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Sex, lies, dominatrixes and tax returns - the sorry state of British scandal

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

Call this a scandal? A few years ago, it wouldn’t have made the cut. If any reporter had taken the David Cameron tax ‘scoop’ into the now-defunct News of the World, he would have been laughed out of the building.

‘OK, just run it by me again. The Prime Minister’s dad was a stockbroker, right? Daddy Cameron operated this fund in Panama, or somewhere, and Dave had a few shares in it. Then before Dave became Prime Minister, he sold the shares and made a profit of 19 grand, after paying full capital gains tax in Britain. Where’s the story?’

‘But boss…’

‘Don’t you “But boss” me. I’m trying to sell newspapers here. Bring me shagging, bring me sex’n’drugs in high places, bring me something they’ll be talking about down the Dog & Duck. Not this garbage.’

We’ve come a long way from Christine Keeler, the call girl who poleaxed the Conservative defence secretary John Profumo in 1961. If, instead of consorting with hookers, Profumo had been found to have intimate knowledge of offshore tax jurisdictions, he wouldn’t have been consigned to lifelong political oblivion — he’d have been made Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Admittedly, public mores have undergone a tectonic shift in the past decade or so. But the tastes of the newspaper-buying public haven’t changed that much. Sex sells. Confected stories concerning tax avoidance don’t.

I’ve always had a simple theory about front-page headlines. If you can imagine a news vendor shouting it at Liverpool Street station, you’re in business. If not, forget it.

Thus: ‘Married minister in sleazy knee-trembler with dominatrix! Read all about it!’ You’re off to the races. ‘Minister in complicated, perfectly legal shares deal shock!’ Nah, I’ve got a train to catch.

But even this tried and tested formula no longer holds. It has been revealed this week that before he became Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale went out with a woman he met on the dating site Match.com — until he discovered that she was indeed a professional dominatrix. He says that when he found out her occupation he ended the relationship. (I suppose there’s always the possibility that she dumped him when she found out he was a Tory politician.)

A number of newspapers investigated the liaison but decided not to publish because Whittingdale was a single divorced man and, in the post-Leveson hysteria, it would be difficult to argue that the story was in the public interest.

This has sent the anti-free-press Hacked Off crowd into apoplexy, claiming the papers held off because they were trying to blackmail Whittingdale, who was previously chairman of the Commons culture committee, which oversees the media.

Yet the story was put into the public domain by the BBC, which is now under pressure from Whittingdale, and in the normal course of events would take a very dim view of any newspaper which wrote about a minister’s sex life. So for once Fleet Street is being attacked for being responsible! Talk about pots and kettles. It only goes to prove that the row about privacy is purely politically motivated and nothing to do with the rights of individuals to freedom from un-warranted scrutiny.


We live in interesting times, as the Chinese say. Had Cameron learned anything from his days as PR man to Michael Green at Carlton, he would have got out in front of the tax story sooner. By waiting until the truth was pulled from him like a particularly stubborn wisdom tooth, he turned a non-event into a political drama. He behaved like a man about to have his collar felt and was treated accordingly by the press. That’s his own stupid fault. Cameron’s prevarication sent the Pavlovian piranhas of the parliamentary lobby into a feeding frenzy.

The Prime Minister has now allowed himself to be panicked into disclosing his past six years’ tax returns, which tell us precisely nothing we couldn’t have found out already — if anyone had bothered to look. His salary and his income from renting out his home in North Kensington are both matters of public record.

George Osborne and others have followed suit, in the interests of ‘transparency’, you understand. We’re still none the wiser. We don’t know how much the Chancellor benefits from his interest in the family wallpaper firm. But frankly, why should we? Provided he’s not passing tax laws that line the pockets of himself and his family, it’s none of our damn business.

I’d argue that Tony Blair’s introduction of the Human Rights Act, which enabled his wife to set up a legal chambers that would profit from the resulting flood of cases — often in the form of taxpayer-funded legal aid — was a bigger issue than anything involving Cameron and his crew.

