David Cameron’s recent “Corruption Summit” garnered a great deal of publicity for his alleged battle against international corruption and ‘war’ on aggressive tax avoidance. However, as well as the positive headlines, more astute commentators were at pains to point out the hypocrisy involved in the Prime Minister of one of the world’s largest tax avoidance and evasion enablers (not to mention harbourer of money laundering and the other corrupt City practices) lecturing other countries on preventing corruption.
Video © Sky News / BBC
Of course, the corruption we have in the UK is not, by and large, of the sort that is to be found on the streets of Lagos and Bangkok where handing cash to police and local government officers is considered part of everyday life.
The myth that Britain is somehow a bastion of virtue amidst a sea of corruption baffles me. twitter.com/ImIncorrigible…—
(@Fifthcolumnblue) June 01, 2016
In Western capitalist economies, our corruption is far more sophisticated and has largely been incorporated into the way our entire political and economic systems work. For example, winning the support of British politicians to, say, change the tax law to cut financial firms’ tax liabilities on profits from overseas branches or to battle the EU to prevent the so-called Robin Hood tax or to ensure bumper bankers’ bonuses continue under another name or to be ‘awarded’ a seat in the House of Lords where you can legislate are all just a fat donation to Tory party coffers away.
Many of you will be unaware of just how corrupt the UK and its various Crown Dependencies and Territories (aka tax havens) are, so here is the latest edition of the brilliant Tax Cast from the Tax Justice Network to bring you up to speed.
Audio © Tax Justice Network
Now that you have a handle on the true extent of British corruption, at least in so far as it relates to tax evasion, you know how ridiculous it is for Cameron and his cronies to pretend the UK is some sort of anti-corruption haven. Sadly, most of the British public are unaware of this, and by way of example, here is the James O’Brien phone-in show on LBC where the point is made repeatedly that countries like Nigeria are far more corrupt than the UK.
Audio © LBC97.3
It is time that the British public was informed about the true extent of corrupt practices which are condoned and enabled by UK government policy.
It is time for us all to demand change.
[Authors’ note: V=167987247]
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