The Conservatives haven’t noticed tax havens

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Paul Sagar has noted:

Over at Left Outside there is a lengthy and solid deconstruction of the new Conservative green paper on International Development, One World Conservatism.

The conclusion? “One World Conservatism is a well intentioned but fatally flawed scheme.”

But I want to go further than Left Outside’s analysis of what the Tories have put in their report. I want to ask about what they’ve left out. I want to know what the Tory policy on tax havens is.

The answer is simple: they don’t even recognise the problem of tax havens exists in development. Not a mention.

Why, asks Paul?:

A host of explanations for this abound, but the three most important are probably these:

1. An increasing cosiness with the tax avoidance industry

2. A desire to once more be Champions of the City, after 12 years of Brownist usurpation (the City of London is, of course, rightly thought of as a tax haven itself, as well as being the centre of a vast network of smaller satellite havens).

3. The presence of major party-funders often residing in secrecy jurisdiction.

The Tories are not going to tackle tax havens. And so for the world’s poorest, the future continues to be bleak, in part because the future’s blue.

That’s a blunt picture of what may be a reality.

Are you surprised I’m taking an international view right now?