The Jerry Springer guest of Europe

This week it’s one year since I went self employed and I’ve been struggling to get my wee head around registering for tax as a self-employed ranter, after having made sure that I’ve got enough built up in my savings account to pay the inevitable tax bill when it arrives. Little people, like a self-employed plumber, the windae cleaner, or a ranty blogger, get hammered by the tax authorities if we don’t pay our taxes. That’s how it should be. I don’t want or expect a free pass, I want to pay my dues. Blogging doesn’t make you rich but I can support myself so it’s right and proper to pay tax on earnings. It’s all wrapped up in a dose of paranoia because I’ve never had to do this before and I know I’ll get gubbed if it’s done wrongly. And there was me feeling guilty because I save up my loose change and stash it away to help pay for holidays.

That’s not how it works if you’re rich though. Mossack Fonseca may sound like a tooth-challenged guest on the Jerry Springer show who’s asking for a DNA test because she doesn’t know which of three imprisoned crack addicts are the father of her child, but it’s nothing like as classy as that. It’s a Panamanian law company which helps the rich hide their wealth behind a smokescreen of front companies. It costs the public purse a lot of money so the rich can have more bling, and it looks really cheap.

If you’re rich you can set up an offshore company in Panama or a British overseas territory and avoid paying your dues. You can create an opaque network of holding companies through the Cayman Islands or Jersey and make it impossible for the authorities to track down your money. You can play the shell game with shell companies and cheat your way into even greater wealth. Then you can lobby right wing governments demanding that the rich need to be incentivised to create wealth, which is the euphemism they use for creaming off the cash created by the people who do the real work and then stashing it in an overseas tax haven.

And then the rich close down the manufacturing companies claiming it’s a rationalisation measure and rationalise thousands out of work. Making the little people poor helps to pay for another luxury yacht, another Highland estate, another penthouse pad in London. Davie Cameron’s pals can go on another shopping spree in a Caribbean estate agents. Doesn’t that make you feel better as you lie awake at night worrying about how you’re going to pay your electricity bill?

This latest scandal of the wealthy pilfering from the public might be called the Panama papers, but the UK is right at the rotten heart of it. The only surprise about this scandal is that anyone is surprised by it. The media might be focussing on the dodgy dealings of the Icelandic Prime Minister or Vladimir Putin or assorted African kleptocrats, but the British establishment is in it right up to its immaculately pressed and starched Jermyn Street shirt collared neck.

When Cameron and Osborne say that they’ve secured an opt out from the EU to protect the financial industry of the City of London, when Boris and the Brexiters – which sounds like the worst band in the world and actually is – say they want to leave the EU in order to develop the financial sector, what they really mean is that they want to allow the UK’s white collar crooks to keep on devising their complex games of pass the tax parcel. Many of the schemes which have been uncovered by the Panama papers leak were invented by firms in the City of London. The network of obfuscation upon which they depend, routing money through British overseas territories, is a cancer that’s protected and defended by the British state. That’s why the Out campaign wants to remove the UK from the EU, so that they can turn the entire UK into a glorified version of Jersey or the Cayman Islands, without workers’ rights, without employment protection, but plenty of protection for the wealth of the rich and the corrupt.

Successive UK governments have starved the country of investment in infrastructure outside London. They’ve decimated the manufacturing sector and thrown hundreds of thousands onto the scrap heap of unemployment then after impoverishing them have blamed them for their poverty. They’ve milked Scotland, Wales and the English regions of resources, capital and skilled labour. That’s our role in this precious Union, to send our resources and our capital and our children south to feed the beast. And they’ve done it so that finance companies in the City of London can go on helping the rich and the corrupt hide their money from the tax man. That’s the motor of the British economy, the sickness at the heart of the UK.

Here’s a prediction about the Panama papers leak, the UK authorities won’t send a single politician or rich and well connected businessperson to jail. They might announce an inquiry that will go nowhere like Chilcott. They might sacrifice a minor scapegoat or two like they did with the MPs’ expenses scandal. They might castigate someone who is safely dead. But no one who has their fingers deep in the jar will suffer for depriving the public of payments due, payments which could have mitigated the austerity cuts the poor are suffering in order to pay for the extravagances of the rich. Instead the UK authorities will tighten up surveillance and snooping laws to ensure that the rich and powerful can’t be embarrassed again. It’s the British way.

The people who have devised these schemes, the companies which offer directorships to the politicians who turn a blind eye to them because they themselves are enriched by them, they’re never going to do anything to prevent them. They’re going to focus on the plumber who does odd jobs at the weekend and then say that they’re cracking down on people who don’t pay their fair share of tax. It’s the entire British state that needs to be flushed, the Jerry Springer guest of Europe.

