Thursday, 12 February 2015

In a Blue Fink

Miliband appeared to accuse Fink of tax evasion (illegal) in the Commons
Fink threatened to sue for defamation if this was repeated outside the Commons
BBC is now signalling that Miliband will accuse Fink of tax avoidance later today
Accusing someone of tax avoidance is no more defamatory than accusing them of driving close to the speed limits. Avoidance is not illegal.

Since both parties are still up to their eyes in peerages-for-donations and other peculations, corruptions, crookednesses and vilenesses it really is like watching bald men fighting over a comb.


English Pensioner said...

Yes, we all avoid tax if can do so legally. I've bought ISAs to avoid tax on the little interest that gets paid; I've bought National Savings certificates for the same reason.
I also put money into a trust each year for my grandson up to the maximum gift allowance for the year.
So I'm a tax avoider, I consider it my duty to my family to avoid as much tax as legally possible and so should everyone else.

Umbongo said...

As you write, Ed accused Fink of tax avoidance (legal) not evasion (illegal) but such accusations can still be defamatory depending on the circumstances in which the allegation is made. I'm not a lawyer but I do know that it's the allegation that can be reputationally damaging not necessarily what is alleged.
Accordingly, the noble lord can sue and be successful if he can prove 1. that what Ed said was untrue and 2. that what Ed accused him of (ie opening a bank account in Switzerland to avoid tax) is damaging to his reputation.
There's an interesting discussion on Tim Worstall's blog. In that thread one commenter gives an example of having an affair which is not illegal but to allege the same can constitute defamation.

mikebravo said...

I accuse milliband of being a total knob!

anon 2 said...


Which reminds me of an old version of the nonsense rhyme:
One fine day, in the middle of the night,
Two dead men got up to fight.
Two blind men went to see fair play,
Two dumb men went to shout "Hooray!"
A dead donkey came galloping by, And kicked one of the blind men right in the eye.
He knocked the rest over a ten foot wall,
Into a dry ditch, which drowned them all.
[We should be so lucky!]

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Bald men ... ? comb...?

And GMG gets no mention at all, nada, zip, nuttin. perhaps some inspiration for the "Guardian Reader Offers"

Is there a collective noun for collections of hypocrites?