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1949threepence

Why is Rishi Sunak held responsible for his wife's tax affairs?

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OK, so just thinking about the Rishi Sunak affair, doesn't this bring into focus to what extent a politician should be held accountable for the actions and opinions of their other halves? Do we expect them to be in perfect lockstep, or do we accept they are two separate individuals with their own ideas? I mean supposing Rishi's wife, Akshata Murthy, had refused to change her tax status and gone in front of the cameras to say what she was doing was legal, adding that it was to her financial advantage to keep things as they were, and she wasn't taking orders from anyone, including him? Should Rishi have then immediately resigned?

Supposing Jeremy Corbyn's wife, Laura Alvarez, had publicly declared herself a Tory and gone on to say what a huge fan she was of David Cameron or Teresa May? Or if Philip May had criticised his wife for the police cuts back in 2014. Or back in the 80's Denis Thatcher had declared himself left wing and expressed his profound admiration for Karl Marx and Michael Foot.

Possible examples are legion. What I don't get in the current instance is why Rishi's own judgement is in question for his wife's personal choices. With some of the sanctimonious crap that's emerging from the media, you might be forgiven for thinking that we'd gone back a long way in time, and she was thought of as a mere chattel, ready to do his bidding at the drop of a hat.  

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Much ado about nothing.

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But so naive - they must know that the opposition and the tabloids are continually poring over their every move, looking for headlines, like the so-called "parties" and Dominic Cummings' road trip.

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Unfortunately we do not have a viable opposition party to the current government nor have had one for several years.

Personal attacks to get front benchers to resign rather than offer up ideas, thoughts or processes to help with the current cost of living crisis and world events just underlines that.

 

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32 minutes ago, Old Money said:

Unfortunately we do not have a viable opposition party to the current government nor have had one for several years.

Personal attacks to get front benchers to resign rather than offer up ideas, thoughts or processes to help with the current cost of living crisis and world events just underlines that.

 

Spot on there. We badly need a viable and strong opposition to keep the elected government in check. 

We also need to know what Labour are for, not just what they're against

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1 hour ago, Michael-Roo said:

Exactly. Never mind his wife (though you'd have to ask why she doesn't become a full British citizen?), the question is why he had held a US green card when he intended to be full time as a British politician.

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59 minutes ago, Peckris 2 said:

Exactly. Never mind his wife (though you'd have to ask why she doesn't become a full British citizen?), the question is why he had held a US green card when he intended to be full time as a British politician.

I'd still love to know what would have happened if she'd publicly refused to give up the non dom tax status. Would he have been expected to order her to do so? - trap there just waiting for the unwary individual who made such an implication.  

There are faults and corruption wherever you look in politics, not just on one side. Blair took us into an illegal war which killed tens of thousands, and ends up being Sir Tony.

He doesn't hold the green card any more, and whilst it was incompatible with his position that he did, the fact he gave it up before these "revelations" renders the point somewhat moot. I can't somehow see it firing public anger.   

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16 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

He doesn't hold the green card any more, and whilst it was incompatible with his position that he did, the fact he gave it up before these "revelations" renders the point somewhat moot. I can't somehow see it firing public anger.   

I couldn't disagree more. The fact he gave it up before the facts emerged isn't relevant. What some of us would like to know is: why do we have the second most senior politician in the country who held a green card while his wife earned millions in unpaid tax from her non-dom status? Like they were both "here yet not here". It leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth of those struggling to get by on what the Tories cynically rebranded the "living wage" from its former status as the "minimum wage".

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3 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

I couldn't disagree more. The fact he gave it up before the facts emerged isn't relevant. What some of us would like to know is: why do we have the second most senior politician in the country who held a green card while his wife earned millions in unpaid tax from her non-dom status? Like they were both "here yet not here". It leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth of those struggling to get by on what the Tories cynically rebranded the "living wage" from its former status as the "minimum wage".

So let me ask you then - if she'd refused to give up her favourable tax status, would you have held him personally responsible? 

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2 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

So let me ask you then - if she'd refused to give up her favourable tax status, would you have held him personally responsible? 

I think, as a married couple, they are jointly responsible for financial decisions they make.

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I think there are more important things to worry about- so Crimea river....

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16 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

I think, as a married couple, they are jointly responsible for financial decisions they make.

It just doesn't work like that, either legally or (often) in practice. Hence why so many have separate bank accounts and independently pursue separate careers.

So if she had refused, anybody blaming him personally could and would be instantly accused of considering the little woman to be no more than a chattel, there to obey her husband's wishes.

   

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Posted (edited)

Just heard that Boris and Rishi have received fines for breaking Covid rules so they'll presumably resign in the morning, or maybe get on with the important things like supporting Ukraine ?

Edited by secret santa
update
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How can you conflate the two issues?

Or do you mean you have information about a genocide Johnson and Sunak are planning which the rest of us are yet to be made aware of?

