Farage’s desperate bluster reveals an underlying dishonesty

He has worked as a commodities trader in the City.

His employers have included investment banks and brokerages such as Drexel Burnham Lambert,  Credit Lyonnais Rouse, Refco and Natexis Metals.

As a commodities trader for these investment houses, the sort of work he would have done includes:

  • monitoring international market performance;
  • providing investment advice and market recommendations to clients;
  • trading on behalf of clients;
  • liaising with transport, shipping and insurance companies;
  • devising ‘hedging strategies’;
  • visiting international suppliers;
  • meeting with clients;
  • interpreting market reports;
  • negotiating price, specification and delivery details;
  • investigating new business openings.

Yet tonight on Channel 4 News the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage – while trying to brush off the revelation that despite speaking out against tax avoidance strategies he himself had set up an offshore trust fund to minimise tax liability – tried to give the impression that he did not know the Isle of Man is an offshore jurisdiction by asking if the Isle of Man is offshore.

With his career history, this goes way beyond stretching the bounds of credibility.  Farage may think he is being clever by attempting to play the ignorant simpleton card.  But this isn’t average guy who could be forgiven for not understanding that the Isle of Man is a self governing entity that is only a Crown dependency and therefore in no way part of the UK’s tax jurisdiction.  This is a man who needed to understand investment strategies and tax implications of the deals he was executing as part of his job.  In fact, it is highly likely he had to advise clients about the tax implications of the trades they were making.

Farage has moved beyond hypocrisy for his ‘do as I say not as I do’ stance on perfectly legal and responsible tax avoidance, and on to dishonesty for his pathetic attempt to make it look like he didn’t know what he was signing up to when opening the trust.  It also stretches the bounds of credibility that his financial adviser failed to explain the reason for basing the trust in the Isle of Man was precisely because it is offshore and therefore UK rates of tax would not apply.  Further, if he didn’t think or believe the Isle of Man was an offshore jurisdiction, why his comments earlier today about having ‘felt uncomfortable’ about the trust in the first place?

Without any other revelation of the many that could emerge about Farage, this incident and the dishonest way he has attempted to bluff his way out of it, calls into question his character and integrity.  Farage can certainly no longer set himself apart from the mendacious politicians in this country and portray himself as a breath of fresh air.  He has shown himself to be every bit as slippery and unreliable as the rest of them.  He has now been condemned by his own words.

UKIP needs to remove this man before his taint spreads to envelope and damage the party and the prospects of the wider Eurosceptic movement.

14 Responses to “Farage’s desperate bluster reveals an underlying dishonesty”

  1. 1 Tim Worstall (@worstall) 22/06/2013 at 10:59 am

    “This is a man who needed to understand investment strategies and tax implications of the deals he was executing as part of his job. In fact, it is highly likely he had to advise clients about the tax implications of the trades they were making.”

    No. Simply not. Nigel was a commodities trader. Mostly aluminium I think. And more in options and warrants than anything else. These aren’t the guys advising on tax strategies. These are the guys screaming at each other in the pits or over the phones.

    Trader, not strategist or banker.

  2. 2 Richard101 22/06/2013 at 11:24 am

    Nicely pointed out Tim. Autonomous Mind seems to have a bugbear with Nigel Farage. I can’t help but wonder why?

  3. 3 Bruce 22/06/2013 at 12:39 pm


  4. 4 Anthem 22/06/2013 at 1:02 pm

    Get rid of Farage? And replace him with….? By Farage’s own admission, they are sorely lacking in other big voices within the party and it’s him doing all the talking.

    Getting rid of him would be suicide for the party.

    No, I wish Farage had just treated this “revelation” the same way he treated the “revelation” that he has frequented strip clubs in the past i.e. with a great big “So what?”

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 22/06/2013 at 1:09 pm

    Tim, I’ve always respected you, but congratulations on dodging the crux of this issue, that a British political party leader claims not to know the Isle of Man is offshore when it is revealed he signed up for a trust there. That makes your boss an idiot or a liar. Clearly you think it’s the former. Will you be excusing him when the other stuff comes out too?

    Bruce, what exactly am I supposedly jealous of? A man who is failing in his job, is going to have his dirty washing put on public display in a way that will destroy his credibility and will burst the UKIP bubble?

    Richard, my ‘bugbear’ with Farage is that he is a bad person for the job that needs doing and will ultimately do more harm than good to UKIP and Euroscepticism in general. I’ve spelled out plenty of times why this is the case, so there is no need to wonder why.

    Anthem, the reason why UKIP is so lacking in other big voices is that Farage has run them out of the party to eliminate competition. Rather than surround himself with the best and brightest, he culls them to ensure his position is secure. How many times have members of parties claimed getting rid of XYZ leader would be suicide? If that is true of UKIP then it’s not a party, it’s just a cult. Is that what you’re comfortable with?

    When you guys are left looking around wondering why UKIP’s support has fallen apart, where it all went wrong and why the EUphiles are left standing with the UK still in the grip of the Brussels maw, remember this moment and consider why you let yourselves be taken in by Farage. When you put the man before the cause, you should ask yourselves why. Think on that.

  6. 6 Paul Perrin (@pperrin) 22/06/2013 at 1:19 pm

    Farage played a straight bat – comes out still looking like a normal bloke.

