As Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, points out, why don’t they do it in Liechtenstein like respectable people?

Britain is the “country of choice for every kleptocrat, crook and despot in the world”, a Labour MP has said following revelations by the Guardian and media partners of a massive money-laundering scheme run by the government of Azerbaijan.

Margaret Hodge said the UK thought itself to be a “country of integrity, respectability and trustworthiness”. However, recent money-laundering scandals featuring Azerbaijan, Russia and the offshore industry showed this self-belief to be “flawed”, she told parliament.

Hodge – a former chair of the public accounts committee and an outspoken critic of corporate tax avoidance – was speaking in an adjournment debate on Thursday. She told MPs that UK corporate structures were being used for a wide range of crimes, including tax evasion and bribery.

11 thoughts on “As Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, points out, why don’t they do it in Liechtenstein like respectable people?”

  1. Not that it’s surprising from a Leftie to be two faces but Stemcor (the family company) pays all it’s tax doesn’t it Margaret and didn’t get involved in any shady share transfer ever *cough*.

  2. Tut tut. Stemcor pays all the tax legally due, so it’s whiter than white, the fact that other companies do exactly the same but get attacked by Stodge is a minor detail.

  3. Isn’t the UK used to hide money because its courts have intergrity (at least internationally ), nationally its respectable and trust worthy?

  4. A kleptocrat, crook or despot can afford to live any where they want to. They choose the UK. It’s a compliment.

  5. I read both Guardian articles, and some of their other links and didn’t see just exactly why the money was illegal. All I saw was that it came from “members of the country’s [Azerbaijan] ruling elite” who “were using a secret slush fund to pay off European politicians, buy luxury goods, launder money, and otherwise benefit themselves.” They seem to say the same thing about the ruling elites of Russia and Bulgaria, whatever a “ruling elite” might be.

    They seem to be implying that the ruling elites were illegally getting the money, but never come out and say so. Probably because they were not, they were doing what we think stinks but what is quite legal, or at least customary, in their part of the world.

    I conclude that Azerbaijan, Russia and Bulgaria are becoming less and less socialist, because the Guardian and it’s fellow travelers have not much to say when socialist ruling elites do the same things. Hey, how about that nice Chavez family from Venezuela?

    What did I miss?

  6. @MrVeryAngry: yes, we never did discover how Mandela on went from being so hard up in the mid 90s that he had to touch Geoffrey Robinson for a loan, to 10 years later buying a house for 8 million which would have been about 50 times the highest salary he earned in those 10 years, although in many years he earned far less.

  7. @FredZ “What did I miss?”

    Guardian Journalist and Readers are pig ignorant cretins when it comes to economics.

  8. They seem to say the same thing about the ruling elites of Russia and Bulgaria, whatever a “ruling elite” might be.

    Anyone with more wealth than Polly.

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