Ben Goldacre

James Delingpole on the Hypocrisy of the left

The Telegraph

James Delingpole excoriates Jimmy Carr for his breathless hypocrisy:

I can think of at least two differences between me and the brilliantly funny, heroically near-the-knuckle comedian and satirist Jimmy Carr. One is that I don’t earn in excess of £3.3 million a year. And the other is that in the unlikely event that I ever did and were – very sensibly –  to channel it through an elaborate Jersey tax avoidance scheme, I could do so without the slightest stain on my conscience or my credibility.

James then gives a brilliant description of his position on wealth and keeping it that I am sure Cactus Kate would agree with:

Why? Because, as I make perfectly clear in every article I ever write on the subject, I believe that tax is legalised theft and that earners have a sacred duty to stop as much money as they (legally) can getting into the filthy hands of Big Government, because it will only go and spend it on something completely useless. It doesn’t matter whether someone is an entrepreneur like my brilliant brother Charlie (of Market Invoice) or a hugely talented comic like Carr, they make important contributions to the British economy because they create value and add to the economic growth from which the whole nation benefits. Their reward, therefore, for their talent and risk should be to keep as much of the fruits of their labour as they reasonably can, consistent with their duty to help fund the basic external costs of defending their liberties – eg defence of the realm, property rights, etc.

That is the same position I maintain too. Not so for Jimmy Carr though:

But imagine how much of a hypocrite you’d have to be to put your money through a (perfectly legal) tax avoidance scheme, when you had earned that money in sketches like this one from Channel 4’s relentlessly Left-wing 10 O’Clock Live:

Last year on Channel 4 Jimmy Carr took on Barclays for carrying out a tax-avoidance scheme. Carr donned a blonde wig to play a female bank clerk. ‘Why don’t you apply for the Barclays’ 1 per cent tax scam,’ she announced to her customers. ‘You will need the world’s biggest, most aggressive team of blood-hungry amoral tax lawyers. If you meet the criteria, you’ll pay 1 per cent tax, like Barclays do.’

How could you live with your conscience? How could you face your fans? How could you expect your sixth-form spray-on-Lefty politics to be taken seriously ever again by all your sixth-form spray-on Lefty mates like Charlie Brooker and Graham Linehan and Ben Goldacre and all the rest of the Guardianista Twitter gang who think the only solution is bigger government spending, higher taxes, more regulation and greater impositions on “the Rich”?

Actually, scrub that last question. I expect half of them are up to the same game themselves.

This is the same sort of hypocrisy that sees Labour politicians send their kids to private schools while campaigning to protect teacher unions.