When our leader evades tax. Why is everyone so angry? April 15, 2016 News Our leader has had a tough time recently. It’s not that David Cameron has done anything illegal; tax evasion is not a crime. But there’s an altering climate in the country when it comes to money. With the recent pursuit of celebrities like Jimmy Carr and companies like Starbucks and Google over non-payment of tax, there’s a new understanding at work: ‘What you’re doing may be legal. But is it moral?’ And the question the Prime Minister has asked of others is now being uncomfortably asked of himself. It’s not all Cameron’s fault, of course. You can only play the hand you’re given in life; and he was given a rich hand. And he’s only done what many of us would have done in his circumstances; most of us, in our different situations, evade when we can. But in an age when public services are being cut by the government, the story doesn’t play well in public perception. Especially as we had five statements in five days from the Prime Minister about his tax affairs, each offering a little more information than the last. It’s not an approach that inspires trust. But perhaps what makes people most angry is the realisation that our leader is just like us. There’s something in us that wants our leaders to be better than we are – nobler, braver, purer. When we discover they aren’t, there can be trouble. The punishment we routinely dole out to ourselves is transferred onto them. The leader – whatever the organisation – is vilified for being the same as us. And that can be a whirlwind of displeasure.