I love the Caribbean too, but dreary John Cleese is a fool to choose a tax haven over a vibrant city like London

Modern London might be dirty and crowded with appalling traffic, but its inhabitants produce the best entertainment, food and a rich cultural life. People like Cleese should stop pining for the 1950s

Janet Street-Porter
Friday 31 May 2019 17:43
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David Lammy challenges John Cleese to 'not define Englishness by DNA'

It might be easy to dismiss John Cleese’s tirade about London not being “an English city” as the musings of a grumpy old man, but in my mind that would be a mistake. With 5.69 million followers on Twitter, the former Monty Python star knows these controversial remarks will attract worldwide attention.

Moaning about the decline of English culture is a repetition of stuff he’s ranted about before. In protest, Cleese has moved to the tiny two-mile-wide and about six-mile-long Caribbean island of Nevis, that has a population of just 11,000 inhabitants, claiming that the weather is wonderful, the population is “very well educated,” there’s no knife crime and “no sign of Rupert Murdoch”.

Another reason Cleese is angry about London’s alleged decline is because of “Russian dirty-money laundering”, which is ironic when Nevis itself has plenty to answer on that score. Between 2013 and 2017 there were no convictions for money laundering or tax evasion on Nevis, and in 2017 the US State Department named the island a “jurisdiction of concern” in a report on money laundering and financial crimes. Financial experts regularly rate Nevis one of the world’s top 10 offshore tax havens because of the island’s strong secrecy laws. In 2000, Nevis was placed on a blacklist of 35 countries named by the OECD for being “non-cooperative” in regard to money laundering and tax evasion.

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