“Is an effective tax rate of three per cent right or wrong?,” asked Jeremy Corbyn. It sounds about right to me. However, there will understandably be backchat from those of us who pay rather more than this, when Google are allowed to get away with paying such a modest amount of tax. This should have been Jeremy Corbyn’s week.
Corbyn asked a question on behalf of Jeff – who would like to join a scheme like Google’s. But Dave was in “pumped up” mode. He attacked the last Labour Government. “If like me he’s genuinely angry about what happened to Google under Labour, I can I tell him a few people he could call. Maybe he should start by calling Tony Blair – at JP Morgan. He could call Gordon Brown – apparently you can get him at a Californian bond dealer called Pimco. He could call Alistair Darling – I thinks he’s at Morgan Stanley, although it’s hard to keep up. Those are the people to blame for Google not paying their taxes.”
How Corbyn must have longed to say: “Tell me about it! Those New Labour bastards…” But perhaps he felt Party unity was already a little frayed…
Cameron then got a bit too pumped up and denounced Corbyn for “telling a bunch of migrants in Calais they could all come to Britain.” Had Corbyn got his wits about him he could have challenged that tone as rather unsympathetic. Instead Corbyn droned: “No answers on Google, no answers on Jeff…”
Often we hear the complaint that Prime Minister’s Questions is too rough and tough. On the contrary, much of the half hour is taken up with virtue signalling. Backbench MPs come up the blandest and worthiest of sentiments masquerading as “questions” so they can send a press release to their local paper pointing out how committed they are. This insufferable prissiness should be prohibited. Continue reading