NO, David Cameron – your family’s tax affairs are NOT a ‘private matter’


David Cameron’s double standards really are appalling. Here’s his official line on his family’s involvement in the Panama tax haven scandal, courtesy of Reuters:

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokeswoman declined to comment on Monday on whether the leader’s family had money invested in offshore funds set up by his father, saying it was a “private matter”.

Cameron’s late father, Ian Cameron, was among hundreds of thousands clients named in more than 11.5 million leaked documents from the files of a law firm based in the tax haven of Panama.

In 2012, British media reported that Cameron’s father ran a network of offshore investment funds to help build the family fortune.

Asked whether she could confirm that no family money was still invested in those funds, Cameron’s spokeswoman said: “That is a private matter, I am focused on what the government is doing.”

Oh, really?

The British people don’t think it’s private. They think it is a matter of public interest.

They want to know exactly why Cameron seems to have thought it’s okay for the rest of us to pay the taxes that allow his Conservative Government to operate, while he and his family – while living at public expense – have paid nothing themselves. And they took to Twitter to make their feelings known.

“Tories spend years saying the deficit means they HAVE to punish the poor,” wrote ‘Tom London’. “All the time the rich are dodging tax.

“It is the defining scandal of the age.”

‘Ellie’ asked: “Can I scrawl ‘IT’S A PRIVATE MATTER’ across my next tax return? In red crayon?”

And Ray Tallis pointed out: “In a decent world, Cameron’s father would be seen as a crook. But all his tax dodging was within the law. Meanwhile NHS underfunded.”

Others went to the heart of Cameron’s hypocrisy on the subject, such as This Writer’s old friend PJ Holden, who wrote: “Cameron’s spokeswoman says family investments are ‘private matter’ – oddly not what he said about Jimmy Carr’s tax.”

Here’s what David Cameron said about Jimmy Carr’s tax:

“I think some of these schemes – and I think particularly of the Jimmy Carr scheme – I have had time to read about and I just think this is completely wrong.

“People work hard, they pay their taxes, they save up to go to one of his shows. They buy the tickets. He is taking the money from those tickets and he, as far as I can see, is putting all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes.

“That is wrong. There is nothing wrong with people planning their tax affairs to invest in their pension and plan for their retirement – that sort of tax management is fine. But some of these schemes we have seen are quite frankly morally wrong.

“The government is acting by looking at a general anti-avoidance law but we do need to make progress on this. It is not fair on hardworking people who do the right thing and pay their taxes to see these sorts of scams taking place.”

What’s the difference between Jimmy Carr’s tax avoidance and that of Cameron Sr?

Oh yes – perhaps it’s a “private matter” because Cameron Sr has passed away.

But then, Ed Miliband’s father was dead when the Daily Mail published this:


Cameron Jr never so much as squeaked about that being a “private matter”!

So let’s be fair: The prime minister has put himself in an untenable position. At the head of a government that has claimed it is doing everything to end tax avoidance – and after he personally denounced another public figure for participating in such “dodgy tax avoiding schemes” – it seems Cameron has taken part in exactly the same schemes himself. It’s possible he is still participating in them.

That’s why This Writer thinks The Mirror is right to reiterate the question of the day on its front page:


If he doesn’t want to answer, let him resign.

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38 thoughts on “NO, David Cameron – your family’s tax affairs are NOT a ‘private matter’

  1. Nick

    most prime ministers have a dodgy family background’ they have been brought up with the me me attitude hence the way the world reacts they are the main cause of all of the worlds ill’s and the pain and suffering that goes on it’s very simple’ at the end of the day the public should never allow the likes of David Cameron and co to even enter politics

    so in reality like most things in life it is the public that’s to blame for the mess the world is in and somehow that will need addressing in the future if the world’s people are to survive

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I really don’t think you should blame the public for the rise of David Cameron!

