Some time ago I read this in The Guardian
Seumas Milne: The scale of unpaid tax now outstrips the entire deficit. Forcing the élite to pay up is a matter of both justice and necessity
“The scale of tax avoidance by high-street brand multinationals has now become clear, in no small part thanks to campaigning groups such as UK Uncut. Asda, Google, Apple, eBay, Ikea, Starbucks, Vodafone: all pay minimal tax on massive UK revenues, mostly by diverting profits earned in Britain to their parent companies, or lower tax jurisdictions via royalty and service payments or transfer pricing.”
“The Tory MP and tax lawyer Charlie Elphicke estimates 19 US-owned multinationals are paying an effective tax rate of 3% on British profits, instead of the standard rate of 26%. It’s all entirely legal, of course. But taken together with the multiple individual tax scams of the élite, this roll call of corporate infamy has become an intolerable scandal, when taxes are rising and jobs, benefits and pay being cut for the majority.”
I have no idea how you begin to sort it out. Individually we can only try to spend with Corporations, Brands and Businesses we are happy with. And there probably not many of them around. It means we are still giving them what they want, our money, and they are just taking it out of the country, tax-free.
The next bits has a US focus, but we’re all drawn in to this tangled web in someway.
If you look at this chart, The Bilderberg Groups Connections (Source Business Insider), you begin to understand the impact of Globalisation. I can’t vouch for its accuracy, and, as it says, it’s difficult to say what influence each of these people have. But I’d wager that their decisions have a greater impact than yours or mine. Individually we are no more than grains of sand on beach.
If the graphic is half as accurate as it is impressive, then someone put a lot of effort in. You could look at the graphic and conclude that no one knows what the fuck is going on. Organising anything in that mess of a network would take some doing. But the corporations are good at taking money in and keeping it.
It shows how important making your voice heard is. Locally and nationally . More than ever acting collectively is vital. “Individualism” is just another tool to make your voice ineffective.
Look at who owns what. It’s easy to see how we’re all drawn into the Global thing. Trying to spend your money with the little guy is difficult, if not impossible. Do you know who the little guy is?
We all have to give the big boys something in this modern world. Writing this relies on the big boys.
But we don’t have to give them everything, and we don’t have to give them blind, brand loyalty.
Seek out the small guy. Spend what you can with the small guy.
Media is very similar to the Corporate High Street Brands. Again the link has a US focus, but Newscorp is in there. Beware the illusion of choice.
How you combat this market domination is difficult to work out. Nothing will change without national legislation, and that seems light years away.
So what can I do?
Here in Bedford, the Clanger produces a great little guide to the independent traders. Use it. Seek out similar information and guides when you visit other places. There are small guys operating in every town.
Your money is one of your best weapons, use it, along with your voice.
Find out what’s happening locally. If it interests you, think about joining in, but remember, you can’t do everything.
Be open to other views. They may have a point.
Treat your vote like your money. Think about where to spend it. The big parties are like big brands. They want brand loyalty, they want your vote in the same way the big corporation wants your money.
Don’t leave it to the politicians. Let your local MP what you think. The only revolution here will be via the ballot box.
Beware the media, they have their own agenda. Don’t accept everything the media says as fact. The media is as full of opinion, as it is fact.
Be vigilant about your local services. They are under constant threat. Even if you can’t join the fight, you can support those who are fighting to protect those services. Sign local petitions. Sign national petitions.
Join a Trade Union. Yes those bastions of left-wing militants, if you believe the media. Collectively you are stronger than you are individually. Why does big business have the CBI? It’s a collective voice.
It’s your money, it’s your voice, it’s your passion, it’s your job, it’s your vote. Maybe you have more power than you think.
Meanwhile I’m still thinking.