Methinks the Member of the House of Keys doth protest too much

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Manx Radio’s web site features an article entitled “Calls for BBC correction in Keys”. It notes:

Comments about the Isle of Man, broadcast in a BBC television programme last weekend, will be raised in the House of Keys this week.

Onchan MHK Peter Karran has described them as 'damaging and inaccurate' and will call on the treasury minister to insist that corrections are broadcast.

Mr Karran says Allan Bell should write to the BBC to counteract statements about the Isle of Man on the BBC Politics Show last Sunday.

They were made by one of the Island's fiercest critics, Richard Murphy of the Tax Justice Network.

This is, of course, in response to my appearance on the Politics Show last week —m no longer available on the BBC web site, I am afraid, so let me instead summarise what I said:

  1. That the Isle of Man had rightly lost a subsidy form the UK — that’s my opinion and so indisputable
  2. I had foretold this — which is indisputable
  3. That I thought the subsidy was bigger, at £230 million than the sum the UK has reclaimed. At the time of broadcast the new formula had not been published. I now accept the new formula is fair. I am surprised it only claims back £140 million — I can’t see how it does only do that — but I am for the moment and until new evidence comes along accepting it is correct. However, I was right at the time of broadcast to say exactly what I did — so this is indisputable
  4. This did not mean the Isle of Man had to cut public services and put people’s lives at risk as a result — as was the clear implicit threat of the very biased BBC reporting: simply bringing Manx income tax rates towards UK rates would solve the problem. Therefore what I said cannot be disputed — even if the MHK does not like it
  5. That the Isle of Man is a tax haven — which is indisputable — it very obviously is or it would not have fought so hard for the tax system it has
  6. That it is opaque — which is indisputable — try getting any meaningful information at all on a Manx company and the case is proven, as does its refusal to date to exchange information under the European Union Savings Tax Directive prove it beyond dispute
  7. That the opacity of the Isle of Man has facilitated crime. Tax evasion is crime. The Isle of Man has been proven to be used for tax evasion by the US, Irish and UK governments at the very least. The claim is indisputable
  8. That I think tax haven activity and the activities it facilitates are harmful — which is indisputable — I do indeed think that.

Interesting to think what the BBC might need to correct.

More interesting though to note how unused the Isle of Man are to criticism when it seems I can become, single-handedly and according to media there and in the UK its strongest critic simply by writing a blog.

And also interesting to reflect on their anger, which is so utterly irrational. Let’s be candid, that anger is akin to that of the person who has for some time realised that whenever they ask for £50 from a cash point machine they get £150 in return and then is furious when the free flow of cash is stopped, as if they had somehow been wronged as a result.

Methinks the MHK does protested too much. I stand by all I said: it was all accurate, founded in fact and justified in the context of the discussion. I can’t see him getting far.

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