“Ridiculous”

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Sky News accidentally presented a good chance to set the record straight against claims in Murdoch press, and Fairfax too, that the credibility of michaelwest.com.au – and our coverage of multinational tax avoidance – has been compromised.

What was supposed to be an ambush didn’t work out too well and we look forward to our next hit-out at the North Ryde studios if any of the senior Sky town criers are up for it.

Opening statement to Senate Tax Inquiry

The brief clip below is Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan responding to a question from Guardian Australia’s Gareth Hutchens. Jordan’s answer was crafted with the requisite eye for political sensitivities though the message was clear: it would be good if the government could fix reporting standards (particularly general purpose reporting) and shut down the loophole which multinationals were exploiting to foil the new disclosure laws.

  • clyde britton

    Good to see you put Tom straight buddy as it’s clear to see that they’re on a witch hunt and will say and print anything they like just to murky your excellent work mate

    • Michael West

      Hi Clyde, thanks for that. Looking forward to the next instalment!

      • easygoing777

        Hi is Tom who I have never heard of an IPA member, or was he just auditioning to be the OZ Hannity,if so he failed

  • Tinman_au

    So happy I sub to this site now, people need to support Michael, unlike Clive Palmer, Michael West really is a national treasure…

    • Sandi Keane

      Someone in the media has to step up and nail the wrongdoers on our behalf. So, yes, Westy is truly a national treasure in that sense. MSM too conflicted to take on corporate wrongdoers if it means losing said corporation’s advertising $s or others forms of support. That leaves the independent media – and in that field, West is the stand out.

      As Andrea Carson said in The Conversation recently:

      ‘Public interest journalism could be considered the antithesis of media’s darker side, which includes fake news, propaganda, censorship and voyeurism.

      The outcomes of public interest reporting can expose corruption, launch royal commissions, remove improper politicians from office, and jail wrongdoers.’

      https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-public-interest-journalism-78996

      We desperately need more of this sort of public interest media which is leading the charge in the U.S. now. The true public interest media is not-for-profit and are funded by major philanthropic trusts – as well as those who subscribe (who receive a tax deduction). Sites like Pro Publica are winning Pulitzer prizes along the way.

      What Westy does is true public interest journalism. Stuff that we the public need to know! Let’s hope public interest journalism like West’s gets the go-ahead on charitable and DGR status when the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Public Interest Journalism report back end of the year. It will help journos like him keep working. Not that I can see the current Coalition Government supporting it! But at least it will be sitting in the wings when Labor wins back gov.

    • Michael West

      Thanks Tinman!

  • slorter

    Neoliberal media and their planned attacks! Tax avoidance was not really on the reporters mind at all. Did enjoy your discreet grin after the first interchange.

    Tax havens are not just about tax their about escape routes. It gives the very rich the chance to escape the rules of any particular country. Half of the world’s trade passes through tax havens. Every corporation will have offshore facilities cutting down on their tax bills.

    Corporations are punching holes in legislation all the time, creating loopholes lobbying. The song is by the corporations no tax is paid because no tax is due, but what they should say is no tax is due because governments pressured by corporations have put a lot of work into making sure no taxes are due.

    My worry is it fades from public attention and slips back as you highlighted in your discussion.

    • Sandi Keane

      And you should have heard what he said on the way out Slorter. Along the lines of if they want to launch an ambush, don’t send a boy to do a man’s job (not quite Mike’s words but general sense) Wasn’t Tom’s fault. Just doing as instructed. But why use the sneaky con trick of saying they wanted to talk about his revelations at the Senate Tax Inquiry that morning? They looked like chumps when Mike using the attack to be totally transparent about how much he was paid by GetUp! and put News Corp on the mat over their non-disclosure of support/advertising.

      Wonder if they’ll keep up their attack on Mike’s so-called “conflict of interest”. It wasn’t a good look for SkyNews judging by what the Twitterati thought.

      • slorter

        True enough! Tom was definitely fodder! And it was sneaky even with the half-arsed diversion! Sorry to be coarse !

  • KG

    That was so so gratifying to watch. Heartening to know there is still integrity in journalism.

    • Michael West

      Thanks KG!

  • Stop Errorism

    So impressed with your work I just donated to GetUp. keep up the Great work !!

    • Michael West

      Thanks!

  • Rebecca

    Michael West I am happy as an ordinary Australian, to help fund your investigations into tax avoidance by large Corporations. When Australians are so concerned at the unfairness in our society & hope to make Australia a better fairer country for all, & not just the people at the top of that pyramid. We are labeled, nothing unique about me just one of many concerned citizens.

    • Michael West

      Thanks Rebecca!

      • steves mustang

        keep up the good work Michael.. A shame your investigations never make main stream media in the other states such as WA or SA.. SA in particular is a Newscorp media run state

        • Michael West

          Thanks Steve! I get pretty good audience as long as Twitter and Facebook crews link to their people. Can be 5k-10k

  • Robert Reynolds

    Hi Michael, this is just a short note to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks for the great work that you are doing in trying to bring about some fairness in relation to corporate taxation policy in particular and corporate behavior in general.

    People like you and your former Fairfax colleague Adele Ferguson are great assets to this country, or national treasures as one other contributor below so accurately puts it.

    • Michael West

      Thanks Robert! The odd kind word keeps me bashing away

  • Jasper Willows

    Hypocrisy in the extreme indeed! Funny how quickly sky news wanted to move on after being called out!

    • Michael West

      I might have accidentally done too well and won’t get asked back!