New film examines tax avoidance from UK to Cayman

| 06/06/2013

film.JPG(CNS): As the backlash against international corporations and what many believe is their manipulation of the tax system to avoid paying their fair share continues, a new documentary film is set to premier in the UK later this month. UK Gold is narrated by Dominic West and follows a UK vicar, Father William Taylor, as he sets out to shed light on Britain's offshore tax havens, including the Cayman Islands. Filmed during the London 2012 Olympics, the feature-length documentary written and directed by Mark Donne reveals a modern Britain dominated by a financial sector that relies on what the film concludes is unfair play for profit.

The premiere will form part of London's East End film festival on 25 June, and according to the promoters, the film, produced by Brass Moustache, documents the “dramatic battle” of a vicar from a small north London parish in the borough of Hackney as he goes head-to-head with the City of London, revealing the Square Mile’s role as “the tax-haven nerve centre of the world”.

“From the Cayman Islands to Clapton, a huge, untold story unfurls which shakes our notions of nationhood and empire; a story seismic enough to shift perceptions of finance and flag forever,” the film makers say in promotional material.

"This is a political documentary, but more than anything else it is an extraordinary story,” Donne said about his movie. “To have a quintessentially English figure embarking on an odyssey to understand how London remains the financial capital of the world is in itself a fascinating narrative. To have this journey unfurling at the exact time that the eyes of the world were on this country, during the Jubilee and the Olympics, gives the story a powerful twist.”

See trailer here.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Funny how a UK Pastor – who works for a tax free organisation, is complaining about tax avoidance. Ho hum.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hear that?  It is the sound of the death rattle of a golden goose.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many pastors in Cayman agree with UK vicar, Father William Taylor.

    I presume that they all do. So come on Pastors, don't be shy. Speak Up !

  4. Anonymous says:

    A U.K. vicar? Sounds like something from a Monty Python script. Someone's having a laugh here for sure.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As UK territory, Cayman must realise that it must do what is in the interests of the UK.  The selfish views of a few thousand do not outweigh the interests of many millions.  Cayman adds no value to anything as a "financial industry".  It is parasitic and the added costs of paying some lawyers or accountants who sit by the beach is only justified by the immoral benefits tax dodging

  6. Whodatis says:

    This simply further highlights the economic / diplomatic / administrative / political failure that is modern Britain.

    Nothing but a has-been looking for some relevance in the world.

    (Even its own young generation hates its country. After all, they did just recently simultaneously try to burn it to the ground for no good reason- did they not?)

    Wait, no – that was because of Mark Duggan. Yes, the white 14 year old girls that were looting and rioting in Liverpool did so in the name of a Black 29 year old "gangster" from London that was killed by the police – same gang and all! That is if you listen to Prime Minister David Cameron's logic.

    Apart from supplying arms to "developing" countries, albeit by way of corrupted means, the UK offers little to the world today.

    The verdict is in … British government is a double-downgraded, absolute failure by all measures. Most worrying of all is the fact that they are in such a broken state even with the "benefit" of their own central bank. (Not many will understand the (ironic) relevance of that statement.)

    Anyway, on to more important issues … when do we finally begin our discussion regarding our inevitable independence?

    • Teecha says:

      I expected much more from you on this topic. This is way too tame. 4 out of 10, must try harder.

      • Whodatis says:

        I completely agree, poster.

        I was only catering to the anticipation of "Submitted by Anon (not verified) on Fri, 06/07/2013 – 07:34.".

        No heart and soul in this one … stay tuned though!


  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh how out of touch you all are.  One piece of legislation imposing UK direct taxation on Overseas Territories from the next Labour would sort out the problem of these tax havens overnight.

    • Anonymous says:

      How clueless you are. There are real tax havens outside of your legislative purview.  

    • Anonymous says:

      They can’t tax us with out giving us seats in parliament. UN would not even permit that plus we are not going to pay taxes to send to the UK. We do not get I even one cent from them now- not even for the governors elaborate cocktail parties. Plus the UK does not “impose” anything, they do the colony thing- let us impose it on ourselves using behind the scenes operatives!! And we sure will not self impose taxation. First government that suggests that is looking a job the next day. So no overnight surprises. Don’t wait up.

    • Anonymous says:

      You would have to get all the Labour supporters to close their accounts before they would do the "moral" thing.

  8. Dennis Smith says:

    Nothing to be embarrassed about here. Lets take all the free advertising that we can get. I remember all those great films of the 60s and 70s about secret accounts in Switzerland and its history of protecting privacy and wealth during times of war and persecution. James Bond didn’t hurt its reputation at all. I couldn't wait to visit such a beautiful and intriguing country.

