Sunday, 31 October 2010

Vodafone - tax dodgers!

On Saturday October 30th, people took part in peaceful protests against Vodafone all across the UK. During the protests many Vodafone stores were closed. Protesters are angry about the fact that Vodafone have been 'let off' a £6 billion tax bill by chancellor George Osbourne at a time when the Condem Government is slashing public welfare, hitting benefits for the low paid, disabled and unemployed. As I type this lawyers and accountants are working hard to come up with schemes for corporations to avoid paying tax. The BBC Radio File on Four programme ' A Taxing Dilemma' reported tonight on how UK corporations are cooking up tax avoidance schemes. Big business is using the benefits of globalisation to play off one country against another in a 'race to the bottom' for corporate taxes. In the long run this kind of activity can only damage the welfare of citizens in countries around the world and needs to be stopped.

I was in Manchester to attend an anti-cuts meeting organised by the Labour Representation Committee at which Labour MP John McDonnell spoke. McDonnell is one of the few Labour MPs who had the courage to speak out against the neo-liberal programme of cuts and privatisation followed by New Labour. He tried unsuccessfully to challenge Gordon Brown for the leadership of the party, being prevented by the ridiculously high hurdle that leadership contenders have to jump over to stand.

On the 28th of October in Oxford students clashed with police who attempted to stop them marching to protest against education cuts. Little of this activity gets mentioned in the media but there are protests going on all over the country against the fact that ordinary people are being made to pay for the excesses of the market, and this is before the cuts have really started to bite. If you want to find out more visit the Coalition of Resistance's excellent website. This isn't France but there is growing anger and unease about what is happening. We are still at the early stages of a fightback against government for the rich by the rich.

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