February 21st, 2011

The Guardian: Uncut and Full of Cant

On Saturday morning The Guardian decided to give UK Uncut a front page boost.  The protestors managed to shut down three dozen of the 1,720 branches of Barclays bank. Surprised they found any branches to occupy given Saturday opening hours.

The gist of the shabby story was Barclays bankers are evil tax dodgers. The evidence was a hatchet job with the paper making the spurious claim that Barclay’s only paid 1% tax on their £11.6 billion profits. In arriving at a profit before tax figure of £11.6 billion, The Guardian has added the profit from the ongoing business (£4.5 billion) to profits from a disposed business (£726 million) and the gain made on disposal of that business (£6.3 billion) to reach a total of £11.6 billion.

What they chose to ignore however was the total tax take Barclay’s had to pay; payroll taxes, bank levy, non-recoverable VAT, employers NI, SDRT and so on. Over the weekend Tim Worstall and the FCA Blog tore chunks out of the piece:

The article compares the cash paid to HMRC in respect of UK corporation tax in 2009 (£113 million) to the profits generated by the consolidated Barclays group worldwide in 2009. In the UK, tax is paid in arrears, so 2009 taxes would relate to widespread 2008 losses, not 2009 profits.

Multinational companies such as Barclays pay tax in a number of jurisdictions. Generally speaking Barclays only pays UK corporation tax on profits it generated in the UK.  Anything earned outside the UK doesn’t get taxed here. So it’s a howler to compare the UK corporation tax payment to the global consolidated profit. Most of those profits were taxed where they were made.

In 2002 (under Gordon Brown, Chuka), the UK government introduced the substantial shareholdings exemption, a corporation tax exemption for UK businesses disposing of a substantial shareholding in a part of their business. The idea was that businesses should be able to restructure their businesses without having to worry about chargeable gains implications. Barclays are heavily criticised by The Guardian for using it.  The last time that Guido saw this being used was by the, err, Guardian Media Group to save themselves some £60 million of taxes in 2008:

“In 2008 GMG sold half of Auto Trader publisher Trader Media Group and made an exceptional (one-off) profit of more than £300 million. No tax was payable on the return from that sale because under UK law GMG qualified for SSE”

In 2008 The Guardian made £302 million in profits and paid no corporation taxes. The CEO, Carolyn McCall, was paid an £827,000 package. Yet we don’t see the UK Uncut crowd kicking up a stink about The Guardian’s tax structures or their fat cat pay and bonuses.

Over the weekend the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger (half-a-million a year since you asked) tweeted about Barclay’s offshore holding corporations. Guardian Media Group holds hundreds of millions in assets in a Caymans Island domiciled offshore corporation.

Guido put it to the GMG press office that GMG has £223.8 million invested in an overseas/offshore hedge fund managed by Cambridge Associates which trades currency derivatives. They don’t deny it and have declined to confirm the fund’s structure for tax purposes.

Guardian readers seem to be under the illusion that it is owned by a not-for-profit charity. The Scott Trust was wound up in October 2008 and the Guardian is a for-profit-privately-owned media business, the well paid directors of which confirm in their annual accounts that they operate tax strategies in line with their fiduciary duty to the shareholders – just like any other business.

The old Scott Trust was set up in 1936 to avoid inheritance taxes and wound up in 2008 so that GMG could cynically exploit the SSE capital gains tax shelter to pay 0% in corporation taxes on their £302 million in profits that year. GMG claim that it was about modernising the holding structure, in fact it was a disingenuous cover for corporate venality.

For three quarters of a century the The Guardian has been shirking taxes, Guido has no problem with them acting in their shareholders’ best interests. The hypocritical cant from them however about others doing the same is beyond contemptible…


  1. 1
    Chris says:

    Typical left, typical hypocrites


    • 18
      Mitch says:

      Do they really not see the contradiction ??


      • 22
        Anonymous says:

        lefty tax avoidance = good
        other non-lefty big business tax avoidance = bad


        • 53
          Anonymous says:

          Full of cants.


        • 54
          Polly T, from my Tuscan hideaway says:

          So what?


          • Peter Piper Picked...etc says:

            As is now widely known Labour never let the truth get in the way of a good story!


          • Osama the Nazarene says:

            …beyond contemptible – makes you sound like Mrs Whitehouse.

            We know that the whole spectrum of progressives, as the Guardian claim to be, from hard line Stalinite Commies to wet Liberals are just full of cant, spin and lies. No point wringing your hands its just a fact of life.

            But please don’t stop highlighting their cant and hypocrisy.


    • 163
      Up sh1t creek says:

      Oh hold on, wait a minute… what do we have here. In this clip we have the reason why the UK banks pay so little tax. It was because Gordon Brown changed the rules. I be the Guardian didn’t mention that anywhere in their article….

      UK uncut = clueless Labour party protest wing.


      • 186
        Anonymous says:

        “Those entrusted by us to regulate those bankers and run our economy washed their hands.”

        That’s Gordon mate.


      • 199
        Lord Carrington's Binoculars says:

        Where did all the money go?

        The 8 trillion dollar property bubble that went bang in the US and elsewhere.

        Why did parts of the world have a huge property bubble?

        The Fed held down interest rates for a long time after 9/11

        The US government invented the sub-prme mortgage for poor people and Obama has admitted ‘it was a good idea at the time and we thought we could spread the risk..’

        Gordon took house price inflation out of the BoE’s calculations.

        The Euro Zone found that one interest rate doesn’t, after all, fit all.

