A good point: now it's clear and official that UK is a plutocracy.
== Bring us Dabbsy back! ==
Rishi Sunak, the son-in-law of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, will be the next prime minister of the United Kingdom. Sunak was born in Southampton, England, to parents of Indian descent in 1980 and married Akshata Murthy in 2009. Murthy is an Indian national, and IT services giant Infosys is the family business: her …
"That wealth became an issue earlier this year when it was revealed that Murthy used legal but cynical tax minimization practices even as Sunak ran the UK economy as Chancellor of the Exchequer – a gig that entails a sharp focus on ensuring all due taxes are gathered."
This is not *that* bad. At least, it's better than the former french budget minister, Cahuzac, who was patronizing everyone about the duty to pay taxes, while concealing 60 grands in Switzerland.
Or fucking Gaymard with his 600 square meters apartment in central Paris, paid with public money ... Even the Chinese press did articles on this ...
Don’t forget our own Nadim Zahawi, briefly chancellor of the exchequer, taking a £26m “loan” from a Gibraltar based family trust around the same time a closely related offshore company took £26m in income and disbursed it to… unspecified.
Every contractor here will recognise this tax evasion dodge, although perhaps not at that amount. More significantly I think, said contractors were not the government minister in charge of the countries finances.
The whole Tory party is rotten to the core.
so can anyone explain something to me?
'Murthy used legal but cynical tax minimization practices........'
As I understand it Murthy paid taxes in India on earnings in India, and paid taxes in the UK on earnings in the UK - why was this wrong? In other words she should pay the taxes where she currently lives (where she is based) rather than where the money is earned. The answer because Murthy has sheds load of money is not an acceptable response.
On the basis that a corporation is deemed as a person in law for many cases (such as tax) why should the likes of Amazon or Starbucks or <insert large international company> be under pressure to pay taxes in the country the earnings are made rather than where the parent company is based (USA) or via lower taxation route such as ROI.
These seem to be the exact opposite of each other but because Blighty would benefit Murthy was being cynical by not paying extra taxes here.
Don't get me wrong I think taxes should be paid in the country where the money is earned / made but then why should someone have to pay taxes in the UK on the money earned in another country? What if it is someone who earns significantly less, or does it not matter because it is only a small amount / there is no embarrassment factor ?
Pay where it's earned is very easily open to abuse - you cite Amazon and Starbucks as examples and they're good ones. Amazon had sales revenue of £23,000M in the UK last year, but paid £648M in tax because they can funnel it offshore to a sweetheart jurisdiction of their choice.
That's clearly unfair on the UK Exchequer and unfair on smaller rivals who don't have an offshore structure to back them up.
It's the same for individuals. Paying tax where the money is earned sounds reasonable until you realise exactly the same process will be used: Shares will be transferred to an offshore trust in a low-rax jurisdiction, loans will be disbursed as required, houses and school fees paid by the trust so not incurring income tax. It's a legal but arguably unfair model.
By contrast paying tax in the country of residence - where the individual has the benefits of a legal system, safe housing, roads, emergency healthcare - makes a lot more sense. I don't have any issue with non-dom tax for a short period, but dragging it out for years when you're permanently resident here (and she is married to the prime-minister) is manifestly taking the piss.
I agree with this. And I know it's deeply unpopular with many people, but it seems that if you force the rich to pay higher rates of tax the more they earn, they will simply find ways of avoiding it. Surely it's much better to tax them at a lower rate for their higher earnings? You'll still get shed loads of money out of them, but they will be more likely to actually domicile themselves here.
Tax avoidance covers everything from labourers paid cash in hand to millionaires moving cash between offshore shell companies, at some point in between it becomes worthwhile to get accountants involved and that's when the paper trails begin.
A minimal tax rate above a certain level would just change the point at which 'fiddling' becomes worthwhile, and I agree there'll be a flow towards the lowest tax point (supporting service sector jobs?)
For companies, you can change the rules so that paying a more realistic amount is required before being considered for government contracts and then watch all the bid values climb by the same amount (plus a bit)
Everyone wants to pay less in tax, a pragmatic* government view is to take what you can get without excessive cost being incurred to retrieve it.
*For You, Me, Gigacorp & the Treasury that's "Whatever we can get away with"
Tax avoidance covers everything from labourers paid cash in hand to millionaires moving cash between offshore shell companies
That's tax EVASION (illegal), not tax AVOIDANCE (legal).
FFS, if you're going to complain about something at least do us the courtesy of learning something about it first.
I actually agree, you can't just bump tax rates - you also have to change legislation to remove loopholes and increase penalties for non-compliance. If you're pulling in £100M a year you can afford advisors: HMRC is largely reactive - you'll always be ahead, and if you're not it's just a penalty (or if you're big enough, a negotiation).
