It seems to us that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is no shrinking violet when it comes to wooing the press to talk up Tory policies.   But where has he been since the HSBC tax scandal erupted?  The answer is extremely quiet.   However, his reticence is completely understandable as since this video clip emerged.  HSBC is accused of facilitating tax avoidance on a massive scale for many of its wealthiest customers.  Mr. Osborne is advising a ‘phone in’ caller of clever ways of avoiding paying tax and also how to claim state benefits.


Surely our Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is ultimately responsible for ensuring everyone pays their taxes, can’t be saying the same thing as HSBC.  Can he?

Your call on the 7th May

From Hedley Woods, former Chairman and WebAdmin for North Somerset CLP. Hedley has written an intro to a Guardian business leader about the manner in which overseas Governments are acquiring our publicly owned organisations through Tory privatisation.

When Tory privatisation means nationalisation

According to the Tory party script the private sector is good and the public sector is a drain on scares resources.   So the very word ‘nationalisation’ must be avoid at all costs and ‘take back into public ownership’ is risky.   So it may surprise you to know that some privatisations have led to nationalisation.

Here are a few examples.

In the energy sector one of the main beneficiaries of Tory privatisation has been EDF.   EDF or to give it its full name Électricité De France is owned by the French state.

According to many polls the majority of people in the UK wish our railways to be state owned.  They are:

Abellio, a unit of the Dutch national rail operator, has a 10-year contract ScotRail franchise for running train services in Scotland.

Arriva, which is owned by Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, runs five UK rail contracts, including CrossCountry and Arriva Trains Wales.

Keolis, controlled by the French state rail company SNCF, is the joint operator of four franchises, including Southeastern and London Midland. They have been shortlisted for the London-to-Edinburgh east coast route (currently a UK state owned organisation) in a joint bid with SNCF-backed Eurostar.

Read more here: