Just How Posh is Stella?


Yesterday Stella Creasy tweeted at Guido that there was “no Downton Abbey in my family“. This is despite the best efforts of her father, an opera singer, pictured above looking very fetching in his powdered wig. Her mother’s side of the family is a different story – the sort that makes Downton look like Keeping Up Appearances.

Stella’s mum is Corinna Frances Avril Martin, the daughter of Sheelagh Vereker. Vereker was the fifth child of Lt. Colonel John Cayzer Medlicott Vereker. The name “Cayzer” comes from his mother, Mary Agnes Cayzer – a member of the almost incalculably wealthy Cayzer family. The Cayzers hold a Baronetcy, making Stella a cousin of the sixth Baron Cayzer. Mary Agnes was married to John Medlicott Vereker, who was the son of John Prendergast Vereker, who was the son of the third Viscount Gort – a noble lineage that began in the town of Gort, County Galway.  At the end of the seventeenth century the local Ó Seachnasaigh* clan’s lands were confiscated and granted to the English Sir Thomas Prendergast, first Baronet, whose grandson was John Prendergast Smyth, first Viscount Gort. In 1831 the town had a population of 3,627, the famine in Gort of the mid-1840s saw a quarter of them die. Understandably the family moved away from Ireland when it became a free state, and the current Viscount – Stella’s distant cousin – resides in the tax haven of the Isle of Man.

Stella is the fourth parliamentarian in her family. The third Viscount Gort represented the constituency of Limerick, as did his father, and his father before him. Politics is in her posh blue blood…


European Commission Hates Tax Competition

apple-jobs x540

Apple has been in Ireland for 36 years, pictured above is Steve Jobs at the opening of Apple’s Cork campus in 1980. The idea that Apple Ireland is some kind of boilerplate operation is nonsense, it employs some 6,000 staff. The Irish Development Agency estimates a further 18,000 jobs depend on Apple, it adds many millions to the Irish treasury every year. When it completes the €850 million Athenry data centre Apple’s investments in Ireland will total over a billion euros. 

Ireland wins foreign investment for three reasons; the highly educated, young, English speaking workforce, the pro-business, low-tax environment and that it is an entrepot to Europe. The European Commission despises the high-growth, low tax competitor on the periphery of the European Union. Ireland knows that it is the trump card played to foreign investors. Instead of competing, the EC wants to snuff out the low tax competitor.

Apple's Cork Campus

Officials in Brussels have long complained about Ireland’s tax competition, that Twitter, Google, Apple and other US tech giants prefer to put their European HQs in Dublin rather than on the continent. Only Luxembourg competes on tax (e.g. Amazon, Guardian Media Group and AOL/Huffington Post). So far Guido has not noticed the Commission going after Juncker’s homeland…

Apple itself argues

The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process. The opinion issued on August 30th alleges that Ireland gave Apple a special deal on our taxes. This claim has no basis in fact or in law. We never asked for, nor did we receive, any special deals. We now find ourselves in the unusual position of being ordered to retroactively pay additional taxes to a government that says we don’t owe them any more than we’ve already paid.

The Commission’s move is unprecedented and it has serious, wide-reaching implications. It is effectively proposing to replace Irish tax laws with a view of what the Commission thinks the law should have been. This would strike a devastating blow to the sovereignty of EU member states over their own tax matters, and to the principle of certainty of law in Europe. Ireland has said they plan to appeal the Commission’s ruling and Apple will do the same. We are confident that the Commission’s order will be reversed.

In 2009 the Commission during the Lisbon II Treaty referendum guaranteed not to interfere in Ireland’s tax affairs. The EU has no tax competency, so it is instead using competition policy to extend its reach and claiming that this is “illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. Ireland must now recover the illegal aid.” In fact all businesses in Apples circumstances are treated the same under Irish tax law. This ain’t over…

EU Ruling Against Ireland Will Boost Chances of Irexit


The European Commission is expected to levy a judgment against Apple soon that could total in the billions of euros. This is as a result of Apple domiciling in Ireland and benefiting from its competitive tax regime. Essentially the Commission is seeking to undermine Ireland’s low tax policy which attracts multi-nationals to the Western periphery of Europe. As one minister told the Irish Times: “They are trying to make us tax Apple for stuff that doesn’t happen here. It’s nonsense.” They come for the tax regime and find a young, highly-educated workforce with a can-do attitude….

