+++ Developing +++
In December the SNP in Glenrothes applied to the sheriff court to obtain a copy of the marked electoral register—on which officials in polling stations score out voters as they register to vote. It is the official record of who presented themselves to vote.
Candidates and their agents are allowed to see a copy of the register, which records only who voted and not how they voted.
However, after repeated requests for the document last month, Councillor John Beare, the convener of the SNP Central Fife constituency, has been told that it has gone missing.
Mike Smithson over at PoliticalBetting.com remarks that the “startling thing about Glenrothes was the massive increase in postal votes compared with the general election – up four-fold if I recall correctly. It all sounds fishy.” Quite.
“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…
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.
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…
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?
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.
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…
How Avoidable Scandals Destroy Stupid Politicians | Alex Wickham
UKIP Mosque Confusion | The Week
Let’s Ban the Word Internet | Padraig Reidy
Are the Broadcasters Ready For the Election? | Specccie
Moral Bankruptcy of the BBC | David Keighley
UKIP’s ‘Starsky and Hutch’ | Total Politics
Innocent Sun Journo Just Doing Her Job | Sun
Boris Sent Up North | Times
The Only Way to Mend the EU | Leo McKinstry
Northern Labour Tearing Party Apart | David Aaronovitch
Osborne is Son of Brown | Peter Oborne
Tony Blair threatens Ed:
“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority… If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”