Running scared

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The following letter appeared in the Jersey Evening Post yesterday. Both were in response to a feature which only gave Senator Walker's view on this issue, even though the JEP are well aware of how to contact the Tax Justice Network.

Running scared

From John Christensen, director, Tax Justice Network.

13/12/06

IN the past six months the work of the Tax Justice Network has been cited and profiled in international media including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, Sudendeutsche Zeitung, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, BBC Panorama, Het Financieele Dagblad, Africa Report, Public Agenda and more.

Our research was cited on the first page of the recent report on tax havens - 'The Enablers, The Tools, The Secrecy' - published by the US Senate Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations, which strangely you failed to report on in the JEP despite its obvious relevance to the Island.

My press adviser tells me that our research has been cited in the press of more than 50 countries during the past 12 months. Over the same period TJN teams have met senior officials of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the OECD and the South Centre. We have met treasury officials from many major countries including the USA, France, Germany, Norway and the UK.

So who does Senator Walker think he's kidding when he says that a debate between him and Richard Murphy would give TJN 'credibility they neither deserve nor justify'? (JEP, 8 December). Hasn't he let local politics go just a little to his head?

Richard Murphy is internationally renowned for his research and advocacy on tax and related financial issues.

I would not pretend that this would have been a debate between equals, but having agreed to a discussion with Richard, the excuse given for not proceeding was feeble in the extreme.

The truth, as everyone knows, is that Senator Walker, to use a Margaret Thatcher term, was 'frit'. And so he should be. By supporting the tax avoidance industry in the way that he and his colleagues have for many decades, he has contributed to the enrichment of a few and the impoverishment of millions. Tax havens are an international disgrace, and the use of Jersey for this has been shameful and despicable.

3 Jonathan Street, London.

And so did this:

Victory for waffle, defeat for facts

From Pat Lucas, president, Attac and Tax Justice.

13/12/06

Congratulations to Senator Walker for avoiding a head-to-head with Richard Murphy.

I would have done exactly the same if I relied on spin and waffle and was not able to browbeat my opponent by using my office as Chief Minister. Senator Walker has superb judgement in body swerving superior beings, especially when this particular being has superior connections within the UK and Europe and facts as opposed to fiction would be revealed.