Saturday, 27 October 2012


What has happened to our british standards. At one time we all paid our tax and a few would put the odd bit of pilfered folding stuff into their back pocket for a rainy day. Now it's a country where the big businesses cosy up to the politicians, bung their party a few quid and the treasury creates a loophole so they can pilfer millions and millions in unpaid tax.

Take Starbucks and their UK tax avoidance scheme. When companies are behaving badly whether is through exploitation of people or tax loopholes what should we do about it.  Should we not as a nation just boycott their outlets?

I for one would be happy to boycott any one I feel is exploiting a situation. About ten years ago Greenpeace organised a boycott of Shell. I started to boycott Shell and I still do.  A couple of weeks ago Tesco sacked a large group of drivers living within my community. Our house insurance was with Tesco - when the renewal arrived we found an alternative and it isn't Tesco any longer. I have to stay loyal to my principles and I do my bit!

However the list of companies exploiting tax avoidance loopholes is possibly a very very large one. Certainly M and S is in my sights - though to be honest I don't tend to frequent their outlets. Starbucks falls into the same category as M and S as it is rare for me to go into one of their outlets. Boycotting is sometimes inconvenient and it will take some time to see results. If my car is about to run out of diesel Shell would be my last choice but I would not be prepared to run out of fuel. However, I would only purchase enough to keep me going until I can get to another outlet.

There is a group of activists at UK Uncut who do take positive action against such businesses by organising a spot of instant shop occupation. UK Uncut started with occupation of a Vodaphone shop a couple of years ago. I'm not normally a proponent of direct action. But when you see the aftermath on YouTube or TV  it seems like its good fun. It has the knock on effect of raising their tax fiddling profile. And like Tesco says - every little helps!

Looks like UK Uncut are planning to visit a few of Starbucks outlets in the near future.


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