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40 comments on “The Jerry Springer guest of Europe

  1. That is good, because when you pay your taxes you will not have problem with any person.

  2. […] Source: The Jerry Springer guest of Europe […]

  3. As a self-employed ranter, you are morally as well as legally entitled to a share of your domestic expenses for your office, plus such costs as computer, books, work-related travel.

    As for the Cayman Islands, they are under British rule and successive Westminster governments have let them carry on robbing those same governments. I wonder why. My money (call me a soft-headed idealist if you like) is on unconscious class solidarity, rather than personal gain.

  4. Macart says:

    Wonder if this is the vision Maggie and her cadre had in mind when they began their decimation of the UKs manufacturing base, when that appalling ‘trickle down’ ideology first raised its ugly head? Hard to see past the logic that this is exactly the future they intended.

    The UK, laundering central for the world’s elite. Maggie’s legacy, the magic money tree of asset stripping, resource robbery and mass exploitation and all wrapped up in a marketing campaign of a long gone empire and histrionic, great British bake off street parties.

    The UK state is not only based on a lie, it is a lie. One day, and that day will come, when folk finally look past the latest daily heil headline and start to examine their lot in the greatest union in the history of unions, they’re going to be a bit grumpy with the state and the establishment.

    Its going to end in tears y’know.

  5. diabloandco says:

    Watched ITN news last night and oor Vlad and the Icelandic PM were those mentioned – the online Guardian was ALL Putin. The ITN report laboured the Putin/Icelandic PM then kinda muttered and there are some politicians from the UK involved.
    The Putin BAD stuff is wearing awfy thin in this household.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Absolutely spot on diabloandco.

      It is not hard to guess which UK politicians are involved. The UK is tottering on the brink. We could have been free of this garbage only a few days ago, managing our own affairs in oor wee country honestly and fairly. Too many among us have not yet woken up or have a vested interest.

      It stinks, it is immoral and a thoroughly corrupt press protects all those involved. The Daily Heil is the worst, but there are plenty like them. Wastemonster skeletons are falling out of the cupboards now, right enough. We had only seen the tip of the iceberg up until recently. The iceberg may now sink the UK.

      Rewards for those who buy in to this Wastemonster society – a seat in the Lords. How awfully nice for them! It costs millions every year for this daily fancy dress party. I suppose the fancy ermine robed dress helps them celebrate the fact that they have helped keep up the deception all their lives. Meanwhile the workers and the poor ………… ah well!

      “I say old chap, it would be absolutely terrible to be one of those sweaty little basterts who do an honest day’s work and always pay their taxes, wouldn’t it?”

      You are correct macart – the UK is based on a lie – a BIG lie. A MONSTROUS LIE!

      All we had to do was use a pencil to put a wee cross in the correct wee box.

      What could go wrong wi’ that?

      I saw the news today when I went for my daily swim (We do not have TV in the house) and the Welsh Assembly were appealing to the UK Government to save their TATA steel. Not much chance of them listening then.

      Meanwhile, earlier last month, our extremely responsible SNP Government quietly did what they had promised and saved our steel plants up here, by buying TATA out and selling to new owners. No fuss, no bullshit (like the mouthy Unionist parties), just getting the job done. They walk the walk.

      This is a real party of Government. They know how to govern. They continually support and protect the scottish people, despite being put in a straightjacket by the UK Government. It is time we did the same for them and supported them in their efforts for us all. They (and our 56 representatives down their) put the UK Government to shame.

      Scotland is waking up! Let the lion ROAR.


      • Saor Alba says:

        Correction – (and our 56 representatives down there).

      • Neil Anderson says:

        Sorry, “by buying TATA out and SELLING TO NEW “”OWNERS””????? Whit the fuck? Selling to new owners??? So, not for the nationalising then? You know, PUBLIC ownership sort of thing? Whit the fuck are you oan aboot?

