Should the media be publishing the Pandora Papers?

Brendan Burgess

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They are fascinating reading and it's good to know what people are up to.

But presumably they were obtained by the illegal hacking of systems of financial advisors and legal advisors?

Wasn't the News of the World effectively closed down for hacking people's phones?

If we heard that the Irish Revenue had hacked into the KPMG's tax systems and had a root around, we would be horrified.

A lot of people object to cookies and other perceived invasions of their privacy, but we seem to relish the hacking of the personal affairs of wealthy people.

Brendan
 

odyssey06

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I think one of the factors with the News of the World was that there was no 'public interest' angle to much of what they did, it was just prying into the personal life of the people involved.
The same tactics used to for example uncover a financial scandal would be a different scenario.

The Czech prime minister for example, seems not to have declared all his assets.
So for people in public office I think there is a greater case for disclosure.

Should the transactions here be private? Should people be able to hide behind shell companies and trusts so that no one know owns what?

Here we remember Charlie Haughey hiding behind privacy of his affairs to cover corruption.
Some of the money on that list appears to have been acquired corruptly / through abuse of office.

On the other, people living in repressive countries may rely on some of the same mechanisms to shield themselves from the authorities.
 

Brendan Burgess

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But the vast majority of these transactions were legitimate.

Do you publish my tax affairs, because you hacked Revenue and found a few tax dodgers?

Brendan
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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I think one of the factors with the News of the World was that there was no 'public interest' angle to much of what they did,
There is a kind of "cartel" aspect to this international consortium of investigative journalists or whatever it's called. They reckon that if all of them are at it then it's very hard to criticise.
 

odyssey06

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But the vast majority of these transactions were legitimate.

Do you publish my tax affairs, because you hacked Revenue and found a few tax dodgers?

Brendan

Tax affairs no, but were the outcome of most of these transactions 'private'? That's a question not a rhetorical statement.

Don't we have a Companies Registration Office and a Land Registry?
Should people be able to hide actual ownership behind shell companies?

The leak was a shortcut to the ownership.
Other data should not have been published except where it met other criteria - such as active politicians who have to declare interests etc

So I'm ambivalent as to whether privacy was breached in the majority of cases.
 
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noproblem

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Have these papers and the information been obtained illegally? If so, the people doing so should face the full rigours of the law. As for what was found out? That's a completely separate matter and I don't know what can be done about that, if the law was broken in obtaining the information. Didn't Charlie Bird and George Lee do something similar? Or maybe all that was done within the law?
 

SDMXTWO

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I suppose people who are struggling to survive in Ireland with high taxes and spiralling costs are just a tad angry as to how Ireland facilitates billionaire tax avoidance groups. Is it in the public interest? I'm sure if a journalist dug deep enough they would come up with an interesting name. The PPapers just add fuel to the cynicism of people toward certain groups. Then again maybe their pension is wrapped up in the paper.
 

Purple

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I suppose people who are struggling to survive in Ireland with high taxes and spiralling costs are just a tad angry as to how Ireland facilitates billionaire tax avoidance groups
"Struggling to survive"? hyperbole much?
The people of Ireland benefit from our tax haven type activities. It is the poor and vulnerable people in poor countries (the ones who are actually struggling to survive) who actually suffer.
If Covid has taught us anything it is that we don't actually care about those people.

We're great people for thinking we are part of some victim class, it's like multimillionaire Christy Moore singing about the "Ordinary Man" when he's never employed one in his life and he almost certainly avails of the Artists Tax Exemption.
Everyone who consumes a State service, or is employed by the State, is a beneficiary of the tax ethos that these schemes are part of. It is parasitical and to a lesser or greater extent we are all feeding off it. Should it all be stopped? Yes, of course it should but we'll all be worse off when it is.

Should the media have published them?
I don't know without seeing the details of what has been published.
 

SDMXTWO

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"Struggling to survive"? hyperbole much?
The people of Ireland benefit from our tax haven type activities. It is the poor and vulnerable people in poor countries (the ones who are actually struggling to survive) who actually suffer.
If Covid has thought us anything it is that we don't actually care about those people.

We're great people for thinking we are part of some victim class, it's like multimillionaire Cristy Moore singing about the "Ordinary Man" when he's never employed one in his life and he almost certainly avails of the Artists Tax Exemption.
Everyone who consumes a State service, or is employed by the State, is a beneficiary of the tax ethos that these schemes are part of. It is parasitical and to a lesser or greater extent we are all feeding off it. Should it all be stopped? Yes, of course it should but we'll all be worse off when it is.

Should the media have published them?
I don't know without seeing the details of what has been published.
The point is that if you went on RTE and shrugged at irish people "struggling to survive" I'm not sure it would be received very well. It's all about perception. Is Christy a multi mil man?
 

