Tory deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft has declared that he is a non-domiciled taxpayer, meaning he only pays tax on the portion of his income earned inside the UK.
Obviously this is bad news for the tories, but it has been dragging on for what seems like forever and I can't help feeling that the persistence of the story has had a greater effect than any initial hit may have had for the tories.
As any good PR man will tell you: the cover-up is more damaging than the scandal.
Which does beg the question of David Cameron, given his background is as a PR professional. Is he competent?
However, the timing of the eventual announcement was clearly stage-managed to coincide with the Tory spring conference, thereby drawing more attention and making the best of a bad lot. Clearly a battle of wills was won within the party, and such a tactic seems typical of the Andy Coulson modus operandi.
Which also begs the question of Andy Coulson, is he competent?
The announcement has drastically backfired on William Hague, who was apparently under the impression that the nomination of a peerage was conditional on the basis he would pay tax on his full income, sums which would net HM Treasury "tens of millions of pounds." Even the relevant scrutiny committee said these were central questions to the issue of accepting the nomination.
Which begs the question of William Hague, is he competent?
Evidently Lord Ashcroft has not been doing so, so he can fairly be described as dishonest for leaving that impression with the man who submitted his nomination.
But it's worse than that: Lord Ashcroft has clearly bought his peerage, and he is therefore directly guilty of continuing the 'cash for honours' corruption scandal that damned the tories under the dog days of the Major regime.
And this would potentially disqualify him from his position as the guardian of a major financial institution were BB Holdings regulated according to the same standards as in the UK (he offered to sell his stake in the past when it was suggested his company was instrumental in using the tax haven to launder drug money, but has since successfully used the courts to reinforce unfair contract guarantees which saw him accused of the theft of £5m aid money intended for the impoverished people in the country).
Um, that reminds me - whatever happened to Lord Conrad Black? Oh that's right, he's working on getting released early by getting friends to rewrite the statute books.
Now tell me again, why exactly would Lord Ashcroft consider becoming the most generous donor to a UK political party ever?
And why would the Conservative party be so desperate to accept his dirty money at all?
Three incompetent mice and one dishonest and corrupt banker pulling their strings - it could be the basis of a new nursery rhyme for our times.
But it doesn't rhyme, it reeks.
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