Murphatollah in The Times

Google executives were once told by a Labour MP investigating its tax affairs: “You are a company that says you ‘do no evil’. And I think that you do do evil.” The revelation that the Church of England holds a significant stake in Alphabet, Google’s parent company, suggests, at the very least, that there is more than one way to interpret evil, at least when it comes to portfolio management.

Having a stake in Google is evil apparently.

Christian Aid, the development charity, has led calls for so-called country-by-country reporting. This would require multinationals to publish results by nation, which would expose exactly where, and where not, a company such as Google was paying tax. The church should throw its considerable financial, public and ethical clout behind Christian Aid in making this happen. However, try as I might, I cannot find a word from them on the issue. It would seem as if their 2013 statement on tax ethics had never been published.

That’s very cute indeed. Very cute. This important charity calls for it. Not the more usual I, Richard Murphy, ME!, invented country by country reporting and I’m whining because not everyone is doing it already.

Still, that’s £300 to the Sage of Ely. Look forward to it showing up in the accounts of Tax Research LLP.

27 thoughts on “Murphatollah in The Times”

  1. I get the use of Google for nothing (I don’t believe I have ever bought anything via a Google ad). He himself gets to promote his shit to the world via Google. It’s an odd definition of evil.

  2. @interested
    Let’s not forget Amazon & now Murdoch. Is there no rapacious capitalist Murphy won’t get into bed with, when it suits his purpose?
    There’s a word for that, down here. Puta. Or more accurately, puto, given his gender.

  3. Frustrating. I eagerly scroll down, “Murdoch shilling” on my finder tips. And it turns out it’s on everyone eleses’ lips as well.

  4. I’d have thought anti-development charity would be nearer the mark. From its website:

    • Make the Big Shift out of fossil fuels to 100% clean energy within a generation.

    One of the many charities I find it easy to give nothing to.

  5. @Interested – by chance, I bought something from a Google ad only yesterday. I needed a new timer for the pool and it came up cheaper than on Amazon (and a UK supplier, too). So I gave money (about 0.01p) to Google rather than 10p to Amazon – I wonder which economic crime I should denounce myself for?

  6. Is this the same Richard Murphy who ‘advises’ unknown investors but won’t tell us what ethical invent policy he follows, if any?

  7. Ironman said:
    “Is this the same Richard Murphy who ‘advises’ unknown investors”

    Has he said that? Don’t you have to be authorised by the Financial Services Authority (or whatever it’s called these days) to give investment advice? Without that, accountants can only give very generic advice (not much above the level of “this is what a share is”).

  8. The Inimitable Steve

    The church should throw its considerable financial, public and ethical clout behind Christian Aid in making this happen.

    Nothing against Anglicans (or any denomination), but is this, um, true?

    The considerable public clout I mean.

    My take is that modern churchmen are nearly all weedy little socialist bores and nobody really listens to them.

  9. “You are a company that says you ‘do no evil’. And I think that you do do evil.” The revelation that the Church of England holds a significant stake in Alphabet, Google’s parent company, suggests, at the very least,

    that the Church of England is evil?

  10. Every little £300 or so helps when you’ve been forced by apparent straitened circumstances into a move from the biggest house on the street to an unprepossessing end terrace on a housing estate which looks like it was designed for target occupiers of what are known now as “key workers”.

  11. The point that needs to be borne in mind is that charities are (were? has this been changed?) obliged by law to invest for profit, ie to the benefit of their intended beneficiaries.

    This sort of thing came up back in the 80s when there was a row about the Church Commissioners’s investments.

  12. ‘Christian Aid, the development charity, has led calls for so-called country-by-country reporting.’

    A ‘charity’ going political. Yank their license.

  13. Thank you Van. This from that thread:

    “Chris Howker says:

    June 26 2014 at 5:21 pm

    There has been absolutely no evidence of phone hacking by The Sun. NotW yes, The Sun no. I hope you aren’t suggesting that The Sun is guilty of phone hacking.

    Richard Murphy says:

    June 26 2014 at 9:25 pm

    News International was

    And why are you so keen to defend abuse?”

  14. Richard

    Thank you. Good question; this is what he wrote:

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

    Make of that that you will.

  15. “‘Christian Aid, the development charity, has led calls for so-called country-by-country reporting.’

    A ‘charity’ going political. Yank their license.”

    All that bollocks last week on this subject was publicity for a whiners conference organised by… Oxfam.

    Another bunch of arseholes who will never get a penny of my money. Unfortunately they don’t need it as they get millions from the EU, and the UK government. Wankers.

  16. “My opinions on the Church Commissioners, offered here yesterday, reached The Times today, if you can get behind the paywall”.

    ‘I have taken Murdoch’s money for the thrill of writing in his paper, but of you were to buy it that would make you complicit in phone hacking and tax avoidance and worse. But I’m not a hypocrite.’

    ‘It somehow reached the Times today. I didn’t phone the journalist back and harangue them for not giving me enough attention. And I certainly didn’t offer to write an entire article on it, oh no. Somehow these words of mine reassembled themselves on an article on the newspaper. How could I have known?’

  17. @Dearieme

    ‘Doo doo doo ron ron
    Doo doo doo ron.’

    Candidly, you are a neoliberal sophist. The correct form, as we all surely know, is, Da do ron-ron-ron, da do ron-ron.
    But it was the sixties – perhaps you were tripping?

  18. He’s getting a right old kicking in the comments [declaration of Interest: mine is one of the boots going in].

  19. Bloke in Costa Rica

    My father bought a shredder in no small part to facilitate the passage of begging letters from Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD etc. between letterbox and wastepaper basket.

  20. @Ironman. Here are the most recommended comments in order:


    Geoff Taylor 10 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.

    Flag13RecommendedReply
    Chris Miller 8 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):

    https://www.timworstall.com/category/ragging-on-ritchie/

    Flag9RecommendReply
    Tim Palmer 6 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.

    Flag6RecommendReply
    David Lowder 11 hours ago
    I wonder if Mr Murphy would attack any other religious group with the same fervour, I doubt it.

    Flag12RecommendReply

    —-

  21. what are known now as “key workers”.

    And we can all thank God (other deities are available) that, outside Cuba, North Korea and Venezula, society has yet to collapse to the point that the likes of Ritchie are considered “key workers”.

  22. Interested:

    Candidly, you are a neoliberal sophist. The correct form, as we all surely know, is, Da do ron-ron-ron, da do ron-ron.
    But it was the sixties – perhaps you were tripping?

    PerhapsDearieme is old enough to remember the70s.

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