“We don’t believe we gave any state aid to Apple,” Eoghan Murphy, junior finance minister, told broadcaster RTE, “It’s in the national interest that we defend our international reputation in this regard.” Precisely. The bloated high tax states are going to attempt to hobble low tax Ireland with the handicaps that they have given to enterprises in their own countries. Most mainstream politicians of all parties are committed to Ireland being, in the words of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, “the best little place to do business in the world”. The Commission is undermining that competitive advantage. The right-of-centre pro-business parties are going to fight this ruling, the left-of-centre parties were angry earlier this summer because the Commission overruled the Dáil (parliament) on water charges – forcing the state to charge for water supply which was hitherto delivered free to homes. EU law having primacy over laws made by Ireland’s lawmakers.  is looking more appealing to all sides…

Ireland’s contribution to the EU is rising by €380 million this year because its GDP is surging as the economy rebounds. Ireland is a net contributor to the EU budget after decades of being a net beneficiary. Ireland’s EU burden share will increase post-Brexit as the EU loses the second biggest net-contributor. This will change the debate, particularly as Dublin watches Ireland’s biggest trading partner Britain continue to thrive outside the EU…

Watchdog Slams IMF’s Complacency, Lack of Transparency and EU Groupthink


A damning report by IMF watchdog the Independent Evaluation Office has slammed a “culture of complacency” in Christine Lagarde’s organisation. Focusing on the IMF’s response to the Eurozone crisis, the report claims that the Fund was riven with “issues of accountability and transparency”, claiming Lagarde and senior management established “small, ad hoc staff task forces” to plan for the possibility of bailouts, rather than holding executive board meetings. The report slams the “lack of board involvement”, with management failing to discuss – sometimes despite direct requests – issues around the unfolding crisis. Preparations made by management lacked “analytical depth, rigor, or specificity”. Most damning of all, however, is the IMF’s “groupthink” and unquestioning links to European policy – particularly their irrational fervour for the Euro. The report concludes:

“At the euro area level, IMF staff’s position was often too close to the official line of European officials, and the IMF lost effectiveness as an independent assessor.”

So much for that independent report, eh Remainers?

“Government Sachs” Hires EU’s Barroso


Goldman Sachs has continued hugging the EU commission tight, after financing the anti-Brexit Remain campaign and spending millions lobbying Brussels, the aggressive Wall Street firm remains careful to keep in with the Eurocrats. Known as “Government Sachs” by those who mock the firm’s habit of hiring and providing US government officials, it is clinging tight to the EU bureaucracy post-Brexit. It has hired the former head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso to be an advisor and non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International. These kind of hires provide lucrative connections to power and come to be very profitable in times of political crisis…

In September 2008 Peter Sutherland, also a former Irish EU commissioner, was Chairman of Goldman Sachs International when he strongly advised the naively led Irish government to buy up bank bond debts at the Irish taxpayer’s expense, for a total cost of some €85 billion or 37% of GDP, the highest per capita cost of the credit crisis in Europe. Sutherland’s advice will have saved Goldman Sachs billions in losses on the firm’s bond holdings. It will take the Irish people generations to pay off the debts Goldman Sachs advised their politicians to take on…

Irish Election: Enda’s “Long Term Economic Plan™”

The Irish parliament Dáil Éireann has been dissolved and the election is scheduled for February 26.  Enda Kenny’s centre-right Fine Gael party is running on a familiar platform. Central to it is their Long Term Economic Plan™…