      1. Nick

        well i do mike you make choices in life and if the public vote for elitists and those like him then you will have to pay the consequences as the world at this time is doing in many parts

    2. Barry Davies

      We didn’t vote for him in the “safe” tory seat of Stafford, unfortunately his next attempt the people didn’t see through him, he has had his revenge by destroying our health care and telling lies about our hospital though.

  2. Terry Davies

    I wrote many posts saying he should resign and questioning his integrity, self interest and why Osborne did not deal with tax avoidance.
    There is now an awareness of the public as to why the NHS is not sufficiently funded and reasons for cronies funding the tory party. the panama papers should be read before the May elections.
    Cameron doednt win the EU referendum if you vote to stay in. truthfully he wants out so that he can resign and protect against a well deserved legacy of dividing the UK.
    voting to stay in EU isnt supporting tories just ensuring Cameron gets the legacy.
    The panama papers scandal was initiated to discredit him and give him a reason to resign, hopefully he doesnt resign immediately but damage the tory party even more.
    this can then trigger an investigation into his crony MPs and all tory backer company and indiviuals who fund the tory party.
    also those who have taken over or have shares in denationalised services.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Voting to stay in the EU isn’t anything to do with the Tories – it’s simply voting to stay in the EU.
      This Writer is currently planning to vote ‘Remain’, simply because no coherent argument has yet been put forward for leaving.

      1. Barry Davies

        Cameron is a dyed in the wool europhile and is quite happy to lie about it just as he is everything else, no one should vote to stay in the eussr, because it can only get worse.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        For the 99th time, there is no such thing as an EUSSR.
        Cameron’s position on Europe is not clear, but “dyed in the wool Europhile” is not what I’d have called him!

    2. Barry Davies

      You are living in the eussr and it is absolutely clear that cameron is a dyed in the wool europhile, he is going to waste £9.5 million tax payers money on top of the agreed £7 million campaign fund that remain is actually allowed to send propaganda to every home in the nation.

      1. Nick

        Barry the day David Cameron went into politics was the day he should have been stopped not now as the damage has been done

        David Cameron has always stated the same reason on why in went into politics ? Mrs thatcher

        that alone says it all nothing else’ he has declared that he is a believer in radical change even if it means people trying to bomb either against himself as the IRA tried with Mrs thatcher or using them to achieve his goals

        he has always been a very extreme talker in the same mold of Donald trump but with an oxford way of keeping his view points on a central plain to suck in the voter

        Barack Obama the finest speaker of all and much more transparent would have been ideal for this country i write him a letter and i get one back on the same topic as i had written with a full sense that my views are shared and a sense that he wished i lived in the usa

        as Barack Obama has always stated he has very little power and anything decent that he would like gets overturned by the the money boys the Cameron boys the republicans

        as i have always said politics is simple you need more type of people like Barack Obama in politics and none of the Cameron’s or trumps

      2. Barry Davies

        As I said earlier the people of Stafford a safe tory seat he was parachuted into did stop him in his tracks when he first tried to get a parliamentary seat, so it isn’t my fault he’s there,he got his own back by lying through his back teeth about Stafford Hospital and even gave a cue to a woman whose own behaviour was very dodgy.

  3. Tony Dean

    It is not a private matter it is a resigning matter, and shows what a callous party the Tories are.

  4. Barry Davies

    One would imagine that he also received the ill gotten gains from his fathers estate when he died, so that means it is a public matter not a private one.

  5. cathy

    have you seen Gordon Bowdens files on 250,000 shell companies run from an address in Finchley Road. MPs, lords etc all implicated.

  6. shawn

    My memory is close to its limit, but I thought in a T.V. documentary I watched about 2 years ago that George Osborne has tax haven status in the British Caymans (?), whereby he has let a small empty office as a business address, to avoid having to pay British taxes. I can remember the programme or channel, but I think it was on about 2 years ago. Unfortunately, I have no means of verifying this point, the Chancellor’s tax avoidance measures were not the main item in the documentary. as it was about corporate tax avoidance. If anyone else can remember it would useful as to replace Cameron with another serial offender would be pointless for the British tax payer and fairness in our society.

