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Friday 12 October 2012

Guido Fawked – Tax Avoidance Hypocrisy

The rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog are facing in different directions and hoping that no-one will notice today, as they take aim at the Huffington Post, which has committed the cardinal sin of being increasingly successful, and without the prior consent of The Great Guido. The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, don’t like this kind of thing at all.

I didn't need to pay tax cos I was pissed, oh shit no, a resident of the pub, sod it, no, of another bar, oh bollocks, country. Where I can get ratarsed more easily, shit, no, do business. Over a gallon, bollocks, no, cup of coffee. And a stiff shot. Oh sod it

On top of all that, the HuffPo gave a berth to Mehdi Hasan, and then failed to sack him even after the Fawkes blog and its Stateside pals launched an all-out smear assault, calling Hasan “the HuffPo house Jihadi” among other selected terms of less than good-natured to and fro. So when the HuffPo mentioned tax avoidance, the Fawkes dishonesty machine had to be brought to bear.

So out came the one about “you can’t report on tax avoidance unless you pay tax where we say you should”, which is usually reserved for the deeply subversive and hated Guardian, or the BBC, on the occasions it gives work to freelancers (remember that Master Cole still hasn’t bothered genning up on how these people work through limited companies).

I can't be a clueless hypocrite, cos I'm on telly!

It’s a particularly draughty glasshouse for the Fawkes folks, because while they’re calling out the HuffPo for being involved with a company in Luxembourg, their own limited company, Global And General Nominees (prop. Paul Staines), is based in the offshore tax haven of Nevis. Thus The Great Guido avoids tax and deters the more litigious from taking him to the cleaners.

And while they’re busy whining about tax avoidance while practicing it themselves, one of the Fawkes rabble has actually proposed that those who don’t pay tax in accordance with his diktat – that would be Cole once more – should not have the privilege of voting in UK elections. So perhaps he would be good enough to tell his boss that he should become disenfranchised.

So far, so hypocritical, but the Fawkes blog has an ace up its sleeve: Richard Murphy, he of Tax Research UK. What’s the connection? Well, it has been asserted by the Fawkes folks that he “writes for ... HuffPo UK”. This may be news to many, because it is total bullshit. Murphy has contributed one blogpost. I’ve contributed seven, but do not claim to write for the HuffPo, because I do not.

Writing for” means paid copy and/or deadline driven content. Neither Richard Murphy’s post, not those of mine, are in that category. So that’s dishonesty to add to ignorance and a double dose of hypocrisy for the Fawkes rabble. And all in the vain hope that Arianna Huffington might take notice of them (like heck).

Another fine mess, once again.


Anonymous said...

It's not hypocritical for a tax avoider to say that another tax avoider should not criticise a third tax avoider, unless that first tax avoider is routinely critical of tax avoiders. Which none of your links seem to show.

So if Guido thinks that those who criticise tax avoiders should put their own house in order, that's a valid position irrespective of Guido's own affairs.

It's cheap and childish, of course "I approve of what you're doing but I don't approve of you not approving of someone else doing it".. fine, very clever, but it rarely enhances a debate.

Tim Fenton said...

Regular observers of the Fawkes blog and its regulars' propensity to sock-puppet may find many features of the comment at @1 familiar.

Anonymous said...


I understand why you would say that. Similarly, one *might* note that 'sock puppet' is a common accusation thrown by people who don't have an actual argument to counter with. How very dull that would be. But, I assure you, I have no time for Guido and his little army. I'm merely someone who knows what 'hypocrisy' means, and am not at all convinced that this was it.

I make no defence of Guido's point of view, merely the term attributed to it.

Tim Fenton said...

I refer the Hon Commentnaut to the post where all arguments are deployed. I also note the reference to the Fawkes blog in the familiar.

Anonymous said...

And you are also familiar with it (anyone would think it was a place that would be known to anyone with a vague habit of reading political blogs).. so perhaps you're a sock puppet too? But, surely not, because I am now a little more familiar with your blog and you point out that Guido is prone to "spin and sock-puppet, while accusing everyone else of doing likewise."

So now you're doing even worse on the 'knowing what hypocrisy means' score. (For reference, criticizing someone for accusing others of sock-puppetry and then reaching straight for that tactic yourself, *is* hypocrisy). And I still haven't found the bit in the things you link to where Guido says that there's anything wrong with tax avoidance. If I've missed it (is it buried in 50 pages of CIF comments?) then I do, genuinely, apologise.

Anyway. I found this via Richard Murphy, if that helps you see that I'm not bothered about what anyone says about Guido. I just saw a story that didn't seem to fit the facts.. so I mentioned it.. and then you besmirched my good (albeit non-disclosed) name instead of, y'know, backing up your assertion.

Tim Fenton said...

I'm not reaching for the sock-puppeting tactic, so your argument is baseless, as well as being remarkably well aligned with the Fawkes rabble.

So thanks for the admission, and thanks for the "good name" laugh. Feel free to carry on trolling, oh I'm terribly sorry, you don't do that, do you, that's only what I do.

Away with you.