Wednesday, 26 January 2011

FAITH & FINANCE - Richard Murphy’s view…

We return to this series by interviewing Richard Murphy.

He is a Chartered Accountant who has worked in the Finance world and as an auditor, besides other business activities. He is a married with children, lives in Norfolk and has a wide-ranging interest in socio-political matters, speaking regularly at meetings with diverse organisations in the UK and overseas.

He is well known at Westminster, the EU and in other important forums and is a frequent contributor to leading newspapers, journals, and commentator on radio and television.

He has (so far) resisted invitations to stand for election as an M.P. to Parliament.

Norway currently funds his campaigning activities because the government of that country is so opposed to the avoidance of taxes through tax havens.

So far as Jersey is concerned, he is mostly known as the man who advised against adopting the failed Zero-Ten policy and as a campaigner against the abusive, roles of tax havens world-wide.

As a financial dissenter and because our government does not like to be exposed as wrong, Richard Murphy is not at all popular with our senior Ministers or within the Finance Sector.

His contributions to the TAX RESEARCH here and TAX JUSTICE NETWORK here blog-sites are very well respected sources of data, information and comment on international finance and the dubious dealings of super-rich individuals, corporations and governments.

Not so well known is that Richard Murphy is a church going Anglican Christian with a Quaker background. He takes his faith seriously and explains here how this is central to his campaigning activities.

We caught up with Richard Murphy in Jersey during his January visit when he spoke in public and met with States Members.

We thank ATTAC Jersey, Ted Vibert of the JDA and Time4Change for their assistance in bringing Richard Murphy to Jersey and facilitating the interview.

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.


Anonymous said...

I must say, I feel very strongly that there should be an open register for companies accounts (lets face it the CI charge enough for the annual return).

For small businesses, it can be difficult at times to know how much credit you can allow to another company, take it on trust and you could find yourself out of pocket if they go bust. In the UK, you can obtain the last balance sheet (virtually instantly) and decide based on the strength or weakness and ability to pay debts on time.

Having records that can only be accessed via some convoluted request......, is not quite open and transparent as it should be, so the CI fail on this count and therefore Richard Murphy is right to highlight this area, the defence by someone on CTV last night was feeble and pointless.

voiceforchildren said...

"the defence by someone on CTV last night was feeble and pointless."

It was, in my opinion, just another stage managed propaganda excercise that CTV are so good at. Why didn't they have Richard Murphy and the finance guy in the studio at the same time? Geoff Cook, I think his name was, had the opportunity, as did Phillip Ozouf, Terry Le Sueur and others to attend Richard Murphy's meeting and put all their criticisms to him there.....but they didn't.

Indeed they didn't have to, they ring CTV up get a nice little cosy sofa chat with the presenter and hey presto, job done, public fooled again with the establishment spin. Will have to nominate it for an award!

Zoompad said...

Like he says, there is nothing wrong with wealth.

What is wrong is when poor people are deliberatly kept poor in order to exploit and persecute them.

He seems like a really nice man, what he is saying is good.

Anonymous said...

Most interesting as it shows the "real" reasons why Mr Murphy is involved in what he does. No Marxism here. No Neo Liberal ideologue. A country Christian of which there are so many in Jersey. Would Senator Le Marquand, a born again, agree that there are ethical problems in running a secrecy jurisdiction -Money and Mamon -Usury etc.

It rather delflates Murphy as "THE DEVIL", more like an archangel come with words of advice for the sinners. One of those Breugal paintings comes to mind - you know the one with all the sinners fornicating etc, just moments before the final Judgement. Sorry if I sound a little mesianic.

Richard Syvret said...

Richard Murphy's contribution is welcome but, in my view, fails to appreciate the magnitude of the underlying problem.
Ever since the very earliest pre-historic times man has not only been in competition with man but also, in order to conceal the true extent of that competition, has sought for and largely achieved confidentiality - a cover for their actions.
The ancient well-preserved (by the Jews) book of Genesis at the beginning of the Christian Bible shows Adam and Eve "going it alone" aside from their Creator and the only God. The immediate outcome of doing this was an argument between them and the use of a cover-up (fig-tree-leaves) by both sides. Soon after that, competition (and jealousy) is so fierce between their children that one of them kills the other.
Ever since then murder has been a crime - but many millenia later even murder and killing for gain is alive and well on planet earth - and cover-ups are part and parcel of those murders and killings across the globe.
Into that comes Jesus Christ - and a new realm is here.
But within that competition scenario Jersey lives out its days. It is a scenario where individuals (acting for themselves as well as for companies, small and large)pursue gain against all competition (including tax competition) that might reduce that gain in any way. And those individuals in their earnest pursuit of gain ensure as far as possible that others, who might seek their market share or to take away in whole or in part the profits they are making, are kept unaware of business information or competitive secrets or potential or actual tax demands.
What then is Jersey as a jurisdiction with its own laws to do in this situation?
It already has laws that prohibit "murder" but murders still occur. It has laws that prohibit Jersey being used for money laundering of all kinds - but money laundering still occurs. And so on.. And so on...
More and more is being done by Jersey - but mankind's operating system is competition driven and cover-up driven (even lies driven as the national dailies daily report). This is noticeably so in the parallel area of marital unfaithfulness in Jersey where marriages are repeatedly broken through initially-covert flirtations.)
Yes, Jersey must - and does - seek that all financial buisinesses operate lawfully and that Jersey's laws are not unjust and not immoral and do not damage the weak and the poor. (I strongly support Richard Murphy's stand that Jersey should not engage in internet gaming for these reasons.)
But it should be plain that Jersey cannot rule others by prescription.
It is Jesus Christ alone who is able to save from that long-standing scenario (which has such devastating consequences all around us every day) in which we all find ourselves struggling with pain and with our consciences.
The change he makes is a change within each individual that turns to him - and is accompanied by forgiveness and grace to live differently.
That, in my view, is the macro picture of "Faith and Finance" presented in each of the four biographies of Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God, Son of Man, in the New Testament.