But taxing them at a lower rate? To whose benefit? Why do you think Surrey is crawling with wealthy Russians, they've moved here because it has a functioning legal and political system (I am fully, fully aware of the irony in that statement - it's a relative term). If people want to benefit from that system they pay their way. If they don't, they can f*ck off. That goes for corporations too - you want to sell Starbucks or Amazon in the UK? Pay UK taxes. I don't see any need for concessions here.
The odds of this government doing anything about it are zero, of course, because the politicians are the ones benefiting from this, either directly (see my comment on Zahawi above) or indirectly by murky funding arrangements.
I don't see how they use the services less. I would assume living the high life entails using more services. Albeit a lot of the services will be used through proxy such as by agents who are benefitting the indivual in question. As in their private health care uses the infrastructure. Their private helicopters use the air traffic control also.
And presumably they pay the appropriate fees charged at the private medical facility (and since private medical facilities tend to be for profit, presumably it fees are higher compared to public medical facilities) and to the ATC for flying whatever private aircraft?
they still pay more tax in a year than most people do in a lifetime.
Elon Musk paid zero tax in 2018.
Yes, the USA tax rules are different than the UK tax rules. That is what we are talking about: it's possible to avoid tax if you use international tax havens like the USA.
"paid £648M in tax because they can funnel it offshore to a sweetheart jurisdiction of their choice."
Why lie? They make low margin sales at very low profits, that's all.
"Shares will be transferred to an offshore trust in a low-rax jurisdiction, loans will be disbursed as required, houses and school fees paid by the trust so not incurring income tax. It's a legal but arguably unfair model."
It's not legal, it's a far right conspiracy theory that has never happened in real life.
Going by your numbers, that means that Amazon paid tax on £3.4bn in profits from £22bn in sales.
That's a profit margin of around 15%, which is substantially higher than their global profit margin of around 8.1% (based on the 2021 annual report).
While the discrepancy is likely related to the blend of revenue sources (the UK may spend more on higher margin Amazon services) it's hard to use those numbers to argue that the UK is being stiffed on tax.
No need for your back of the envelope guesswork - as you've clearly not been following this I suggest you google "Amazon UK tax", pick a news-source that suits your political persuasion and take your pick. It's in the FT, the Economist, the Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, and as it frames Jean-Claude Juncker in a very bad light it's undoubtedly in the Mail too. Make sure you don't fall for their ruse of trying to count NI, business rates etc as tax, because we're specifically talking about tax on earnings here. Paying VAT on your lunch doesn't mean you can dodge income tax.
Once you're done with that try Starbucks (£5m tax on £95m gross, a rate of 5.2% - UK corp tax rate is 19%), which they achieved by the usual multinational tricks - ie. paying a massive license fee to Starbucks Lowtaxistan, Inc to reduce taxable revenue.
The only thing that benefit when a multinational funnels profits offshore is the multinational. Whether you prefer Corbyn or Farage is irrelevant - when this happens, the UK loses. You lose. This is self evident and I'm surprised to see anyone defending it.
What does it make me? Confused, mostly.
You replied to my post on Amazon’s tax arrangements. I’m not aware of any Nazi propaganda on this topic, and was also unaware that this unforgivable ignorance on my part makes me, too, a Nazi. Goodness, what a day, when I woke this morning I was centre-left.
I almost dread to ask but what, specifically, do you feel is particularly Nazi about my dislike of offshore tax dodging? Were the Nazis against offshore arrangements too? I don’t remember any of this in Downfall, maybe I had the wrong subtitle track.
I did no guesswork. I used the figures you provided for UK revenue and UK tax paid, and used Amazon's annual report (for 2021) for their global revenue and global profit before tax.
You're welcome to tell me where my inputs were wrong but I'm feeling confident in my statement that your numbers do not support the argument you were making.
Congratulations Dave, you've just proven the title correct.
Most people - You're all smart people
People like Dave - (cough cough)
If you want to accuse people of fascism, being far right scum et al then you could at least try and provide some tenuous link to the subject in hand? If you just want to show what a proud communist you are then there are probably much better alternatives then El Reg.
I was assuming you provided numbers to support your argument and discovered that you did not. You have since, instead of providing evidence, called me a smartarse :(
I would though like to distance myself from the other person responding to you. I regret that you're having to deal with that.
Back of the envelope? Do you know the difference between Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit?
£95.1 Gross Profit (Sales less cost of product sold, e.g. coffee beans and milk)
£16.5 Operating Profit (Gross prof less wages, rent, electric, etc)
£5.4/£16.5 = 32.7% but but corp tax is 19%!
Tax reformers have been campaigning for ages to have income taxed where it's generated, not where the owner lives. This capitulation to demands by the mob to tax where the owner lives instead has completely destroyed decades of work. The profits of the Facebooks and Googles of this world will now be entirely taxed in the USA instead of here.
