Evil Lord Ashcroft makes a good point on the Panama Papers

Evil Lord Ashcroft makes a really good point about the Media party interest in the Panama Papers.

It is the received wisdom that the leaking of the Panama Papers triggered the Prime Minister’s worst week since he took office. From his personal point of view, that may well be true: having the media trying to dig into your family’s tax arrangements is not a pleasant experience, as I can attest. But politically, how much has really changed since open season was declared on the Camerons’ financial affairs?

As so often, it is worth remembering that most people have better things to do than follow the minutiae of political coverage. Nothing very important gets past the voters, but they have a knack of getting straight to the point. The Cameron tax story, then, boils down to three essential elements.

First, the Camerons are rich. (To anyone who did not know this already – a Peruvian goatherd, perhaps, or a hermit – the last week’s news will have come as quite a revelation.) Second, they may have taken some steps to avoid paying any more tax than they had to. Third, nothing they did was against the law.

Same goes for John Key.

What the opposition and Media party are trying to do is place a moral judgment value on all of the information, without pausing for one second to consider their own morals in rifling through stolen papers and invading the privacy of others.

I see why Cameron, and then George Osborne and Jeremy Corbyn, felt the need to publish their tax returns, but the precedent that has now been set could do more harm than good. If this becomes a standard requirement for Ministers, then MPs and candidates, it will deter capable people who might otherwise think about standing for office – not just those who have made some money, but anyone who thinks that opening their family finances for all to see is an intrusion too far. If the problem is that our rulers live in a different world from the ruled, the solution is surely not to come up with a new way to put normal people off entering politics.

Which is why I am glad John Key has said no to publishing his tax records. Being hectored or badgered into publishing private tax records is not on. The Labour party like to go on about the Americanisation of politics and how evil that is, but they went straight for the US tactic of demanding private details be published.

The silly thing is that it has drawn attention to Andrew Little’s financial affairs, not John Key’s. Andrew Little has been an MP for five years, he has received more than $800,000 in salaries yet declares no investments whatsoever in the Register of MPs’ Pecuniary Interests. Where has the money gone?

More importantly, do we really want a fiscal fool as our PM?

 

– Lord Ashcroft


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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