Pandora Papers — hardly a revelation

A lot of fuss is being made about these so-called Pandora Papers, but I'm not so sure it's all that phenomenal. Who didn't know that rich people use all sorts of loopholes and fiddles to enrich themselves further? Who didn't know that despots and kings stash away money and investments while their people starve? Who didn't know that politicians use the system they maintain to better themselves?

Yes, one or two things in the papers may reveal outright illegality, but what we're mainly seeing is people who are using loopholes in the system to get a better return on their money. That's not illegal and you can't knock anyone for doing that. I use ISAs to lower my tax bill. You might say that ISAs are overtly permitted, whereas loopholes aren't, but neither are illegal.

You may think there's some mileage in arguing about morals, but that's a road to nowhere. Within the framework of morals defined by the law, we're all allowed to make our own moral decisions. It leads to some fairly despicable things, such as the wife of Sir Philip Green enriching her family while her husband's retail empire collapsed and ruined the livelihoods of his employees, but nothing illegal went on.

The blame should really lie with the system that permits these things. It's the same system that allows large corporations to pay a pittance in tax compared to their earnings. Politicians need to change these systems, plug the holes and make things illegal. The problem with that is there's little incentive for them to do so as they're often the beneficiaries of the loopholes in the system (I'm looking at you Tony Blair).