And where is the income generated for a product designed in Germany, manufactured in China, and sold to a Polish national living and working in the UK from an e-commerce suite running on servers in Ireland and software written by software engineers in the UK, India, France and the Netherlands? Everyone contributed towards the sale. Without any of them, the sale would not have been possible. For modern multinational companies, it is not easy (or necessarily possible) to define where income was generated.
That is certainly an interesting internal discussion for the company; but one might say simply that for *tax* purposes the income is "generated" where and when it leaves the customer's bank account; i.e. that the customer determines the tax location.
Of course that arguably still leaves tricky issues, e.g. if customers pay from locations different to where the product/service is intended to be used; but I'm inclined to consider the internal budgeting of a multinational's various processes irrelevant to where the sale takes place.
Sure, the revenue is generated where the customer is.
The cost of goods sold however is a direct input to the profit, and it would of course be farcical to disregard the international contributions and costs involved.
This is why transfer pricing exists, why trade deals exist and why multinational companies have complicated tax affairs.
> the income is "generated" where and when it leaves the customer's bank account; i.e. that the customer determines the tax location.
This is what VAT is for. Corporation tax is taxing the inner workings of a business, rather than just the end result.
The designer in Germany is paid for their work, employed by some entity whether it is the individual or an employer. There will be income for the work and tax paid on it. Same for the manufacturer in China. The Polish national working in the UK will pay VAT. The servers in Ireland will be run by an entity that will receive income for their work. And all the software engineers will be paid for their work.
Each entity will have an income, whether that be as an autonomous contractor, or an internal department where wooden dollars are passed around. In the latter case it is easy to define the income, as each division of a company is measured for its worth, but that internal metric may not be what is presented to the tax-raising authorities.
It's a formal, legal statement that they have no ties to the UK, and will be leaving the country forever after a few years.
Rather like having a US Green Card, the problem is not really the taxation, it's the formal legal statement that they don't give a toss about the UK.
If I, as a UK domiciled and resident individual were to earn money in India:
I would obviously have to comply with applicable Indian tax rules on that income, I have no idea what those are.
I would also have to declare it as income in the UK and pay tax here. I would be able to claim a tax credit against that for any Indian tax paid. Depending on the specific rules and amounts, that might cover all of the tax due, or just some of it.
I also earn income in India, or my company does. Our clients withhold tax on the revenue, which due to a double taxation agreement between India and the UK is then offset against UK corporation tax. Specifically, I get a form from the buyer and supply it to my accountants who factor it all in to the UK tax calculations. This happens with several countries, it's not uncommon. And I won't say it happens consistently - some Indian customers do this, others don't. So I think it's fair to say "it varies".
One thing I do know about India is that it has the second most complicated tax code in the world, so no doubt it depends on things like what you are supplying to them, the size of your customer and so on.
If you are wondering who has the most complicated tax code, that is the UK.
You need a visa to come to the UK from India on business or tourism. Including having to go in person for an interview for the outsourced application process.
I'm guessing you have no family, friends or colleagues who have to go through it every single time they want to come over here?
Dear oh dear, a simple Google could tell you that though.
Why's that a problem ? The UK SVV is GBP788 for a 5 year one.
The Indian business visa for up to 5 years is merely GBP519.
You got a bargain.
It's more a case of the Tory members that voted know that the brexit folk will not vote tory if Rishi is to be PM. Had this latest selection gone out to members (party members, not MPs) it would have been a much closer thing. Rishi is from a family that immigrated from East Africa and brexit folk don't like immigration. I could put it in different words, but it amounts to the same thing.
"It's more a case of the Tory members that voted know that the brexit folk will not vote tory if Rishi is to be PM"
So it couldnt be because Truss actually seemed to have a plan other than business as usual? Maybe they didnt think high tax red tory continuation was the way forward and maybe a bit of good economic policy would be a good idea (which was expected to bring us a shallower recession than now expected)?
"Rishi is from a family that immigrated from East Africa and brexit folk don't like immigration"
It amazes me how racist remainers are. All they do is bang on about skin colour, the projection is stunning.
Irony is that if the UK wants a trade deal with India, they're pretty much going to insist on many more of their people being allowed to work here.
IIRC, the EU essentially rejected a similar deal with India for the same reason. Difference being that the EU had the luxury of being able to turn down such a trade deal because it hadn't put itself in the weak position of *needing* it, a la the UK post-Brexit.
Of course, *that* was never meant to be the case. Brexit was always predicated upon the delusional assumption that the UK was in a similar position to that of the latter days of empire and held all the cards. The EU was going to come begging for a trade deal and be forced to give the UK everything it wanted on a plate.
And they were going to get the club back together with India and be best chums like nothing had changed in seventy years. Like a bully at a school reunion that remembered itself being less disliked than it was when everyone else has moved on and is now successful, it forgot that India has progressed a lot, is *much* larger than the UK, and will certainly be looking after its own interests.