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, secret santa said:

Just heard that Boris and Rishi have received fines for breaking Covid rules so they'll presumably resign in the morning, or maybe get on with the important things like supporting Ukraine ?

Ah, I see you've deleted 'getting on with important things like genocide' and have replaced it with 'get on with the important things like supporting Ukraine'.

The question remains: what does one have to do with the other?

Edited by Michael-Roo
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4 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

It just doesn't work like that, either legally or (often) in practice. Hence why so many have separate bank accounts and independently pursue separate careers.

So if she had refused, anybody blaming him personally could and would be instantly accused of considering the little woman to be no more than a chattel, there to obey her husband's wishes.

I'm afraid that just isn't a factor in politics. "Caesar's wife" and all that. It was equally the same when Denis Thatcher got up to anything remotely dodgy, so "the little woman to be no more than a chattel" line simply doesn't hold water. If you're Chancellor, you're entitled to be married to an obscenely wealthy woman, no-one's denying that. But when you're making economic decisions that affect the poorest in society during a cost-of-living crisis, and your wife hangs on to non-dom status in order to keep millions safe from the Treasury, it's not a good look.

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36 minutes ago, Peckris 2 said:

I'm afraid that just isn't a factor in politics. "Caesar's wife" and all that. It was equally the same when Denis Thatcher got up to anything remotely dodgy, so "the little woman to be no more than a chattel" line simply doesn't hold water. If you're Chancellor, you're entitled to be married to an obscenely wealthy woman, no-one's denying that. But when you're making economic decisions that affect the poorest in society during a cost-of-living crisis, and your wife hangs on to non-dom status in order to keep millions safe from the Treasury, it's not a good look.

It does - it has to. Nobody can be held legally or morally responsible for their partner's actions. 

Would you have expected Corbyn to resign as Labour party leader if his wife suddenly declared she was an arch Tory?  

  

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3 minutes ago, 1949threepence said:

It does - it has to. Nobody can be held legally or morally responsible for their partner's actions. 

Would you have expected Corbyn to resign as Labour party leader if his wife suddenly declared she was an arch Tory? 

Sorry, but that's absurd. It isn't in the realm of possibilities. But if on some planet somewhere far in a distant galaxy, it had happened, then the answer is No, you wouldn't.

But I'm sorry, someone in office may be held MORALLY responsible for a partner's  actions IF they related directly to the political post he or she held. For example, Sunak could have said to his wife "Your non-dom status is entirely your business, of course it is. But it puts me in an awkward position as Chancellor. Please, just think about it, ok?"

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, secret santa said:

Just heard that Boris and Rishi have received fines for breaking Covid rules so they'll presumably resign in the morning, or maybe get on with the important things like supporting Ukraine ?

Yes. I do realise that Boris and Rishi have broken lockdown rules and got fined. But although it's irritating, I honestly don't feel it's a resigning issue. In the grand scheme of things it's very very low level stuff. As you say, the events in Ukraine are many orders of magnitude more important,  and the PM is raising this country's profile in the world, for courage in standing up to a bully boy, without flinching. 

 

Edited by 1949threepence
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1 minute ago, Peckris 2 said:

Sorry, but that's absurd. It isn't in the realm of possibilities. But if on some planet somewhere far in a distant galaxy, it had happened, then the answer is No, you wouldn't.

But I'm sorry, someone in office may be held MORALLY responsible for a partner's  actions IF they related directly to the political post he or she held. For example, Sunak could have said to his wife "Your non-dom status is entirely your business, of course it is. But it puts me in an awkward position as Chancellor. Please, just think about it, ok?"

No it's not absurd it's precisely the same principle. A partner is acting how they choose without regard to the political interests of their partner.

You are operating under double standards and placing the burden of moral guilt on one, whilst giving a free pass to the other.   

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Just now, 1949threepence said:

No it's not absurd it's precisely the same principle. A partner is acting how they choose without regard to the political interests of their partner.

You are operating under double standards and placing the burden of moral guilt on one, whilst giving a free pass to the other.   

Not at all. I'm holding both morally responsible for each other.

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1 minute ago, Peckris 2 said:

Not at all. I'm holding both morally responsible for each other.

Yet you gave Corbyn a free pass, whilst expecting different standards from Sunak. 

I realise it's hypothetical in Corbyn's case, but it's absolutely within the realms of possibility, and stranger things have happened.

You can't expect the one to be morally responsible for the other's actions. Just as much as I couldn't be held to blame as a bad influence if my partner was caught shoplifting. I can hear them now - "it's that shifty bloke she's with. I always said his eyes were too close together" :ph34r:   

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Sorry, but if we are going to debate on this level, then I feel I must stop.

But before I leave it, I'll just say that in Corbyn's case - in the irtually impossible scenario that his wife converted from socialism to become a Tory - then Corbyn couldn't be held to account. But for the reasons I won't repeat again, it's not the same in Sunak's case. If you can't see that, then as I say we are going round in circles and I don't have the energy to keep repeating myself. Sorry.

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