After our Chief Minister criticised US President Joe Biden in the international media last month, many expected repercussions: perhaps sanctions, the cutting of diplomatic ties or the arrival of the Sixth Fleet in St. Aubin’s Bay.
But nothing happened: not a squeak was heard from the most powerful man on the planet. Or Mr Biden.
Today, News Eye can exclusively reveal why. We reproduce a leaked letter of apology sent by Senator Le Fondré to the US President which seems to have calmed the waters and resolved a taxing issue for both sides:
Senator John Le Fondré IV,
19-21 Broad Street,
My name is John and like you, I am a leader of a globally significant jurisdiction. My ‘land of the free’ is called Jersey and, for now, I am its Chief Minister.
Yes, you might say: “Who does this grey-haired accountant-looking limey think he is? The only Jersey I know is across the Delaware Bay from my beloved tax-dodging home state” but I’m the boss of the island that gave its name to New Jersey.
It was given by King Charles Part 2 to a famous sailor, privateer and slave-trader who left the land to his son, who pissed his fortune up the wall and was forced to sell it to the Quakers for $1, but we try to forget such insignificant facts.
I’m just writing to extend a hand of friendship, from one low-tax jurisdiction to another, and to apologise for some comments you may have read about me in the media suggesting that you “look closer to home” before proposing a global corporate tax rate.
The last thing I wanted to do is offend the most powerful leader in the world. Back in Jersey, I too am considered a great leader… well, within my parish… umm… maybe within the Council of Ministers… errr… ok, within my office… but it is still nothing compared to you.
You have a great military force at your disposal. Me? I’ve got the Jersey Field Squadron, who are like your Delta Force but only available at weekends.
You have Wall Street, Manhattan and the Great Lakes; I’ve got Hill Street, Le Marais and St. Ouen’s Pond. You have Frank Sinatra; we have Stevie Ocean.
But on tax-dodging, we are equals, which is what I was trying to convey in my interview. Yet beneath all the hyperbole, I think we have a lot more in common than you might think: in truth, I’d love it if a global minimum tax rate was introduced.
As long as it was brought in equally across the board, my Ministers and I would happily levy a 15% corporate tax rate. In fact, we’d jump at the chance. You see, our spending - like our population - has run out of control and we’re running out of options.
On top of that, we have to pay for our covid response and a giant new £1bn hospital, and it's all being funded by debt. And to make matters worse, we were forced to introduce a ridiculous zero rate of corporate tax because our pesky competitors decided to.
We had no choice if we wanted to protect our morally questionable but ever-so lucrative finance industry.
Yet we have a population that demands Scandinavian-style public services but aren't prepared to stump up the taxes necessary to pay for them.
So, Joe… and please keep this entre nous… we’d secretly love to throw out zero-ten and start charging all businesses a decent rate of corporate tax. It might actually prevent my children and their children being saddled with a lifetime of debt.
I hope this letter serves to put things straight and you might feel able to invite me to the next Prayer Breakfast at the White House, when - like your predecessor - I’ll be able to ask the Good Lord for “four more years” in office. Miracles have happened in the past!!
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