Yes, I'm sure that Brexiteers will try to point out that the UK now has the "freedom" to agree or disagree to deals on such terms. But since it was never going to get them on the ludicrously favourable terms it promised, the only alternative is to reject them. And unless they're going for a North Korea-style isolationist economic disaster, they won't.
So, if the people who voted for Brexit under the delusion that it would keep dark-skinned people out end up wondering why there are more of them coming to the UK... well, this is what you *actually* voted for.
if the people who voted for Brexit under the delusion that it would keep dark-skinned people out ...
What I have never understood is why those who wanted brexit have been so insistent on a "points-based immigration system" which, as far as I can tell - using their parlance - invites the foreign folk in to steal our best, most well paid jobs, while keeping impoverished foreigners out so our natives are forced to do all the shit, menial, low-paid jobs.
It seems entirely upside-down to wanting to keep the best jobs for our own and have immigrants doing the shit jobs we don't want to do which I would have thought they'd favour.
"What I have never understood is why those who wanted brexit have been so insistent on a "points-based immigration system""
It's just something they parrot.
Like "Sovereignty" and "We took back control."
They neither understand nor care what these things mean. (If indeed they mean anything.)
It just sounds better than saying the really nasty stuff they read/hear and vomit back up in private.
"They neither understand nor care what these things mean. (If indeed they mean anything.)"
Actually some Brexit voters do understand these things. Although I voted remain as I knew the govt would utterly foul it up.
We had a very biased 2 tier system prior to brexit.
If you are from the EU you just walk in. Thats it, done.
If you are outside the EU you have to pay a LOT of money and it now takes 5 years, reams of paperwork, interviews and employers are very reluctant to touch people on the initial fixed length visas.
My OH came in on the earlier 2 year scheme and it cost us about 5k.
Because most of the people who wanted Brexit were in lower paid jobs. They literally don't care if doctors, businessmen (they haven't heard of businesswomen), computer programmers, etc are foreign. They just didn't want plumbers, waiters, nurses and bus drivers to have to compete with foreigners.
"What I have never understood is why those who wanted brexit have been so insistent on a "points-based immigration system" which, as far as I can tell - using their parlance - invites the foreign folk in to steal our best, most well paid jobs, while keeping impoverished foreigners out so our natives are forced to do all the shit, menial, low-paid jobs."
The condensed view that I am aware of is that it isnt stealing when it comes to productive jobs requiring the rare talents found in few people globally where more of them increases the number of jobs and wealth of the country. Compared to mass immigration of low paying jobs which suppress wages at the bottom and keep low earners earning less.
Because she's white as the driven snow and all the old foggies who were conned into voting for Brexit & Boris didn't want any brown people mucking up the English country(side)?
If such fogies existed enough to matter I suspect they'd rather have a competent brown person than a woman (especially a woman who used to be a LibDem).
I think you need to get your prejudices in better shape if you're going to keep up here.
That's a heck of an accusation and, as far as I've seen, utter rubbish.
Not wanting to be swamped is not "didn't want any brown people mucking up the English country(side)".
Those who voted for Brexit have been lied to repeatedly and that's not their fault. The fault lies with the people in power, and throwing vile generalisations about racism at 52% of the population is not at all helpful, to say the least.
BTW Liz Truss said she was going to increase immigration, not limit it.
"Isn't that pretty much why Liz Truss became PM? Because she's white as the driven snow"
It amazes me how people still call the tories sexist, racist etc. Considering the people who have held top positions in government it has been the tories leading the way.
I can see that going down well with the conservative party membership, who would have voted anyone but Sunak if it came down to two finalists, same as last time.
Tice is probably already making plans to take the Reform party out of deep freeze to keep the tory party so far right that it would be impossible to make make migration any part of a trade deal with India.
And if India refuses the trade deal if the UK doesn't allow migration? After all, the UK is the one that *needs* all these deals and put itself in that position of weakness, post-Brexit.
The same position of weakness it'll be in for all the deals it's negotiating, and yes, they "took back control", but that simply lets them reject any deal- it doesn't force the other (stronger) party to offer one under their own terms. And they can't afford to reject all of them without destroying the UK economy.
"And they can't afford to reject all of them without destroying the UK economy."
Stow the Rees-moggian nonsense. Of course the UK's best bet economically is unilateral free trade. No mainstream economist disagrees about that part. It was all the other stuff - and the bit where we aren't going to implement UFT - which made Brexit a bad plan.
We do have unilateral free trade. Import controls are practically non-existent and when they were tried out for 24 hours, it wasn't a pretty picture.
The UK is known as a place to offload substandard food because it's known that there are no customs checks.
How about Indians stay in India and people in the UK who love India that much be invited to go and live there too.