  7. Gary Burley

    is there a chance Mike that you could use the magic you used to force IDS hand in revealing the death statistics to bring Cameron up in front of a judge for tax evasion, you have a gift for it and Cameron needs to be reminded that the law is the law, not something for him to try and brush off, none of us would stand the same chance as this vile hypocrite, nor minor celebs like Jimmy Carr who he openly attacked

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m not sure how I can. The death stats were the result of a Freedom of Information request on a public organisation (the DWP) but Cameron’s tax affairs are private.
      Also, the ‘Panama papers’ concern tax avoidance (which is legal), not evasion (which isn’t).
      There again, Cameron makes the law, so there’s a possible conflict of interest.

      1. shawn

        George Osborne family business’ £6m offshore deal

        Chancellor George Osborne’s family business made £6m in a property deal with a developer based in a tax haven, Paul McNamara and Guy Basnett investigate.

        Chancellor George Osborne’s family business made £6 million in a property deal with a developer based in a tax haven, a Channel 4 News investigation has found.

        Wallpaper firm Osborne & Little teamed up with a secretive corporation in the British Virgin Islands, to draw up plans to redevelop its former London headquarters into housing.

        The companies jointly applied for planning permission for around 45 flats and houses, and once given the go-ahead, Osborne and Little sold its site to the offshore firm for £6,088,000.
        A legal expert shown contracts obtained by Channel 4 News said Osborne & Little must have known the developer was based offshore, and had the potential to avoid millions in tax.

        At the time, the Chancellor was the beneficiary of a family trust that owned at least 15% of Osborne and Little, so would have personally benefitted from the sale.

        It is not known what the Chancellor’s personal stake was.

        The deal calls into question his commitment to clamping down on offshore firms avoiding tax, a practice he has gone on to publicly condemn as “morally repugnant”.
        The above actions by Osborne and Little are not known to have been illegal, but may have morally repugnant.

  8. david tandey

    How much longer will the British masses put up with all the political corruption and hypocritical crap?

  9. Brian

    “It is not fair on hardworking people who do the right thing and pay their taxes to see these sorts of scams taking place”.

    So Cameron, *YOU* are a scam merchant, who with the rest of your ilk should DO THE RIGHT THING and dissolve Parliament.

  10. Thomas

    One might be able to argue that an affair is a private matter-but not tax dodging as that harms the economy.

  11. Nick

    the likes of David Cameron have always been around but thank god not where i grew up in London in the fifties. i have never met anyone in my 60 years like Cameron and co and wherever they were breeding god only knows

    i grew up within a very stable house/church based environment in a poor part of London in the fifties where my main duty was to support those less fortunate then myself via the church

    god knows what David Cameron upbringing was like’ it sounds like some sort of hell with making money as the main topic of the day hence as i have stated it causes trouble in a big way for many not only here in the uk but also the wider world

    As for allowing his type of character into politics is just madness as is Donald trump and as i say if the people are that daft then they will have to suffer the extreme consequences of their voting actions both now and for the future

  12. Michael

    It has always been strange that Margaret Thatcher, that most Patriotically British of PMs, enjoyed the benefits of a property in London which was registered in the BVI.
    The witches house in London was owned via an offshore vehicle which, no doubt, proved very beneficial to whoever inherited the property upon her descent into hell.
    (It allowed those who inherited the £12.5 million pound house in London to avoid the inheritance tax of 40% of its value (£5 million) that would have been due if it were registered as belonging to a UK resident. Very Patriotic Ma`am. Rejoice, Rejoice.)