Of course, we have a right to know if our elected representatives stand to make any financial gain from the legislation they bring on to the statute books. That’s what the register of members’ interests is for. Over and above that, there’s no good reason why they should have to make public their personal tax returns.

By capitulating to the politics-of-resentment lynch mob, Cameron has established a dangerous precedent, which has set in train a clamour for universal ‘transparency’. It is impossible to predict where all this madness will end. Already, otherwise sane commentators such as Matthew Parris of this parish are giving succour to those who would strip every individual in this country of any last vestige of privacy — at least when it comes to their tax affairs.

We are seeing a kind of competitive self-exposure: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

One could be forgiven for thinking that Boris Johnson has thoroughly enjoyed releasing his financial records, which reveal that he has paid almost £1 million in income tax over the past four years. The glee with which Boris his published his earnings reminds me of the boorish Brummie millionaire played by Harry Enfield who was always boasting: ‘Oi am considerably richer than yeow.’

Since this ‘scandal’ broke, a number of observers have quoted Sir Thomas Macaulay’s famous remark: ‘We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodic fits of morality.’ But they’re all well wide of the mark.

This is the political class, not the British public, in one of its periodic fits of morality. Outside the Westminster bubble, the press and the BBC, the fallout from the Panama Papers is getting little purchase — other than to reinforce the impression that those we pay to represent us are increasingly out of touch with the real world.

Labour is trying to capitalise by portraying Cameron and the Tories as a bunch of rich boys who couldn’t care less about the common herd and will do anything to protect their wealth and privilege. That’s been Cameron’s presentational problem since he became Tory leader, but it hasn’t stopped voters putting him in to Downing Street at the last two general elections.

No doubt were he to stand a third time, which he says he won’t, he’d have no trouble defeating a Labour opposition led by the hair-shirt 1970s throwback Jeremy Corbyn and the ludicrous Tom Watson.

Inevitably, Watson — Labour’s nonce-finder general — has been in the vanguard of his party’s attempts to smear Cameron as a tax-evading toff. He is without shame when it comes to implicating the Tories in serial wrongdoing.

His hypocrisy, as always, is breathtaking. Compared with the Parliamentary expenses scandal, this latest bout of moral outrage is small beer. Readers may remember Watson’s enormous claims for food. He spent so much in Marks & Sparks that they gave him a free pizza wheel. More pertinently, Watson and another Labour MP claimed £100,000 for a shared London flat and charged taxpayers for the legal fees involved in buying the freehold.

If and when they sell the property, they will have no obligation to repay the free money they have received and will be allowed to keep the profit, which could be substantial. It will certainly dwarf the £19,000 Cameron made from his father’s investment fund.

Watson is front and centre when it comes to demanding full ‘transparency’ over taxes. Yet he’s also a leading light in Hacked Off. His idea of the public’s right to know is whatever he thinks it should know. He has a curiously flexible attitude towards privacy.

So David Cameron’s mother’s private financial affairs are fair game. But Ulrika Jonsson’s text messages to her hairdresser are sacrosanct and any journalist who attempts to make them public must be subject to the full force of the criminal law.

Watson used parliamentary privilege to claim that there was a ‘powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10’ under the Tories. He was instrumental in setting in motion the deranged ‘historic’ investigation by Scotland Yard against leading establishment figures including Lord Bramall, a 92-year-old war hero. He didn’t mind invading their privacy in the worst way imaginable, by falsely accusing them of heinous crimes and subjecting them to heavy–handed police searches and reputational damage.

No, I’m not condoning phone hacking. I’m merely trying to point to the double standards of Watson and others who have appointed themselves the arbiters of both the right to privacy and the need for ‘transparency’.