The UK has a housing shortage, public service shortages and doesn't need further mass immigration. There's too much already, illegal and also legal. Opening the floodgates to another 800 million people might make the UK hating leadership of India happy but not the people of the UK.
And no, I don't care what the skin colour of those people are, or indeed that of Sunak. Something I sadly can't say about several of the people celebrating his coronation.
"How about Indians stay in India and people in the UK who love India that much be invited to go and live there too."
Oh dear. Another right-whinger conflating immigration with tourism and business travel.
Although banning drunk racist English thugs from travelling the world... Hmmm. You might be on to something!!!
Although banning drunk racist English thugs from travelling the world... Hmmm. You might be on to something!!!
I think that's already a thing. The convicted hooligans are required to submit their passports during football tournaments and events.
Only with relation to football. Plenty more of those sunburnt thugs should have their passports revoked.
Then again, they'll just try to travel on a borrowed passport. Like failed illegal immigrant to the US, Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon.
Perhaps you don't care about over 2000 people a week risking their lives to illegally enter the UK.
Many people in this country do.
People overstaying probably have somewhere to stay and provide food that isn't at the taxpayers expense. The people coming across the channel often have to be rescued at great taxpayer expense and then housed and fed again at taxpayer expense.
But this is somehow all the UK's fault and nothing to do with France for just waving them through or the people who charge huge amounts to put them on the boats. Europe is supposed to have a policy of first safe country when it comes to refugees but these are economic migrants so they just let them pass through in the hope they won't stay long.
Odd as it is the left encouraging people to make these very dangerous crossings.
At least 2 of the people who died were university educated and obviously had money to pay for the trip. They could have got into the US legally. They were unhappy working in a call centre at home but being an illegal in the US would have probably ended up as farm workers, meat processors, cleaners or a multitude of other very poorly paid hidden jobs with zero protection.
I don't really care if Sunak is prime minister or not, but I find it very interesting indeed that people are talking abour race so much. The same people who seem to promote negativity in relation to straight white men / white people in general, bordering sometimes on blantant racism and sexism. I.e. the progressive far left (who aren't actually progressive, as bigotry never is).
This is (was) my attitude as well, but it's increasingly difficult to sit back and watch people call out disdain against one group*, but espouse it against another. In this country, we're supposed to have equal opportunity where possible and to not be derided or elevated based off of immutable characteristics.
I'm now starting to call out the hypocrisy, no matter the group* being attacked, because main stream society is going backwards when it comes to things like race and sex. Martin Luther King Jr would be appalled, I think.
* as defined by immutable characteristics
When I was at school in the 70s & 80s I regularly got the shit kicked out of me for being an Indian immigrants' kid.*
It's great to see the gaslighting from people who never experienced this saying how great it all was. Wankers.
*Of course, that was not what I got called obviously.
I cite every Mail article discussing Meghan Markle as evidence that the reactionary far right are just as bad. My personal favourite was reference to her "exotic DNA", like she's some sort of lizard. Or, depending on your view of the Royal Family, perhaps that she's some sort of mammal.
The Daily Mail isn't far right. It's just a populist rag.
Believe me, there are trashy(ier?) outlets in other countries. The EU country I'm in now, has fantastically classy news outlets where the headlines fill the entire screen, and others still that print such things as "ram them right in the arse" with regards to $opposing_football_team
Two wrongs don't make a right.
As far as Megan Markle is concerned: There have been quite a number of articles about her, many of which are ciritical of her actions, not her race. That doesn't mean that there aren't *rsehats banging on about her race (those should always be called out), but there have been some people who have conflated the two things. Race should never trump actions/opinions, good or bad.
Like I said: There may have been people who did racially abuse her, but from what I saw there people criticising her and then getting accused of being racist, when race hadn't even come into it. As for the Royals abusing her racially: I very much doubt it, but I cannot say for definite, one way or the other.
Lasty: Take a chill pill, or possibly a frog one, as clearly your meds have run out going by your foul reply to me and other comments you've left here.
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I dont like Sunak as PM because he is a Tory and didn't suceed in heading off this avoidable econiomic/fuel etc crisis in his previous job. There is no reason to believe he will be more succesful than Boris Or Truss.
Then again I blame shiny headed gammon Cameron for all the consequences of his Brexit failure.
U.S. politics are dominated by white males, almost exclusively from British decent. Having someone like Barak Obama become President is a BIG deal in a nation torn apart by bigotry and racism.
Don't you for a minute believe that Hollywood movies portray American society. It's very much divided and segregated, mostly self-imposed.
I'm also convinced the influx of Latinos will eventually lead to political instability in America. In that sense Trump is merely the Canary in the Coalmine for things to come.
I believe that America has been founded on the premise that other cultures are welcome, but the Western European culture should always be dominant.
This is relevant for Europa (and the UK) as well. What do you think will happen when the Latinos become the dominant populace in the U.S.? They'll demand a Latino President and they'll also demand that the U.S. turns away from Europe and starts focusing on South America. This could have huge implications for the security of Europe.
