HAMLET, Crown Prince of Denmark, could have warned Dave, Prime Minister of Britain. You’ve gotta watch out for the dead dads.
Hamlet notably came unstuck when his dad started taking a stroll on the battlements of an evening, thus scaring the bejesus out of the castle guards, on account of the king being dead and all.
Dave hasn’t got guards on his battlements, just George Osborne and Theresa May. That pair could only be described as bodyguards if they were standing over the boot of a car with a corpse in it.
Dave’s dad put money into a company to hide it, pure and simple. Dave’s dad knew this, since evading tax is what people with lots of money used to do, and still do, for all I know. Having lots of money is not the sort of thing I am familiar with, but as soon as I am, I shall report back to you all at once.
Flinty Scottish stockbrokers were once considered very, very good at this global financial sleight of hand, and Ian Cameron, born in the ironically titled Blairmore House in Aberdeenshire, was doubtless steeped in the tradition that held that money made is money saved, particularly from the deprecations and attentions of the Inland Revenue people who might squander the lot on fripperies like schools and hospitals.
The odd thing about people with lots of money is that most of them seem to want to keep all of it. They like to hoard it up in great heaps, like Smaug the Dragon, even though there are only so may golden Ferraris one can drive at any one time.
If Dave’s dad hadn’t wanted to hide it, presumably he would just have paid tax on it, or used it to invest in things, not set up a super-secret off shore company to stash his cash.
He wasn’t doing anything wrong, it’s not hijinks
with the libor rate, or playing fast and loose with a stock exchange bloated with sub-prime mortgages which are set to explode like a rotting whale on a beach. Mr Cameron senior probably disapproved of such barrow-boy practices.
Is Dave in trouble, then? Probably, but not very much.
He knew the secret stash was a Bad Thing, because he got shot of the shares fairly quickly, but he seems surprised by how bloshie the peasantry got, especially when we remember that they once said “we’re all in this together”, when what they meant was, “we’re all in this together, but we’ve got a whole heck of a lot of dosh stashed in places you’ve never heard of . . .”
But he also knows that the peasants get distracted by shiny things like the telly, so he’ll probably be OK – until his own lot decide to knife him instead.
Isn’t this sort of thing expected from the Tories?
Over in Reykjavik, the PM’s wife was found to be in possession of oodles of Panamanian wonga. Oh, said Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, it’s the missus’ money, nowt to do with me. Highly unlikely, said the good people of Iceland. The Gunnersons and the Jundergsdottirs hit the streets just in time to see the PM depart.
There were protests in London but in the main we’ve taken the news with a weary resignation, partly because we expect the Tories to do this sort of thing, which is why Dave might be feeling a tad nervy right now, but he probably knows it’ll come out alright in the end, unless Boris makes a move.
Hang on, where is Boris? He’s unusually quiet... something else lurking in the paper pile, perhaps?
Scots put our own stamp on savings
Of course, here in the even flintier North we can rejoice in politicians whose dads, quite frankly, didn’t have the money to hide in secret off shore hideaways.
Our First Minister’s dad was an electrician and even our own Tory leader’s dad played footie and worked in the whisky industry.
An offshore account to these guys was buying Post Office Savings Stamps on a daytrip to Arran.
Poor MPs make wise decisions
Why voters put rich people in charge of anything is a mystery to me. Surely the point of politics, if it’s got one, is to make life better for lots of people, not just your mates in the City.
It’s usually governments made up of people who know what poor pay packets, poverty, and hardship really is who make decisions like setting up a properly funded National Health Service, which, on balance, was a better idea than depending on the charity of rich folks to fund our hospitals. And by funded, I mean with taxes.
So, for those awash with wealth, keeping their hard-inherited cash away from the grasping hands of the poor and downtrodden makes perfect sense.
They’ll just use it to fund a better life all round.