There is a serious debate to be had about the extent of privacy and the public’s right to know, but this isn’t it. On the one hand, the courts are using the human rights act to create European-style privacy laws, which will largely protect the rich and powerful. On the other, the state is intruding ever more deeply into our affairs. Only this week we learn that a number of councils have bought drones to fly over our properties, ostensibly to check for breaches of planning regulations. Tell that to the woman at No. 43, innocently sunbathing topless on her patio. If that’s not a genuine invasion of privacy, I don’t know what is. Soon they’ll be making our tax returns, and then our medical records, public. We’re getting into the realms of ‘those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear’ — the mantra of tyrannies down the ages.

Yet at the same time, according to the new rules of behaviour, a politician like Lord Sewel — hilariously the chairman of the Lords’ standards committee — caught in a compromising sex’n’drugs scandal is entitled to privacy because he is guilty of nothing more than an ‘error of judgment’. But a Prime Minister who perfectly properly sells some shares and pays all taxes due deserves to be torn limb from limb.

Meanwhile, away from the politico-media menagerie, I’ve not been aware of much chatter about Cameron’s tax affairs. The public is far more interested in the identity of the celebrity who has taken out a superinjunction to conceal extramarital sexual shenanigans. Even though the rest of the planet, including Scotland, is in on the secret, the people of England and Wales are not to be trusted with the information.

In the real world threesomes in an olive-oil filled paddling pool are infinitely more fascinating than offshore investment trusts.

Maybe we haven’t moved as far away from Christine Keeler as we like to pretend.

Richard Littlejohn is a columnist for the Daily Mail.

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Show comments
  • Oliver St.John-Mollusc

    all scumbags anyway

  • Maureen Fisher

    We all know who the celeb is owing to the internet and most of us couldn’t care less. The only people in my circle of acquaintances who are fulminating about Cameron are some rather silly lefties who owing to their economic ignorance are unaware of the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. That’s to be expected. One expects better of the DT and Mail though, the very news organisations who offer advice to their readers about organising their tax and financial matters.

    • Mary Ann

      Expect better of the Telegraph and the Wail, you are joking. They are both anti EU, they would love to see Cameron gone.

  • T Gould

    Really spot on article.

  • mailbiter

    A couple of days before the last General Election, I was paying for something and had a brief conversion with the middle-aged woman on the checkout. I made some casual remark about George Osborne. She asked – with a straight face and absolute sincerity – “Who’s he?”

    She had a vote in the GE and she has a vote in the referendum.

    I think that those who do take an interest in current affairs often fall into the trap of believing that others do as well.

    • Polly Radical

      Shopping in Harrods again.

      • mailbiter

        Good for you.

    • Brian Jones

      And a great many of those who post on pages like this appear to think that anyone who is not politically active is unaware of what is happening in the world. I am an ex miner , soldier and HGV driver so am of course a Labour supporter but actually I’m not I am and always have been a Tory supporter because the Tories have always ensured that while “their mates” are making money they are also providing me with employment and paying much more tax. I am at the level in the socio economic scale that I choose to be in because I’m quite happy with the lifestyle I have for the effort I put in. I worked for 55 years (15 to 70) and never drew benefits until I retired , if others want to work every hour God sent to end up with more money I’m not in the least bit jealous.

      • MickC

        Presumably when you retired you started drawing the state pension which you had paid for according to your enforced contract with the State, rather than “benefits”……

        • Father Todd Unctious

          No. He retired at 70 so was drawing his pension from 65 as well as working.

          • MickC

            My, badly made, point was that the state pension is not really a benefit, having been paid for during a lifetime of work…..

          • rosebery

            The money paid in NICs is used for current general spend, not to create a ring-fenced fund for your and others’ future state pensions. The original sin in the welfare state was the lie that that its first generation of tax- and NIC-payers were paying for their parents’ pensions and their kids’ healthcare as well as securing their own future pensions. It could never work, as any Ponzi scheme operator knows. Governments, of every hue, just about got way with it until the post war baby boomers hit old age. More pensions to pay, more healthcare and welfare demands and fewer in the current generation, both absolutely and in work, to pay for them. A ‘correction’, as the economists say, on a bigger scale than 2007/8 is just round the corner.

