Comments in The Times

James Warren 52 minutes ago
First of all, the COE’s investment is nothing in the context of Alphabet’s $500 billion market capitalization. Second, international tax planning is a matter of the relevant laws, which are thousands of pages long and not particularly driven by either logic or good sense. It can’t be repeated often enough that taxes are a forced exaction by governments and taxpayers are completely within their rights to do whatever they can to minimize the cost within the law’s provisions. To the extent the issue is a moral one, it is a moral duty on the part of the government to ensure that the rules work in a fair and even way. There is no moral duty on taxpayers to pay large sums just because the business is large.

This article follows an equally vicious and unjustified front page article in the Times complaining about the remuneration of some of the Church Commissioners’ investment advisers (who seem to have done a particularly splendid job last year). This is none of anyone else’s business, and certainly not justification for muck-raking journalism that seeks to stir up outrage at anyone who is financially successful at the slightest hint of a connection with a tax-haven or a generous bonus. High level financial professionalism is expensive, but people pay for it because it is worth it. Where’s the scandal in that?

Did You Ring Sir 3 hours ago
Why does the Times give a platform to this man ? He has for long been a religious fundamentalist masquerading as an ‘economist’ to push his extreme agenda. About 15 years ago he produced papers concerning the Consumer Credit Act which were among the most economically illiterate I have even read, long on assertions about ‘extotionate’ interest rates, but lacking any logical analysis that paid attention to the facts. His career since then I didn’t follow. But I observe that university ‘professors’ are usually appointed to grind axes and not to teach objectively.

Andrew Kinsman 3 hours ago
I fail to understand why Professor Murphy feels the need to comment on internal Anglican affairs. I understand that he converted to Quakerism during the transition from the first Mrs Murphy to the current one.

DeadCatBounce 5 hours ago
Companies are not going to behave as the Church wants because it would mean engaging in the market with one hand tied behind your back. And the Church isn’t a big enough investor (£7bn is nothing) to change policies and behaviours.

So maybe the Church should just buy Gilts and premium bonds. Terrible returns but hey, clear consciences.

Julian Doncaster 5 hours ago
Is there a chance that the Times could put this goofball back under his stone?


Gary Taylor 5 hours ago
The Church should wade into tax policy and country-by-country reporting?!! Christians are being persecuted throughout the Middle East, Church membership is falling in the UK, and the rights of gays is creating an ideological schism, but no – country-by-country tax reporting is key.

An epic lack of perspective.

Simon Andrews 6 hours ago
The front page carries a story about the need to raise standards in UK universities. The Thunderer is written by Richard Murphy, the recently appointed professor of practice in international political economy at City University. Case in point, I think.

Paul Hewison 7 hours ago
The church commissioners are supposed to get the best return on their investment portfolio. They are barred from pornography, tobacco, gambling, non-military firearms, high interest rate lending or human embryonic cloning and now it seems, companies that do not pay enough tax.

If they do all that is required of them ethically they are then criticised for a poor return on their investments. They can never win.

judy ludlow 7 hours ago
Oh well, either the BBC or the Church. Always good for an easy piece.

Geoff Taylor 9 hours ago
A Labour MP saying that Google does evil is not evidence of Google being so. I doubt that I am alone in thinking that effective (legal) tax planning is not an evil in and of itself. This concept of “evil” is central to the article’s argument, for if Google isn’t evil then the Church”s ethical problems melt away. So Mr Murphy really should have explained what this “evil” really is.

Quoting an attention-seeking politician just doesn’t cut it.

Chris Miller 7 hours ago
@Geoff Taylor Particularly when that attention-seeking politician is the egregious Margaret ‘Enver’ Hodge, whose own family business (Stemcor) pays a tiny amount of Corporation Tax on its billions of turnover, for perfectly legitimate reasons. So it can’t be the case that she’s just too stupid to understand the arguments, she really is just a hypocritical grand-stander.

Mind you, she’s an intelligent and well-informed source compared to ‘Professor’ Richard Murphy – a retired accountant who has appointed himself an expert on economics generally (he sometimes claims to be the father of ‘Corbynomics’) and all matters tax-related. If you’re in need of a laugh, visit Tim Worstall’s blog, where he has a column ‘Ragging on Ritchie’ devoted to refuting the many statements made by the Sage of Ely (refuting them on the great man’s own blog is impossible since he deletes any criticism):

Tim Palmer 5 hours ago
@Chris Miller @Geoff Taylor

I second your recommendation, Chris. Murphy is a joke, beyond parody. Why The Times should give this third-rate poseur column space is beyond me.

