What an important and potentially decisive moment that was in the election, when 100 wealthy business people came out in support of the party that’s controlled and funded by wealthy business people, and was founded by wealthy business people, and always promises to cut taxes for wealthy business people.
So it’s reasonable that it was the main item all day on the news, as this completely neutral group surprised everyone by supporting the side they always support. Tomorrow the news will start: “The Labour Party was rocked today by a letter supporting David Cameron signed by David Cameron. David Cameron said the letter proves he’s supported by people across the community. Even more damaging for Labour, the letter was signed by Mr Cameron three times, including once diagonally near the top.”
The unbiased Stuart Rose, a Tory peer worth £34m, explained on Radio 4 that the Conservatives have cut corporation tax for businesses, which will give Britain the strong economy it needs to increase benefits for the disabled. So that’s why wealthy businessmen want to pay less tax, it’s to help the disabled. When Amazon or Vodafone go to all that trouble to dodge making payments, it’s because they’re saving up to buy all the disabled a solid gold wheelchair, and replace guide dogs with more efficient but much more expensive guide pandas.
This is why it’s been essential to cut disability benefits, and pay Atos to declare the disabled fit for work even if they can barely move. Because unless those cuts are made, the economy will never become strong and then we won’t be able to help the disabled. If the disabled really cared about the disabled they’d melt their crutches down for scrap and let themselves be poked with thistles for a pound, then send all the money they’d made to Stuart Rose so he could give it to wealthy businessmen who can make the economy strong so they can help the disabled.
Similarly there will almost certainly be a letter complaining about the mansion tax, written by people with mansions and starting, “We the undersigned oppose the mansion tax because the people it will hurt most are children with cerebral palsy”.
One concern must be for George Osborne, who proclaimed the letter an “unprecedented intervention” from businessmen, though it turned out the Tories had organised the whole thing. So there must have been the sort of conversation you expect in a care home. “Oh look, what a marvellous and unprecedented intervention.” “Er, you organised it, Mr Osborne.” “Did I? Well it’s most unexpected and unprecedented.”
If you look up the businessmen on the letter published yesterday, in the alphabetical order in which their names appear, to see whether any of them have tax-dodging connections, you’ll be disappointed. Because the very first one is Rooney Anand, who was chief executive of Greene King brewers when it was taken to court by the tax office, for “making taxable income vanish into thin air” by arranging a £300m "internal loan" that was even condemned by the Conservative MP on the Public Accounts Committee.
This is a shame as it would be more fun to at least get as far as the sixth or seventh one before finding a tax scandal, for a bit of sport. But there he is, right at the top, this brave businessman prepared to spend however long it takes with his accountants so he can pay as little tax as possible to help the disabled.
Major donors to the Conservative Party
Major donors to the Conservative Party
1/10 Michael Farmer
Hedge fund: RK Capital Management Worth: £150m Total donation: £6,556,092
2/10 Sir Michael Hintze
Hedge fund: CQS Worth: £1,055m Total donation: 3,221,027
3/10 Lord Fink
Hedge fund: ISAM Worth: £130m Total donation: £3,172,007
4/10 Chris Rokos
Hedge fund: Brevan Howard (pictured) Worth: £230m Total donation: £1,344,850
Google Street View
5/10 Andrew Law
Hedge fund: Caxton Associates Worth: £350m Total donation: £1,226,411
6/10 Sir Paul Ruddock
Hedge fund: Lansdowne Partners Worth: £300m Total donation: £818,783
7/10 David Harding
Hedge fund: Winton Capital Worth: £750m Total donation: £593,765
8/10 Hugh Sloane
Hedge fund: Sloane Robinson Worth: £185 Total donation: £533,500
9/10 Sir John and Peter Beckwith (L)
Hedge fund: RiverCrest Capital Worth: £350m Total donation: £520,996
10/10 Alexander Knaster
Hedge fund: Pamplona Capital Management Worth: £1,266m Total donation: £400,000
Apparently endorsements from people like this prove the Tories are to be trusted. Because the whole Conservative message is that if something’s good for business it helps us all. You can understand this way of thinking, because recently the banks did whatever they could to make as much money as possible, and that turned out ever so well. The disabled were especially grateful, eventually having to write to the Royal Bank of Scotland to say “please stop sending us things”.
It’s an outlook that results in the marvel that is Grant Shapps. He’s the Tory Party chairman who was caught apparently lying about having a second job while he was an MP, but explained this by saying he’d only “over-firmly denied” having the job. On Newsnight this week he was asked about this episode and said he was “proud to have been in a successful business”.
He’s now responsible for a large part of the Conservative campaign, such as claiming Labour will cost everyone thousands in tax with a figure he’s already been forced to over-firmly deny was made up, but it’s all right having a proven over-firmly denier in charge because successful business trumps everything.
If Isis were floated on the stock market and paid dividends, and their CEO was prepared to answer questions about massacres by saying, “Our short films reach a global market and I’m proud to be running a successful business”, he’d have been offered a seat in the House of Lords.
And the next letter might start, “Dear Sirs, as Britain’s leading dealers in crystal meth we wish to express our support for the Conservative-led government and its positive attitude towards business, trade and the encouraging year-on-year growth in sales of crack, which in our opinion would be put in peril by Labour’s policies, that are with all due consideration anti-business.”Reuse content