    Likewise Osborne & Little had an involvement with a secretive (and very short lived) entity based in the British Virgin Islands, when they redeveloped their former London headquarters into mews housing, this proved extremely detrimental to the UK Tax Collectors hopes of getting their mittens on a small fraction of the £20 Million that the redeveloped properties were then sold for.
    It really would be interesting to know the ownership of the now dissolved Nightingale Mews Inc.
    And I wonder that if we were ever to discover who the beneficial owners were, that it would appear a bit like the old Who song………
    “Meet the new boss….
    Same as the old boss.”

    Its not really possible that the Chancellor could have cheated the Chancellor out of Tax?????? No That that sort of thing could never happen.

  13. Mark

    While no fan of Dave, I don’t see why anyone should be hounded for what their father may or may not have done. Offshore accounts aren’t illegal, however any proceeds brought on shore should be declared and tax paid. The leaked documents show that the firm in question were seemingly helping clients commit money laundering and deceiving the authorities. I’ve not seen anything yet about Cameron Snr doing this, just the fact he ran an offshore fund which used the same firm. If someone has broken the law they should be prosecuted but it should be based on facts and what they have done.

    I’d also add that its hypocritical for the opposition party to have a go, after all they never stopped such practices either, despite having 3 straight terms in office.

    We need a simpler tax system that reduces the loopholes, we need to regulate tax advice so that those advising become liable if their advice turns out to be a crock of shit and we need proper deterrents to make taking the risk too risky. How about a fine equivalent to 10 x the amount not paid and a prison sentence that increases in line with the value of the amount not paid?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Okay. Firstly – as Chris Bryant has made clear – Labour was in the process of demanding tax transparency from the UK’s dependencies when the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats took office in 2010. It is the Tories who dropped the matter. So, no, it isn’t hypocritical for Labour to question Tory behaviour in this matter.
      Secondly, you seem to be deliberately ignoring the hypocrisy shown by Cameron Jr – who attacked Jimmy Carr over his own tax affairs while having enjoyed the benefits of a similar arrangement himself, and while doing as little as possible to end the conditions that allowed such arrangements to be made.
      Thirdly, a simpler tax system won’t help – in fact, it would probably make it easier for new loopholes to be created. A clever tax system is what we want – and we won’t get it under the Tories.
      Finally, you may not be a fan of Cameron, but you certainly seem to be a Conservative.

      1. Mark

        Labour had plenty of time to do it but didn’t. They can’t claim we were going to, we are judged on what we do not what we say we will do.

        Can you show any proof that Cameron does have any offshore investments? Bear in mind that as long as he declares and pays tax on any proceeds he won’t have broken any laws.

        The more complex you make something the greater the opportunity to exploit loopholes.

        You seem to be good on assumptions but rather lacking in facts.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Okay, your comment was written three days ago. Sorry I’ve taken a while to get around to it but have a think about what’s happened since and the way the rest of the UK (and the world) is reacting to it.
        Bear in mind also that the fact Cameron paid tax on his dividends from Blairmore doesn’t stop the money itself having come from an organisation that avoided tax in order to have it in the first place. If the company had paid its share of tax, then the dividend would have been smaller so, yes, Cameron profited from tax avoidance.
        Labour was in the process of trying to sort out offshore tax avoidance when the Tories and Liberal Democrats slithered into office. I don’t know how long that process had been ongoing but it would be wrong to say Labour did nothing. Labour hasn’t claimed “we were going to” because Labour was actually doing it – until the Tories put a stop to it.

    2. Nick

      it’s not illegal mark of course not but David Cameron had to grow up in that type of environment and that was never going to a good one’ and just thank god i did not have to grow up with a father like Cameron’s and that would have been a disaster for me

      As i have said above throughout my sixty years i have never met anyone bearing a personality like that of Cameron or his father and hope i never do

  14. Mark Pearson

    No, apparently it’s not illegal, but when some small elite only has access to financially efficient mechanisms that the the majority do not have access to – then why would you elect one of that elite to govern – since they are not subject to the same conditions as the minority – and are unlikely to exercise balance in their fiscal decision making?

Comments are closed.