Monday, October 04, 2010

From Jersey: the usual smears

Last week our director, John Christensen, spoke on BBC World Service about how tax competition undermines tax regimes and leads to a race to the bottom. The programme was broadcast globally and generated a lot of feedback, mostly directly to John from people who support his position.

One person who did not support his position was Roger Helmer MEP, who blogged a perfectly acceptable, albeit mistaken, open letter to John. John replied with an open letter to Roger.

Roger's blog generated much heat from commenters, some of whom ignored the profound issues raised by tax competition and the practicality (or otherwise of Laffer's curve) and played the man rather than the ball.

This included repeating falsehoods, originating from Jersey, about John's past role as economic adviser to that island, and his motives for campaigning for tax justice. Take this, for example:

He likes to have people believe that he resigned in moral indignation but friends of Mrs St G who live there say it’s universally accepted that because he was (wisely) passed over for the top job when it became vacant, he resigned in a fit of pique.

That contribution came from Michael St George. According to John he has never knowingly met Mr St George or his wife, but they nonetheless feel free to peddle this kind of nonsense online and without any basis in fact. Universally accepted? How could anyone have known what was going on behind what were at the time very closed doors? Did anybody - politicians, bankers, lawyers, journalists - discuss this with John at any time?

These smears come from the heart of Jersey's rotten establishment. John never wanted the top job and never applied for it. This can be verified by anyone who was involved in the Office of the Chief Adviser at that time. Perhaps Mr Colin Powell - former Chief Adviser - can find the courage to come forward and confirm the truth on these very specific issues: did John apply for the post or even indicate any interest in applying for the post of Chief Adviser?

Another comment on Roger's blog also plays the man rather than the ball, and hints at the reality of the "Jersey Way" of handling democratic dissent - this from Vincit Veritas:

I bet Christiansen is a NuTory now! Les Etats Jersais should have locked him up

If I was his Centeniere (sic) ,I would have.

[A Centenier is an honorary law enforcement person]

These reflect poorly on Jersey. No-one from among his critics in Jersey has dared to address John directly on his motives for leaving his senior post and becoming an economic justice activist.


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