Thursday, 21 June 2012

Carr Caves In

Jimmy Carr says:

I appreciate as a comedian, people will expect me to 'make light' of this situation, but I'm not going to in this statement. As this is obviously a serious matter. I met with a financial advisor and he said to me 'Do you want to pay less tax? It's totally legal'. I said 'Yes'. I now realise I've made a terrible error of judgement. Although I've been advised the K2 Tax scheme is entirely legal, and has been fully disclosed to HMRC I'm no longer involved in it and will in future conduct my financial affairs much more responsibly. Apologies to everyone. Jimmy Carr.

I'm disappointed in Carr for backing down but I understand why he's done so. Outside of the world of UK Uncut, this probably would have gone away after a few days but unfortunately, the Dear Leader's inability to utter the words "I am not prepared to comment on an individual's tax affairs" changed matters. I suspect that Carr knew if he didn't distance himself from the scheme, he would have been constantly hounded by the press, protesters, and politicians of all colours, all spurred on by Cameron's words. No doubt his work would suffer with TV appearances and other bookings drying up. The injustice here is that a man has effectively been put on trial and convicted by the hysterical masses despite acting within the law.

A side effect of making a moral judgement of someone is that you open yourself up to charges of hypocrisy if you are not whiter than white and because of this, the press are also going to have a field day trying to uncover the tax affairs of politicians, entertainers, sportsmen, and indeed anyone in the public eye. Premiership footballers and sanctimonious lefty actors beware...

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