There Is Shouting…
When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.–Proverbs 11:10, King James Version
The New York Review of Books recently published a piece by Grauniad editor Alan Rusbridger, wherein Rusbridger tells US readers of the “chilling effect” of Britain’s libel laws.
What the reliably shifty ex-gossip driveller (or ‘The Pooter of the Piano’ as he’s known in musical circles) fails to mention is his own newspaper’s craven surrender to the billionaire and convicted fraudster, Nadhmi Auchi:
The best example of the press running scared of plutocrats is the case of Nadhmi Auchi. One newspaper group’s lawyers pulled from the web articles that explored the Iraqi-born billionaire’s shady past in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and his conviction for fraud in France.
They went behind the back of reporters and told Carter Fuck (Libel vultures Carter-Ruck) that their colleagues’ journalism was inaccurate, allegations the National Union of Journalists strongly disputes.
Readers of the New York Review of Books would have loved to hear more because, as the Eye has reported, Auchi was the business partner of Barack Obama’s buddy Tony Rezko, now in a Chicago prison for fraud, and a fundraiser for Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, impeached last month on corruption charges.
But not a word about his links to Chicago operators appeared in the papers of our cowering British newspaper group, however, because its lawyers have now banned reporters from writing about Auchi.
— Private Eye, No.1230
…and the name of that newspaper group? Well, you must be psychic…The Guardian&Observer, editor-in-chief, one A. Rusbridger.
If further evidence of Rusbridger’s chronic disingenuousness is needed, he amusingly goes on to say in the same article:
Tax avoidance is a growth industry, with global accountancy firms and boutique tax avoidance specialists devising strategies for sheltering companies from tax through ingenious offshore arrangements, tax havens, registration in multiple jurisdictions, complex derivative instruments, restructuring, and charging for intellectual property.
You should know, Al. I mean, what with being responsible for the Guardian campaigning for FTSE 100 companies to pay more corporation tax, despite Guardian Media Group making £300 million in profits last year and paying no corporation tax itself.
GMG took advantage of a legal loophole to avoid paying taxes on the capital gains made on the sale of Auto Trader. Without exploiting the law they would have had to pay more than £50 million in tax.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Guardian’s heritage is one of tax evasion. The C P Scott Trust, which owns the Grauniad, was set up for the sole purpose of avoiding death duties following the 1932 death of C P Scott. By dodging death duties, the Scott family succeeded in avoiding the heavy taxes which would have otherwise meant selling their interest in the paper.
Given your new-found enthusiasm for tax probity, Al, perhaps the GMG will at least voluntarily pay the £600,000 that would have been payable as a result of the Auto Trader transaction on the transfer of GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited (a Caymans incorporated Special Purpose Vehicle) if it had been incorporated in the UK rather than the Caymans.
As Thomas Jefferson once wrote:
Is it less dishonest to do what is wrong because it is not expressly prohibited by written law? Let us hope our moral principles are not yet in that stage of degeneracy.
A vain hope, Tom, as Rusbridger and The Guardian so amply demonstrate…
PS:BTW, Al…The Grauniad has spent the last few weeks screeching with horror at the misdeeds of Lloyds Bank. Does this mean that Guardian Chief Executive Caroline McCall will be given her marching orders? I mean, seeing as how she’s a non-executive director of..erm..Lloyds Bank?
I’m guessing not…