  6. Margaret says:


    You’re one step away from poverty
    no matter how rich you may be
    So where has this notion come from
    that it just couldn’t happen to ME

    We should always be able to offer
    to anyone down on their luck
    What right do we have as a people
    to treat our neighbours like muck

    Don’t we know when we open a food bank
    it shows how far we have failed
    To protect the poor and disabled
    even those who may have been jailed

    We have slithered so far down the slippery slope
    that now it’s thought of as good
    To strip decent folk of their dignity
    as we hand out a parcel of food

    You too are one step from poverty
    no matter how rich you may be
    I’m sure though it’s happened to others
    It never will happen to ME

    As a nation our heads should be hanging
    we should be filled with horror and shame
    On the streets we should all be out shouting
    This is not being done in our name

    But we meekly accept what’s going on in our midst
    for we have enough don’t you see
    And we think with an inbred arrogance
    that this couldn’t happen to ME

    Till one day we trip, we falter and fall
    and get caught in the trap that was set
    We have to acknowledge how easy it was
    to take that last tiny step

    So now with head bowed, we’re standing in line
    with feelings of shame and despair
    The price we must pay for ignoring the weak
    As a nation we just didn’t care

    For no matter how rich, today you might be
    You’re one step away from poverty
    That goes for us all, we must start to see
    And learn the hard lessons for now it is ME

    • AAD says:

      So right. It is frighteningly easy to be in a position where you are forced to seek help from a food bank. I was a teacher and never once did a pupil say they wanted to be down and out/a drug addict/unemployed/trapped in poverty. However, there they are.
      I have some knowledge of a local food bank where people are treated with dignity and care. But the fact that it exists at all should be a crushing shame on the grinning clowns in government. However, they are shameless.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Y’er on fire Margaret. Brilliant!

  7. So on the money Paul and as for what will happen ? .Next to Nothing .

  8. Electric blue says:

    Spot on once again. I couldn’t agree more. You always say it so eloquently.

  9. AAD says:

    Do not underestimate the duplicity/incompetence of HMRC. (I did everything right, HMRC did everything wrong and I was hit by a threating letter demanding immediate payment of a large amount on threat of dire consequences.) Get your tax submission checked by someone who has a passing knowledge of the system.
    The duplicity of the Rich is institutionalized and honest workers always have to pay. Why are we not rioting in the streets?
    On a lighter note, could you not claim for the WGD as a security adviser on the grounds he barks to let you know if anyone comes to the door to steal your …..whatever it is the government has generously left you with?

  10. I’ve been self employed most of my working life, and apart from a dodgy accountant, had no problem with the taxman.
    The way to go is to ask their advice regularly.,
    To your advantage they log everything, so that if there is a problem you can come back and say “But that’s what you advised”

    It saved me a lot of tax and fines, when I applied the wrong depreciation figures,

    • Illy says:

      Can’t agree more on getting yourself an accountant on retainer.

      If for nothing else than peace of mind.

      • Ewan Munro says:

        Agreeing with the others saying “hire a good accountant.” He or she will pay their way in keeping your tax bill down, to say nada about peace of mind at the end of the year.

  11. Brian Powell says:

    We had the chance to separate ourselves from the London troughers, but supposed socialists in the Labour party opposed it, they wanted their turn.
    On the other hand, the monied are all in London, and we know where they live.

  12. Illy says:

    You know, what England what really needs is a party whose sole manifesto promise is “undo everything Thatcher (and her disciples) did” Call them the Anti-Thatcher Party and they’d storm the polls. No point them running in Scotland of course, since they’d just split the SNP vote, and the SNP would be natural allies for them.

  13. mogabee says:

    UK establishment..what they like?…Pick out a couple of “bogeymen” for eg. Putin and Icelandic leader, mumble about a “few” others and job done.

    The only ones who hide their wealth will be dead or not “British”, that’ll be the outcome.

    Paul, I’m sure you’ll be ok tax wise, but do get expert help, and make sure they’re recommended!

  14. Grasshopper says:

    Paul, happy to help out on the tax front, no charge for you.

  15. And not only the carnage they, Westminster, have visited on our once powerful manufacturing base, not to mention the ruined lives by people being thrown on the scrapheap, decimating communities.
    Even worse than that, the recent illegal wars where hundreds of our servicemen and women have either been killed, or maimed for life. For what? For what? And not to forget the untold numbers of innocent people who have been killed in the countries illegally invaded. No wonder they are flooding Europe. Who would want to stay in failed states we have helped create.
    As you correctly say,these people are untouchable, sitting in their ivory towers, protected by a corrupt establishment hell bent on further penalising the most vulnerable in our society.
    Why we didn’t take the opportunity to detach ourselves from this abominable affront to human decency when we had the chance, is beyond me. Did we really lose the referendum, or was that another Westminster dirty trick? I wouldn’t put it past them.

    • Illy says:

      No rational person should be convinced that the referendum was certainly not rigged.

      They pulled all the accountability checks that would let us be certain, and they let party politicians know the postal vote count long before the postal votes should have been opened.

