Dave finds out what it’s like when the gutter press have it in for you

Cameron and PanamaAs readers may know, I’m not a politician and when I worked in politics, it wasn’t at the spaddy level where you’re actually listened to. Yet me, a lowly ex-bag carrier responsible for caseloads in an obscure constituency, knows the first rule on resolving a political crisis is to wrap it up as quickly as possible. The longer a story is attracting headlines, the more it becomes a talking point in the broadcast media, and the greater the likelihood you and/or your party will suffer reputation damage.

These basics have proven foreign to our beleaguered PM and his coterie of expensively clueless advisors. The self-inflicted difficulties Dave has faced over Daddy’s offshore doings was excruciating, and has proven to be his most painful week in office. Yes, worse and more damaging than budgetgeddon and their disingenuous hand-wringing about the steel industry. Dave knew his offshore offloading was going to look bad, so he should have dumped it all at the start of the week rather than let political enemies take chunks out of him. Some PR professional he’s turned out to be. Continue reading

Intense relaxation: John McTernan and the freedom to not pay tax

Businessman pocketing cash - Image Copyright: <a href="http://www.123rf.com/profile_zestmarina">zestmarina / 123RF Stock Photo</a>Peter Mandelson famously declared himself “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich, as long as they pay their taxes”. His successors now appear intensely relaxed about the wealthy not paying their taxes at all. Senior Blairite John McTernan has responded to last weekend’s Panama Papers revelations by reassuring Telegraph readers that “tax avoidance is an expression of basic British freedoms.”

It also appears to be an expression of the basic Russian oligarch freedom to transfer huge kickbacks out of their country, and the inalienable right of dodgy Middle East politicians to set up shell companies in jurisdictions with banking regulations so light touch that they would make Gordon Brown blush, but let that pass.  Continue reading