David Lowder 10 hours ago
I wonder if Mr Murphy would attack any other religious group with the same fervour, I doubt it.

Still, £300 is £300 isn’t it?

47 thoughts on “Comments in The Times”

  1. Bloke in Costa Rica

    So it’s not just in the echo chamber here that Murphy is a figure of derision. Good to know.

  2. The Meissen Bison

    Certainly, £300 is £300 but Murphy’s self-regard would have to be deeply discounted for this to be worth his while.

  3. Ahhhh but now he’s a professor of economics that’s been published in the Times, so another boost to his delusional self-image and sense of importance.

  4. Oh the agony ! Murphy gets the top gigs . Its free market competition so there can be no complaint.

  5. Oh dear.

    The 12 stories on Eurovision did for me and the DT. So I cancelled the sub and thought, oh well, The Times it is.

    Then this.

    If the national media publish articles by this ignorant, incoherent, self-contradicting idiot are all of their articles written by ignorant, incoherent, self-contradicting idiots?

  6. The Meissen Bison

    Paul Crystal says: May 17 2016 at 4:55 pm
    I notice with dismay that comments at The Times are not as carefully moderated as they are here.

    Such a pity that naysayers are allowed a free rein to critique such a densely argued piece.

    Reply Richard Murphy says: May 17 2016 at 5:01 pm
    I never read the comments on published articles I know no sane author who ever does.

  7. So the comments were relatively favourable to his article, then.
    Not a single mention of burning him at the stake?

  8. I still don’t understand why Murphy hasn’t been challenged on his stance of ‘openness’ when he refuses to name a significant source of funding because (he claims) it’s more convenient to that source.

    I stress that nothing here is necessarily illegal.

    But it is hypocritical.

  9. @John

    TBF to The Times, this was a Thunderer piece, which are usually written by guest commentators. Their regular columnists cover a reasonable range of opinion: right-wing Tory (Tim Montgomerie); left-wing Tory (Matthew Parris); Blairite (Phil Collins); vaguely leftish (David Aaronovitch). Melanie Griffiths, Dan Finkelstein and Matt Ridley are pretty solid Tories, too. At least they can all write well.

  10. I love the way he contradicts himself here:

    “I never read the comments on published articles
    I know no sane author who ever does”

  11. @Andrew K

    ‘I love the way he contradicts himself here:’

    Ha ha well spotted.

    ‘I never read the comments on published articles’

    Honestly, Wodehouse himself, on acid, couldn’t have invented this cunt.

  12. Meanwhile – over in Ritchie land

    ‘Simon says:
    May 17 2016 at 12:10 pm


    “Both aspects are interesting, and as I em engaging with a number of investors these days I share my opinion here.”

    Are you qualified to give investment advice? More importantly, are you licensed to do so?

    Richard Murphy says:
    May 17 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I am not offering investment advice

    I am discussing how they secure data they need which is something entirely different

    Simon says:
    May 17 2016 at 3:37 pm

    So assuming Alphabet don’t heed your 3 demands (which is likely given how small a stake the CC is likely to have in Alphabet) and carry on as before, would you advise that the Church Commissioners disinvest?

    Richard Murphy says:
    May 17 2016 at 5:03 pm


    Very publicly’

    So thats not investment advice at all then?

  13. @ Max
    Murphy is not giving investment advice – he is advising the CoE on morality.
    Next step is to rewrite the Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt have no other God before Murphy” etc

  14. NiV,

    It is lawful to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

    That doesn’t make it compulsory to render unto Caesar more than is due because some guy thinks his interpretation of what the law ought to say trumps what it does say.

  15. Natalie,

    I think he regards it all as Her Majesty’s government’s money, since it’s her face displayed on the coins and banknotes.

    Much of the New Testament was written by a Retired Tax Collector, for goodness sake! (And the OT was mostly written by the ruling priesthood.) The Bible is all about the virtue of self-sacrifice, submission to authority, and the rich giving everything they have to the poor. Camels will be forced through the eyes of needles before they let the productive wealthy into their heaven!

    Ritchie doesn’t need to re-write it, because it was written by people just like Ritchie.

  16. Undoubtedly he does – and to make matters worse, if you suggested that you create your own currency he’d be all for having you thrown in jail.

  17. @ NiV
    There is only one verse about *one* rich man giving everything to the poor – and the implication is that he did not do so.
    Mosaic law, on the contrary, commands each man to consume 10% of his harvest “in rejoicing before The Lord” which he canot do if he gives it all away [one year in three he should give 10% to the priests and levites].
    One Gospel out of four and none of the Epistles – that is 12% of the New Testament – were written by a retired tax collector.
    Murphy desperately needs to rewrite it because the 10th Commandment says “Thou shalt not copvet the neighbour’s wife nor …..nor anything that is thy neighbour’s”; the 9th says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”

  18. Ritchie has already re-translated the bible…

    You know, I just bet Ritchie regrets not being there at the Creation, so as to been available to offer Him pointers, helpful hints and sound advice.

