By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
The main thing I’ve noticed since the Panama papers were released has been the defensive reaction by various Tory MPs. It appears it’s ok to chase down “low achievers” who have been leeching off the state, but when the shoe is on the other foot, it is a disgrace.
The anger shown by some of them during various TV interviews has been comical; show me yours, but I’ll not show you mine appears to be the approach. Personally I’m quite relaxed about letting “high achievers” leave office if we start asking where their wealth is kept/hidden, most of us low achievers probably are.
So it was reasonable that Corbyn used his questions today to clear up the murky waters, lapping against the beaches, of various British overseas protectorates.
He told the PM that he had personally paid more tax than some of his friend’s companies have forked out for. On a totally different subject the Chancellor was not in the chamber today, and was categorically not stuffing as many rolls of posh wallpaper into the boot of his ministerial car, as he flees to the border.
The PM seemed to think that Corbyn filling in his tax return late, which to be fair gave an extra £100 into the Government coffers, was worse than profiting from your own father’s shady offshore investment fund, while at the same time laying into sharp witted comedians who do that same. I’m not sure many will agree.
Angus Roberston, SNP, who is generally only useful for curing my insomnia, made a good point on the matter. Why was there 3,000 staff employed to chase the poorest in society, who may be fiddling their benefits, and only 300 chasing people who think they don’t have to pay taxes at all.
The PM said we need to “look carefully” at this, which is one of his phrases he uses when he knows he is completely in the wrong.
It happened again when Caroline Lucas wondered why Mossack Fonseca’s offices in Panama have been raided but the London office has been left to shred as many documents as possible. The PM said she “makes an important point.”
The fact we have been forced to look carefully at Cameron’s tax returns makes an important point about the people who are supposed to serve us and not themselves.
Sycophantic question of the day
Nigel Huddleston, Con, asked the PM to come and visit him for Asparafest, a celebration of ALL things asparagus, and would he meet “Gus the Asparagus man.” The difference between Gus and the PM is one sours the urine; the other takes the piss.
Osborne and Little.