          • MickC

            Indeed, and all of which I understand and agree with; however the point remains that a contract was made by the state….and it should be fulfilled, whether legal, or moral…

    • Father Todd Unctious

      In a recent survey 62% of adults could accurately name Cameron as PM. Interestingly 5% thought it was Prince William!

  • victor67

    The Press want to focus on the personal but the real story of Panama is how multi-nationals hide billions of dollars in profits in tax havens while lobbying politicians for favourable policies and tax breaks.
    Britain and the US can now be regarded as plutocracies.

  • First class article – cuts directly to the chase!
    Well done Richard Littlejohn.

  • Firstly, Richard Littlejohn is a man with a brain – who knows how to use it.

    Now – 2 separate topics
    1. The media is out of control (particularly the BBC)
    2. It is totally wrong to write articles about individuals or companies conducting themselves lawfully.

    Tax avoidance is the hoi polloi’s name for Legitimate Tax Mitigation. I was a Tax consultant in the 1970s before working for Price Waterhouse in the late 80s & 90s. I certainly did not count myself as a slippery, slimy semi-criminal.

    Tax evasion has always been a criminal offense – and so it should remain.

    Intrusions by the media into legitimate and legal activities of citizens should be subject to much higher penalties if the courts judge that abuse has occurred. In this way, Free speech remains – but the dirty side of Journalism will be quickly eradicated.

    • Father Todd Unctious

      I expect many of those dealing with you and PWC did indeed see you as slippery, slimy semi- criminals.

      • Just identified yourself as one of the self righteous hoi polloi

  • davidofkent

    Cameron should have persisted with the statement that his tax was a private matter. Unfortunately, he set the scene when he went off to Brussels with an almost empty negotiation list and came back with nothing at all. He was desperate for some good publicity. He failed there as well.

  • MikeF

    Why is there no opportunity to comment on the article by David Lammy?

    • commenteer

      Because he was writing complete nonsense that would have been comprehensively shot down in the comments underneath.

      • MikeF

        Indeed he was. I really do expect more from The Spectator than running articles so poor and predictable that they have to be insulated from critical comment – hear that Fraser.
        By the way talking about insulating things that is exactly what ethnic quotas do for the overwhelmingly ‘white’ left-liberal castes that run organisations like the BBC. They don’t increase ‘equality’ or ‘diversity’ – they construct internal client bases that act as barriers to protect and consolidate entrenched internal bureaucracies that frequently become hereditary. They don’t destroy privilege they protect it. They are also of course quite literally exercises in racial preference.

        • Dacorum

          “By the way talking about insulating things that is exactly what ethnic quotas do for the overwhelmingly ‘white’ left-liberal castes that run organisations like the BBC. They don’t increase ‘equality’ or ‘diversity’ – they construct internal client bases that act as barriers to protect and consolidate entrenched internal bureaucracies that frequently become hereditary. They don’t destroy privilege they protect it. They are also of course quite literally exercises in racial preference”.

          Absolutely spot on and brilliantly described!

        • commenteer

          There is of course a question of definitions. What makes you a ‘person of colour’. Half caste? Quarter caste? When do you stop being a person of colour and become white? Surely we’re not going to import the idea of ‘one drop’. The whole thing is utterly absurd.

    • Freddythreepwood

      Yes. Very disappointing. Of course Lammy is spouting racist nonsense, so we can’t have us whities telling him such. Every very important person he quotes is black; so if they have become very important persons and they are black and thus subject to horrible discrimination by the ‘hideously white’ BBC, it makes you wonder how they became very important persons, if you get my drift. The criteria, Mr Lammy, should be talent – only talent. Ask any football club manager.

    • Pip

      Who cares what that fool opines anyway!

    • FrankS2

      Because people who are not “of colour” (to use his term) – and, indeed people who are “of colour” (what colour he doesn’t say) – might point out that it’s a load of bow locks. I wish the BBC would reflect the fact that most of the country is white – hideous though that may be – and mostly gets along quite happily with people “of colour”.

