Why are Jersey so frightened of the Tax Justice Network?

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I noted yesterday that Geoff Cook of Jersey Finance had been quick to ridicule the EU's drive against tax evasion because it quoted my research, which he claimed was all wrong without (of course) providing any real evidence relating to that work as to why that was the case.

That reminded me of similar past episodes so I found this from the Tax Justice Network blog:

Geoff Cook heads Jersey Finance, an organisation which promotes Jersey as a tax haven. Two weeks ago he publicly attacked TJN's Financial Secrecy Index in Jersey's Evening Post, describing the index as "nonsensical" and "contrived propaganda". In reply we invited Cook to give us a slightly more reasoned critique of our work. We have not had a response.

Cook's failure to reply fits a pattern. Proponents of tax havens are quick to vilify any critique of the role these places have in the global economy, but when we invite them to explain - in simple terms - the basis of their arguments, they go silent. And the reason they go silent is straightforward: they have no reply, only propaganda. The easiest approach is often to attack the messenger, not the message.

TJN has regularly invited Jersey's political and financial rulers to engage with us in public debate: they have never accepted. Interestingly, the same occurs in London (Jersey's big daddy), where a number of lawyers, bankers and others in the City have refused to publicly debate with us.

Plutocrats and their butlers don't do democratic accountability.

We repeat: we challenge Cook (or anyone else in the Jersey establishment) to a public debate, to be broadcast in Jersey and elsewhere.

That was published in November 2011. Geoff has not, of course, stepped up to the mark.

Why not Geoff? Frightened of losing? Could that be it?