  19. “Dennis the Peasant

    . . .

    You know, I just bet Ritchie regrets not being there at the Creation, so as to been available to offer Him pointers, helpful hints and sound advice.”

    “I was, you know, the mind behind ‘Edenomics’.

  20. Once again, you lot are painfully envious of the incredible con-manship of the worthy Murphy.

    The man could sell refrigerators to the Inuit in winter.

    When people are too stupid to keep and use their money for themselves, it is moral and proper that Murphy et al. bamboozle it off them.

    Murphy, Bernie Sanders, Corbyn, Hillary Clinton, Carlo Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, what’s the difference?

  21. @Fred Z

    ‘The man could sell refrigerators to the Inuit in winter.’

    No he couldn’t. He can sell bullshit to functionally innumerate and ill-educated idiots in fat western bloatocracies, but the Inuit (of popular metaphor) live in the real world because they have to.

    Speaking for myself, I’m not ‘jealous’ of him – he’s mental and he lives in a tiny house in a shit part of the country, shilling for peanuts. We like reading about him for amusement – he’s the gift that keeps on giving,

  22. NiV: “Much of the New Testament was written by a Retired Tax Collector, for goodness sake”

    Much of the Bible was written by a REFORMED Tax Collector. Fixed it for you.

    DBC: “He lives in a tiny house ”

    So does Sooty. And of the two Sooty is the intellectual.

  23. Reply Richard Murphy says: May 17 2016 at 5:01 pm
    I never read the comments on published articles I know no sane author who ever does.

    Generally those who show the greatest disdain for their readers are those who have the least to say.

  24. @DBC Reed ‘He lives in a tiny house .Cannot have anything to say, therefore.’

    I was addressing the jealousy. If he lived in a fuck off castle I might be jealous of him. But he doesn’t. You of all people – you who spends his life masturbating himself into a frotted rage about housing – ought to get that. He has nothing to say, but that’s unrelated, you daft cunt.

  25. There’s a tiny house
    by a tiny stream
    where a great fat twat
    had an endless dream
    and if the dream came true
    quite unexpectedly
    I’d be off to Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen by the Sea

    Or anywhere fucking else for that matter but here.

  26. Face it Worstall, he’s a better media operator than you.

    You can rant and rage, but DBC is right. Without exposure you are meaningless, which makes this blog a vent of spleen dressed as ‘humorous’, when it’s not “hyperbolic rhetoric”.

    You may think he’s crap, maybe he is, but all you’re doing is the same as teenagers fighting about which popstar has the best clothes.

    Why aren’t you challenging him in the Times? Why do you leave it to your coterie (Come on, the comments on that Thunderer were mostly from here).

    Are you lazy? You don’t care? What is it? Childishness – don’t get me wrong, there is a place for childishness, and this blog is abound, but you’re an irrelevance.

    A failed candidate for a UKIP MEP. An unpatriotic expat who couldn’t give a shit about the UK.

    It’s all ok, though, for your human-atypical commentators, because you hate women.

  27. I stopped writing in The Times a few years back: found I had better things to do. And don’t forget that I’m the guy who hasn’t been fired from Forbes (yet, at least).

  28. Oh, Forbes. Of course. Have you looked at it recently?

    Well done.

    Better things to do rather than sharing your opinions in the MSM? If it’s that far beneath you then I suggest you go compare your hubris.

    You’re a pointless bigot, basically. And hardly a libertarian, nor anything to do with Adam Smith.

    Fist typing about the UK without knowing fuck all about the UK. Oh, and hating women.

  29. It’s a job Arnald, a job. The Times pays £300 for a Thunderer. If you’re lucky they’ll let you do, as an outsider, two pieces a month. Forbes just deposited my April paycheck into my account. $8,500 and change.

    Which job would you go for?

  30. Hmmm

    A job, yes, but your criticisms you are a vacuous mercenary. If you have opinions and want to propagate them then you take a popular medium if offered.

    You have no position, and despite you parading what you think is libertarianism, a lot of what you say does scare the horses.

    The large fee you charge could probably mean that you are deliberately writing for a set audience.

    Are you content? Your blog would suggest not. In fact you come across as nasty and angry. But if you’re not willing to change anything, meh, you’re a distraction for all the expats that adore you.

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