        The banks? Sure some sharp and wreckless behaviour, but the banks didn’t set the interest rates and didn’t stoke a property bubble, but did try to spread the sub-prime risks…


  2. 2
    Smig says:

    Socialist trolls ALWAYS run out of other people’s monikers.


  3. 3

    Guido – you attack the Guardian because they are too left-wing. I attack them because in fact they are too right-wing and/or because they lie – see http://alexweir1949.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/the-guardian-newspaper-lies-again/

    Alex Weir, London and Harare


  4. 4
    bergen says:

    They deserve to rot for wrecking the Observer-it has become an unreadable and readerless agit-prop rag under their ownership.


  5. 5
    SocialGhism says:

    Yet so many self-styled social up-righters swear by the rag and their hypocritical lisping on all things financial.


    • 75
      JRand says:

      Would it be wrong to assume the all-righteous Gawdian was, before his rightful demise, a client of the demonic socialist bankster RBS Goodwin (first mate to McLoon)? I think we should be told.


  6. 6
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    You’re pissing in the wind, Guido. The Average Guardianista never allows the facts to get in the way of reviling a hate-figure. The Truth Being What We Say It Is is a Left-Wing core Value.


  7. 7
    FGAU says:

    Hypocritical Guardian lefties? I have a hard time believing that. Next you’ll be telling us that Polly Toynbee pens her anti-global warming tracts while jetting back and forth between London and her Italian villa.


    • 149
      ripple says:

      she can afford to be a socialist…..


      • 171
        misterned says:

        It is great when you are a socialist being paid a FORTUNE by other socialists merely for writing bollocks every few days.

        Stomach turning hypocrisy is a core left wing value, of course and it helps to be able to churn that out at will.


  8. 8
    BillyBob.....beware, the jungle drums!! says:

    Welcome back Billy, have a good weekend??

    Gruniad making mistakes? Cannot imagine that is true….


    • 15
      Hugh Janus says:

      Whatever you got up to Billy, we can tell that the weekend certainly wasn’t devoted to spelling and punctuation.


  9. 9
    Polly's Villa says:

    They are are all far more equal than the rest of us, thus are entitled to special tax arrangements…


  10. 10
    Hugh Janus says:

    If only we could stop the BBC propping up their friends at the Grauniad by placing all those jobs ads with them…..


    • 30
      My Council Tax is frozen now can we reduce it please. says:

      Yes all those ads for non-jobs in government and local councils, skools, the BBC and right-on environmentalist charities funded by our taxes. Oh, hold-on…….


    • 96
      Backwoodsman says:

      ….and reading every story like this verbatum during news bulletins.


  11. 11
    Phantom says:

    The tramp steamer UKUncut looks holed below the waterline. Well done Guido

    If you want to annoy a capitalist, tell him a lie. If you want to annoy a socialist, tell them the truth.

    I hope this truth really hurts.


  12. 12
    A. B. Carrier says:

    I’m shocked and appalled, appalled and shocked I say. To think those lefty, smelly-sock-brigade, lentil-sniffing, salad-munching, soap-dodging, weardy-beardy, sandal-with-sock-wearing, tree-hugging do-gooders are hypocrites. The buggers. Who’da thunk it!


  13. 13
    Annnoyperson says:

    The Guardian employs legitimate tax avoidance measures, whilst Barclays employs legitimate tax avoidance measures.

    Oh. Hang on. Can you spot the difference between the two?

    Clue: The Guardian are hypocritical.


    • 23
      Anonymous says:

      Any Questions got into the usual tizzy about this:

      1.Tax avoidance is legal and legitimate e.g. ISA’s.
      2. Tax evasion is illegal.
      3. The named businesses are avoiding tax.
      4. None of the named businesses are accused of evading taxes.
      5. Er…….but we want to have a moan anyway so let’s just muddy the waters and lump it all together.


  14. 14
    Lord Chief Justice says:

    Great piece Guido

    And “No comment” from their Press Officer ?

    Try calling Polly Twaddle direct then

    Or Sir Shyte Whyte (even better, the sanctimonious prick)



  15. 16
    Dennis Thatcher says:

    If Socialism is a cancer, the Guardian is a lifetime’s supply of industrial-strength cigarettes.


  16. 17
    MI5 says:

    The level of the The Guardian’s journalism is the same as that of the Toilets Maguire and the Daily MIrror

    Any mud slinging goes amoung left-wing cavier socialists…


    • 47
      CuttingEdge says:

      The only difference between the Guardian and Mirror is the quality of the paper if employed to wipe your arse with…hang on…they are both already so full of shit anyway it would be a pointless exercise.


    • 194
      Noise says:

      The Guardian is only there to encourage below average people to waste their money on novelty fads.


  17. 19
    Katabasis says:

    Cue mass censorship on Comment Macht Frei now for any mention of Guido’s, or anyone else’s complete slaughter of these hypocrites.


  18. 20
    The BBC and Guardian couldn't recognise a story if it gave them two black eyes and a bashed in head says:

    The BBC and the Guardian run the same excrement – and kill any stories they don’t like. What happened to the story about the Labour govenment swapping vital bodily essences with Libya? Will Maummar be seeking a camel friendly palace in Scotland soon?

    Poor Frankfurt school crap is all I expect from BBC/Guardian – probably because it is written by sons and daughters of Fabians on ‘work experience’ that the working class will never get a sniff at.