      So no, there’s no way to prove it wasn’t rigged.

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      It was definitely rigged. The next time,we need to have double counting. By that I mean that the votes must be counted in each polling station, verified, and then counted again at the counting stations with independent overseers at both locations.

    • ian says:

      The more we read and understand about the mess that passes as UKOK the more it makes you want to weep.We unfortunately have a good percentage of our population who frankly dont give a f***k or are utterly lethargic.We are the ones with the problem as we actually care.

  16. Patience is a Virtue says:

    Darien Scheme alive and well in Panama – canaling the world’s money.

  17. Jan Cowan says:

    Let’s hope, Paul, more and more people are reading your blog and learning to see through the UK’s political charade.

  18. hettyforindy says:

    Another excellent post.
    Alex, the ones avioding tax are the corrupt establishment. And yes, makes you wonder, I was looking at photos re the rally in Edin, before Indy ref, and it made me wonder how the vote was a ‘no’. Must keep a very close eye on our ekection in May, would put nothing past the corrupt establishment to keep their trough full to the brim, they would go to any lengths.

  19. bettyboop says:

    Those lovely tax havens in the sun; have you noticed that the local working folks are dirt poor.

  20. If you fill in tax online then the computer works out the bill for you. You don’t need accountants especially if you are not VAT registered & have no employees. Keep all your work related receipts on a file and claim expenses for everything you need to incur as part of your work, including postage, travel fares, subsistence (that’s all eating away from home from sandwiches, to hotel meals, restaurants, (if away on business), petrol receipts, phones, taxis, that new pc, tablet, current affairs books, (reference books), web site costs, printers, cartridges, hotel bills, newspaper subscription costs, current affairs magazine subs,plus a percentage of home utilities’ bills, as I assume you have a home office for heating same plus cleaning office equipment, office kettle etc. etc.. You can also claim a percentage for council tax & rent. It’s amazing how these expenses all add up so keep a record and save on tax. After all why should the Treasury get one penny more than they deserve..

    Glad you are back Paul. You had sterling stand-ins but, ach, it jist wisnae the same…

  21. You may recall Jack Straw, and our very own Malcolm Rifkind apparently caught in a tabloid sting, offering their services when they leave Parliament to a bogus Chinese firm.

    Sums of between £5,000 -£10,000 PER DIEM were being discussed, for their ‘services’, presumably as lobbyists, consultants, non executive directors, or bag men.

    If I recall correctly, Straw actually used his anticipated elevation to that House Of Ill Repute, the Lords, as an USP; he’d be a catch, aye right.

    As we know, he never made it upstairs.

    Rifkind, again, it is only my recollection, boasted that he had plenty of free time to offer the Chinese, because Parliamentary hours apparently started after lunch on Monday, until lunchtime on Thursday, as the ‘regional’ MP’s travelled to and from their constituencies during the business week, leaving Oor Malkie with plenty of time for reading and walking; if I recall correctly, of course.

    They are only two in a sad long line of what some folk might consider (but not me , mind) money grubbing carpetbaggers, and it may be argued by some, (not me, though, but ) that they are in good company.

    Blair, Brown, Darling, Reid, Foulkes, Robertson, Wilson: the list, as they say, is not exhaustive. although exhausting emotionally for us poor serfs, the Lumpen Proletariat, the Sweaties.

    I expect it from the Tories and the Lib Dems.
    Hence I would never vote for them.
    Dog eat dog, free market neo-liberal elites who do not give a twopenny toss for the Hoi Polloi.

    Their society is, was, and always will be hierarchical.

    Royalty, belted earls, rich landowners, Finance Masters of the Universe, Multinational Movers and Shapers, the Arms Industry, Merchants, then the buffer zone of the professional class, in Medicine, Law, Accountancy, Banking, and so on, then below that, the electorate, who continue to labour (oops, pun) under the misapprehension, that we , the people, elect governments which are put in place to do our bidding.

    Snorting alleged cocaine from a girl’s teat while moaning that you can’t get by on £300 a day, the Great and the Bad setting up offshore accounts to squirrel away the wealth of these isles, and peerages for the Boys, is what I expect from the Red Blue and Yellow Tories these days.

    The Union is dead, and the cancer that is Westminster still stinks from the UK Establishment’s putrescent maggot riddled body.

    Ruth Davidson is for an elite society. She will do everything and anything to destroy our social democracy.

    Her party is systematically transferring the wealth of the nation from the income generators to a wealthy elite, who then spirit the dosh out of the country.

