Monday, 4 April 2011
The public rapture at the news of the wedding, no not that one, the other, that of Edward and Justine, is set to be the biggest alternative event of the kind since the marriage of Edward and Wallis on June 3rd 1937.
Alas, I was not invited to that one, perhaps my mistake with the gin and orange at Aunt Ethel’s was too widely known and am unlikely to be asked to any of this year’s.
Amongst the many and various reasons attributed to the couple’s decision have been the mean minded ones that it might be about political gain. Personally, I doubt that this may have made much difference. It might just be that they have been with each other for enough time and have children to make the effort worth it.
There are more cogent reasons, however, bearing in mind that the lady is a lawyer. There is, I believe, a Miliband family trust set up by that Apostle of the Left, father Ralph to ensure that the full weight of inheritance and related taxes did not impede his family’s life work for the equality of the masses.
The detail of this is not known, like most of our current politician’s personal financial arrangements they are shrouded in secrecy. But should marriage be needed to comply with certain terms and conditions then perhaps it is high time that Edward sorted out his end of the matter.
Beyond that there are reports that Edward has set up a personal company into which a variety of sundry payments may be made for work and effort on his part. It is a common device, widely used and well known.
It enables people with complicated sources of income to pay tax at company rates which are much lower than the higher tax rates on ordinary personal earned income. The higher rate of personal income tax was introduced by the previous, Labour, government with the full support of Edward.
When the sources of income become more various and complicated and the related expenses more intricate then it is often necessary to create a web of such companies and move money around them in various ways to minimise tax liabilities. There are other politicians who are adept at this, Tony Blair for one, another with a lawyer lady wife.
Where some of the companies and often connected trusts are moved off shore then the tax liabilities may simply evaporate. Quite where David fits into this is not clear. Possibly he will have his own arrangements that may have little connection with those of Edward, save for their joint interest in the Miliband Trust.
It is all very distracting and takes time away from the politics but then it does take a lot of effort to manage all that money in their quest to destroy capitalism. Perhaps they should refresh their reading on Peter Kropotkin, the class system he grew up with is strangely similar to the one they are trying to create.
He too liked to keep his personal life to himself. When in England in 1891 and 1911 he does not appear to have filled in his Census Returns. What, I wonder is in those of the Milibands?
Perhaps he too disliked the attentions of the tax collector.
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The more I see of wealthy left of centre politicians, the more drawn I am to simple behaviourism as an explanation of human actions. We know how powerfully reinforcing money is, and easily-earned approval must be strongly reinforcing too, even if it leads to an apparent conflict of egalitarian principles.ReplyDelete
So there may be no real conflict here, because there are no such things as political principles. Wealthy left of centre politicians are merely acting under the influence of two strongly reinforcing influences, both easily understandable. Whether the politicians themselves understand them, I’m not so sure.