It’s the way he tells ’em that does it

19 thoughts on “It’s the way he tells ’em that does it”

  1. I think it’s in the public interest that Murphy publishes his last 6 years’ personal tax returns.

    I’m sure it’s in Murphy’s private interests to keep his financial and tax affairs secret but, you know, sacrifice.

  2. Oooh… That’s the politest burn I’ve seen in a while.. 🙂

    +1 Internets for mr. Worstall.

  3. Candidly, I don’t know what an ellipsis is, but since Worstall recommends it, I have blocked it. That is my last word.

  4. An ellipsis is used to denote that something (often superfluous) has been left out of a quote:

    “Spud is a complete and utter cvnt”

    “Spud is a…cvnt”

  5. Andrew C

    I loved the time when he was asked to give the identities of who was funding the Fair Tax Mark and he replied that one person ‘wished to preserve their anonymity, as is their right’

    Interestingly this defence didn’t work when he wanted details of people’s accounts. It’s the lack of self awareness that always takes your breath away

  6. According to Companies House filings, Murphy owns >75% of the Corporate Accountability Network (although it is a company limited by guarantee and has no share capital, so I am not sure how ownership works, but he clearly controls it). The CAN website says it has grants from the Joffe Trust (£15k) and Productivity Insight Network, funded by the ESRC i.e. the taxpayer (£40.9k). The accounts also refer to a £30k grant from Luminate. I suspect most of those grants end up in Murphy’s bank account.

    The Fair Tax Mark had income of £175k from selling FTM’s and about another £100k from grants in 2020.
    2020 expenditure of £255k but no breakdown of this is shown in their accounts. Murphy is not a director but per the Tax Research LLP accounts was paid £8k as a consultant.

    Murphy’s website also refers to a £7.5k grant from the Joffe Trust plus other consultancy work. And he is still appealing for donations…..

  7. Theophrastus (2066)

    A rather weak response to Spud, Tim. He’s quoting accurately (apart from the lack of ellipsis) from The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which is Smith’s account of the social benefits of altruism. The Wealth of Nations is about the social benefits of self-interest.

    Smith’s overall argument is that altruism (or beneficence, as he calls it) and self-interest are complementary — not contradictory, as Spud is implicitly suggesting. Smith argued that humans as social creatures are dependent on each other and that due concern about the welfare of others was in the individual’s interest. He also believed that, in pursuing our own economic interest, the Hidden Hand would benefit others and society as a whole.

    A pithy Twitter response to Spud might be something like: ‘your quotations are selective and misleading. Adam Smith saw altruism and self-interest as complementary – not contradictory’. But I’m not on Twatter.

  8. “He’s quoting accurately (apart from the lack of ellipsis) etc.” Then he’s not quoting accurately, which is Tim’s point.

  9. Theophrastus (2066)

    Chris – Omitting the ellipsis is a minor and formal inaccuracy, not a substantive one. Pointing out the ellipsis is pendantic; and it doesn’t challenge Spud’s implicit interpretation of Smith. If that’s the only thing that’s wrong with Spud’s quotation, then he’s won the argument!

    Tim – yes, I know that you know that the quotations are from the Theory of Moral Sentiments. I was simply emphasising that the TMS and the WoN were complementary- not contradictory – and observing that you didn’t make that point to Spud.

  10. Theophratus, omitting the ellipsis is how Spud misinterprets Smith. If you think that’s minor, rather than the essence of how he’s being misleading, then you need to think a bit harder.

  11. That’s 136 pages of ellipsis forgotten.. those couple of dots aren’t the only quotation crime there…

  12. I was wondering why Adam Smith wrote 2 sentences that don’t obviously run together. The ellipsis is the crime that explains the odd gap in the logic

  13. Theophrastus (2066)

    “omitting the ellipsis is how Spud misinterprets Smith”. Not at all. The inclusion of an ellipsis, or the listing of the two quotes separately, would not materially change Spud’s point. Where Spud goes wrong is not seeing the quotes from the ToMS in the wider context of the WoN.

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