Friday, 7 November 2008

Yippee!! Er, but...

After so many years of George W Bush's abominable disregard for both non-Americans and even the humbler members of his own nation, it is heartening to see the American people turning to a President who promises a more principled, enlightened, informed and caring approach to his duties. Not only will the United States of America become a more agreeable place than they have been, but he is placed to exert a beneficial influence on almost the whole wide world.

I say almost: Obviously, there are a few isolated dictatorships that do not engage with international affairs enough to care what leads America takes for better or worse, and sadly, there are a few places that engage with the world in a negative and harmful way, and would lose out by a raising of standards in international trade and economic interactions. That bit is a worry to me: Much as I applaud Obama's positions on everything I have seen him quoted on, I happen to live, comfortably and happily, in one of the few places that his just and principled policies could seriously hurt.

So, pleased though I am, as a citizen of the world, to see the best man win, my joy is tempered by looking around me, and wondering who and what would be left in Jersey, should he see through his ideas on fair taxation, for, despite all the sophistry with which our “finance” industry defend their activities, and the willingness of us all, myself included, to share in the trickle-down, it is all about finding alternatives to fair taxation for the clients. If their loopholes get bricked up, back home, then what else do we have to offer? It will be years, rather than months, before he could turn the status quo around on tax avoidance, but we need to start preparing against it, instead of blithely charging on with “business as usual”. It will never be how it was for the last thirty years again, and if a layman like me can read the signs, so, surely, can the expensive advisers to our government. How long before our ministers take them on board, too?

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