A complaint has been made to Manx Police following, apparently off the cuff, remarks made by a Manx Radio talk show presenter.
Manx Radio’s, Stuart Peters, (who is compere of the stations Talking Heads programme) referring to outspoken UK based tax haven critic, Richard Murphy, said:
“Richard Murphy who is constantly having pops at the Isle of Man and the tax regime here to the point where we are all really rather bored of it to the point where we wish there was a wet ops department in the government that could go and take him out.”
Murphy, responding on his blog, said he took the reference to `wet-ops department’ to mean a KGB assassination unit and was unimpressed (see blog link):
Despite an apology on air Murphy decided to take the issue further and confirmed on a later blog the matter had been referred to Manx police (see blog link):
The resulting furore has whipped up a storm of condemnation (of Murphy) on one Isle of Man internet forum whilst on another he has received support.
It remains to be seen how Manx police deal with the matter and already pundits are sceptical. Manx police seem to have a bewildering concept of priority. Some years ago they conducted a full investigation following an alleged altercation (behind closed doors) in an employment forum. More recently they deployed the
whole force to track down those daubing nationalist slogans in `washable emulsion’ paint. It remains to be seen how seriously they take this alleged `threat’.
Murphy’s Tax Research UK is undoubtedly an annoyance to the Manx government and despite some of the disparaging comments of his internet forum detractors he does have media reach. He has appeared on UK TV and Radio news programmes frequently.
One internet pundit summing the `amusing little spat’ up was sympathetic to Murphy saying:
“Should Richard Murphy just have ignored Peters nonsense? Initially I thought so but Peters and co (IOM Comic Papers) do a lot of kicking of innocent people, unable to fight back. Low paid government workers are particular targets of these worthless bullies, it’s about time somebody held one of them to account. My only regret is that the Manx Police are involved, and not a UK force who, I suspect, would have been a lot less likely to brush it under carpet.”
Is it much ado about nothing – we will see!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information