Monday 22 January 2018

Jenny McCartney: Jimmy Carr’s humour gives me the creeps ... but he’s given me a bit of laugh now

Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Carr

OH what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to pronounce on other people’s offshore tax arrangements. At least, politicians do. That is a lesson UK Prime Minister David Cameron might have done well to observe when asked last week to comment on Jimmy Carr’s offshore tax affairs, which apparently resulted in the comedian paying 1 per cent income tax on his millions.

Some sage Cameronian flannel might have been advised but, sensing the fury of the Twitter-mob swelling behind him, the Prime Minister remarked that Carr’s tax avoidance was “morally questionable”, and promptly tumbled into the great offshore elephant trap, to be pelted with awkward questions about Tory party donors, ministers and the investments of his own late father.

Cameron has since wisely refused to comment on the offshore investments of Gary Barlow OBE, who – with his masterminding of the Jubilee concert – briefly became the nearest thing we had to a secular saint. But it’s too late now, anyway. The tax debate is up and running amok, pausing every so often to punch a public figure on the way.

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