Fine Gael in coalition with the Labour Party has implemented an austerity programme which saw year-on-year, double-digit real-terms cuts to spending.  If they get re-elected – polls have them clear ahead – it will be on the back of the fastest growing economy in Europe. George Osborne likes to say that those who criticise him for not cutting spending “don’t have to get re-elected”. Enda is about to test the idea that in fact you can cut spending, cut the deficit, keep taxes low and get re-elected…

Ireland To Decriminalise Drugs


Guid O’Fawkes is pleased to report that the Ireland is to decriminalise drugs for personal use. From 2016 the possession of small quantities of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, will no longer be a criminal offence. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the chief of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy, has spoken of the need for a ‘radical cultural shift’ in how drug use is viewed. Ahh, the green, green grass of home…

Owen Jones: Lie-RA

Fresh from telling the Sinn Fein summer school to “take inspiration” from the Easter Rising, in which 466 died and 2,217 civilians were wounded, Owen Jones, under criticism on Twitter, claimed to his critics: “I vehemently oppose all IRA violence and have never expressed any support for it”.

“Never”? Oh really?

Actually the truth is that Owen was an IRA supporter and once wrote

“I militarily support the IRA against the British State”

Owen, who supports votes for 16 year olds, now says:

Owen describes his former ramblings as “stupidity”.  At what age exactly did he stop supporting IRA/Sinn Fein? He was at their summer school last month…

UPDATE: Turns out Owen was sweet sixteen when he supported IRA/Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein Should “Take Inspiration” From Armed Uprising

First Corbyn hosted Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in parliament, now Red Jez’s number one media cheerleader has taken some time off from the campaign to attend Sinn Fein’s “Summer School”. According to Sinn Fein/IRA party newspaper An Phoblacht, OJ told a Shinners panel discussion in Cork that Sinn Fein are “social progressives” and that they should “take inspiration” from the Easter Rising.[…]


Irish Billionaire Injuncting Media Over Loan Revelations

denis-obrien-dail-report Injunctions gained today make it harder for anyone in Ireland to find out about the scandal swirling around the politically connected Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien. He seemingly managed to obtain loans at a bargain rate of 1.25% from IBRC – the nationalised remnant of the bust Anglo-Irish Bank – saving himself tens of millions in interest payments annually on the prevailing 7.5% commercial interest rate.[…]


10 Reasons to Re-Non-Domicile in Ireland if Red Ed Wins in May

Non-doms, hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and investors are still welcome in Ireland:

  1. Only income from Irish sources is taxable in Ireland.
  2. Income from UK or foreign sources is only taxable to the extent of amounts remitted (brought into) Ireland.
  3. Remittances of capital are not subject to Irish income tax – income earned at a time when the individual was not resident in Ireland would be treated as capital in nature and therefore not subject to income tax here when brought (remitted) to Ireland.


Happy St Patrick’s Day From Guido and Tony Abbott

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh![…]


NHS Used to Lure US Tech Firms to Britain

us tech companies

The government is trying to attract US tech companies to the UK by tempting them with the prospect of being treated on the NHS as part of the “expat experience”. Alongside access to free healthcare, US companies who take advantage of the UK Trade & Investment’s HQ-UK project are being offered exclusive perks such 24 hour processing for visa applications, a complete concierge service to manage the transition of the company and a relationship manager to help newly-arrived firms get connected.[…]


No Sun, No Comment


Well done to the FT’s Chris Giles, George Parker and Vincent Boland for the front page confirmation today of Guido’s story from back in October about the Tory offer to the Northern Irish unionists on corporation tax. As Guido’s readers in The Sun and here already know, the Tories have promised a deal on business taxes to allow Northern Ireland to compete with the Republic’s lower taxes.[…]


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Guido is off with the kids to the parade in Waterford.

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh![…]


Ireland Voting to Abolish Second Chamber

ABOLISH-SEANADToday Ireland is voting in a referendum to abolish the Seanad – the second chamber of parliament which costs some €20 million a year to provide a sinecure for recycled politicians who have been kicked out of the properly elected chamber by the voters.  […]


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