Home ‘Boris Johnson’s Government ROTTEN TO THE CORE With Corruption!’- Prof. Richard Murphy

‘Boris Johnson’s Government ROTTEN TO THE CORE With Corruption!’- Prof. Richard Murphy

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welcome back while increasing numbers have been finding it difficult to feed themselves in the uk and us during the global coronavirus pandemic some have been raking in the cache as here in britain 130 000 have been killed by covet how so joining me now from cambridgeshire is the co-founder of the tax justice network and tax research uk director professor richard murphy thanks so much richard for uh coming on so we we know that there was this scandal over the weekend about prime minister boris johnson exempting himself from isolation uh we’ve got uh the health secretary obviously uh with covid and we got a lot of stuff at the moment about the former prime minister david cameron’s lobbying allegations how corrupt has the johnson government’s response to coronavirus been in your estimation oh look until this government came along i had never dared call a uk government corrupt i’d always presume that was a pretty unwise thing to do because it was going to be pretty risky with regard to the libel courts and frankly i don’t think anyone has any concern about calling this government corrupt now because the evidence is overwhelming that this government is pursuing its business in a fashion that is corrupt it is favoring its own ministers on some occasions with contracts you know matt hancock got a contract from his own department from which he benefited something which by any reasonable definition of corruption and i’ve been involved in anti-corruption campaigning in some ways for two decades anyone would say is unacceptable we see former ministers lobbying in ways that frankly would be unacceptable in many countries we see boris johnson frankly distorting the truth telling lies bluntly without apparently any concern knowing that he’ll be found out and appearing to be indifferent to the consequences so this is a government that is in my opinion absolutely rotten to the core but has absolutely no shred of credibility and which is bluntly pursuing policies now which show that it is completely indifferent to the well-being of the people of the uk they are playing games with people in this country putting their lives at risk putting the lives of young people in particular at risk damn it my children my late teens and early 20 children at risk because they’re not fully vaccinated because it wants to do something which is utterly reckless in terms of the kovic policy i i find it hard to contain my anger with regard to this government because i think any reasonable person should be angry with this government well as you know boris johnson denies not only the dominant comings his top advisors allegations disgraced former health secretary matt hancock after allegations about his mistress and lobbying denies all uh wrongdoing as does the former prime minister on the former prime minister we’ve got a we’ve got a treasury committee saying he did absolutely nothing wrong sending messages to uh ministers after uh leaving the house of parliament uh it seems on behalf of um green silk capital which made loans of 350 million to liberty steel which employs 3000 workers i mean why would the treasury committee itself say uh you know cameron is innocent this isn’t corruption he’s been cleared well i’d beg to differ with the treasury committee um why would the treasury committee do this well a because it has a conservative party majority frankly to our parliament all parliamentarians know that there is nothing they can do to challenge a government with an atc majority however elected by a minority of people in the uk we must always remember that this is the consequence of having a first-past-the-post electoral system in the uk which is simply unfit for purpose we give a government like this one a massive majority which lets it exonerate itself from blame for what it’s done and exonerate previous prime ministers for blame for what they’ve done applies the official whitewash to their actions but which actually is basically representing a minority of people okay it’s a minority but as you know polls show boris johnson more popular than ever and uh that’s after we heard that the sleaze watchdog is going to have one of his old bullingdon friends on the bullingdon club famous for um well the allegations are they used to burn 50 pound notes in front of uh homeless people what was your reaction to that sir alastair graham chair of the committee for uh standards in public life says it’s pathetic and inappropriate it is i mean what else can i say it’s pathetic and inappropriate we report we’re appointing a chum a person who has let’s be honest been a member of an organization which clearly um works on the basis of deep bias within society the bullying club was set up to celebrate privilege and frankly the abuse that privilege provides the opportunity to deliver and now is apparently being appointed to look at sleaze in society i do not think that is a clear and objective appointment that an impartial observer would think was fair and appropriate so i will use those measured words if i can to describe this appointment but it is clearly not appropriate and this is the whole thing that we’re seeing we’re seeing the capture of the processes of government by okay a party that is still the most popular in the uk but which does not reflect the majority interest now my suggestion is that we’re going to see also a significant change in its popularity the conservative party in the uk is never going to probably enjoy support of less than 30 of the electorate that just seems to be its hardcore support and that would never give it a majority in parliament once we see the current covert crisis develop and you’ve only got to read the sensible epidemiologists who are in existence in the uk the people on independence age for example look at their forecasts and caveat all forecasts i mean i’m used to looking at forecasts and statistical data and i know that a forecast is not a certainty but look at all the range of forecasts and what we’re seeing is there are going to be hundreds of thousands of people getting coded every day we’re going to see a significant rise in hospitalization we are going to see a lot of people die over the course of the rest of this year almost certainly within weeks we are going to see the country back in lockdown again because that is the only way we will be well okay i mean you know you’re not an epidemiologist but apparently that’s good for the economy well apparently so but my point is that once all those things happen once these reverses happen once johnson is found out on the most core absolute promise he made it’s over lockdown has finished we’ve got freedom i think we’re going to see a significant change in this popularity every government comes to the point where it’s luck runs out okay all right we’ll have to wait and see because some people are going to say that actually starmer who hasn’t really opposed this government time and time again