Friday, 4 February 2011

A new hero for the Pantheon

I just read a fascinating interview with Eva Joly: French fraud prosecutor, Green politician and French presidential candidate.

She has some very trenchant things to say about civilisation, taxation and the UK's government. I wonder if we can arrange some kind of transfer over here.

We have been living in a kind of collective illusion that this is how the world is — that the poor shall always be poor, ordinary people shall be squeezed to the benefit of a kind of oligarchy."
…of the UK's non-dom tax arrangements for the super-rich ("This is a serious hole in European tax co-operation").

Plans to save money by merging the SFO and other agencies into a new economic crime agency concern Joly. "I think it's a scandal. What sort of society are we creating? All over the world, the powerful don't want economic crime investigation."
Some of her most swingeing analysis is reserved for the Britain's failure to tame the forces in the Square Mile. "Your political and business elites are asking for sacrifice, asking to close down public services – you are cutting the number of public sector jobs by 400,000. Why don't your politicians have the courage to recover taxes in order to be able to pay for the schools, the teachers, the hospitals? To me, tax is civilization. It is the basis of your social contract."
The decision by the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, to delay implementing the Bribery Act, passed in the dying days of the Labour government, enrages Joly. "We have been waiting for that how long? 20 years?"

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