    • Enoch Powell

      It’s by David Lammy. The Spectator naturally assumed that no one would read it.

      • post_x_it

        I haven’t. Should I?

        • Enoch Powell

          Nah.

  • MikePage

    All Quite Correct except that bit about Matthew Parris being sane.

  • Mary Ann

    Where’s the story, exactly, but Cameron is heading up the stay campaign and most of the media think that leaving would provide more copy, so suddenly this non story is an excuse to get rid of Cameron and replace him with someone like Boris.

  • Rob Harris

    The primary obligation of any taxpaying individual is the well being and security of his/her family. As a citizen their secondary obligation is to the state. The state determines the proportion of earnings that it will expropriate and exacts punishment and retribution if the individual does not comply. Tax payment is thus a legislated transaction on imposed terms and therefore, by definition, excludes any interpretation of what might, or might not be, ‘moral’ or ‘fair’. Messrs Watson, Corbyn and their ilk should realise that countries are governed by laws (however incompetently drafted) and not by whimpering, confected, self righteousness and envy.

  • gerronwithit

    How about letting us comment on Lammy’s outrageous article? Am sick starting to watch any dramatic production on television from the UK and being instantly distracted by the politically correct casting.

    • Dacorum

      I quite agree.

      The BBC is losing viewers precisely because they are shoving ethnic diversity into every production as a matter of policy.
      Take their new series Undercover starring Sophie Okonedo. The blurb in my TV guide said she had been working pro bono to save a wrongly convicted man on death row in the USA – I assume he was black but correct me if I’m wrong – “when she is pegged for the position of Director of Public Prosecution back in the UK”. That background would NOT qualify her for the position in the first place, would it? And the reason she wants the job is to bring to justice “the murderers of a friend who was an influential anti-racism campaigner”. You could hardly tick more pro ethnic, more anti white boxes could you?

      But far worse is that the same actress has been cast as Queen Margaret in the BBC production the Hollow Crown, the War of the Roses. Now why is it considered remotely acceptable for the BBC in this day and age to cast a black actress to play an historical white woman who was and Queen of England when they would not dream of casting a white man to play an historical black figure from history?

  • Good to see you branching out from the DM, Richard. I enjoy your writing style. Will be good to have some genuine red meat conservative opinion round here. Rod and Brendan were getting a bit outnumbered and it was beginning to smell a bit Telegraphy.

    • David Beard

      Brendan is a libertarian. Not strictly left or right. Certainly not a Conservative. And Rod id a fully paid up Labour party member.

      • Who talks a lot more sense than Matthew Parris, a fully paid up member of the Tory party. What’s your point?

  • James Chilton

    Watson is an insufferable dolt who reaches heights of political quackery that make him an idol of the Labour party.

    • GUBU

      You are far too kind to the erstwhile Noncefinder General.

      A man who attempts to engineer the prosecution of a dying man, for party political advantage, by exerting improper pressure upon a senior police officer and the Director of Public Prosecutions is not fit to hold public office.

      Only Comrade Corbyn’s ineptitude stands between this nasty piece of work and ministerial office.

      • James Chilton

        Every word in your indictment of Watson is true. It would be a pleasure to see him hoist with his own petard.

  • Pip

    Basically it boils down to this, the elite believe they can perpetuate their power and wealth and save themselves from the wrath of the people by manufacturing faux public opinion in the Mainstream media in order to justify Policy and Law making agendas, they are in for an abrupt awakening very soon, I suspect.

  • Rumin8

    He’s not much of a strategist, Mr Cameron, he’s no Maggie.

    • Enoch Powell

      To be fair, 25 years and 6 elections after Maggie, there’s not been a single politician in either house who could be said to be her natural successor. Dave is probably the best of a bad bunch. Despite his failures he cleaned Labour out of office where Hague, Howard and IDS could not, and has kept them out of office.

      Nigel Farage could be the new Maggie, if he managed to get elected, Jacob Rees-Mogg has the brainpower, but not the handbag and will never be leader. Michael Gove…?

