A post-Olympics resumption of normal service is being attempted at the Guido Fawkes blog, although new boy Alex Wickham is having to do almost all of today’s spadework himself, with the flannelled fool Henry Cole now away on holiday (I know, I know, how can they tell?) and the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines still away in France at another of his four petites maisons.
Houses? Nah, they're registered in another pub, shit, no, er, on another tab, oh bollocks, no, I mean in another name, yeah, that sounds sober, shit, I mean right
But young Alex clearly reckons he’s on to a winner this morning, with a dig at the Bureau Of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) for being allegedly bankrolled by someone who is not domiciled in the UK for tax purposes. So there is a dig at David Potter, together with references to Inspector Clouseau, a fictional character mostly famous some years before Wickham was born.
I hate to rain on Alex’ parade here, but I have to tell him that he’s standing in a terribly draughty glasshouse right now. Slipping once again into Jon Stewart mode, three things here: that blog for which he is writing is run by someone who does not hold a UK passport (Staines has Irish nationality) and who spends much of his time outside the country. Staines is not domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.
Sameone meunkying about here
The company that the Fawkes blog uses to generate all that advertising revenue, MessageSpace, is registered in Ireland, not the UK, despite that blog, and most of its other clients, doing business mainly in this country. So it pays its company taxes outside the UK, taking advantage of lower rates in Ireland despite having an office in central London. Staines is managing director of MessageSpace.
Thirdly, the company that publishes the Fawkes blog is also not registered in the UK, but in the tax haven of Nevis. Global And General Nominees is also believed to be controlled by Paul Staines. The use of Nevis also benefits the Fawkes blog as local law dictates that anyone taking action against companies registered there for defamation must post a substantial sum upfront first.
All of which means that the Guido Fawkes blog is the last part of the blogosphere that should be calling others out for their private or company tax status. Before young Alex ventures into the realm of calling others “Inspector Clouseau”, he could try occasionally using the pheune in his rheum to ask his offshore boss just how much hypocrisy is being indulged in here.
Another fine mess, once again.