The religious nutters were all kicked out of Europa, so they all descended on America. For better or worse, they're the ones that founded this nation.
but the Western European culture should always be dominant. ... What do you think will happen when the Latinos become the dominant populace in the U.S.
Those would be the Latinos descended from the Western European places like Spain and Portugal that settled S. America?
I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as a "native" in the UK. Every single person who lives here either immigrated, or their ancestors did, at some point in history (or prehistory). We actually are, literally, a nation of immigrants.
The US, on the other hand, does have indigenous people. Not that you treat them very well...
If you mean "born here", then the new PM was.
Anyway, there's no reason to care about the colour of his skin, or his "ethnic origin". There are plenty of genuine reasons to hate him, based on his political views, and actions, such as, to pick a random example, boasting about taking money from poor communities and diverting it to rich ones.
Yes, if you go far back enough, everyone came from Africa...
If you look at population movement on a more recent timescale than before the last ice age, such as the last couple of thousand years, you can see that some populations have pretty much stayed put, but most have mixed it up pretty well (Half of Asia being descended from Genghis Khan, for example). The UK is variously populated with Anglo-Saxons (from Northern Europe), Romans (from pretty much everywhere in the Roman Empire), Celts (from North-Western Europe), and so-on. There is no such thing as "Native British," especially if you look back to the last ice-age, when the most of the land mass here was covered in ice-sheet, so fairly slim pickings...
When it comes down to it, being "from" somewhere depends on where you draw a cut-off. Moved here? Born here? One parent born here? Both? Grandparents? Five generations? Ten? A hundred? They're all artificial distinctions, used to draw a line between "us" and "them". Just because we evolved to form tribes of a few hundred individuals, doesn't mean we need to carry that mindset through into the future. I've met enough people from various different cultures to observe that people are people wherever they're from, and to also observe that those most likely to be fearful or distrustful of "the other" are also likely to be those who have met the fewest of them, such as people from tiny villages that are 100% white and where there are only two surnames, being shit-scared of immigrants, even though the only ones they've ever met are their cleaners.
"especially if you look back to the last ice-age, when the most of the land mass here was covered in ice-sheet, so fairly slim pickings..."
And even more especially when you consider that what we now call the English Channel and most of the North Sea (that wasn't under ice) was dry land so what is now an island was just a sticky out bit of the European mainland. Migration was a simple matter of walking to wherever the best hunting was :-)
After your clarification that you meant this in a racist, rather than country of birth manner, how about you remember *the only other country the UK has a land border with*. Who had a leader of partial Indian origin a number of years ago; and will again in a few months due to a coalition deal.
I had been positively surprised that Sunak's origin and colour of his skin weren't an issue during his "ramp-up"* to become PM. I even caught myself thinking what a mature society this is. Well, and probably it's again only my very limited perception, now I get the impression that left and right it's always been a big issue, just kept under the rug for a little while - anything for «look, how feckin progressive we are!» to «we're never going to win the next general election with a non-white boy as PM».
* yesterday, we could clearly see that he wasn't fully operating yet. Sure, reading capabilities were up and running. But not much else. SCNR
You may be right. And no doubt, it did play a part amoungst some Tory members. Although, I'd like to believe his losing against Truss was mostly because of his involvement in BoJo's exit. Anyhow, I was more referring to what I heard -or rather didn't hear- in public debate during his campaign.
Tory membership absolutely voted for anyone-but-Sunak, although I suspect that had more to do with him not being an ERG-approved wingnut. He's not enough of a true believer. I can pretty much guarantee that had BoJo or Mordant made the 100-vote threshold, anyone-but-Sunak would have triumphed once again.
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The right wing of the Tory party didn't want someone of color to become PM.
False assumption. The grassroots tories were fed up with austerity and tax rises, and didn't want a PM who was rich, unsympathetic, and keen on Blairite tax&spend policies. Sunak's skin colour didn't enter into it, any more than Truss's sex did.
This 100%. Contrary to popular myth the 'far right nutobs', myself being one, are not all racists. We see more of that coming from the far left nutjobs.
As said the issue with Rishi is that he is yet another (in this case VERY) rich boy from a posh school and uni and likely totally out of touch with anything other than the westminster elites. True his parents worked hard to get him into those posh schools and I know some people who went to the likes of Winchester (nearly went there myself, phew!) and I would not trust them to run a bath.
I didn't want Truss either as she is a globalist WEF-er. Kemi was my number one pick as she seems more in touch with the rest of the country and doesn't appear to be a puppet for the elites.
> fed up with austerity and tax rises ... and Blairite tax&spend policies.
Oh that is just fucking priceless. Fed up with Tax and Spend? Why not just Spend!