that’s the opposition for our international viewers and actually between starmar and johnson they might have a majority even on first past the postman well they might i mean but let’s come to stammer then i mean you know i’m critical of stammer i don’t see why i shouldn’t be like many i really would like to know what the leader of the opposition is doing because he doesn’t appear to be opposing the government as effectively as he should and he might like to read the job title it is leader of the opposition which requires that he actually stand up and oppose now boris johnson likes to claim that that’s unpatriotic um to oppose the government but actually when this government is clearly failing starman should be offering alternatives offering alternatives with regard to this core issue of coded but offering an alternative vision of the society that we want in the uk one where there are decent public services where they’re properly funded where taxation is fair and when for example at this very moment there’s discussion on social care how to fund care for the elderly in the uk and the proposal that we’re hearing from the government is that this may well be an extra tax on those who are poorest in the uk economy and those who are youngest if inciting as this government so often does tensions between the haves the elderly by and large are the hats in the uk economy and the have-nots the young and inciting friction between the rich and the poor we should at this very moment be actually imposing taxes on wealth in the uk obviously i mean i’m sure those in the elites watching this will say jeremy corbyn did offer that and it was rejected at the ballot box but let’s go to our international viewers i don’t know what you’re going to say to that because there was an election the international viewers especially the rich ones watching why do you think britain is one of the greatest tax havens uh in the world now that’s something to be proud of surely look i’ve written two books on tax havens and i’ve offered this opinion that britain is now one of the biggest tax havens in the world and i will give you the explanation in a few numbers there are 4.7 million companies in the uk we can’t explain why a population of our size needs so many companies the tax authorities only ask for tax returns from two million or serve those companies under half of them the rest say we are not trading please do not trouble us by asking for a tax return and in the uk we say yeah that’s all right we won’t ask you for information of the ones that do submit information a significant number say they have no profits and the number of investigations is tiny so if you want to set up a company somewhere which is not going to make disclosure come to the uk pay 15 pounds for your company sign no physical documents to do so provide no proof of identity which you would have to do so in any of the recognized tax savings in the world form your company let it trade for a while and then get rid of it and literally companies house in the uk will get rid of your company on payment of 10 pounds and a declaration that is never traded whether that is true or not so this is the place which provides the greatest opportunity for tax cheats in the world now we should be deeply ashamed of that and apparently we’re not i don’t understand why we want to undermine our own economy by providing the opportunity for tax cheats to thrive within it and to provide the people of many other countries who want to cheat taxes in their own countries the opportunity to do so but frankly it is easier to form a company it is easier to cheat taxes if that’s your goal using a uk company now than a company new jersey guernsey island man cayman british virgin items almost wherever you like to know okay this isn’t an advert for dax havens for the rich i was joking joking about that but um and i mean even covet vaccine companies moderner apparently is uh going to switzerland and delaware we were presenting it as if britain is a new delaware but against all this joe biden after all is going for this global corporate tax rate surely you are celebrating that uh janet yellen announcing the global minimum corporation tax um or or will it just encourage companies to go to countries uh that don’t have it i i do celebrate this deal is it perfect no is it better than anything i could have imagined seven or so months ago when you might remember we had a president trump in the white house this was going to be impossible at that time now we’re talking about the possibility of actually having a u.s led but international coalition of 130 nation states agreeing to set up a minimum global tax rate at 15 now there are caveats the caveats are only applied to some very large companies it um is going to by and large pay the additional taxes to countries like the usa and the uk and not to the developed countries of the world that may well need that money more than the uk and the usa do right now particularly the time when they are under covered stress as well and the measures in this deal to tackle the big tech companies look to be pretty half-hearted but it’s better than no deal in terms of moral leadership biden is providing some here so i’ve got to congratulate him on that i’ve got to say that this is a step in the right direction there are big flaws one of the very big flaws in this is that it is dependent upon the quality of the accounting information provided by these companies and i am a professional chartered accountant amongst the various roles i play and i am well aware of the games that my profession plays and the opportunities that they take to manipulate numbers to suit their purposes shall i put it like that and this could be a game that is now going to be played that companies will be restating and reorientating the way in which they provide data in their accounts to try to avoid the tax bills that they should be owing i’m worried about that there is still campaigning to do the uh the door is not closed on this deal as yet so there could be reform and i’m certainly going to be putting quite a lot of effort in seeing whether we can improve it between now and october when the opportunity closes professor richard murphy thank you and that’s it for the show we’ll be back on saturday two years to the day since boris johnson became the prime minister of the uk following the resignation of theresa may the second consecutive resignation of the uk prime minister in the past of five years after she failed to deliver brexit until then keep you touched via social media and let us know if you think there needs to be a stronger crackdown on tax havens thanks for watching this going underground interview don’t forget to leave a like and subscribe to the channel with notifications on to never miss an interview now it’s your turn tell us what you think by commenting below and getting in touch via our social media see you next time all the solid melts into air


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‘Boris Johnson’s Government ROTTEN TO THE CORE With Corruption!’- Prof. Richard Murphy
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