Purple

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The point is that if you went on RTE and shrugged at irish people "struggling to survive" I'm not sure it would be received very well.
Of course it wouldn't but RTE have a casual enough relationship with reality.
It's all about perception. Is Christy a multi mil man?
If he's not then he's been very foolish with his money.
A quick Google suggests that he's worth $13 million but I've no idea how accurate that is.
 

Peanuts20

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Is this not what good investigative journalism is all about? It's fundamentally different then what the News of the world used to do in that the Pandora papers are revealing stories that are in the general good whilst "Freddie star ate my hamster" most certainly is not.

personally, I find the number of millionaire "socialists" being named fascinating
 

Purple

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Is this not what good investigative journalism is all about? It's fundamentally different then what the News of the world used to do in that the Pandora papers are revealing stories that are in the general good whilst "Freddie star ate my hamster" most certainly is not.
Much of what has been published seems to be just details about the legitimate financial affaires of rich people. That's not in the public interest, it's just interesting to the public.
personally, I find the number of millionaire "socialists" being named fascinating
There's nothing wrong with being a millionaire socialist, or even just a millionaire. Being a tax cheat and a hypocrite, there's something wrong with that.
I don't think it's legitimate to expect people to know where all the money they have is invested. I don't know everything that my pension fund is invested in.
 

Peanuts20

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My financial and tax affairs are pretty unremarkable.

I still wouldn't want them revealed on the internet.
And no offence meant, I wouldn't be interested in yours. However if you were a politician who was, in essence, practising a "do as I say and not as I do" approach to life, then i would be interested since that would have a pretty fundamental impact on any voting decisions I have to make.
 

Purple

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And no offence meant, I wouldn't be interested in yours. However if you were a politician who was, in essence, practising a "do as I say and not as I do" approach to life, then i would be interested since that would have a pretty fundamental impact on any voting decisions I have to make.
Being interested and having the right to sate that interest are two different things.
Good journalism should include sifting through the source material and publishing only that which is of genuine journalistic merit.

Remember when newspapers had editors who did that kind of thing?
 

cremeegg

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"Struggling to survive"? hyperbole much?
The people of Ireland benefit from our tax haven type activities. It is the poor and vulnerable people in poor countries (the ones who are actually struggling to survive) who actually suffer.
If Covid has taught us anything it is that we don't actually care about those people.

We're great people for thinking we are part of some victim class, it's like multimillionaire Christy Moore singing about the "Ordinary Man" when he's never employed one in his life and he almost certainly avails of the Artists Tax Exemption.
Everyone who consumes a State service, or is employed by the State, is a beneficiary of the tax ethos that these schemes are part of. It is parasitical and to a lesser or greater extent we are all feeding off it. Should it all be stopped? Yes, of course it should but we'll all be worse off when it is.

Should the media have published them?
I don't know without seeing the details of what has been published.
Excellent post as 'nearly' always Purple !

Except why shouldn't Christy Moore avail of the artists tax exemption to the extent that he can.

The artists tax exemption is a wonderful scheme that has done a lot for artists and the arts in Ireland. It is one of the few arts subsidies that supports creative work without creating a bureaucracy or picking approved art.

It is only available for creative work and not for interpretation/performance so Christy would only be entitled to it as a song writer and not as a performer, so not on his main gig.
 

Purple

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Excellent post as 'nearly' always Purple !

Except why shouldn't Christy Moore avail of the artists tax exemption to the extent that he can.

The artists tax exemption is a wonderful scheme that has done a lot for artists and the arts in Ireland. It is one of the few arts subsidies that supports creative work without creating a bureaucracy or picking approved art.

It is only available for creative work and not for interpretation/performance so Christy would only be entitled to it as a song writer and not as a performer, so not on his main gig.
We're going off topic but of course he should. He shouldn't then present himself as a critic of those who provide jobs for 'ordinary men' when he's never done so himself. How many people from 'working class' areas has he provided an income for, given them the dignity of work, enabling them to pay off their mortgage and put their kids through school and college? He's a hypocrite. That's what I have a problem with.
Given the choice of a job or a song most people on the dole will take the job.
 

cremeegg

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Actually I agree with you about the incongruity of Christy singing Ordinary Man, I remember hearing him in Hammersmith in the 90s. It occurred to me at the time that not many ordinary people could afford the tickets.
 

Pinoy adventure

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Yes they should publish the info they get from whatever sources.
There is not much difference between Pandora’s papers and the Panama papers which went fairly quiet quickly.

It’s amazing how small nations like Niue can
Can operate on such a large scale in the off shore sector.
 
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