    • 60
      ssdb says:

      The BBC are worse; read those two blogs and Guido’s and then read


      Innuendo and gossipy rubbish; the crowning turd being the little side piece by Joe Lynam, who ever he is

      “Barclays has a legal responsibility to its owner – its shareholders – to keep costs including tax to a minimum.

      At the same time the Barclays boss himself said that paying tax was one of a bank’s key obligations to society.

      Many members of that society will not be pleased to learn that only £113m in corporation tax was paid whilst the bonus pool amounted to £3.4bn.”

      Don’t let facts get in the way Joe you pratt.


      • 76
        Engineer says:

        I wonder how much of that £3.4 billion paid in bonuses finds it’s way to the Treasury in tax payments. Probably not 50%, given that many of the recipients will be well advised about their tax affairs, but still quite a chunk, one would think. Also, as the recipients spend their wealth, they’ll support many jobs in the private sector.

        Bonuses are not all bad news for the economy…


        • 104
          stun says:

          Quite so. And I believe that the corporation tax rate for large companies is 28% – it could be argued that the tax take is considerably greater by paying large bonuses and salaries


  19. 24
    Ed² says:



  20. 25
    Nobody listens to me says:

    Spelling Billy your PPE is showing.


  21. 26
    Peevee says:

    Is arranging your tax affairs only bad when lefties do it? Your ‘but the Lefties do it!’ line does you no favours.
    Put simply – The GMG didn’t get billions of our tax paying pounds as a bailout.
    They don’t also refuse to give a service that is critical to the economic survival of the country after receiving money from the T/P.

    Now let’s try and be grown ups.


    • 32

      Nor did Barclays accept any bail-out money.


      • 43
        Peevee says:

        They didn’t need to – they just stopped lending money and watched their competitors, and the economy, grind to a halt.


        • 50
          Anton says:

          Be a grown up and admit you got it wrong.


          • Peevee says:

            Nothing wrong Anton. If you have a bouyancy aid and there’s someone drowning, shouldn’t you use it to help them?
            Aahhh, wait…’but there’s no law to say that you have to use it’ ad infinitum…


      • 73
        Jack says:

        Barclays was the very FIRST bank to use the “liquidity window” at the BoE excuse me

        And they received billions for months …

        They also received over £200 billion from the Fed in emergency funding

        So let’s get the facts right please

        The Guardian are bloody hypoctires but Barclays made serious mistakes and were bailed out


    • 36
      Kooeeee says:

      Niether did Barclays they went to the Gulf markets and got £3 Billion, wouldn’t want to be a tad hyprocritical would one.


    • 193
      Dorian Smith says:

      By all means be grown up Peevee but at least be competent. There is also a case to be made that the Gurniad despite it’s lowly circulation is subsidised by the BBC, as the BBC seem to deem it it’s in house paper – and the BBC’s money comes from the majority of the British Public.


  22. 26
    ordinary Taxpayer with NO CHOICE says:

    so where does all this leave me?


    • 29
      Anonymous says:

      One big corporation which doesn’t pay enough tax argues with another big corporation who doesn’t pay enough tax.

      THEY feel smug. YOU pay the difference.


      • 66
        Kooeeee says:

        If they have misled HMRC then they should payup, if they are paying as required then get stuffed,but if the country is spending £1.10p and only recieving £1.00p in taxes and blames the bankers who are doing good business lending the 10p then we really have a bunch of wankers political or civil service in the wrong jobs sack them and get a few 5year olds with a computer and good teacher and we will be back on top in no time.


        • 77
          But.... says:

          ….that’s the point? ‘Misleading’ is one thing, ‘avoiding’ is another.

          Both Barclays and GMG ‘avoid’. But only the GMG are getting sanctimonious about other people doing exactly what they are?

          It’s not hard, is it?


    • 196
      Officer Crabtree says:

      Up a certain crook without a piddle.


  23. 28
    WTF? says:

    “We’ve brought the coalition to its knees,”

    No you haven’t Aaron.


  24. 31
    Nobody listens to me says:

    Guardian good,bankers a blot on society,it’s hard wired in so no


  25. 32
    rustygecko says:

    This is not what Barclays claim. They claim they are paying all the taxes they should pay both legally and morally.

    How does paying 1% of your profit = morality when I pay 40 x more?

    As for the payroll taxes – all companies pay payroll taxes – and we pay on profits as well.


    • 57
      Anonymous says:

      Wow. did you actually read the article? Scary.


      • 84
        rustygecko says:

        I hardly think you can compare a tin pot operation like the Guardian to Barclays Bank.
        Secondly the fact teh Gruaniad or anyone else doesn’t pay its fair whack of taxes is hardly justification for other companies not paying.


        • 91
          But.... says:

          We’re not saying that. We’re saying they can hardly point the finger if they’re doing exactly the same.


        • 120
          rustygecko says:

          I think they can. The fact there is an element of hypocrisy in it does not distract from the truth of what they are saying.


        • 167
          misterned says:

          An ELEMENT of hypocrisy? Are you fucking kidding? Their story is ENTIRELY hypocritical.


        • 191
          Alex says:

          You’ve still ignored comments about the fact you’ve clearly not read the article, as if you had, you’d be aware that the figures are based on Barclays’ UK tax payment expressed as a percentage of their worldwide profit.

          They have paid tax on profits abroad to the relevant authorities – this 1% figure not an accurate representation of Barclay’s global tax payments.

          Aside from that, the simple fact is that they’ve not broken any laws, and I don’t believe for a moment that you would EVER pay more tax than you’re required to, regardless of how much money you were making.

