Need advice about offshore tax dodgers? Better talk to Tony first, Ed. He’s earned more than any British PM in history. Come to think of it: he’s probably made more than all of them put together.
I like the Mail headline the most: ‘Insatiable greed of Blair Inc: In the week he pledged £106,000 to Labour, a devastating book pierces the wall of secrecy around Blair’s murky – and morally dubious – money-making empire.’
Look, Ed — none of us, Tory or not, have a problem with people paying their fair share of tax from money earned in Britain. The reason we’ve (Labour or Tory) not made money earned abroad taxable is because there are double-tax treaties, benefiting Britain (now, why don’t you get rid of those Ed, since you’re busy showing how tough you are?).
If you want to be a hardnosed socialist and start a real class war, what about Blair’s offshore companies? Why aren’t you planning to make those illegal?
Ed, I wish I could force every non-dom to stay in Britain whilst I tax them on their global income. Seriously, they’re not mates of mine, or donors of mine. But you know what the problem is, Ed? In making this policy, as some of these rich people will leave Britain, we may net-net be worse off from a tax perspective. Of course, Labour have never worried about making Britain worse off, as long as the class war is alive and well – and yes, Ed, we do recall the 1970s.
By the way: I now get why Tony got rid of clause 4. Here’s a reminder, Ed, in case you forgot, of what clause 4 of the Labour constitution says: ‘To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.’
You see, I’d have no problem if you planned to tax the rich until the pips squeaked, so you could just plain give the money to the workers – at least you’d be true to your ethos. But that’s not what you, the Party of 2-Jags Prescott, wants. What you want is to create the illusion that there is a class war going on in Britain. What you want is to crawl into number 10 on the coat tails of the SNP. But once you’re in you’ll just keep the money to yourself, just as Blair has shown us.
What worries me about you, Ed, is that at least the last Labour Party was ‘New’ – you know, Tory-light, pro-business (I mean, look at its Messiah). But you, Ed, you remind me of the Labour Government before that one – yes, the 1974-1979 one – and it’s funny to think, that that really was the last time, before Tony’s arrival, that the British people trusted you (it takes a generation to forget, clearly). And I just don’t like Labour class wars.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge Tony his wealth. His office is next to my Hedge Fund – yes, you know, those Mayfair Hedge Funds you dislike (you really should do your research, Ed), and he’s a good neighbour. In fact, I admire his business acumen. Then again, I don’t hate the rich… I hope to be as rich as Tony one day – and yes, Tony, a Labour donor, is richer than a Mayfair Hedge Fund manager. I just won’t pretend to be a socialist when I am that rich. By the way: when is Tony going to out himself as Tory?
The Tories, because they actually work with employers, entrepreneurs, understand you have to balance the tax with attracting the people to the country. The thing about rich people in Britain is, they don’t use our benefits. Yes, they use our health care – but guess what – private healthcare. They use our roads (well, their chauffeurs do) and they pay… road tax; they employ our people (the bloody cheek), shop in our stores (okay, Harrods anyway, which surprisingly pays corporation tax in the UK!), and when they pay even a tiny proportion of their money in tax, it’s still a heck of a lot more than you or I do, Ed, and probably more than Tony, too – so I’d just as soon not get rid of them. You see Ed, you don’t get business, the wealth creators, and how money is made – you do get class warfare though. That’s why sooner, or later, you will mess up the economy.
So Ed, let me leave you with this: don’t simply stop at non-dom status! Just ban rich people generally – that’ll get you the vote of the good working classes. By the way, I’m working class. We businessmen, we work, too, you know.
Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.