Austerity isn't something you experience because you're paying too much tax. It's something you experience because you're receiving too little income or benefits to cover living expenses.
Fed up with Tax and Spend? Why not just Spend!
Spend less, so that you can tax less, so we get to choose how we spend our own money, instead of having a nanny state decide how to spend it for us.
Austerity isn't something you experience because you're paying too much tax.
Really? I'm sure I'd have a less austere lifestyle if I could pay less tax.
It's something you experience because you're receiving too little income or benefits to cover living expenses.
Because your government is stifling growth by taxing the hell out of anyone who tries to grow their business.
It's bad news for more than just the citizens of the UK. The UK doing "well" is actually important to other states too.
If we weren't so busy gnawing our arms off for some ideological nonsense over trade agreements (that we now don't have) perhaps both UK and world would be in a better state.
"making her a paper billionaire."
"Sunak has also done well as an investment banker and hedge fund maven. The couple, with a net worth of £730 million ($825 million)"
So which is it? Is she a paper billionaire (USD or GBP or other) or are they worth ~ 730m GBP / 825m USD ?
Or is she worth 1b + and together they are also worth 730 GBP as well?
When you're that wealthy it's almost impossible to calculate an actual figure, especially with public information, and estimates can vary by 100s of millions. Relying on tax returns + assets gives a good estimate for you or I but the super-rich will have so many sources of wealth, in so many jurisdictions, that it's likely they don't even know how much they're worth. There are also numerous ways of calculating "wealth".
The reality is that it will be fluctuating with the markets and whichever way the wind's blowing.
In my opinion he will have no problems as "South Asians" are regarded as hard working and just get on with things.
There are more than twice as many "South Asians" in the UK as "(relatively recent) African decedents".
Which of these 2 groups screams and shouts about racial equality all the time? Which group is disproportionally represented on TV, etc.?
Rishi is there on merit - not because of anything else and good for him.
Life should be a meritocracy, not an equality tick box.
Sunak will only lose credibility and face an uphill battle (like Obama did) if he starts to bang on about race.
He's British and that's good enough for me.
"Rishi is there on merit"
He was the last man standing. Don't forget the party members picked Truss and neither Johnson nor Mordaunt could get enough backers (nor did anybody want to go through another vote just weeks after the previous one).
He's only PM now because Truss was so fucking awful she had to be shown an open window...
It's like listening to a debate about which is the best linux desktop.
They couldn't agree on Unity, so they've chosen a Gnome, one that's worth a Mint and acts like he's everybody's Mate, hoping to join the Pantheon of great prime ministers, but bound to leave us all Deepin the shit.
"I am not sure how to apply the same technique to Prime Ministers."
If you play fast and loose with "Prime" being the same as "First", you can choose to move to Scotland or Wales. Let's not talk about the political situation in NI just now ;-)
"When you’re the only candidate, I guess you’re the best candidate"
Er... He was the best candidate when there were multiple candidates, but then the loony Tory members chose Truss because they don't like 'darkies'. That's why this time round things were arranged such that the members didn't get to vote.
I think he will last for the rest of this parliament. No Tory wants an election until the very last possible moment.
Electoral Calculus predicts (https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/prediction_main.html) that at current approval levels there would only be 48 Conservative MPs left at the next election!! Even if Sunak manages to improve that I don't see it becoming a Tory win in the time left remaining.
Even if you take into account the angry polling of the last month or so, Sunak's "election bounce" and the tendency of polls to overestimate Labour votes, and underestimate Tory ones, a conservative (natch) estimate still gives Labour at least 200 more seats than the Tories at the next election. Once Sunak "settles in" and people realise he is no different tot eh last two Tory leaders, expect those polls to take a slide back down again. The prediction of 48 seats (and the SNP on 52, so technically being His Majesty's Opposition) is probably still, sadly, going to be a worse estimate for the Tories than reality, though.
Having said that, get ready for a "winter of discontent", and further culture-war from the rich, out-of-touch multimillionaires against the working people of this country, who still make up the majority of voters. If they lose the pensioners as well, they really are screwed.
So, down-voter, do you disagree with the statistics, with the assertion that Sunak is rich, a multimillionaire, and out of touch, or with my assessment that stoking culture wars is a bad thing? Please, let us hear your opinions, rather than just angrily stabbing at the down-vote button...
Sunak has also done well as an investment banker and hedge fund maven. The couple, with a net worth of £730 million ($825 million),
If people are able to put jealousy aside - and that is quite a big "if" - at least he's somebody who understands
1. Where money comes from
2. How wealth is created
3. The correlation between 1 and 2
It's not his job to make Dave from Wetherspoons a millionaire. But it's better than some vaccous ballbag who is going on about "growth" without any plan to achieve it.
I agree those are useful things to understand.