          If you want to take the moral stance on it, that’s a matter for the government to sort out – the last lot weren’t interested in doing so, in fact they made it easier to avoid tax (note: avoid, NOT evade). I doubt if the new lot will be any more interested in changing anything either.


    • 82
      Lord G says:

      Have you actually worked out how much tax you pay on your gross salary? 40% only applies over £35k, with 50% over £150k (ignoring allowances).

      For you to be paying 40% you would need a gross income of about £250k. If you do earn that and pay it all then you are a clown. I suspect your tax bill is much closer to (and probably below) 20% overall.


      • 139
        Arbitrage says:


        The fact that The Guardian are having us over a barrel does not excuse Barclays doing the same.

        The banks using us the lender of last resort and avoiding payment of proper tax receipts is not ‘the market’ it is a result of long term political corruption.

        So speaks a capitalist of the Austrian school so you really can’t condemn me as a leftie.


    • 177
      Denis O'Thatcher says:

      Barclays did not pay only 1% tax – see the article for why that number is either a mistake or a lie.


  26. 34
    The Guardian says:

    We socialists do as we please! Got it?! Now, let’s protest more banks and sing The Red Flag!


    • 52
      Smig says:

      Us people living in the real world do hereby renounce our goodwill and will no longer be feeding and clothing you.

      That is all. You may leave.


  27. 35
    Steve Miliband says:

    I am trying to find out more about Labour fiddling inflation figures.Can’t seem to find anything on the BBC. Anything in the Guardian?


  28. 37
    I hate Chucky says:

    Dare I say it, I think that may be the most spot on and powerful post ever, Guido. A lacerating attack on barefaced hypocrisy.


  29. 38
    Polly Toynbee says:

    This site wants a final solution for The Guardian.


  30. 39
    Jack says:




  31. 40
    Mulberry's Harbour says:

    Excellent post. As a licence fee payer I expect and demand that the BBC get someone from the Guardian to comment on this lefty hypocrisy.


    • 48
      Anonymous says:

      Or, for balance, when covering this story (as they do) they could mention that the Guardian also benefits from tax avoidance.

      **hollow laugh**


  32. 41
    John Cravens says:

    Yeah but they’re lefty cants, only fellow lefties believe the drivel they print


  33. 42
    Disco Biscuit says:

    The Guardian is full of cants.


  34. 46
    Alex says:

    Barclays actually paid £1.5 billion (25%) of their accounting profits in corporate income tax around the world. That’s £1.5 billion more than GMG and the Labour Party combined.

    It just turns out that most of the tax wasn’t paid in the UK. Paying tax in country A rather than country B is not tax avoidance. It just reflects where the profits fall. If they are being taxed then the profits aren’t arising in a tax haven.


  35. 49
    Guardian Finance Director says:

    Our £ 100 million in our hedge fund will see us though for a few more years

    You never know, it could produce huge returns from speculation…


  36. 56
    They're all smug, sneering Celt cunts at the BBC, 'cept Kuenssbergs whom I wish to bum intensely says:

    Fuck me, I hope the BBC lefties get a TV crew down to their fellow lefties offices pronto

    There’s going to be an almighty demo there, from left wing firebrands, anarchists, and Aaron Porter’s useful idiots.

    They might even confront Ms Toynbee if she’s back from her Italian villa today having used zero carbon emissions to travel of course

    Any minute now the stories of a major demo will be hitting the wires……
    Any moment now people


  37. 58
    Anonymous says:

    don’t foget their lobbying for VAT exemption


  38. 62
    Woeful Warsi says:

    So Guido and his Tory Troll followers are now fans, and defenders of Barcleys BANK…..Good luck with that one


  39. 65
    Guardian Press Office says:

    We have been told to tell you “No comment” Guido

    The truth hurts too much for us, you see ?


  40. 67
    keep up the good work says:

    Actually not Billy, a capitla E in ‘Eh’ after a comma is not good. Your failed with the e in grammar, so it’s quits.


  41. 69
    Woeful Warsi says:

    So Guido and his merry bang of Tory Trolls are noe defending a bank…yawn


    • 79
      Anonymous says:

      Fawkes is also defending the Guardians right to evade taxes within the law, it’s just that they’re hypocritical liars about it.


    • 106
      Kooeeee says:

      Your knowledge of British banking is far greater than we windowlickers have so instead of sitting outside throwing pebbles and hissing at us,come on in and explain,even tame lefties do get a fair hearing before we throw them to the wolves.


  42. 74
    keep up the good work says:

    The BBC and the Guardian are really cynical, vicious, lying bastards. They’re only in it for the soundbite, and fuck the truth.


  43. 80
    Picky Ronting says:

    the whole world’s kinda just gone crazy, it’s turned upside down


  44. 81
    Peevee says:

    Amazing insight into the minds of anti-socialists here.
    How DARE someone own property and not get with the program. Attack her!
    How dare a ‘left leaning’ but world renowned journalistic institution do the same thing that every other large business does. Attack them!


    • 90
      dross says:

      Oh dear…… I think you should read the article again


    • 92
      Engineer says:

      You haven’t read the post, have you?

      Guido has no problem with the Guardian’s tax arrangements (or anybody else’s provided they’re legal) but he does have a problem with the Guardian criticising other organisations for doing what the Guardian does – legally avoid tax.


    • 95
      Steve Miliband says:

      The story is about the hypocrisy of the Guardian and the fact that there are numerous factual errors, or did you not bother to read the post.


