In the wake of the Panama Papers, a number of commentators have expressed an unease at the scrutiny of the Cameron family's financial affairs, even while acknowledging the significance of the issue of offshore tax avoidance.
I couldn't help but be reminded of a very apposite comment by the 1930s muckraking journalist Ferdinand Lundberg:
The family today, in no slighter degree than two or three centuries ago or in imperial Rome, is supreme in the governance of wealth, amassing it, standing watch over it, and keeping it intact from generation to generation. Because it is (unlike that relatively new device, the corporation) a private entity which in the strictest legality may resist public scrutiny, the family lends itself admirably to alliances of a formal character and serves as an instrument for confidential financial transactions. By definition the family is a sacrosanct institution, and no agency of government may pry into it without offending inculcated prejudice. The partnership, it is true, offers some refuge, and is certainly more of a private affair than is the corporation; but it, too, is now quite open to political inquiry. The family alone provides a safe retreat from democratic processes, not outside the law, but, for practical financial purposes, above the law. (America's Sixty Families, 1937).