But, on the other hand, his trajectory so far has only ever been upwards, and with parents being a GP and a pharmacist, he didn't exactly start at the bottom. Most people are not as fortunate (or as talented, either, if you like), and it might be a valid question to ask as to how much he understands how most peoples lives are actually lived and worked, and what they need to be done.
We shall see how he works out as PM.
‘Starting from the bottom’ doesn’t always equate to empathy. Quite the opposite- ‘ if I could do it, why not others?’
That’s the attitude my parents have. Both with mostly illiterate parents who were manual labourers/ small business owners. Both university graduates. One through raw intelligence (parents wanted him to quit school!) the other went to uni married and pregnant.
I, their ‘privileged’ daughter am the one who can see how lucky I am, and care about others.
Anecdotal of course.
Wealth at Rishi’s level and his policy record show him to be out of touch. But I wouldn’t use background as a proxy for ‘understand people’s lives’.
We desperately need a GE, but it's not going to happen until the last possible moment because the Conservative Party know they will lose.
Recent polls put Labour with a supermajority and the Liberal Democrats as His Majesty's Loyal Opposition.
So expect the Tories to milk their current position for everything they can, while they wait for a miracle.
Recent polls put Labour with a supermajority and the Liberal Democrats as His Majesty's Loyal Opposition.
Close, but the most recent calculations from Electoral Calculus actually makes the SNP the Opposition, which would be interesting, to say the least. This is due to the inherent unsuitability of FTPT as an electoral mechanism...
It's worth noting that, if the last election had been run using PR, we'd probably currently have a Lab/Lib/SNP coalition government, because between them, they got more votes than the Tories, but FPTP, being an "all-or-nothing" mechanism disproportionately favours the party that can get one more vote than all the others in a constituency, and the rest get no say or representation.
… the most recent calculations from Electoral Calculus actually makes the SNP the Opposition, which would be interesting, to say the least.
One could look at the 1993 Canadian federal election, when the separatist Bloc Québécois became the opposition (also due to FPTP), for a glimpse of what a SNP opposition in the UK could be like.
As ever, those who benefit from FPTP see no reason to change it. The good citizens of Canada, or the UK, or the US (in the case of the Electoral College, FPTP for 48 of the 50 states), or anywhere else that still has FPTP for that matter, who don’t put much truck in it, don’t seem to be sufficiently aggravated by it yet to actually achieve its replacement in their respective systems.
FPTP is bloody terrible.
Not only is it unrepresentative, it also causes polarisation and "us vs them" because you usually can't vote for anyone, you have to vote "tactically" against the party you hate the most.
So it entrenches hatred, and in general that pushes the "major" parties further apart until something breaks horribly.
"Not only is it unrepresentative, it also causes polarisation and "us vs them" because you usually can't vote for anyone, you have to vote "tactically" against the party you hate the most."
Thats an awful way to vote. You should be voting for the ones you want in charge. If you always vote against the 'other' then you are never going to be happy, but if you vote for the ones you feel will do a good job then you have some hope. Even with FPTP we managed to get the brexit vote we had been wanting since labour. Do note that labour got more votes due to offering a referendum (they lied) then Cameron gained votes for his 'cast iron guarantee' (cop out being a coalition) and when he tried the gambit once more had no good way out. All because the BNP and then UKIP became credible parties with increasing support purely for representing people better than the main parties.
*not the downvoter btw
I agree. It's terrible. It's also true.
The problem is well known, well documented and suits the two major parties just fine - because it almost perfectly ensures there can never be a third major party.
That's the point. The problem, and why FPTP needs to go.
The removal of Stalin 2 Incompetent Edition is the most plausible miracle of scale necessary to save the Tories skin. Ukraine is putting up a hell of a fight, but I can't see that situation being resolved by time of next GE.
No matter the polls I will never regard a non-Tory victory as a given, and nor should anyone else. 40 years of Tory and Tory-lite leadership is a difficult thing to persuade people away from. I'd love to see a real change as much as any of the opposition of course, but I am a pragmatist, and very definitely something of a glass-half-empty-ist.
Living costs to the point where going to work costs more than staying at home for many, and pensions inadequate to heat houses or put food on the table will have a tendency to get people to vote elsewhere.
Business owners aren't exactly enamoured with the Tories either, let's be honest. Where are those vaunted trade deals again? And what is being done about the mountain of red tape now involved in EU trade (pre-Brexit, our largest export market).
Instead, post-Brexit vote we have had multiple leaderships and virtually no progress of legislation of any meaningful content. Arguing over the use of kilograms and pounds? Mogg can bugger off. Priti Vacant and the "sink the illegal immigrants" plan? Bugger off too. A lot of people are ready for a change of leadership. So let's make it happen.
A word cloud broadcast on BBC News has described Rishi Sunak as a “liar”, a “t**t” and a “c***”
The poll, which asked members of the public to describe the new prime minister in “one word” also featured terms including “boring”, “snake” and “privileged”.