      • 108
        Peevee says:

        Let’s try again…

        The main story doesn’t refer to anyones Italian villa,the BBC being a communist sop, refer to socialism as a ‘cancer’, etc etc.

        The comments do.

        Hope this helps.


        • 117
          Just Saying like says:

          Listen if you want to start with the bullshit its you that called the guardian and i quote “‘left leaning’ but world renowned journalistic institution”

          If your going to come out with such claptrap as that then people can say what they want!

          Back on topic i think the Majority of comments refer to The Guardian being hypocrits.

          Hope this helps you, a favour is a favour in return and all that!


          • Peevee says:

            Ahhh, so because I didn’t get with the lefty bashing my views are not valid?

            Echo Chamber anyone?



          • Just saying like says:

            Don’t take it personally its not because your a lefty its just that your an ill informed fuck wit. So in light of your echo chamber re-direct! stick this in your Echo chamber which is FACT!

            In 2008 the Guardian made £302 million in profits and paid no corporation taxes – Hypocritical twats

            In 2008 the Guardian made £302 million in profits and paid no corporation taxes – Hypocritical twats

            In 2008 the Guardian made £302 million in profits and paid no corporation taxes – Hypocritical twats

            In 2008 the Guardian made £302 million in profits and paid no corporation taxes – Hypocritical twats


          • Peevee says:

            I don’t think you’re understanding this echo chamber lark.
            It’s a figurative concept. It’s not a REAL echo chamber. That would just be silly wouldn’t it?!

            Now I’ll bid you adieu as you try and get the hang of this debating malarkey.


        • 119
          carbon footprint the size of a tuscan villa says:

          Toynbee is a fucking hypocrite, so get real you socialist tosser.


          • Peevee says:

            Wow, so eloquent! Your mummy must be so proud of you.

            Is it so hard to accept a difference of opinion, one that is based upon facts and not ideology or point scoring?


    • 147
      I Remember You Hoo says:

      I wonder if you realise, just how stupid your post, makes you look?

      Both rightly, avoid paying too much tax.
      Only one however, lectures the population endlessly, regarding the ‘unpatriotic evils’ of such behaviour.
      Your ‘world renowned journalistic institution’ (sic) is world renowned for it’s innacurate, biased reporting and weapons grade hypocrisy.


      • 160
        peevee says:

        If having a different take on the matters in hand makes someone ‘look stupid’ in your book, then what a insecure and nasty little book it must be.

        Once more, I am referring to the comments section, not the truth/quality/thrust of the main article.

        Don’t shoot the messenger and all that.


    • 169
      Kevin T says:

      You leftists really don’t understand the term “hypocrisy”, do you? See Polly, Monbiot, etc.


  45. 82
    JordanNewell says:

    @Guido, re: comment at 1300: “Nor did Barclays accept any bail-out money.”

    This is incorrect. Barclays is benefiting from several billion in Guaranteed Liabilities:


    You’re on the wrong side of history here my friend – whatever the details of individual cases, mass tax avoidance sucks money out the economy and impoverishes the people of this country.

    Attacking a hypocritical newspaper shows that you’re more interested in cheap political point scoring than the real problems affecting real people – just like the rest of the political class that have let us down so badly.


    • 123
      stun says:

      That link shows debt issues launched by banks in 2008/9 which utilised the government’s guarantee, for which the banks paid the Treasury a fee. As the Treasury would be forced to bail out failing banks in any case, it seemed a much better idea to allow the banks to access the capital markets with a fee-generating guarantee.

      Since then, the UK banks have not needed to use the platform as the securities market is gradually reopening for business and the banks are now regarded as solvent. This is not the case for the Irish banks which continue to issue GGBs.


    • 138

      Misleading. If Barclays had been successful in its bid for ABN Amro, then your remarks would, in all probability, have had validity. As it happens, Barclays did not need these monies to survive. Why should they not have availed themselves of them? Some revisionism going on in your history, it would appear.


    • 140
      tory boys never grow up says:

      “Nor did Barclays accept any bail-out money.”

      To say nothing of the rather big hole in their balance sheet if HBOS,RBS and Northern Rock had been allowed to fail.


    • 157

      JordanNewell turned out to be a puffed up nobody. He used to be your next MP!!!!


  46. 86
    I'll tell you and I'll tell you again you can't wash cotton in Wittgenstein says:

    PPE is still showing Billy,years of training makes it hard to be a thicko.


  47. 88
    Moley says:

    On the subject of fairness, Bankers are being singled out for special taxation on their bonuses on the grounds that the Banks are in receipt of large amounts of public money.

    So how about applying the same principle to all those BBC, NHS, and Local Authority staff who are earning (Correction; “Being Paid”), large multiples of the PM’s salary?

    EVERYONE (mostly) works very hard for their money, even those on the minimum wage, so “Hard work” is no excuse for a huge salary.

    I am no Communist, but there is clearly a problem with the cliques of Executives who have effectively been allowed to determine their own pay through an incestuous relationship with Pay Advisory Bodies.


    • 94
      Engineer says:

      On the face of it, that would seem fair.


    • 100
      Peevee says:

      The difference being that with possibly a few exceptions, no one in NHS/BBC etc gets paid more (some might say astronomically more) for taking greater and greater risks with other peoples money.


      • 112
        Engineer says:

        That’s debatable – some might say that following scandals in North Staffordshire and the recent report into NHS care of the elderly, some people are being paid obscene sums to take risks with other peoples’ lives. In many ways, that’s far worse.


