Friday, April 08, 2016

Taxing Times

It's all a bit reminiscent of Al Capone, isn't it?  I mean, after all those years of racketeering, all the rivals he had rubbed out, in the end it was tax evasion that they got Al for, wasn't it?  That's what he got sent down for.  It was the same for Mickey Cohen, in fact, they got him twice, in 1951, when he got four years and again in 1961, when he got ten years.  Now we have David Cameron, strolling Prime Minister of Great Britain, embroiled in allegations of having benefited from his late father's tax evasion schemes.  Obviously, I don't expect him to be banged up.  After all, he hasn't actually broken any laws. If we're lucky, he might have an attack of conscience and resign, but I doubt it - he'll just brazen it out like he did the pig business and every other piece of sleaziness he's been involved  with. Whilst I'm always happy to see Cameron squirm, there's always the danger that if his authority is undermined enough, it might also discredit, by association, the pro-EU campaign Cameron is fronting in the run up to the EU referendum.

But to get back to the matter in hand, Cameron's main crime is that of hypocrisy: after all, he's been quick to condemn the likes of Jimmy Carr for their participation in the kind of schemes that his own father used to devise and keeps promising us that his government is going to close those legal loopholes which allow giant multinational corporations to avoid paying corporation tax on their UK operations, yet has been happy to profit from the proceeds of tax evasion schemes himself.  To reiterate though, he hasn't done anything illegal.  Immoral, yes.  Illegal, no.  When I say tax evasion is immoral, I'm taking my cue from the Prime Minister himself and his Chancellor, both of whom have stated that this is the case.  They are, of course, correct, even if they aren't sincere when they say these things.  Taxation is, after all, the price we pay for living in a civilised society, it pays for all those services which ensure our safety, our health, our education.  It pays for those services which ensure that the poor, the sick, the disabled and the disadvantaged have a chance in life and aren't trodden underfoot.  But that's not something that Cameron and his pals are actually interested in - they don't care about maintaining a fairer society and a level playing field, they're just interested in extracting as much profit as possible from society and to hell with the consequences.  But at last, it seems, things are beginning to become unraveled.  Still, if it's any consolation for Cameron, between and after his two jail stints for tax evasion, Mickey Cohen did enjoy celebrity status and ran a string of businesses, including florist shops, petrol stations and even an ice cream van.  So perhaps you'll see Dave selling 'ninety nines'  on a street near you sometime in the near future.     



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