    He was advised to use a trust, took that advice, thought better of it and ended the arrangement.

    All legal – and his kids would be the beneficiaries not him…

    Meanwhile Cameron received hundreds of thousands from his family trust as does Osborne, the Millibands used similar arragments getting money from their fathers estate and Clegg is desparate to hide ministers spouses family trust arrangements from public view (wonder why?)

    WIthout Farages work there would be no UKIP to worry about ‘falling apart’

  7. 7 Autonomous Mind 22/06/2013 at 1:37 pm

    No Paul, he comes out of it looking exactly what he is. A hypocrite and a liar.

    You conveniently ignore him speaking out against exactly the kind of legal financial planning he himself signed up to.

    Then saying of the Isle of Man’s status: ‘Well, it is difficult to define whether it is off-shore or not.’ No it isn’t. It’s crystal clear. He knows it very well.

    Continue kidding yourself. There’s more to come out about Farage. Let’s see if you then still think he plays a straight bat and looks like a normal bloke.

  8. 8 Richard North 22/06/2013 at 1:39 pm

    Tim: Farage actually ran a semi-autonomous operation in the offices of Refco Overseas from 1994 until 2003 … with five or six traders working for him. He was running the operation and not a trader as such. Thus, of course he needed to understand investment strategies and tax implications of the deals – he was the man who dealt with the clients and made the strategic business decisions, as he was to do when he ran Farage Ltd.

    As to not knowing whether IoM was an offshore tax haven … of course he knew. See…


  9. 9 John Payne 22/06/2013 at 4:49 pm

    It’s amazing how the press and media, hungry to impress their audience can create artificial hype without sound cause. Why not focus on the serious people avoiding tax , for example ex Prime Minister Tony Blair.

  10. 10 ansel61 22/06/2013 at 4:49 pm

    AM, your level one analysis is good but things peter out after that. The MSM have sent their attack dogs after Farage simply because they recognise he’s popular and, therefore, dangerous to their entrenched interests. So they set out to smear him – pretty standard practice. What we have to do at this stage is get right behind Nigel and give the MSM the united two fingers. We hang together or we hang separately. You, on the other hand, are playing right into the hands of the MSM, doing their work for them. If they can get UKIP supporters to turn against Farage, the MSM and the vested interests have won. You’re doing your part to secure their victory. Thanks a bunch.

    Don’t you realise that if it wasn’t Farage they’d just be going after any replacement who they deemed to be a threat? The only people they would leave along would be the likes of thse who were involved in the party during its wilderness years when no-one gave a crap. It’s not about finding a leader who’s acceptable to the MSM as the only ones who would be would be useless. For instance, I don’t know what you’re like but I’ve seen Richard North in action and he has all the popular appeal and charisma of Geoffrey Howe. We stick with Farage and we stick it right up the MSM or they’ve won – again. Simple as that.

  11. 11 Autonomous Mind 22/06/2013 at 5:38 pm

    Ansel, you’re missing the point. They are not smearing him, they are starting to reveal the things he’s done and he is showing himself up as a slippery liar.

    I can assure you I will not be getting right behind Nigel, unless it’s to help push him out the door. I want to see a decent and honourable leader emerge to lead UKIP forward and focus on the task of getting this country out of the EU, instead of poncing around in self publicity mode, ignoring major issues and carrying enough unsavoury baggage to sink a ferry.

    The reason the media can go after Farage is because there’s mud that will stick. A decent leader without Farage’s character flaws won’t be taken down when the media find there’s no muck to rake.

    If Farage stays the Eurosceptics will lose. He will drag us down.

  12. 12 ntropyalwayswins 23/06/2013 at 11:17 am

    slightly off topic but is there any reason why the UK should not be a tax haven? It is established fact that treasuries raise the optimum amount of tax by hitting the sweet spot. Whist it may be ‘politically*’ difficult to countenance, the UK would be better off if it had falling tax rates for the really big earners.

    * I use the term ‘politically’ in the sense of the party political world where the interests of the citizen are always secondary to the interests of the politicians hungry for power at any cost. If there was a modicum of common sense there would be cross-party support for fiscal policies that were actually aimed at raising the maximum amount of tax. So tax avoidance is the child of party politics. Who’d a thunk it!

  13. 13 Autonomous Mind 23/06/2013 at 12:34 pm

    There is no reason at all why we shouldn’t be a tax haven offering competitive rates for individuals and companies.

    But we don’t because we have politicians who believe our money and the money of corporations should be the property of the government to spend how the politicians see fit. Plus the EU is determined to harmonise tax so wherever people or companies go within the union they are hit with swingeing tax rates – and as the EU is our government Westminster goes along with it.

  14. 14 Spinwatch 24/06/2013 at 10:18 am

    There are several reasons to criticise Farage, but this is not a particularly good one. He set up the trust years ago and could legitimately have changed his mind over tax avoidance.

    I don’t see personal tax planning and tax avoidance as a crime – the State will only waste our hard earned money on EU payments and things like imposing wind turbines on our country that are needed to meet EU obligations. Surely Nigel deserves an OBE for all of the tax paid to the Exchequer on his boozing and smoking habits.

    And if he suffers from amnesia, he is probably telling the truth. You tend to forget things when you’re p***ed.

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