Pictured above: Richard Murphy of the Tax Justice Network, who some suspect may actually be the latest incarnation of the devil himself. Either way, you want to at least listen to what he has to say
Whilst the States (quite rightly) make a fuss about the appointment of Senator Cohen as the island's new 'Minister of Foreign Affairs' (only not quite) there is another Minister who has been working very quietly behind the scenes, in an extra-parliamentary capacity. Meet Real Truthseeker, who heads up Jersey's online propaganda wing, the Ministry of Truth.
Regular readers of the comments pages on thisisjersey.com (when they allow comments, that is - not on all stories) will be familiar with Real Truthseeker. He has been on the pay-roll for a while now. He was first brought in to deal with the subversive comments of 'Truth seeker', who also sought the truth, but it was deemed that the kind of Truth she was uncovering was dangerous. So RTS was appointed to weedle out any dangerous thoughts that were appearing with increasing frequency on the walls of Jersey's comments pages.
Real Truthseeker has been appointed extra-parliamentary assistant Minister with
special responsibility for thought crime and anti-patriotic behaviour
What seemed to have put the cat amongst the pigeons was my invitation to a political meeting on 24th January which read:
'I invite all those who are interested in discussing an ‘alternative’ model for Jersey, rather than the failed and morally bankrupt policies of 0-10% and GST to attend Hautlieu School at 7pm on Monday 24th January to listen to tax expert Richard Murphy, who gives advice to the UK government on tax issues. Those with a reasonable open mind should find it most illuminating.'
As readers will imagine, due to a lack of time and sometimes inclination, I am not wont to following the various troll-ridden soap boxes and propaganda dens of virtual Jersey society. Save for the occasional blog, I prefer to do all my communication in person and engage face-to-face if there is a difference of opinion. However, RTS prefers to do his cleansing work under a veil of anonymity. Because of this, he allows himself, on occasion, to forget his station and let's slip the venom that really shows his true colours. This is because RTS, like the Jason the Mavericks that preceeded him, are essentially facists.
Here is one comment that he left:
'We should bring back treason for those who actively go against the economic benefit of Jersey... People who live in Jersey opposed to this shoudl (sic) be hung, quartered and drawn.'
What is noteworthy in his comments, apart from the authoritarian temper when someone dares to disagree with him (something that is a hallmark of the extreme right) is the way he talks of the 'economic benefit of Jersey. The usual trap is that he talks of Jersey homogenously, firstly as if Jersey is the finance industry and vice-versa. He also forgets that there are those whom the finance industry (again something which we should not really talk about homogenously) benefits more than others.
Response to comments on www.thisisjersey.com
First of all to answer whether or not TJN and Richard Murphy have given advice to the UK government, this can be confirmed by the most perfunctory of internet searches:
A letter in the Wall Street Journal states: 'Critics of tax arbitrage are blunt about it. "This is just a complete and utter construct to get around the rules at both ends," says Richard Murphy, an accountant and professor who works with a London
nonprofit called Tax Justice Network and has consulted for the U.K. government on financing.
Many comments we have seen here are the usual vilifying of anyone who dares even to ask questions or who suggests listening to other voices (not officially endorsed by the Ozouf Party) on what is going to be Jersey's major problem in coming years and decades.
To say that I am anti-finance, someone who runs a small business that serves predominantly finance companies, is complete twaddle. But like it or not there are facts must be faced:
1 -The world of off-shore is precarious.
2- Zero-Ten is a failure and was doomed to fail from the outset, because it contravened the 'spirit' of the rules from the EU. It was on the watch of Ozouf, Walker, Horsfall et al that this travesty was allowed to happen. And it is a myth that it was the only way forward. Guernsey, with the power of hindsight are starting to be more pro-active and looking at options such as 10-10. Jersey, meanwhile with its unimaginative leaders, prevaricates.
Meanwhile, ordinary residents in Jersey are made to foot the bill in the form of a variety of increased taxes for the failed domestic tax policy of the Ozouf/Le Sueur Government (and its predecessors).
3 - It is not going to be a socialist revolution, nor even any socialist ideals that bring the impending changes to offshore, including Jersey. Rather, we are already seeing pressure from outside. This is coming from a right-wing coalition in the UK, who facing their own austerity, and increased anger form their own tax-payers over non-doms and 'fiscal leakage' are now putting direct pressure on the Crown Dependencies. The same can be seen world-wide.
As a responsible representative of the people of Jersey, it is imperative that I make sure we and our leaders do not bury their heads in the sand, but rather face the challenges head on with all the information we can to negotiate the best outcome for us in the uncertain times that are to come.
Though I have never met Mr Murphy, clearly I do not share the opinion that he is an enemy of Jersey. He certainly seems to have his enemies here, but I would echo the remarks that the more balanced commentators have made: come along on 24th and listen. Until then keep an open mind. I know I do.