The so called Panama Papers have been buzzing around for a few days now, the initial main stream media focus is moving away and the promised release of more names and in particular British and US names hasn’t happened.
Maybe it will in time, though call me cynical (people do) but this looks like an establishment cover up by our honest and open media who have been happy to stick pictures of Putin at the top of their articles about the panama papers even though he hasn’t been mentioned anywhere.
Instead we have a few old foggies in the lords, who will manage to do a Jenner before anyone gets around to doing a serious investigation, some ex MPs who are obviously scapegoats and ‘Call Me Dave’s’ dad. Who is dead and so has already done a Jenner.
Anyone who doesn’t get the reference, Lord Jenner was accused of abusing young children, many witnesses, credible evidence, court case started then delayed till he died at which point it became, well, pointless.
Doing a Savile (trial after death) only happens when you are someone like a celebrity and not part of the establishment.
Over a hundred thousand shell companies involving UK individuals or corporations and we get less than a dozen names. Lots of people asked the same question and we were told that the data was being checked and many more names would be released over the next two weeks.
We are waiting.
In the mean time the entire affair has been very entertaining and you could see panic in peoples eyes when they were first cornered by a TV crew when the news first broke. Since then however it’s been entertaining (for me at least) to watch the spin doctors and PR guru’s try to control the situation.
Let’s start with our own glorious leader Dave.
“Media reports of Carr's financial arrangements suggest "straightforward tax avoidance", said the prime minister, “and it was unfair on the people who pay to watch him perform that he is not paying his taxes in the same way that they do”. 2012
“Multinational firms which exploit loopholes to avoid paying tax in the UK will be pushed to “damn well pay,” 2014
David Cameron’s spokesperson has said his father’s alleged links with offshore accounts revealed in a huge leak are a “private matter”. 4th April
“In terms of my own financial affairs, I own no shares. I have a salary as prime minister and I have some savings, which I get some interest from and I have a house, which we used to live in, which we now let out while we are living in Downing Street and that’s all I have. I have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that”. 5th April
“To be clear, the prime minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds. The prime minister owns no shares”. 5th April
“There are no offshore fund or trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future,” 6th April
What a difference a few days make. We started with the initial panic, ‘It’s a private matter’. Really, a private matter. 99% of the population would be fined and hauled into a court for even suggesting their tax was ‘a private matter’.
Or to translate from political class speak, “bugger off you proles and stop asking questions about the affairs of your betters”.
Then the spin started, the outright denials and the usual evasive answers to any questions directly relating to the matter. The first 5th April quote above was in response to a question about had Dave or his family benefited in the past or would benefit in the future. Clearly a complete evasion of that question and a blanket denial of any wrong doing.
The Number 10 statements were the same, nothing to see here, move along citizen before someone takes a night stick to your face.
Then after a solid 24 hours of what I imagine have been frantic activity in accountants offices and lawyers officers all over the posh parts of London we have the statement from the 6th. ‘In future’. IN FUTURE. Oh right, so from today onwards then, that’s alright then.
So I guess that thousands of millionaires and billionaires have been screaming at their lackeys to make sure they aren’t revealed. I suspect there has been a lot of money movement over the last 48 hours, those British Virgin island banks must be feeling forlorn as trillions are moved out, how will the island economies survive.
Note that I said British Virgin Islands, despite most of our papers not mentioning it, the Panama papers are packed with bank account details from places other than just Panama, in fact a significant number of those accounts are held in the British Virgin Islands.
Or were before Tuesday anyway.
But the fun doesn’t stop there.
The media reporting on these events are hardly blameless. The newspapers owned by offshore companies and tax exiles, the TV stations are equally guilty. Sky is owned by a tax exile and has been guilty of more than a few tax avoidance's itself. Then we have the BBC, that stalwart of British culture, our fair and impartial window on the news. Who rents some of its infrastructure from an off shore.
But the real irony is HMRC, Her Majesties Revenue and Customs. Anyone who has ever found themselves the subject of a mistake on their tax will be fully aware of how HMRC is quick to send letters, make threats and levy penalties.
From the BBC in 2001
In 2001, HMRC signed a private finance initiative (PFI) deal with the UK-registered Mapeley Limited, transferring to it the "ownership and management" of its estate of buildings and offices.
In reality, though, the Inland Revenue sold the properties to a Bermuda-based sister company called Mapeley Steps Limited for £220m, while paying rent to a UK company called Mapeley Steps Contractors Limited.
All are part of Bermuda-based Mapeley Holdings Limited, a company ultimately owned by George Soros and US group Fortress Investment, which describes itself as an "alternative investment" company.
This is STILL the case.
The HMRC head office is separate to this and is owned by a company called CIHL Infrastructure holdings that are registered in Jersey for tax purposes.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the department of the UK government directly responsible for collecting taxes and for dealing with tax evaders and tax avoiders are, themselves:
AVOIDING UK TAX THROUGH OFF SHORE TAX HAVENS ! ! ! ! !
The entire system is rotten from the top down and will never be changed because every part of it is as corrupt as the rest. Cameron (estimated worth £50 million) and Osborne (family business paid no tax for last 7 years) and all the rest may talk about stopping tax avoidance but it’s nothing but lies.
It’s a politician and his lips are moving so he’s trying to fool you.
This leak, over a hundred thousand accounts from UK based customers in banks on the British Virgin Islands along with over a hundred thousand more customers in banks in panama and elsewhere is simply the tip of the system where the rich have one set of rules and the peons live by another.
Will anything be done about this, will we see the UK Prime Minister hounded out of office like Iceland’s one was. Unlikely. In Iceland the people, the system, the judges and the Law treated the bankers and tax avoiders as criminals.
In the UK the establishment treats them as hero’s.
It’s enough to drive you to drink !