    I have never been in any doubt that the Tory Party is the Enemy of the People.

    I ask, where are Labour and Lib Dems in all of this?

    Red Tories, and Yellow Tories.

    All three parties advocate Neo Conservative values, to win the hearts and minds of Solihull, Sutton Colefield, and Harrogate.

    Scotland did not, does not, and never will, matter to any of them.

    Hopefully come May, we begin the final journey to Self Determination.

  22. thomaspotter2014 says:

    Top drawer as always Paul.

    Also see grasshopper@8.58 for advice on tax return.

    You’re welcome back and still No.1 blogger by a country mile.

  23. Just watched Scotland 2016. (I know that you read this, Mr Kerr.)
    It started with a Better Together piece, about a ‘row’ over ‘Chinese whispers’, or, to most of us, the very encouraging news that the Scottish Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) with three Chinese companies big in infrastructure/rail projects, and housebuilding, to explore the potential of those firms investing a reported £10 billion in Scotland.

    Billions on housing, infrastructure, and good quality jobs.

    ‘The ‘row’, with which Mr Kerr opened the piece has been generated by Rennie, Dugdale, Davidson, Kerr, himself, and later, those well know proponents of Scottish Independence, Libby Brooks, of the Guardian, and Kieran Andrews of the Chronicle.

    The gripe seems to be that the SNP are always blowing their own trumpet (SNP BAD) and there must be something to hide because they haven’t tooted their toot in this instance.
    Kerr himself referred to 9 press releases which he had received from the SNP on the dreaded day (21/3 ?), and he too joined the Better Together ‘what are they hiding’ Throng when he put this to Keith Brown, ‘earlier in the studio’.

    Willie Rennie, showered after his commando assault course photoshoot, talked his usual nonsense.

    It took three attempts from Brown, and eventually Kerr, for Commando Rennie to admit that the Potential investment in jobs, housing and infrastructure was ‘a good thing’.
    He really isn’t up to leading an Easter Egg treasure hunt, never mind the Lib Dems or our Parliament. Too silly for words.
    This was Better Together at its pusillanimous best. (look it up in your pocket Collins, Wullie.)

    Then we had a rehash of Brian Taylor’s ‘poll’ on taxes.(On a personal note, the man needs to go on a diet for his health’s sake, if nothing else.)
    BBC back in Edinburgh at a micro brewery for this one.
    Anywhere outside Edinburgh is ‘beyond the pale’. (q.v., ye scribes.). Too many Nats out there…
    1p in the pound popular so it is…
    Increase the Coonsil Tax for the big mansions..
    50% tax Ya Bass for the 17,000 earning the Big Bucks.

    Apparently the survey was conducted before the SNP tax proposals were announced. Therefore they barely get a mention.
    Nor did Ruth’s tax on students of six thousand squidlies for a degree, or the tax on medicine, prescription charges.

    Then off to Iceland for an offshore fiddle story.

    Mr Kerr, Panorama earlier looked at the UK could have piggy backed on footage from that report..but no, we have to get it on record that Iceland isn’t the Nordic Utopia that people make it out to be….Much more important that the Scottish Public know that wee countries don’t work, rather than examine why HMRC has allowed 100,000 homes in the UK to be ‘owned’ by Offshore Trusts.

    So much for your Nordic Utopias, SNP BAD…

    Then we round it all up with a summary of the Better Together topics covered in the evening’s Unionist Magazine.
    Kieran Andrews observed that we in Scotland are not caring and sharing as a country because Taylor’s flawed wee survey demonstrates that we want the rich to pay more in tax and Council Tax , but not pay more ourselves for the NHS, nurseries and so on. Aye, a right wee sneer there , Kieran. Utter crap, of course.
    Libby Brooks mentioned Cameron’s Old Man and marvelled that they were not taking to the streets in London to protest…

    Usual wee Better Together offering from Pacific Quay.

    That’s me done with them.

  24. Rank Bajin says:

    I’m shocked.

  25. Les Wilson says:

    Corruption and debt is rife in the UK, almost at banana republic levels. In our digital world things now get found out, and passed around for public viewing as never before. This and the knowledge now being absorbed by the public, is leading to the meltdown of the British state. The elites are becoming more and more exposed, and they really do not like it.

    They still hide their wealth that will not change, however slips and trails are now showing us just how corrupt a Union this actually is. A Union that bleeds Scotland and other parts of the UK, is now of no use to a fair society.
    Other parts have little they can do about it, Scotland can, and must, get out of this mess and write the next chapter of of our country by ourselves.

  26. tamanhijau90 says:


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