Friday, June 22, 2012

UK comedian Jimmy Carr apologises: good for him

We at TJN were as concerned as anyone else with news that the British comedian Jimmy Carr had been engaged in an aggressive tax avoidance scheme via the Crown Dependency of Jersey. The commentary in the UK when the story broke was overwhelmingly negative, with the Prime Minister David Cameron weighing into call it 'morally wrong'. We won't add to all that commentary, but it has been fascinating to watch. The zeitgeist really has changed in the last few years, and we are glad about that.

Today's blogger, who owns up to having a somewhat puerile sense of humour, has for some time enjoyed Mr. Carr's brand of comedy, though his tastes probably aren't always shared by everyone at TJN. But we do generally think that Carr's apology and recognition of error goes a long way towards making amends (and we hope, without knowing any details, that his tax scheme is fully unwound and taxes paid just like anyone else who earns that much.)

Carr's apology sets him apart from many, many other tax-avoiding celebrities, such the Irish rocker Bono, Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr and the irascible Bob Geldof, who have been outed but then as far as we know, have not decided to row back from their contempt for taxes and, by extension, society.

We have just noticed - and with no prior contact with this blogger on the subject - that our colleague Richard Murphy seems to have a similar opinion to us about Mr. Carr.


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