Friday, January 4, 2013

I don't think it means what he thinks it means

The word the Boy-King who, for some unfathomable reason, is the Prime Minister of this country keeps using is "moral". I do not think it means what he thinks it means. He clearly thinks it means "whatever I happen to think of as policy on any day that might appeal to the media and all those who tend to vote with their emotions rather than their brains".

This blog has already pointed out that he and his Chancellor think we all have a moral duty to pay as much tax as this or any other government want to land on us as long as they pronounce it to be fair. He (Mr Cameron, Boy-King and Prime Minister), on the other hand, has a moral obligation to squander our money by handing chunks of it over to various kleptocrats who oppress their people and prevent their countries from developing economically. It is called foreign aid and is, according to the same source, entirely fair as well as moral.

Returning to the question of tax avoidance, Mr Cameron has once again pronounced, that
foreign companies like Starbucks and Amazon which have avoided paying large corporation tax bills in the UK lack "moral scruples".
As opposed to politicians, one presumes, who see no problems about feathering their nests at the taxpayer's expense without contributing anything to the economy unlike the said foreign firms. I love the way he has decided to use the word "foreign" to whip up discontent. Apparently "international" will no longer do.

According to the article, Britain has a very low corporate tax and it is a fair tax, so people should not avoid it and there will be a war waged on companies that do. As a matter of fact, it is not particularly low at 24 per cent (the lowering to 21 per cent is not due till next year) and as to whether it is fair, we have already discussed that. Who decides what is fair? A government that is incapable of reining in spending or reforming the public sector or even thinking of reducing the extent of government activity might not be the best set of people to discuss fairness. A politician who seems unable to grasp that a large international business contributes a great deal to the economy and, in one way or another, pays a lot of tax is not the best person to talk about fair levels of taxation. Just what did that PPE course consist of when David Cameron was at Oxford? Not basic philosophical or economic ideas, clearly.

There is something very worrying about a politician who keeps using the word "moral" to describe his policies, however ramshackle they might be.


  1. It is also extraordinary for a Prime Minister to make a statement about the legality/morality argument in regard to tax which includes these words:"...actually there are lots of things that are within the law [that] we don’t do because actually we have some moral scruples about them...." But what is he talking about? We should know because this strange and muddled thinking lies at the heart of any argument he might make about obeying some higher code irrespective of the law, and the degree to which we should obey his code of unwritten laws (and whose code is it?). And it really does cut both ways because one person's morality is another person's anaethema. What happens when these supposedly broad and all-encompassing moralities collide and oppose? For example, are we talking about people being "obliged" to discriminate against others they morally disapprove of (if they can get away with it within the law) if their own moral code appears to uphold that position? One appreciates that, in the short attention span world in which we live, many will miss the tragic and potentially very dangerous nature of such a statement, but at the very least it absolutely confirms a kind of vacuity on speed at the very top.

  2. Vacuity on speed is an excellent way of describing it, Damian. I might nick that one day (in an entirely fair and moral way, of course).

    1. Delighted...I myself have (fairly and morally) nicked your excellent turns of phrase...

  3. I cannot for the life of me understand how companies that are obeying tax laws are remotely immoral. If there is any immorality then surely that must lie with those who framed the tax laws in the UK, the EU and elsewhere. Those laws were made to achieve certain goals and if that is not what is happening then those laws need to be amended.

  4. It sounds like playground politics, he makes a rule and resents someone smarter thinking a way round it!