Sunday, June 05, 2011

U2: Suddenly, Glastonbury seems a much more appealing prospect

Things like this should really be announced before the tickets go on sale: Art Uncut are going to target Bono and U2 during their headline set.

"Bono claims to care about the developing world, but U2 greedily indulges in the very kind of tax avoidance which is crippling the poor nations of this world," said a spokesman for Art Uncut, a group with strong links to UK Uncut.
The One campaign has offered an attempt at a counterpoint:
A spokesperson for One, the anti-poverty campaign group co-founded by Bono, said: "U2's business arrangements have nothing to do with illegal tax evasion and transfer mispricing in developing countries, critical issues which Bono and One campaign on.

"One is currently lobbying for radical changes in the law that would require extractive industry corporations to report payments to governments, to ensure these substantial resources contribute to the domestic tax base instead of being stashed or siphoned off."
The One spokesperson misses about sixty-three points there. Sure, Bono and U2 aren't doing anything illegal with their tax arrangements. But, erm, neither are the extractive industry corporations, which is why they're campaigning for a change in the law.

A miner or oil person might ask, fairly, why Bono should object to them making the most of an arrangement which minimises their tax payout when he does exactly the same thing. Because it harms people in the country where they're not paying a fair rate of tax? But the same is true of Bono's actions.

Still, Glastonbury believes in stuff, doesn't it?
The organisers of Glastonbury festival declined to comment.
Not even a 'we hope they don't disrupt the performance but welcome their right to raise a matter important to them'.