Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vince Gets Aggressive

Vince Cable, writing in the Guardian this morning, has his usual mixed-bag of platitudes and soundbites on corporate taxation. He wants to widen the base, raise the take, simplify and cut corporate taxation. Fantastic, Guido wants world peace and to help children as well, just like any other beauty contestant. Vince also says;
“there is a strong case for a more aggressive approach to tax avoidance. The systematic and widespread avoidance of stamp duty land tax by corporate vehicles can be stopped quickly.”

Does he mean corporations like GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited, set up in the Caymans Isles where the corporation tax rate is zero? This corporate vehicle allowed the Guardian Media Group to dodge stamp duty saving itself a mere £600,000. Surely not?

Incidentally, do you think when Cable was Shell’s chief economist, he pestered the board to drop all their tax base narrowing, take reducing, complex corporate tax dodging? Aggression, Guido suspects, has come late to Vince…

Obama Bitterly Disappoints Liberals

The Guardianistas will have to revert to anti-Americanism, the Messiah is a very naughty boy. Sure he is closing Gitmo, but he isn’t going soft on the War on Terror the Networks of Terror Inducers. Fresh from signing the Executive Order barring former lobbyists from joining his Administration, he exempted a Raytheon defence contractor lobbyist, allowing William Lynn to become Deputy Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon – his old customer base. Obama has signed a few Executive Orders which, it is widely reported in the U.S. press, authorise and expand on the policy of extra-ordinary rendition.

He certainly left a few legalistic get-out clauses in the new Executive Orders covering the issue. So if you have no hard evidence that would stand up in court, are squeamish about drowning and electrocution, or too much of a bleeding heart to do old fashioned beating of prisoners yourself, just render them to some foreign dungeon in the back of a CIA contractor’s plane. The military-industrial complex has just had a new makeover.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stat-Porn : 826,606 Pageloads from 626,069 Visits by 137,467 Visitors

Biggest sources of traffic in January from referrals were iaindale.blogspot.com (41,740) followed by telegraph.co.uk (28,785) and the spectator.co.uk (20,552).

The shift off Blogger is being held up by a bug giving difficulty with transferring 200,000 plus comments out of Blogger’s archive. It times out when we try to do it. Any geek ideas welcomed.

Guido would like to thank advertisers who make this all worthwhile – so do buy your flowers online from Marks and Sparks this Valentines. It’ll make Mrs Fawkes happy…

Make Blunkett Happy

David Blunkett is campaigning to return to the cabinet for the use of yellow buses for schools.

Why don’t we just tell him his campaign has won and make the old guy happy?

UPDATE : Well fancy that, Guido only intended to make a jokey comment and the co-conspirators in the comments pointed out he is paid £25,000-year by a bus company. What do you bet they want to get into the yellow school bus market?

Guardian’s Tax Hypocrisy is Ridiculous

The multi-millionaire columnist Polly Toynbee is this morning ranting against tax dodging corporations in the Guardian. The paper has even set up a campaigning website with fancy interactive graphics. According to the their own annual report Guardian Media Group made £306.4 million before tax. Using astute tax planning and legal manipulation of the tax laws; such as the use of an equity owning trust and a Caymans Islands offshore corporation to avoid stamp duty, they managed to only pay get a rebate of £800,000 in tax last year. That is less than they paid the Guardian Media Group’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, she got a package of £827,000 whereas so the media fat cats got paid by HM Revenue Commissioners a mere £800,000 in corporation tax. Unbelievable isn’t it?

Here it is in black and white:

 

GMG P + L

The hypocrisy of the Guardianistas is just beyond satire, they are starting a campaign to get corporations to pay more tax, just like they campaign to undermine private education yet themselves went to private schools, they rail against City bonuses yet pay the editor and CEO hundreds of thousands in bonuses. Media fat cats attacking City fat cats is just laughable. Polly says “it’s time to rattle and bang in protest at this outrage”. Quite. Guido has tried to mention this on the Guardian’s Tax Gap campaign blog to no avail…

UPDATE 11.55 : Richard Brooks from the Guardian’s “Tax Gap” blog emails to say they are going to explain the Guardian Media Group’s situation using the same approach they used on the FTSE 100 corporations. Incidentally, before anyone points it out, this blog is published by an offshore corporation owned by an opaque charitable trust, in a remarkably similar way to the Guardian set-up. However, crucially, this blog takes an editorial line which is hypocrisy free, Guido is opposed to most forms of taxation in principle: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

UPDATE 12.09 : As some have pointed out, that looks like an £800,000 tax rebate, rather than a payment. Even worse. No wonder the Guardian can afford shiny new fancy offices…

UPDATE 16.50 : Note amendments and strike-throughs, also note that the Tax Gap blog has now let Guido’s comments through. They also cite Richard Murphy as a tax expert who approves of GMG’s tax strategies. Richard Murphy is hardly independent, he is a regular writer for the Guardian. The Cayman’s dodge was tax neutral they claim. Except when, in the future, it comes to capital gains tax of course.

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Today is a Dark Day in History

403 years ago on this day in 1606, Guido Fawkes, following months of torture was convicted of treason for his part in the ”Gunpowder Plot” against an oppressive political class and the tyrant King James I, and executed. Now, some four centuries later, it is Guido’s turn to torture politicians…

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lord Truscott and the Heroin Dealer

The above video filmed by the Sunday Times in the St James Hotel’s restaurant is pretty damning for Baron Truscott. The former Labour DTI minister – once a special envoy for Tony Blair – is now a director of oil and mining companies controlled by Frank Timis, a twice convicted heroin dealer.

Truscott is a director of two Timis ventures. One, African Minerals, is active in Sierra Leone, the world’s biggest source of blood diamonds (African Minerals was formerly called the Sierra Leone Diamond Company). In September 2008 the Sunday Times reported that Timis was facing the prospect of a court case over disputed mineral rights. The other company, Eastern Petroleum is involved in oil prospecting in the former Soviet Union.

Truscott is also a director of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, a company involved in oil exploration in northern Iraq, run by Bush/Cheney campaign contributor Todd Kozel. In addition, Truscott works for Gavin Anderson, a PR firm with strong links to the government of Russia and its commercial associate. (See declared interests).

Truscott is like a real life Alan B’stard…

Hutton Fears Pesky Teenagers

John Hutton is visiting a Sixth Form College in his constituency today. He has asked that for a planned question and answer session with some A Level students the questions be submitted beforehand. Obviously even though they’re his constituents one of them could be a bit of a Paxman. Dangerous…

Friday Caption Competition (Fiscal Incontinence Edition)


Seen Elsewhere

Boris is Right About Grammar Schools | Conservative Women
‘Obsolete’ Cable | Speccie
Why are Tories so Upbeat? | Alex Wickham
Clear Public Interest in Newmark Sting | Mirror
Boris Invites Farage to Join Tories | Guardian
RAF Too Run Down to Fight Islamic State | Con Coughlin
Osborne’s Personal Cuts Regime | Quentin Letts
Whoever Wins is Cursed | Janan Ganesh
Dave Will Never Be Forgiven if Ed Becomes PM | Trevor Kavanagh
What is Dave’s Big Message? | Tim Montgomerie
Voting UKIP Only Helps Ed | Boris


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Mark Reckless told UKIP…

“We are more than a star on someone else’s flag.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


Tip off Guido
Web Guido's Archives

Subscribe me to:






RSS


AddThis Feed Button
Archive


Labels
Guido Reads
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,477 other followers