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376 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Lord Flight: Retrospec... · 0 replies · +1 points

I have to say that as a member of a family that was ( around 20 years ago) picked at random by HMRC, for the purposes of setting up a court case that would have created a legal president, to do with the handing over of the family business on the retiral of my father to myself and my wife. I won't go into all the details except to say that we took advice from a leading tax lawyer, about how to set this arrangement up before hand. Three years later, we received a letter from the revenue saying they'd looked over our file and that we'd underpayed our tax by £150 K, and that if we didn't repay it within 4 weeks we'd be taken to court and further punitive penalties added. Luckily we had insurance to cover ourselves through the business. It took 4 years of misery to fight the case, with the local revenue man saying that the revenue costs at one point were up to nearly £500K (which our insurance didn't cover) and that if the revenue won the case they'd try and make us bankrupt. In the end the revenue backed down and reduced their demand to £5000. The particularly galling thing for our family was that we were still advised the we did not owe any money at all, and that everything we'd done had been completely correct and above board. Sadly we had to pay as the insurance company was also put under pressure from the revenue, and they refused to back us any further. In the following 6 years, we had another 5 tax investigations costing us an extra £5k in accountancy fees per year, together with 4 VAT investigations during the same period. They only stopped when the head of the local tax office retired. Funny Starbucks doesn't get treated in this way

377 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Before promising tax c... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks I stand corrected :-)

377 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Before promising tax c... · 1 reply · +1 points

I agree Dan, what i want to see, is the large corporations taxed properly, instead of being allowed to get away with murder. I'm not sure how many billions are missed every year but it certainly seems to be in the tens of. What i don't understand is why govt hasn't perused this rout with avengeance. Time and again it appears that the big corporations can pretty much get away with what they want. With the exception of any manufacturing corp. operating here, if the service providing organisations like for instance Starbucks, say we'll pull out if you tax us, they should be told to bugger off. Lets face it, how many small cafe's have they driven out of business, that were probably paying more tax anyway. The law should be changed so that it you earn money in this country you pay tax on it here. Lets be clear, the kind of behaviour that some of these big corporations get up to in their tax affairs, would be stamped on from a great height, it an SME tried to get away with it.

If we want to get elected, lets try actually doing the right thing for a change rather than just sucking up to these corporations in the hope of getting a big party donation. After all there isn't much point in being well funded in opposition.

Its high time we stopped buggering about cow towing to banks, media organisations and corporations and did what should be done, rather than just trying to look like we're doing what should be done

378 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Matthew Elliott: More ... · 0 replies · +1 points

God help us all if she's listening to the nutters at green peace and friends of the earth, after all its fools like these that influenced previous the previous lunatics at the EA, and the madness that is the Re wilding policy, most especially on the levels on somerset, but in other places too.

I think the real Low point of the tenure of Cris Smith was him saying that the EA couldn't afford to dredge any of the rivers on the levels, (at a cost of £4-£6 million per year), and yet it could spend over £30 million on buying land and turning it back into some sort of bird reserve, which during the worst of the flooding ended up 15ft under water. So much for wading bird habitats!

Still every cloud has a silver lining, the levels are one of Britain's biggest TB hotspots, and this year, for the first time in over a decade, a number of farms there have gone TB free for the first time during their routine testing. Cruel people like farmers (me included) are left wondering if its more than just a bit of a coincidence that since all the badgers there were drowned, we're getting those clear results for the first time in years.

378 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Prime Minister's state... · 0 replies · +1 points

it has indeed occurred to me, but just about the only people who are adamant there are no Russians on the ground in Ukraine would seem to be the Russians themselves. I also see tonight that there seem to be reports and indeed photo's of several of these mobile launchers, in various places in the disputed territory.
it should also probably pointed out that I'm well aware of the fact that this system goes back to the seventies (78/79 i think). That said, the units the Ukrainians have will certainly be the reasonably up to date variations. (there's been dozens of variations) all with different fire control and radar systems, and massive differences between the oldest and the most modern. I don't hold at all that there just happens to be someone who knows how to use these things properly, as you yourself said, shooting down a passenger air liner is one thing but shooting down fighter jets is quite another. The people operating this Rocket, where ever it came from seem pretty adept in its use.

As for finding bits of missile, you are of course entirely correct in what you say, however, given the crash sight is in disputed territory and all sorts of people from all sorts of places (including Russia) have already been crawling over the crash sight, it starts to become pretty difficult to believe in the efficacy of any such evidence recovered from the crash sight.

