The SNP Scottish Parliament member John Mason has proposed a timely motion in the Holyrood chamber today, in support of HMRC and their stance over the Rangers Tax Case.
This has not gone down terribly well with the idiot children of Sevconia.
We know the particulars of this case well by now, and The Times story has been ruthlessly and totally debunked. It is a non-issue. The story was a load of old cobblers, full of suppositions, if’s buts and maybes and even the odd bit of speculating thrown in.
The only real issue here is to question why it was done.
Dave Campbell did a brilliant piece on it yesterday for this blog, and it’s worth going back and reading that again in light of what Mason has done today because in his efforts to have HMRC’s position formally recognised by the Scottish Parliament there may be a clue.
One of Dave’s suggestions was that there is, perhaps, a looming tax bill at Ibrox which the club cannot pay.
This would be devastating to them, of course, and exactly the kind of thing that would precipitate a full-on crisis over there.
How neat if they could claim that this was part of some on-going conspiracy against the club.
This is a little theory of our own, of course … but Mason has given it a real shot in the arm with his motion today.
It is entitled “Importance of Trust in the Tax System.”
Think about that for a moment. Does that not suggest that this is bigger than just an argument about whether someone at HMRC overdid it back in 2010 or so?
It’s even more curious when you read the motion.
“That the Parliament notes the recent publication by The Times, which stated that Rangers FC’s insolvency was the result of an HMRC overestimation of taxes owed by £50 million; understands that HMRC has stated that no such mistakes were made and that it won its case against Rangers’ tax avoidance scheme in the Supreme Court; recognises that HMRC has also stated that “inaccurate and partial reporting only serves to undermine public trust in the tax system”, and considers that public trust in the tax system is paramount given the importance of taxation for the provision of public services and ensuring a fairer and more progressive Scotland.”
This is about as clear, and robust, a defence of the Exchequer as you’ll ever hear from a politician and it goes out of its way to make it clear that this isn’t about the individual claim as much as it is about public trust in the system itself … it’s as if that system was what was under attack here.
So does Mason know something we don’t?
Or does he suspect that this strategic leak was the precursor to an even bigger story?
Whether his motion is motivated by knowledge that more is going on than meets the eye, or a suspicion of the same, or just an expression of frustration at the story itself and the way it undermines a landmark case, his public support for the verdict will not win him any friends in Sevconia and will, in all probability, result in more foaming attacks on his character. Indeed, the lunatics are already rattling on the bars over this.
He should be used to them by now.
Mason is a controversial figure, and I haven’t always agreed with him on certain subjects, but he is a fine public servant and cares about society as a whole … and he has a lot of respect and concern for football in this country.
He has made a sterling intervention in this matter today and his motion should command widespread support and be fully endorsed by the chamber.
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