conventional economics thus he is; he believes he is an authority on taxation, ergo he is.

    A testament to the power and persistence of self-delusion….

  11. At the risk of adding to Mr Murphy’s woes, I have decided to forgive the NAO for overlooking his work, thus proving that what they did was indeed “forgivable”.

    When I invented the concept of forgiveness, shortly after my mother found some fags missing, I didn’t expect it to be used by puffed-up fat blokes on the make.

    Apologies.

  12. Trying to have a conversation with him on accounting (especially in regard to large complex organisations) is painful to say the least. He claims to be an expert at all forms of accountancy such as auditing and management accounting because they were on his course when he qualified (20 to 30 years ago I would assume) even if he hasn’t practiced in that field ever. Eben though I have an ACMA myself I’m happy to admit there are some areas I would pass to an subject expert despite my qualifications (tax being one of them) and the odds of me picking up anything other than a low level audit job would be extremely low. Similarly I don’t believe my A level in economics makes me an economist. He claims to still have some clients so I wonder if he still has a practicing certificate?

  13. I think Bloke in Costa Rica has put his finger on it.

    Murphy is an accountant – just not a cis-accountant.

  14. J Square said:
    “He’s slipped from “Potential Advisor to Government” to “Lobbyist” to “green ink using loon” in the space of six months.”

    True, but then he had only done the same process in reverse six months earlier.

  15. Van

    “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”

    Well, fine thinking in his heart, but does Proverbs say anything about him talking through his backside?

  16. But Murphaloon can’t lose by using this tactic, let me explain. There are four possible outcomes from writing a wacky letter…

    EG
    Letter to Chairman of the Fed Reserve saying the Fed should follow a course of action:
    a. Course of action is followed, good things happen. Ritchie claims it’s all down to his advice but the Fed are being mean by not giving credit where it’s due
    b. Course of action is followed, bad things happen. Ritchie claims it was all down to the implementation which is hardly his fault.
    c. Course of action isn’t followed, good things happen. Ritchie claims they poorly implemented his ideas but he can claim credit anyway
    d. Course of action isn’t followed, bad things happen. Well, Ritchie claims if only they’d have followed his advice then the bad things wouldn’t have happened and they should listen to him next time.

    Fire off a load of letters to Fed, Bank of Japan, Bank of England, National Audit Office, World Bank, IMF, EIB and a whole host of other world famous financial institutions on the premise that if you throw enough shit some of it will stick.

    He can’t lose I tell you!

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