      • Father Todd Unctious

        Now that is the funniest thing I have seen all week. Rees-Mogg as a successor to Thatcher. Rees-Mogg is a media obsessed weasel who never refuses the chance to stick his ridiculous caricature before a camera.
        As to brainpower. The man is dumber than a bag of hammers.

        • Enoch Powell

          You’re a Lefty who never misses an opportunity to stick the boot into the Tories. If he was the next Messiah you’d be auditioning for the role of Pontius Pilate. Your opinion is worthless.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Rees-Mogg is particularly meritless and overtly ambitious. So odious he makes Cameron smell of roses.

          • Enoch Powell

            Like I say, your opinion matters not one whit because it is based on your callous and pathetic bias, not merit.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            While yours is based on a shallow grasp of politics and a rotten judgement of character.

          • wibbling

            The fellow is right about you though. You’re just a sanctimonious ignorant Lefty. Do go away.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            Ah, censorship and PC, all you have.

      • David Beard

        ‘Maggie’s legacy’. Lol. And Dave didn’t keep anyone out of office.The media did.

  • Enoch Powell

    An excellent article.

    • justejudexultionis

      I thought you were dead.

      • Father Todd Unctious

        Dead and irrelevant. Drowned in a bogus river of blood.

        • Tamerlane

          Tell that to the Belgians.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Britain saved the Belgians from the Hun twice and will save them from the the Saracen too if necessary.

          • Tamerlane

            You didn’t. You were handing out Galloway leaflets I should imagine. Hence we see your true colours here.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            I have never done any such thing you liar.

          • GUBU

            Indeed.

            Nobody reading your posts would ever imagine you are anywhere near 89.

            Either in age, or IQ.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Nearer 138 according to the RAF pilot tests.

          • justejudexultionis

            Only if we first save ourselves from the Saracen.

        • justejudexultionis

          The river is very real. We are wading ankle-deep in it right now. We will soon be drowning in it.

        • wibbling

          Except of course that Powell was right in what he said.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Don’t be silly. Powell was a horrible racist.

          • Leon Wolfeson

            And after you’ve got your rivers of blood?

      • Enoch Powell

        Who says I’m not?

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          As you don’t know you’re dead, it only inconveniences other people.
          Same with being stupid.

          • Enoch Powell

            I know exactly what I am, it’s you whose having difficulty.

  • Mr Grumpy

    A sound whipping for whoever writes the headlines round here. Dominatrices, if you please.

  • Father Todd Unctious

    Littlejohn forgets it is about hypocrisy. The man in charge of tax crackdowns ,forever uttering high sounding nothing’s about tax avoiders does the same himself.

    • Rush_is_Right

      “We despise Littlejohn….” Do we? Speak for yourself.

    • newminster

      I thought the whole point was that Caneron followed the rules to the letter, getting rid of his shares before he became PM and paying all the tax that was due. That you call avoidance?
      Anyway, I would much rather have a PM who takes proper care of his money than one so dim he ends up paying more tax than he should.

      • David Beard

        Hm , but he doesn’t take so much good care of ‘your’ money, does he?

      • Mr B J Mann

        I thought the rules were he handed all his money over to an official blind trust?

        Where is his money now and how do we know that isn’t affecting government policy?!

  • justejudexultionis

    Why is a degenerate like Smalljohn being allowed to soil an eminent publication such as this?