Anonymous said...

So is the 'voice for protest' going to support those who want to protest against whaling when the IWC comes to Jersey? Or shall we just protest for our own hobby horses?

voiceforchildren said...

RE; "So is the 'voice for protest' going to support those who want to protest against whaling"

Could you define "support?" If you would like to write an article on it, then I'm sure we could publish it as a guest posting. If you would like to do an interview, I'm sure that could be arranged too.

Anonymous said...

Our concerns in this island are socio-economic; to defend the living standards of working people. We must also defend our freedoms and liberty to communicate, organise and protest. We should be prepared to take collective action were government or the state to challenge those inalienable rights.

Whaling is not an issue of interest to the indigenous population, nor to its fishermen, except in a wider ecological way.

I suspect the whaling conference is being held in Jersey precisely because there will be no protests. By virtue of being an island, protesters are deterred from coming from the Uk or Europe. Trying to find a cheap BA or FlyMAYBE flight is nearly impossible!

What do our local Greens say? Will they be organising a picket. If not then it is not an issue. The truth is that this is another JEP invention story created to sell news and frighten the public into believing that additional policing will be necessary.

The Jersey folks are very slow and rather easily misled by deliberate misinformation. Those that purport to be “Progressive” are also part of the deception, in part because of their lack of a political vision wider than the end of Gorey Pier. Insularism breads stupidity.

Incidentally, the best way to “read” the JEP is to believe the opposite of what it is saying. That’s what happens now and historically in authoritarian states. The problem is that the press in oppressive regimes sometime do tell the truth. Lets see how the JEP spin out this story. We can monitor their lies here. CTV and BBC Radio Jersey are part of the same club of creative nonsence. The last free speech programme on BBC Radio Jersey was the lunch time phone-in and talkback. Not a word from any politiciand about “dubing down” Equally those who see the truth are not organising collectively to protest. Why is that? Can Emile and Jordy Anne come on here and explain their docility?

Anonymous said...

Not quite sure how whaling et al are directly relevant to the Faith and Finance theme and we hope that many more appropriate comments might yet follow.
So far as Emille is concerned we can only inform that he is of course welcome to make a contribution here and we have made the appropriate technology available to him in conjunction with Constable Crowcroft. Unfortunately, his health is not so good and he is not yet au fait with the new infernal machine. We hope that he will be better soon...
We have no information about "Geordie Anne" but presume that the new BBC policy is all part of the Corporation's continuing "dumbling down" that has been going on for years. We note that the World Service is about to suffer a new bout of cuts and that Peter Sissons is reported in today's Sunday Times making substantial criticisms about the "Yes Men" who manage Auntie etc.

It was never going to be easy for people like Richard Murphy to express his kind of views. Not only is he restricted by the constraints of his own stifling professional body (as an accountant) but we have to realise that the media have never been too remote from the establishment line. It is especially interesting - now that newspapers worldwide are experiencing financial problems - that the "Mail" (for example) is publishing articles against tax haven abuse etc.

Back on theme, it is odd that the "Authorised version of the Bible" has served Christians for nearly 400 years and the same words and texts contained therein are still applied to the ever-changing world by believers. Whatever we might think about Christianity - we should acknowledge the longevity of the basic book that has survived so many challenges and technological novelties.
Pity that Jersey's "progessives" cannot agree on similarly written-down and agreed policies from one week to another.
Thomas Wellard.

Anonymous said...

Not quite sure how whaling et al are directly relevant to the Faith and Finance theme and we hope that many more appropriate comments might yet follow.

Read about Jonah....

Anonymous said...

Dear Jonah,

Mr Murphy whilst in Jersey did seriously criticise the kind of interview he received from BBC Radio Jersey. He was used to the BBC in the UK, where he is regularly used as a commentator on finance and tax matters that require the appropriate “BBC balance”. This was done at his private meeting with States Members in the Old Magistrate’s Court. There is no elected Jersey politician brave enough to criticise the media here because they are dependant on it to carry their self importance. They have no other means of expressing themselves because they do not really have secure roots in the communities in which they are elected. Only a few vote the rest have been numbed into silent resentment.

The connection here with Faith and Finance, is that the latter has immense impact politically. It influence culture, creating a media that is bland, uninformative and essentially safe. Churches are part of the wider culture of the island and they contain large numbers of people who want to be in a community yet be safe and do nothing that changes the world around them. Their purpose is to recruit more members and offer a refuge in an alienated world. This is not proposed in a mechanistic way. It has to be seen much more indirectly, a form of critical analysis wholly lacking in the island. People are educated not to think or to question – its dangerous.

Moby Dick
(Secretary, Campaign for Whale Protection)