Sunday, 27 March 2011

UK Uncut - it's really about envy not tax

 "He went as purple with jealousy as a purple stick of purple rhubarb! (Noel Langley, in 'The Land of Green Ginger')"

It seems that UK Uncut's attack on Fortnum & Mason has revealed the truth behind the organisation's campaigns:

We are not all in this together – the government, big business such as ABF, banking sector and the wealthy who shop here are in it together and are choosing to make everyone else pay the price for the banks greed and wreckless (sic) gambling.

As one blogger has pointed out, Fortnum's owner is a private trust itself owned by one of the world's biggest charitable foundations, Garfield Weston. And, more to the point, there's no apparent evidence of any tax dodging:

Now this is definitely not what UK Uncut should be about; going after the wealthy just because they choose to shop somewhere that is expensive?

Again, as a reminder, ABF, Fortnum & Mason and Wittington Investments are all ultimately owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the 14th largest charitable foundation in the world.

So when you put this together, you’ve got a lack of verifiable sources on tax avoidance, a store targeted simply because it is owned by a group that has a majority shareholding in another group that might be dodging tax, and ultimately everything is all under the control of a charitable foundation.

It does seem that UK Uncut targeted Fortnum & Mason simply because rich people shop there - simple, straightforward, green-eyed envy. And I thought they were such nice folk!


1 comment:

Simon Edmonds said...

If you do your research properly you will find that many of the UK Uncut activists are from well off middle class families and have or are attending high end universities. I don't know the details behind F&M's tax position but if you dismiss the principles and commitment of the people behind the UK Uncut protests you are likely to be dismissing the future politicians of this country.

For decades we have complained about the political apathy of young people in this country - now they are beginning to make their voices heard. Whether we like what they are saying or not, I suggest that we pay attention and engage in dialogue. Whatever our own individual political leanings - we need to ensure that we communicate clearly and factually in order to educate and inform.

Cheap point scoring and sneering from the sidelines does no one any favours