So we don’t have to obey the letter of the law, nor its spirit?

Two former employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers accused of being behind the biggest ever leak of confidential corporate tax deals face criminal trial in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Antoine Deltour and a second man, who is expected to be named in court this week, are charged with carrying out the LuxLeaks theft, violating the Grand Duchy’s strict professional secrecy laws and other offences. Their criminal prosecution follows a complaint to Luxembourg’s public prosecutor by PwC.

Well, it appears that there might be a case to answer that they broke the law. And those accused certainly think that they might have to answer for their actions.

About which the Murph tells us:

But the scandal is it is the whistleblowers in court, at PWC’s behest.

No one, in a million years, could describe this as justice.

So we don’t have to obey either the spirit or the letter of the law if we don’t like it?

25 thoughts on “So we don’t have to obey the letter of the law, nor its spirit?”

  1. Interesting relocation for the world tax expert’s worldwide headquarters. From a pleasant looking property, backing on to open farmland in a quiet, if a bit run down remote town, to an identikit, lower price, new build on a boxy estate, just 1/4 mile from where he lived a decade ago. It’s not really that more convenient for the railway to London is it either?

    I hope he’s not used his wealth to relocate for the purposes of being in a better school catchment area.

    Ironically, if the “retired accountant from Wandsworth”, had stayed in the house he had in Wandsworth, he’d be sitting on a £1.5m property now. I guess shacking up Mrs. Quaker cost him that one.

  2. It’s just Dickens’ complaint that “if the law supposes that, then the law is an ass”. There are plenty of people complaining that various laws need to be changed to favour their preferred outcomes.

  3. 1) You are allowed to break laws Ritchie disapproves and to suffer no consequences.

    2) Any attempt to disobey laws Ritchie approves of must be met with the full force of the law.

    3) Even obeying laws isn’t sufficient if they don’t meet Ritchie’s high standards.

  4. “So we don’t have to obey either the spirit or the letter of the law if we don’t like it?”

    Don’t be silly, you know the rule; we have to do whatever the Murphatollah tells us is Tax Justice.

  5. Murph is keen on strict liability applying for unpaid tax – eg not knowing of taxable income arising in a foreign jurisdiction and subsequently declaring it once you learn of its existence, this should be punished by the death sentence in his dystopian world – but deliberately violating a nation’s secrecy provisions is good. Until the laws change, these folks ought to accept the risk of punishment, such as being unable to work in any job where confidentiality is required.

  6. Noel

    It’s an awful property. But it gives Murphy impeccable leftist street-cred to be rubbing shoulders with the lumpen proletariat in a sort of suburban semi. One has to have sympathy for the neighbours in the other semi. Imagine having to engage in conversation over the garden fence peppered with Murphy clichés.

    And there’s no space for the model trains to be set up. Murphy presumably has another strategic hobby as a defence against the business rates argument for the room to be used as his office that the model trains served at the Old Orchard.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    Flatcap Army,

    And of course Murphy reserves the right to change his mind whenever it suits him, even post hoc.

  8. BiND

    I think it was one of the other Blokes who pointed out his resemblance to Walther Funk. his writings have quite fascistic undertones….

  9. Don’t tell me this new pad is just a letterbox in a school catchement area of convenience, and the family will really still be living in the pile in Downham Market?

    Cos that would just be too priceless if true…

  10. Hmm; it seems the secondary school at Ely is rated “inadequate” by Ofsted and is in special measures, so it seems unlikely that he’s moved to get into the catchment area.

    But I can’t imagine anyone moving to that ghastly looking house out of choice.

    Wife’s got a new job now he’s not going to become Lord Murphy and treasury minister?

  11. The whole *point* of civil disobedience and disobeying laws that you don’t believe in is that you are stating that you are prepared to trade your liberty in exchange for that protest. “I am *breaking* *the* *law* to make a point, and *accept* *the* *consequences* of that protest.” I would have thought that at least that would have permeated in from attending Quaker Meetings.

  12. Is it only the tax affairs of Large companies that justify whistleblowers? Would he support the tobacco whistleblowers?
    What about the anti-abortionists who leak the clients of the clinic on the basis of their strong beliefs on abortion?
    As jgh Tpoints out, taking the legal hit used to be a price accepted.

  13. Wonder what he thinks about professional misconduct charges, I assume if they are facing legal charges for breaching client confidentiality that’s a given

  14. A thought: Would we know if someone’s sued his arse off for libelling them? He’s unlikely to have made it a blog post.

  15. Bloke in Costa Rica

    If companies were really one tenth as wicked as Murphy likes to think while he’s rubbing one out in his shed, then these whistleblowers would have been disappeared.

    It used to be the case in Panamá that even chatting to someone in a bar about the nature of your clients if you worked in a bank could get you ten years. And so it should be. They got lent on by the Seppos to water down their privacy regs, of course.

  16. Noel

    I see the Downham pile was reduced yesterday & is now sold for (presumably) around the asking price which seems to be at least £100k more than the Ely place. Conspiracy theories to the ready…

  17. “But the scandal is it is the whistleblowers in court, at PWC’s behest.
    No one, in a million years, could describe this as justice.”

    If there is a ‘whistle-blowers’ defence here, then that’s what it is. A defence. Like claiming self-defence if you have killed someone. And the place that the defence is considered is a court. Not in the fucked-up fat mind of a pompous twat formerly from Downham Market.

    So if the defendants are in court to have their defence tested, then that is exactly how justice is decided.

  18. Exactly when should we start to refer to Murphy as the Sage of Ely instead of the Sage of Downham Market?

  19. Whistle blower protection provides for “slight evil” in the form of public disclosure only where there is far greater evil “i.e. corruption, tax EVASION or other actual criminality”.

    It is not to turn over customer data to various international tax organisations in the hope of gaining potential reward from any taxes, penalties and interest.

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