It is really not good enough for companies like Google, Amazon & Starbucks to continue to argue that their tax arrangements are not illegal. It is abundantly clear to anyone with half a brain that what they are doing to avoid paying the proper amount of tax is wrong, particularly at a time when people in really desperate need are being preyed upon by both government and big business.
I wrote the following some time ago during the expenses scandal – but the inability to understand the difference between what is right and what is legal still seems to be prevelant.
Actually I am not altogether convinced that much of what these companies are doing is not criminal – I’m sure if we had the determination we could find good reason to imprison some of the people indulging in this behaviour – the following is a couple of years old – but really we are no further forward with an understanding that just because something is not illegal does not make it right!
“I was brought up to believe that one tried to do the right thing – for its own sake – not because of any advantage that might be gained from it. Of course, I didn’t always succeed; I am, despite rumours to the contrary, only human.
But generally, when I fell short of what we used to call “decent” behaviour, one thing was certain; I knew it; and just in case it ever needed reinforcing my dear old Mum or Dad would soon point it out to me.
Our politicians are referred to as Honourable or Right Honourable and anyone inside our Parliament who accuses another of lying has to immediately apologise or risk being suspended from the house. The assumption is that our politicians are honest and are entitled to the courtesy of being considered such until it is proven otherwise.
Back during the Profumo scandal in the 60’s, a prominent Lord denied, through his lawyer, ever knowing the prostitute Mandy Rice-Davis. When this was put to her in Court by a lawyer, obviously on the assumption that this man was so “honourable”, his statement could not possibly be doubted, Mandy uttered the immortal line, “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he!”
Our politicians should earn our respect, not demand it. They need to understand as the rest of us do, that just because something is not actually illegal, that doesn’t somehow make it right.
Jacqui Smith’s husband is paid (by us as it happens) to look after her affairs, I have no problem if he chooses to watch slightly dubious videos; but I see no reason why I should pay for them. And if Tony McNulty needs to claim a second home allowance because the poor dear cannot face a 10 mile commute – then he is clearly not up to the job.
Should they resign? Absolutely not. They should be very openly and publicly sacked! Not being against the law is not the same as being right. They should go now. As for the rest of them, they should account for every penny they spend of our money – just like the rest of us poor working stiffs do.
Oh, and by the way – the difference between “unlawful” and “illegal”? – The former means “against the Law” the latter is a sick bird of prey.
I haven’t told that one since I left primary school….”