Poor Davie Cameron, according to bool-moothed commentator Charles Moore, or should that be Chahles Mauh, writing in the Telegraph, wee Davie suffers from the dreadful social handicap of being born into the kind of wealth that the rest of us can only achieve if we’re lucky enough to win the Euromillions lottery.
Perhaps we ought to set up a new charity to assist those poor unfortunates who are forced to go to Fortnum and Mason’s for their messages, but thankfully there’s no need for a crowdfunder because if we give money we’d only be making things even worse for them. Imagine the very horror of going out for the messages and coming back with pate de fois gras, caviar, artisanal foccacia with hand pressed olives, and a litre of milk hand squeezed by a blind Italian peasant woman from the udder of an organically reared Campanian water buffalo. Us poor types don’t have that problem, we can just have a piece and jam made from some Mother’s Pride breid without a care in the world.
Or maybe rock and pop stars could do a charity single like Band-Aid did, Do They Know It’s Bingo Night, for all those who were born too rich to have any understanding of working class culture. That guy from Coldplay would be an ideal spokesposho for the campaign.
According to Chahles, Davie is trapped in his wealth. It’s a dreadful social affliction and it has left him open to the nasty left wing notion that tax avoidance is a bad thing. Imagine the oiks having such an influence, that wouldn’t be allowed in the days that Chahles harks back to. Once upon a time it was the duty of the unwashed classes to doff their caps to their betters and sit quietly watching Eastenders on the telly until the service bell rang and they could serve up crustless sandwiches on a silver tray, standing quietly and deferentially, while their kids went hungry because mum and dad couldn’t afford to shop at Tesco. Scruffs like that have no conception of the suffering and hardship the people like Davie have to go through on a daily basis.
What Chahles thinks is normal and ethically acceptable for people suffering from W.A.N.K.I.S.H. (Wealth Acquisition Normalisation Kleptocracy Inheritance Syndrome Handicap) behaviour is the sort of thing that he would fulminate against if it was practised by the poor. Imagine his reaction if a person on benefits sought to maximise their benefits claim by bending rules until just before breaking point and seeking as many loopholes as they could find. It’s exactly the same sort of perfectly legal behaviour, but one is lauded in the pages of the right wing press as sensible wealth planning, and the other gets you a starring role in a poverty porn programme on Channel 5 and a full page article of condemnation in the sort of paper that pays Chahles’ wages.
The right wing doesn’t want the UK to clamp down on tax avoidance strategies, offshore accounts, shell companies, and the rich hiding their wealth in tax havens. The argument goes that if the UK gets tough on tax then the rich will just take their wealth elsewhere. This is pretty much the same argument that supporters of the slave trade used against abolitionists in the 18th century. If the UK abolished the slave trade then the Portuguese, the French and the Dutch would profit instead. But then of course it was the people who profited from slavery who were the real victims, trapped by their perfectly legal inherited wealth and subject to the moral judgement of people who didn’t have the same economic resources that they did.
Davie has other defenders. His equally rich friend Alan Duncan stood up in the Commons and said, “May I support the Prime Minister in fending off those who are attacking him, particularly in thinking of this place, because if he doesn’t, we risk seeing a House of Commons which is stuffed full of low-achievers who hate enterprise, hate people who look after their own family and know absolutely nothing about the outside world.”
Oh my gods, can you imagine the very horror of a Westminster Parliament which actually represented the ordinary people of the UK? No, neither can I, and that’s got a lot to do with why I want independence. Westminster is incapable of reforming itself. Alan thinks it’s hating the rich to insist that the rich are held to the same standards that the rich hold the rest of us. But then spotting their own hypocrisy was never the strong point of a Tory.
According to Alan, apparently you can only know about the outside world if you’re rich enough to afford accountants who will minimise your tax bill and you can pay for the sort of lifestyle that insulates you from the outside world. In Alan’s world, people who live in gated communities of the rich and well-connected live in the real world. It’s the rest of us who don’t know anything, those of us who struggle to make ends meet, who worry about feeding and clothing our kids, who can’t sleep at night as the next mortgage payment or rent bill falls due. People who trudge to foodbanks, who crumple with despair when the Job Centre sanctions what little income they have left, they don’t live in Alan’s real world where already rich ex-ministers can command fees of thousands for a couple of hours’ consultancy work for their even richer pals. Alan has an advanced case of W.A.N.K.I.S.H. behaviour and in his case it’s probably incurable.
It’s because people like Chahles and Alan have got the ear of government and the people who struggle to keep food on the table for their weans don’t that little or nothing will be done to tighten up tax rules to ensure that the rich pay their fair share. This is Britain after all, and Britain’s business is whoring itself to the rich and the corrupt and the corporations to sell them tax avoidance strategies. It’s all perfectly legal. It’s all perfectly legitmate. Because in a country where the immoral and the unethical make the laws, the laws are immoral and unethical.
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