    • WFC

      Do you believe this pithy comment to be a refutation of anything in the article?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    test
    Alex Massie, Steerpike /// you’re on my $hit list.
    Jack, the partly blocked Brit

  • rosebery

    It didn’t take long for a legitimate story about the truly rich hiding their money to degenrate into a grubby exchange about who would show their tax return fastest, missing completely the media hypocrisy about media owners from right [The Barclays] to left [GMG, Trades Unions various] using precisely the same tools to avoid tax. I am not, nor am ever likely to be, super rich, but if I were I would be putting it as far away as possible from the grubby, grasping, rent-seeking politicos and their shills. I can spend my ownmoney better than any government and they prove it every day. Anyway, we are now in a place where no government can change anything, no matter how much they want to. Tinkering at the edges, which Brown turned into an art form that Osborne is happily following, is all that’s left. The NHS could swallow the entire UK GDP and still not meet the unrealistic expectations of it that successive governments have generated in the electorate. Ditto education and welfare. Dare I mention the beyond-stupid defence policies that recent governments of both colours have followed? Then again, we do pretty well on foreign aid: now higher than local government funding, I gather.

  • Dariusere93887

    More women have come forward with historical allegations of verbal abuse claiming a senior Tory MP once called them “totty”.

    The Met are expected to open an enquiry into the claims.

  • Discuscutter

    The Tories and scandals, somethings never change.

    At least it is a change from young boys.

    • newminster

      Where is the scandal? I’m still waiting to see who has done anything criminal or even blameworthy.

  • AlexanderGalt

    The reason our progressive journalists jumped on the Panama Papers with such passion and delight was to avoid covering the demise of our steel industry. If that coverage had continued much longer they may have had to report on the fact that the insane 2008 Climate Act is a British government commitment to shut down the whole of our heavy manufacturing. Great piece on that at: http://john-moloney.blogspot.com/2016/04/progressive-destruction.html

  • David Beard

    ‘OK, just run it by me again. The Prime Minister’s dad was a stockbroker, right? Daddy Cameron operated this fund in Panama, or somewhere, and Dave had a few shares in it. Then before Dave became Prime Minister, he sold the shares and made a profit of 19 grand, after paying full capital gains tax in Britain. Where’s the story?’

    ‘We’re all in it together…’

  • wibbling

    It annoyed us – and made the papers – not because of the tax affairs (which no one was surprised at) but by the obvious and rank hypocrisy of these revolting creatures. There’s Dave, whining day in, day out about Amazon, Google and others paying more tax than they’re required to so he can waste it on other countries and there’s him, actively, deliberately and specifically avoiding all the tax he can.

    They’re sewage. Liars, thieves and hypocrites.

  • ROUCynic

    “Whittingdale was a single divorced man and, in the post-Leveson hysteria, it would be difficult to argue that the story was in the public interest.”

    Is he not still? So why are certain gutter publications printing the story now?

    Could it be simply that a story that everybody already knows is worthless for exerting influence and thus rather than waste it they may as well publish!

    • John M

      In part they have been doing it because those hallowed souls from Hacked Off have been bouncing around media offices for over a week stamping thier little feet and demanding “something must be done”

      Seriously…

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    test
    Perhaps tax fraud will be what finally nails Tony Blair. What do Tony Blair and Al Capone have in common?

    • EUSSR 4 All!

      Both are a damned sight brighter than you!

    • John M

      Anyone want to hazard a guess why the Reverend Blair has not taken a seat in the House of Lords? Would that possibly be because he’d be required to make a full financial disclosure of his financial and business interests?

      Shurely shome mishtake….

  • Fedeli d’amore

    “hasn’t stopped voters putting him in to Downing Street at the last two general elections.”

    The author seems to have a blind spot… wasn’t paying attention to the absurd manner in which the tories are now situated in power, ushering a whole generation into deep rooted conviction that democracy as we know it is broken.

    I like the cultural conservation side of the Spectator quite a lot. But the tory apologists are increasingly ridiculous. If you read this article out loud, this becomes clear.

  • John M

    The sad thing about the celebrity injunction business is when the identity is finally revealed (as it will be) those who still don’t know are just going to say – “what only them? but they’re hardly on the celebrity radar anymore, compared even to the lower cast of Brookside”

    The Barbara Streisand effect will, however possibly find a new irrelevant “sleb” to hang it’s name on.

  • A Worcester Man

    ‘Sir Thomas Macaulay’?? Thomas, Lord Macaulay surely Richard?! No way to treat a writer finer than any of us…

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