Phillip Inman (economics correspondent for the Guardian and Observer) is getting in a right old tizzy:
Lobbyists behind the rightwing Tea Party group in the US will arrive in London today to spread their message of low taxes and small government at an event organised by the UK's controversial Taxpayers' Alliance.Oh, quelle horreur! ‘Low taxes and small government’..! Whoever heard of such a cockamamie notion?
And when did the TPA become ‘controversial’..?
Critics of the event said it established a clear link between British rightwing groups and aggressive American lobbyists who pursued low taxes, loose regulation and widespread privatisation of public services.How many times is this man going to write the word ‘right wing’ as if it were some sort of talisman to ward off evil?
The Taxpayers' Alliance aggressively promotes an anti-tax, anti-state, anti-Europe agenda and many of its leading figures have close links with the Tory party and the rightwing press.Let me try that out for size:
‘The TUC aggressively promotes a collective-bargaining agenda, and many of its leading figures have close links with the Labour party and the left-wing press.’
‘The ECHR aggressively promotes a human rights agenda and many of its leading figures have close links with campaigners and the left-wing press.’
Today's conference will be attended by Americans who have lobbied in the US to overturn Barack Obama's healthcare plan and maintain tax breaks for the rich. Several of the groups have close links to the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, prominent tormentors of the Obama administration.But as Tim Worstall points out, this isn’t considered a bad thing when George Soros is doing it…
The Cato Institute, which promotes its views on Fox News and other rightwing media, is one of the Tea Party's main backers.Oh, noes! It’s that ‘right wing’ word again!
Prominent Tory supporters are also backing the conference. Stanley Kalms, the former chairman of Dixons, is a key sponsor of the event along with investment banker Howard Flight. Flight was a Tory MP and frontbench Treasury spokesman before David Cameron became leader, while Kalms was Tory treasurer and one of its main backers.Clearly, you can see Phil regards them as almost as bad as the right-wing low-tax small-government right-wingers…
So, just who does he think can save him from the march of the right-wi…
Campaigner Richard Murphy, who wrote a report for the TUC showing how companies and wealthy individuals avoid billions of pounds of tax, said: "It's clear the Taxpayers' Alliance receives a huge amount of support from the US, where there is serious money behind the lobbying for low taxes.Good old Murph, still blurring the lines between tax evasion (illegal) and tax avoidance (legal) for his audience of economic illiterates…
The conference is billed as a debate among European thinktanks, but it is a barely disguised front for the most aggressive lobby tactics championed on the other side of the Atlantic."
Murphy said: "The Taxpayers' Alliance has done a fantastic job of presenting itself as a representative of the poor downtrodden taxpayer.I’m surprised there are any slots on the BBC left for the TPA; it seems as though Murphy himself is never off them!
"It regularly grabs slots on the BBC and other media to argue that taxpayers are hard done by. But the freedoms it wants is freedom from taxes for a tiny minority of wealthy people."