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Starbucks and the sanction of the victim

News reports over the weekend said that more than 100,000 people had signed a petition calling for the recommendations of the Leveson report to be implemented in full.  This was one of the saddest things I’ve heard in ages.

First, given that Leveson was only published this week, how many of the signatories would have read the report?  At 2,000 pages, no more than a handful.  Second, I wonder how many of the signatories even knew how many recommendations there are? The executive summary tells me 92.  Question the signatories again, how many could name them all, or even one?

This is desperate stuff.  These people don’t seem to notice the chains being put ever more tightly around their necks, indeed they are fucking cheerleading the process.  The ability to regulate (and therefore control) the press would be an awesome power to give to the state.  It seems that the petitioners can’t see the possibility of the state misusing the power.  Let’s not forget this is a state that has in recent times bankrupted the country and plunged us into murderous wars on the back of lies*, to say nothing of being complicit in torture and abduction.  Add that to the history of statist crimes and genocide in the twentieth century and if you still can’t see evil writ large, best learn to pick cotton in the fields and say “Yes, massa” These are the cunts you want to remove independent scrutiny from huh?

Then we had Starbucks displaying what Ayn Rand called “the sanction of the victim**” They are apparently ‘in talks’ with the Treasury about the amount of corporation tax they pay.  I am unclear what there is to talk about, outside of Arkell v. Pressdram’ of course.  They completed a tax return which seems only to have been questioned now that it has been the subject of publicity (sic).  Then we had former Chancellor Alistair Darling popping up saying tax affairs should be clear and there should be nothing to discuss.  He seemed to be serious as he kept a straight face.  Anyone with even a passing familiarity with UK corporation tax will know it is wildly complex.  If Darling had wanted to make it simple he could have.  He didn’t and thus we can form our own opinions about his complaints about it.

Then of course you had the moron vox pops saying ‘they should pay their fair share”  De facto this is “they are a big company, so loot ‘em”  Apparently they haven’t made a UK profit since 1998.  Turnover is not profit.  It reminds me of the old joke about how we lose money on each unit sale but we make it up on volume.

Well of course the company will be paying vast amounts in business rates on its 700 UK stores.  Employers NI must add up to a pretty significant sum and let’s not forget the thousands of UK jobs more or less anyone can get.

Just for once, I would love a UK business to get all “Atlas Shrugged” on ‘em and announce the following:

“We don’t make any money from our UK operation, so learn the difference between turnover and profit before opening your ignorant mouths.  But you know what, if you are so unhappy, fine.  From Monday all the UK stores are all closed, everyone is fired so fuck off to Costa you ungrateful bastards and expect your personal taxes to go up a bit to cover the loss of UBR, the increased dole payments and the knock-on negative multiplier.  There, you must all be happy now; cunts”

* They would argue it wasn’t lies it was rank incompetence.  Thousands are dead because we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing.  Well that’s much better.

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged#Sanction_of_the_victim