21 thoughts on “Ouch”

  1. The worrying thing is that McSemtex thinks he’s excellent on tax evoidance or tax avasion (when he can’t seem to work out the difference).

    But I guess that anything that screams “MOAH TAX” is dulcet tones to McD’s ears.

  2. The John McDonnell quote is quite old, I think.

    Still true of course.

    except that bit about being ‘excellent on tax evasion and tax avoidance’ where I would say he leaves a lot to be desired, to borrow a phrase.

  3. Diogenes wins the ‘LOL’ award – how true that is. In some ways worse than even Arnald…..

  4. From another place.

    John McDonnell is right: we do disagree on macroeconomic policy
    Posted on July 21 2016

    John McDonnell was asked a question about me in the Commons yesterday. This was his response:

    He is not the economic adviser and never has been, because we doubted his judgment, unfortunately. He is a tax accountant, not an adviser. He is actually excellent on tax evasion and tax avoidance, but he leaves a lot to be desired on macroeconomic policy.
    The result is he made three points.

    The first was he praised my work in tax. Given how much he has relied on it he would have had difficulty saying otherwise.

    Second, he said I was never an adviser to Labour, not that he or Jeremy Corbyn ever said that last summer when it seemed they left the whole issue of economics to me and Jeremy specifically asked me to speak about the subject at three of his rallies. And it’s well known there was discussion of an appointment, but I decided I would rather be professor of practice in international political economy at City University instead, from where one of my close colleagues did sit on his advisory panel.

    Third, he questions my macroeconomic judgement. And it is true, we disagreed.

    I said he should not agree to a fiscal charter promising a balanced budget which is wholly economically unnecessary and even destructive. But he did.

    I also argued against the fundamentally neoliberal concept of an independent central bank that takes control of key aspects of economic management out of democratic control and which was Ed Balls idea. But John bought into it.

    And as a result he backed off from People’s QE : he was advised that a central bank cannot create money to help ordinary people, job creation or the building of social housing. Instead John accepted that central banks can only use that power for the sake of saving bankers.

    So sure we disagreed, but precisely because he was all too willing to accept conventional neoliberal thinking and I was not.

    So if he’s doubting my judgement because he thinks I was too left wing for his comfort I am happy to accept that reasoning on his part: I think it’s true. The great disappointment about John McDonnell is he won’t be the radical shadow chancellor we need. If he was and if his macroeconomic thinking was clearer then he would have landed more punches yesterday: instead he fought his whole battle on the government’s territory, which is always a mistake.

    Oddly this was pointed out in the house in the same debate, when SNP MP Angus McNeil said to him:

    The hon. Gentleman is hinting at what we hope will be a change of direction for the Government. For far too long, the Government have concentrated more on achieving a balanced budget than on managing the economy. They have not been creating demand. They should have been listening to the likes of Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz and Richard Murphy, all of whom have been giving the Government a map to follow for years. The fact that they have failed to follow it explains why we are in this situation today.
    It seems some still believe this alternative is possible.I do.It’s a shame that it’s not at all clear that John McDonnell with his dedication to central bank control of the economy within the constraints of fiscal rules that refer to balanced budgets does.

    I’m not sure how big the circle of people who believe John McDonnell is too right-wing is, but I don’t think it is possible to win an election with them.

  5. It reminds me of the KGB’s opinion on Tony Benn:

    too “stupid” to be recruited as an agent … too left wing for the Soviet Union … unreliable …“He was an unnecessary simpleton, who told left-wing fairytales and falsified stories” … The view on the Left that he was an intellectual titan was not shared by the Russians …

  6. KGB apparently founds lots of people believing in fairy tales and were simpletons when it came to the vision of the future.
    The Soviets would have used any changes these people made and would then have killed them after taking over a country.

    The non-Soviet raised people were strangely not as reliable politically as those raised in the Soviet Union.
    They had strange ideas that did not fit in with modern day thinking.

  7. Tomo – what? I thought that stopped being a thing in 1995, quite probably by 1977. That’s bizarre.

  8. Tomo and Ducky.

    It was actually a spin on trying to get the old EBT ‘loan’ scheme going again.

    Not actually a ‘payment’ of gold at all.

    Can’t expect the Guardian to understand this.

    Their take is not as it should be – that HMRC are actually pretty good at what they do and Osborne gave them some useful new tools. Instead they will push the everyone is at It, see! Line.

  9. Bullion to avoid NIC was alive and kicking when I was in Winchester tax office in the mid 1990s. The UK guy who got caught up in the sumitomo corporation copper thing was one of my ‘customers’ as we weŕe forced to call them. He paid himself in gold and silver.

  10. That makes way more sense than the Guardian article.

    You could print that slogan on a t-shirt.

  11. “that HMRC are actually pretty good at what they do”

    I know what you are trying to say, but I know too many people (who have to deal with the idiocy every day) who would fall off their chairs reading that..:)

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