    Its still one of my favorite countries. Our offshore business is clean and legitimate, not so sure about our onshore business after yesterday’s raid, but that’s another story. We need to see these events as positive and use them to leverage our tourism and business products.

    Sometimes I think our locals are our biggest distracters. Think back to the early 1980’s when no one involved in our tax haven business dared travel into the US for fear of being dragged before a Grand Jury. Cayman’s cooperation has been steady and progressive ever since. It should be proud of its achievements.

  9. Anon says:

    Oh no.  You just know who's going to have a field day here on this topic!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Political grandstanding BS… The UK wastes more money in a day than they lose to Cayman in a year.

    Get your head out of your asses!

    What a joke…

  11. Anonymous says:

    There has never been a problem with efficient tax jurisdictions like Cayman. The real problem lies with the heavily tax countries who are addicted to government revenue. With taxes going through the roof in those countries, it's no wonder people and corporation do their best to avoid it. First and foremost, they need to find a way to rationalise their own tax system before they try to shift the blame on offshore countries. 

    But of course it's always easier to blame someone else for your own problem, and the populace will love to watch a priest complain about taxes. Lame.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mrs Thatcher proved that increasing tax evasion penalties but reducing the rates of tax drastically actually meant government raked in more than it ever had before- why the hell UK does not do that now (nor anyone else come to that) I shall never understand.

  12. Anonymous says:

    yet another way UK is trying to discredit Cayman and ruin our financial industry.  Caymanians wake up before its too  late.

  13. Anonymous says:

    A Brass Moustache Film. How appropriate.  So Dart does not have the Monopoly on Metal Moustaches after all?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Who is in charge of exposing the UK's wasteful tax spending over there? One big dfference I see in that short cheesy preview is that Cayman pays for their own health care through insurance. We get no assistance for Healthcare from the UK save for the single generator to run the hospital after Hurricane Ivan and maybe the right to BUY less expensive pharmaceuticals than what the closer USA has to offer.  If any one is guilty of not being able to assist 85,000 additional children maybe they need to take a closer look at themselves. And to use a supposed man of God to tell the background story is shameless.      

    Do the Yanks need to send Michael Moorer to the offshore island of Great Britain?  Or perhaps Cayman could send our own Frankie Flowers. Come on Frankie, do you patriotic duty and make a real name for yourself! Take down those hypocrites!



  15. Anonymous says:

    When is CaymanFinance going to do our own film on City of London, New York, Delaware and other such money laudering and tax avoidance places? Even the USA's Government Accountability Office says that London and New York lead the way in money laudering but you dont see that on CNN or BBC- do you?.  Might be nice to see Travers hop out of a London cabbie or Alden slip out a NY cab as the camera pans skyward to the little bankers in their glass towers with pale cheeks pressed against the glass looking terrified….can see it now. CaymanFinance lets do it!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would pay to see that film. It would end up being a comedy of errors as is all things CIG. It must be a cultural thing to bash any other culture here. We understand. Your new at this. And just smart enough to be scared but not smart enough to understand that a good portion of the money that Cayman gets is really not theirs. Hard times coming for those who do not make a honest living off their own work.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am a Brit who does not work in the Financial sector here. Every single one of my relatives back in the UK are trying to avoid paying tax, mainly Inheritance Tax. Quite legally, they are doing things like having very expensive family holidays overseas and other things I wont mention that mean that when they die, they will leave nothing for the tax man to spend on corrupt African dictators (overseas foreign aid – vomit), warplanes that impoverished Britain cannot afford and buying expensive consumer items for the many UK layabouts who dont work because it pays more to stay home. Father Whatshisname/producer Donne could usefully spend  time looking at the crass and heinous waste of government revenue on the sort of things I have mentioned. But of course they wont. Why shouldn't South African president Jacob Yuma spend the 19 million pounds Britain gave him…er..sorry..South Africa in foreign aid to tart up his palace? These damn bathrooms need to have gold taps, for God's sake. Sickening.

    • Anonymous says:

      But lets not forget that Britain was the mother of all takers in their quest to colonize everywhere in sight and South Africa did not escape their plunder.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, & why not side-track the debate on to the Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Nubian, Persian, Aztec, French, Dutch, & American empires, to name but a few?

        • Anonymous says:

          The aztecs were the worst, human sacrifics… gah

        • Mama takes badge says:

          None of those countries did it as good as Mother. 9 out of 10 countries > invaded by Mother. Now that’s the mother of all, I’d say.


      • Anonymous says:

        So make sure South Africa and South Africans  get the money NOT just its greedy plundering leader. Same comment for nearly all other African countries receiving aid of this sort. The corruption is truly disgusting.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, and we have paid for it forever since and will for some time to come…a lesson for would be world rulers if ever there was one…especially here!!!