        • 122
          Super Zuffle says:



        • 162
          peevee says:

          As the banks keep telling us – you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
          Nurses get poor wages, large workloads, and not great conditions – their practice may well suffer.
          Not sure how that links to the banking debacle but I’m all ears on any evidence you can provide.

          Those being paid massive amounts are a law unto themselves, aided by successive governments.

          In this brave new world of the mixed economy of care, quasi markets and all, I’m sure that utopia is just four years away


          • Engineer says:

            The NHS budget was £110 billion last year – that’s £1800 (near enough) for each and every man, woman and child in the country – for one year. Add to that the new hospitals being built on PFI deals.

            Hardly ‘peanuts’, is it?


    • 116
      Backwoodsman says:

      Moley, all council pay should be set by a panel from the local Chamber of Commerce and the local FSB. If the applicant doesn’t agree with what is considered a fair local rate for the job, they can gop elsewhere. End of problem.


    • 146
      Alex says:

      Bankers aren’t being given large amounts of cash like the BBC and the public sector. They are issuing shares in return. Your arguments are reasonable but should be applied more strongly to the public sector.


  48. 98
    Katabasis says:

    PLEASE share this folks:

    George Monbigot is carrying out a speaking tour, where he claims he will debate ANYTHING with the audience


    ukuncut, economics, housing, climate change – the list of topics to hammer this twerp on is endless.


  49. 102
    exiled&angry says:

    Today seems like total cant day on behalf of Liebour. The odious twat Hain is reported in the Daily Post newspaper as telling the Welsh Labour Conference that the deficit was nothing to do with the previous government’s policies. Worth a read just to see how history’s being currently re-written…..

    ‘Deficit not our fault’ Hain tells Labour conference in Llandudno


    • 113
      Anonymous says:

      “Adamant that “irresponsible bankers caused the crisis”, he said in a direct challenge to the Prime Minister: “Mr Cameron, tell the truth about debt.”


  50. 105
    LabourNutter says:

    Guido you are preaching to the converted. There is no way that the mainstream press are going to pick this up and run with it. The facts as you have set them out have been available for some time…


  51. 109
    Silly Sally Bigcow says:

    ANY TAKERS ????

    Sally Bercow
    @millymarch hahahaha! I’m a sucker for a provocative tweeter though :)
    14 hours ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply </i?


  52. 110
    Dan The Man says:

    You forgot their little business in Luxembourg:

    Private Eye 1242 p7

    Street of Shame: Grauning Wallets

    Guardian Media Group continues to tie itself in knots over tax.

    “The board believes it is the group’s corporate and social responsibility to pay the appropriate amount of taxes in accordance with UK and overseas tax legislation,” says the annual report. “The board also believes that it has a commercial responsibility to manage the group’s affairs in a tax-efficient manner within those rules as well as to manage the group’s exposure to tax. The group adopts a conservative tax strategy and is transparent in its dealings with tax.”

    Despite all this earnest wittering, transparency is in short supply. Buried on page 86 is the admission that two of GMG’s holding companies in magazine publisher Emap (which it jointly owns with a private equity firm Apax), Eden Acquisition 2 Ltd and Eden Acquisition 4 Ltd, are registered in the Cayman Islands.

    There is also mention of a third company, called Eden 2 & Cie SCA. Where is this registered? The report doesn’t say. But a trawl of international company records gives an address on 41 Boulevard Prince Henri in that well-known haven of tax transparency and non-avoidance, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg!


    • 201
      Dan The Man says:

      A little bit more on the Luxembourg company from an EMAP annual report:

      Eden 2 & CIE SCA, incorporated in Luxembourg, is regarded by the directors as the Company’s ultimate parent undertaking. This is a joint venture between the Apax Europe VII Fund, which is managed by Apax Partners Europe Managers Ltd, incorporated in England and Wales, and Guardian Media Group plc, incorporated in England and Wales. All the ordinary shares of Guardian Media Group plc are owned by the Scott Trust. The directors regard Eden 2 & CIE SCA as the ultimate controlling party.

      Eden Bidco is established in the Cayman Islands, and Eden 2 & CIE SCA is established in Luxembourg. No Group accounts have been prepared for these companies or for any other intermediate holding company.


      Notice also another little vehicle whose name crops up for the first time, Eden Acquisition 5 Limited, registered in the Cayman Islands along with all the other little Edens.


  53. 114
    Mrs F. Merritt says:

    Barclays has benefitted from the taxpayer bailout of the banking system. If there had been a run on the banks (remember all those people queueing outside Northern Rock) Barclays too would have suffered. Gordon Brown and others managed to avoid that with their bail out.

    Barclays has also benefitted and is benefitting from the Q.E. done by the government which means Barclays bank can borrow money at very low rates and lend it out at much higher rates thus making a massive profit.

    I have recently closed my account at Barclays because I don’t agree with their behaviour and especially don’t like the enormous sums they pay to their executives. I have decided to bank with the Co-op instead.


    • 118
      Barclays says:

      Thank fuck for that


    • 124
      Engineer says:

      “I shall take my overdraught elsewhere.”

      “Thank you, madam. The door’s that way.”


    • 126

      “Gordon Brown and others managed to avoid that with their bail out.”

      Arrant nonsense. It would only be true if he did that with his own personal money. He did it with our money. If I managed to pledge whatever you now have in the Co-op to support my disastrous spending programme, you would not be too pleased either, I would imagine.


