What’s strange, is the Daily Mail has always been keen to lead the charge on tax avoidance allegations cited against non-conservative politicians. We recall this front page assault on Ed Miliband in February 2015.
But wait. Just a week ago, the same Daily Mail Comment section was calling for a crackdown on Cameron:
Apparently, David Cameron is only allowed to be criticised by the Daily Mail, or else it constitutes a witch hunt. Or perhaps there is another reason for this sudden about-face in the wake of public outcry. A look at the tax status of Mail owners, the Rothermere family, reveals another motive. As the Guardianreports:
A Lady Rothermere trust is recorded in Jersey. It appears to refer to the late Lord Rothermere’s second wife, Maiko Lee, of Korean nationality. She did not respond to our invitations to comment. Rothermere’s son Jonathan by his first wife inherited the Daily Mail, also through a Jersey trust, and a Bermuda-registered offshore entity. Jonathan is estimated to be worth £760m. He has not denied claiming tax concessions as a “non-dom”, on the grounds that his father lived in Paris. He resides at Ferne Park, a stately home in Wiltshire built for him by architect Quinlan Terry.
In fairness, it’s not just the Mail which has come to the hysterical defence of Mr Cameron’s right to avoid taxes. They faced tough competition from LBC radio and The Telegraph.
LBC came under fire for this bizarre tweet calling on Jeremy Corbyn to resign over the tax affairs of David Cameron:
Jeremy Corbyn says PM should come clean over family finances after Panama leak. Should Corbyn resign over this call? pic.twitter.com/3cqrL44kUM
Further research revealed that the owners of LBC are in the hot seat over tax avoidance themselves. As Corporate Watch pointed out way back in 2013:
This is Global, the UK’s biggest commercial radio company with stations including Heart, Capital and Classic FM, has not paid any UK corporation tax in the last five years, after sending more than £200 million through tax havens, an investigation by Corporate Watch, revealed in the Sunday Times today, has found. The company also owns Xfm, Choice, Gold and LBC and manages bands including The Wanted and Lawson through its Global Talent business.
You often hear of people being “trapped in poverty”, but it is also possible to be trapped in wealth. This is David Cameron’s fate.
It should come as no surprise by this point to hear that the billionaire owners of The Telegraph, the Barclay brothers, are also infamous tax dodgers. Furthermore, former leading Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne resigned in acrimony last year after the brothers prevented writers reporting the banking scandals of HSBC, in order to protect advertising revenues from the bank.
Therein lies the rub. How can newspapers owned by people with a vested interest in maintaining an unfair and rigged tax system, possibly be a part of exposing that system? Answers on a postcard.
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