Whatever the faults the Ukrainian authorities proper may have in this, and they may well have some, especially when allowing civilian air liners to pass through dangerous bits of its air space. They clearly didn't shoot the plane down if only because the rocket has to have been fired from ground they do not control. As I'm sure you know the maximum range of a BUK is about 20 miles horizontally, which means when the altitude of the plane is taken into account, it can't have been fired form much more than 10 miles from the crash sight, ie well inside the disputed territory. Face it, its got Putin's fingerprints all over it.

379 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Prime Minister's state... · 2 replies · +1 points

Itdoesnotadup, I was aware that there are stories that the rebels had captured one of the BUk rocket launchers, however, these do seem to have come from the Rebels them selves. Also it does seem to be the case this evening that the Ukrainians are offering access to both their missiles and audit system for inspection. Either way, it would seem to confirm that its the Rebels, and ultimately their Russian bosses that shot the plane down, and not the Ukrainians them selves.
Also very interesting is the fact that a Moscow news source seems to have reported the shooting down incident 4or 5 minutes before the crash.
As far as training is concerned, irrespective of how much was required, someone had to give it, and as the Russian's are clearly coordinating the rebels, and also seem to have special farces on the ground in eastern Ukraine, just who is most likely to have provided that training?

379 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Prime Minister's state... · 4 replies · +1 points

Well said Glynne, Bottom line is that the Ukrainians, have already shown their missiles inventory, and made it abundantly clear that there are no gaps in the missiles in storage. That being the case where did the terrorists get their missile? Lets be clear here, this wasn't some kids firework launched out of a back garden from an empty coke bottle, it was probably a soviet made BUK ground to air Missile, the same type as used to shoot down a couple of other Ukrainian military aircraft over the last week or so. An airliner, or any other plane for that matter, cruising at a speed of around 500mph and at an altitude of of about 33,000ft (6miles), can only be brought down by some pretty sophisticated kit, and that kit is very unlikely to have been used by some track suit wearing halfwit with an AK 47. In short, it can only have been deployed and used by trained Russian personnel.
Something has to be done about Putin, hopefully across the conference table, but the sad fact is this man is nutter trying to defect the opinion of his domestic population away from the economic chaos his country is in, by playing the age old, lets have a war to protect out ethnic brethren.

379 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - WATCH: Clegg – Tory ... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm no fan of Clegg or the lib dems, however, does he have a point?

I'll make my position clear to start in that the thought of throwing our dummies out of the pram and leaving the EU horrifies me, at the very least because if all the euro skeptics around are wrong (and no one honestly knows what would happen) and having pulled out of the eu our manufacturing base was damaged, there'd be no going back and oblivion would loom.

As EM says above, if there was a vote today or probably in the short term, chances are it would be to stay in. This being the case surely a more pragmatic view would have been to be a little less overtly euro skeptic in his Cabinet choices. Coming over all prickly and banging his fist on the table doesn't seem to have won many friends in Brussels as far as reform is concerned. While i want us to remain in Europe I heartily agree that i think we need to at the very least broker major reforms in the way the commission operates, and ideally remain a member but only from the point of view of free EU trade. I know when I'm involved in business discussions and someone starts acting aggressively and trying to use strong arm tactics I simply say sod off to them. Given this is the way Dave has already seemed to try and do business there, I can't see how choosing a hard line euro skeptic as your foreign secretary is exactly going to help. It already looks like he's just spoiling for a fight he knows he won't win, just so he can say i told you so back here and pull us all out. Same with lord Hill.
At the end of the day if we did wind up pulling out of the EU, Philip Hammond is hardly going to have endeared Britain to the rest of the EU in getting the essential trade concessions we'd need to carry on trading with them whilst out side the EU

Clegg may be an idiot but maybe he has a very serious point with this one.

379 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - A Dumbed Down Reshuffle · 0 replies · +1 points

Well said Howard

379 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - A Dumbed Down Reshuffle · 0 replies · +1 points

Well said Bill, personally I'm actually a big fan of Gove and what he's tried to do at education, but he's hardly the ideal man for tv and radio interviews is he? As for Paterson, he's done more in 18 months at defra for our farmers than all of the other ministers of all parties in the last 30 years put together. Both men must be sitting there wondering just what do we have to do as a minister to avoid the sack.