      • 135
        Mrs F. Merritt says:

        I’m pleased that you agree taxpayers money was used by Gordon Brown to bail out the banks, including Barclays.
        Of course there would be no point disagreeing, since the facts are plain.


        • 145

          I agree nothing of the sort. As argued elsewhere here, Barclays did not require a bail out.

          You talk about Q.E. as if it were a badge. Well, it isn’t. It is a clear indication of failure on behalf of a government which had 13 years to get things right, but managed to get them totally wrong.

          Just give me your bank account details and a signing mandate on it, if you are so sure of your position and then we can talk again.


          • Mrs F. Merritt says:

            You must think I’m as daft as you are. I will certainly not give out my bank account details in a public forum.


          • I do think you’re daft. Of course I don’t want your money, I have my own. I was inviting you to accept the consequences of your wonky reasoning.

            But if it turns out that you are sensible, then I am glad that I am daft.


    • 184
      Alex says:

      Barclays weren’t even close to running out of funding the way that Northern Rock were and if RBS and Lloyds had gone under they probably would have been OK because 60% of their business is outside the UK. They only took liquidity funding because the price was right. When the government came offering loans at 12% with strings attached they went and got themselves a better deal from Qatar.


    • 197
      Eddie Monsoon says:

      Ah yes the coop? the labour party bank of choice who also seem to be very good at paying sod all tax = 1.9% on £164million !!


  54. 115
    Mike Hunt says:

    So you are expecting an individual to pay Corporation tax?


  55. 121
    Tardkiller says:

    good stuff guido.

    Just finished reading a Colossal Failure of Common Sense about Lehmans.

    He was right you’know it started in america, but the one eyed mong STILL made it bad for us.

    oh, and the GMG can go hang, between you and PE you should be able to finnish them off.

    Tis a shame the dwarf Hislop hates this site


  56. 125
    Tom Badwind says:

    Hypocrisy and mendacity. It’s in Liebour’s D-N-A.


  57. 128
    Postlethwaite says:

    Brown and Balls the deficit denyers – Guido the profit denyer!!

    Banks borrow money at 0.5 percent and loan it to me at 5.0 percent. This is a factor ten times.

    With that sort of markup, it would be hard not to make a thumping great profit.

    Now if I could get around 0.5 percent interest on borrowing, my small business would too would make a thumping profit.


    • 143
      Mrs F. Merritt says:

      Yes. Banks, unlike almost all other businesses, are being subsidised by the taxpayer. And yet there are still those who worship the banks as beacons of the free market.


  58. 129
    Long Time Guardian Reader says:

    Absloutely right Guido.

    In the old days the Guardian used to report factually and in a balanced way.

    Nowadays the news is mostly opinions not a balanced presentation of the facts.

    Shame on you Guardian.


    • 168
      Mine d'Boggles says:

      Used to work on a tropical island north of Australia. Airmail edition of Manchester Guardian was published on a Wednesday. I got it Thursday evening. You are right: it was excellent. But I always wondered how they got it out there so fast.


  59. 134
    tory boys never grow up says:

    So Guido thinks it right that the UK Tax payer should bail out the UK Banking Industry (and yes Barclays would have suffered if HBOS and RBS had gone to the wall) by covering its losses and then it allows the same industry to claim tax relief for the same losses which the tax payer has covered. RBS alone has an unrecognised deferred tax asset of £3.6bn in respect of unrecovered tax losses.

    In the meantime that paragon of Guido capitalism, Barclays has doubled its wages bill since 2007, kept its profit at about the same level and halved its share price. Any sensible capitalist/shareholder given such a performance would be calling for Diamond’s head rather than attacking the Guardian. But I presume the order has gone out not to bash the bankers (or should I say party donors).


    • 158

      No Guido was totally opposed to the bail-out of the banks here and in Ireland, don’t believe in socialism for bankers or anyone else.

      Am attacking Guardian hypocrisy.


      • 175
        tory boys never grow up says:

        “Guido was totally opposed to the bail-out of the banks here and in Ireland”

        And the US and Europe as well presumably – so we would all be reliant on the Bank of China for our banking and Guido would be taking his seat on the Chinese poliburo whose appraoch to capitalism he so warmly endorsed when visiting Hong Kong at the time of the Tibetan riots!


        • 205
          Anonymous says:

          You do realise that Hong Kong isn’t governed by the Chinese Communists, don’t you? Hong Kong governs itself, and has one of the most successful, vibrant, fast-growing economies in the world.
          Free market.


    • 159
      Steve Miliband says:

      I’ll spell it out for you

      T h e p o s t i s a b o u t t h e h y p o c ri s y o f t h e G u a r d i a n, n o t a b o u t t h e B a n k s.


      • 172
        tory boys never grow up says:

        As well as learning to use your keyboard properly, you need to understand that Guido has a pupose in attacking the Guardian whose tax avoidance is minimal compared with that of the Guardian (just exactly how much profit has the Guardian Group earned over the past 20 years compared with Barclays? work that out then you might understand something). My role in life is not to defend the Guardian which is perfectly capable of defending itself.


        • 178
          Anonymous says:

          “the Guardian whose tax avoidance is minimal compared with that of the Guardian”

          What’s all that about?


        • 179
          Leftie Hypocrites Never Grow Up Or Stop Making Sad Excuses For Themselves says:

          lol the guy is off his rocker, so it’s ok for everyone else but the banks to do it just because they are minimal offenders?

