Let's be clear: Lord Ashcroft has broken no tax laws, I'm sure.
But this column explains rather well why this is a crisis for the Tories. People don't like offshore. And they don't like obfuscation.
That's what this is about: politics and the ethics of the Tory leadership, but not tax. As the First Post notes:
When the Best Quotes of the 2010 Election come to be compiled on May 7 or whenever, this will surely make the top three: "While I value my privacy, I do not want my affairs to distract from the general election campaign."
The Ashcroft revelation is not going to impress that growing band of sceptics one little bit. And neither is Cameron's response to media pressure following Ashcroft's statement.
"I have always taken the view that someone's tax status is a matter between them and the Revenue," said Cameron. "I think that now we can get on with the election."
Only a few weeks ago, this general election was the Tories' to lose and Labour's to win. Much more of this, and it's going to be the other way round. Unbelievable.
And if you ever wanted an argument for tax compliance this is it. Tax compliance is seeking to pay the right amount of tax (but no more) in the right place at the right time where right means that the economic substance of the transactions undertaken coincides with the place and form in which they are reported for taxation purposes. I'm not convinced claiming domicile status is tax compliant by anyone. Personalities need not come into this.