‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’ That line is commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but it could as easily be a comment on today’s British Labour Party.
In an attempt to emphasise Labour’s commitment to transparency, party leader Jeremy Corbyn released his tax return this week and he’s encouraging other politicians to follow suit. Both the prime minister and chancellor are adamantly refusing to disclose their private finances. Perhaps they have better things to do. Like running the country, for instance.
True to form, Corbyn managed to bungle his tax-return stunt: he forgot to include the £30,000 bonus he gets for being leader of the opposition. Another inept move underlining just how ineffective his opposition is.
Labour seems to be on a roll this week. Immediately after Corbyn released his botched tax form, the party released a new economic policy video that misspelled ‘Labour’. Still, given our financially confused comrade received a £100 fine last year for submitting his tax return a week late, this week’s faux pas was hardly surprising.
But more worrying than Corbyn’s inability to fill out a tax form is the way in which the publication of tax receipts has become a substitute for genuine political discourse. Today’s political leaders try to enthuse voters not with ideas and speeches, but by whipping out their self-assessment.