          Doh? ever heard of death by a thousands cuts, every penny counts etc. etc.?

          It all adds up in the end sunshine.


          • tory boys never grow up says:

            So where were the previous posts from Guido attacking Barclays tax avoidance? Don’t you understand that Guido sees nothing wrong with Barclay’s avoiding tax? Guido has repeatedly made the point that he is in favour of all tax avoidance. My position is that you should go after the big fish first whoever they may be.


  60. 152
    Little Boy Blue says:

    Brilliant piece Guido. It would make a good subject for an investigative TV programme. Do you think the BBC might be intertested ? – Thought not.


  61. 161

    Labour’s attacks here are clearly co-ordinated. Even so, with all the advantage of surprise on their side, they cannot present a sound case on anything, especially if it has to do with money.


  62. 164
    I can read the same stuff for free thanks to the internet says:

    Who the fuck wastes money on buying the guardian or any other rag out of their own pocket these days?

    I just want to know so I can point and laugh.


    • 174
      Andie99 says:

      left wing media types who think they know better than everyone else buy the guardian, or in the case of one bloke I know who is an ex combat 18 member, to look like he fits in with all the others at the quango he works at…


  63. 165
    Kevin T says:

    When are we going to stop propping up this private business with taxpayer’s money through giving the Guardian the public sector ads? Why the *$%& do we want public sector jobs going largely to Guardian readers in the first place?


  64. 166
    misterned says:

    The USA under Obama’s misrule is worse than it was under Bush (and I never thought I would end-up thinking that!)

    I do not want to visit a country that requires me to prove I am not a terrorist by submitting to sexual assault.

    BTW, all this “security” at the USA airports is for show. Have any of you ever attempted to fly to America without a Visa and a passport?

    How close to getting on a plane would you get?

    The “underpants bomber” had no passport and was on a terrorist watch list and yet he was still “waived past security” in Paris by a “well dressed man” according to other passengers on that plane and this was admitted to by the FBI and various mainstream media outlets.

    So, How the fuck do you keep people safe if the “terrorists” (nudge nudge wink wink) are allowed past all the security that you and I have to suffer?

    This is information which has been reported on NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN and yet they do not actually go that extra bit of logical though and ask HOW THE FUCK DID A KNOWN TERRORIST GET ALLOWED ON A PLANE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    Fuck all that sexual molestation at American airports, when terrorists are escorted around security to be allowed on planes, all the perverted molestation in the world will not stop the terrorists from blowing up planes, IF they really want to and are not actually the security services themselves doing it.

    I mean, WHO has the authority to get a known “terrorist” without a passport, past security and then onto a plane in the first place?


  65. 173
    Anonymous says:

    Is “UK Uncut” an anagram of Chucker’s full name?


  66. 180
  67. 187
    Phany Stroaker says:

    This UKUncut thingy – is it a bunch of blokes who are still in possession of their foreskins? Perhaps the accumulated smegma is starting to addle their brains.


  68. 188
    Drunk Lawyer says:

    Good work, always nice to see hypocrisy shredded in this way.


  69. 190
    Kevin Law says:

    oh did the nasty man at the guardian tell fibs about those poor bankers

    how will the poor bankers cope – bless them

    such a vulnerable bunch the bankers – scraping a living on a few billion here and there. one of the more oppressed parts of our society. the bankers need guido to stand up for them because we know they cant look after themselves


    • 192
      Gin-soaked useless hacks says:

      A National Newspaper telling outright bollocks, espeecially when they live in fucking big glass house, is what makes the British news media so world-class!

      UKUncut is just a Liebour black-ops organisation who will get publicity for their bullshit because the left-wing media, like the Guardian and BBC, will give it to them. If Labour were still in, they wouldn’t exist.


  70. 195
    barnehurst bob says:

    brilliant article, if a thousand words paint a picture, I see Polly having a piece of heavily used andrex smeared across her wrinkled face.


  71. 203
    profoundly_disturbed says:

    Well said sir!


  72. 204
    Grifter says:

    In short – the GmG should get their facts/tax straight before casting stones at the other glass houses. It is always amazing to me that media outlets privately owned in this country can reflect the news in such a cock-eyed manner.
    It sickens me that Polly Toynbee preaches about the poor when she’s got millions of her own whilst conveniently forgetting this when bashing ‘millionaires’ row of the cabinet.
    It’s a shame more don’t read your blog in the wider world GF because you have a very good way of evening out the road for all sides!


  73. 206
    Paul Marks says:

    It was not just the Guardian – all of this was repeated by the BBC.

    Of course the BBC and Guardian are basically the same thing – and their continued existance is the fault of the failure of Conservatives to get rid of the BBC tax (the “license fee” funds the BBC, and BBC ads in the Guardian fund the newspaper).

    However, the news on commercial broadcasters (such as Classic FM) was much the same.

    All radio and television in Britain is basically the Guardian – the regulations make it so.


  74. 207
    Anonymous says:

    Reading this site is more stomach churning than reading the comments on the Telegraph site.
    I thought humanity was doomed, Reading this site I know it and furthermore we deserve to be.


  75. 208

    More sour grapes at the MASSIVE Guardian profits. Makes the banks look like tramps.
    For a right-wing paper, it is doing some worthy work – the work with wikileaks, for a start. Find a left-wing media corporation squirrelling away its billions, and you’ll have a target for hypocrisy, son.
    Until then, the only hypocrisy is yours, and your apologies for the banks and their collective gangsterism.


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