Taxation magazine has today published an article entitled ‘Tax prat of the year’.
I was shocked to learn that the front cover photo of Margaret Hodge, a sign of respect I had initially thought, signified that she was the recipient of this “award”.
This is no way to treat a respected Member of Parliament who has so far shown a polite and forensic manner in her delicate and subtle questioning of various members of the tax avoidance community. Her behaviour is an example to all who might chair any committee hoping to elicit highly technical knowledge from experts in their fields.
What I sense here is that this is yet another ad hominem attack on me by Mike Truman. The editor of Taxation has for many years held a grudge against me for being a better tax expert than he is. He has learned the hard way that I cannot be defeated by logic.
Instead, he has chosen to attack those close to me. Margaret Dodge and I are dear friends. She gave me an espresso machine for Christmas, a little touch of gratitude for the modest research I did in exposing Starbucks and bringing the super-tax-villain to Justice.
This vile attack reminds me of the time that Mike dared to suggest I couldn’t perform the simplest of tax calculations. On closer inspection it did not transpire that I wasn’t entirely not wrong, though how I had explained my calculations could easily be deliberately misconstrued by some sort of neoliberal fiend.
I have deleted this rather confusing conversation from my website as I felt it distracted from the moral argument I was making that the head of the ACCA ought to be able correctly calculate a simple tax liability.
You see that Mike has form in this area, taking facts and using them in a way not intended by the person who cited them in the first place.
There is no other word for it but sophistry.
Margaret Hodge has shown a unique understanding of the tax system. Very few people would be able to make the conclusions she has from the facts presented to her.
And that is why she is chairing this committee. We need somebody who can look at a business and say “yes, you are complying with the letter and the spirit of the law as intended, but immorally so”.
We need someone who won’t get bogged down in the details of what the legislation is supposed to do, somebody who can ignore that and rely on hearsay and rumour to conclude what must be concluded: that I am right.
So, Mike, I say to you: respect the Bodge.