Posts Tagged ‘#ukuncut’

Cant and hypocrisy of Bristol and Sheffield Cathedrals

January 6, 2012
Bristol Cathedral - Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

Bristol Cathedral - Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

The key issue is a theological one … what do we stand for as a Cathedral. Economic justice is the Number One issue in the Bible. — Giles Fraser, former Canon Chancellor St Paul’s Cathedral

One reason many do not like the church in particular and Christianity in general is the appalling cant and hypocrisy. Do as we preach, not as we do.

A religion of the poor and oppressed hijacked by Emperor Constantine to become the official state religion of a military empire. Overnight the oppressed became the oppressors. Religion turned into what it had always been, a tool to control the masses, not a means of liberation and salvation for the masses.

St Paul’s learned the hard way when Occupy London Stock Exchange turned up on their doorstep and St Paul’s decided to close for a week on bogus health and safety grounds. Having learnt the lesson the hard way, the clergy of St Paul’s are now working closely with the camp, having been forced to re-examine the core values of Christianity.

Lessons that have yet to be learnt by the administration at either Bristol Cathedral or Sheffield Cathedral. Both located amidst pockets of acute deprivation.

The Deans of both Cathedrals say they want their grounds back, that it is public space, are threatening eviction.

Are those in occupation not the public? Are they not engaging in wide discourse with the wider public? Have they not shown willingness to engage with the clergy of both cathedrals?

If there is a problem, then why are the clergy not talking to resolve it?

Why is Bristol Cathedral working in lockstep with the local council to mount an eviction? Since when has a local council represented local people, let alone acted for local people?

Sheffield Cathedral, a place for all people, unless you happen to be living in a tent as a protester, then pick up your tent and depart.

It is even claimed the camps are not making a difference. Jeremy Paxman made a similar crass comment on Newsnight two nights ago in his dumb preamble prior to an excellent interview with Giles Fraser, former Canon Chancellor at St Paul’s, when he said nothing has been achieved as it has not changed capitalism.

Nothing has changed?

Would Giles Fraser have been on Newsnight two nights ago? Would David Cameron yesterday have been saying action has to be taken against corporate tax dodgers? Would the issues raised by UK Uncut have been on Newsnight last night?

The entire political landscape has changed. The only reasons these issues of social justice and tax avoidance are being raised at all is thanks to St Paul’s in-the-Camp and the numerous camps across the country including Occupy Bristol and Occupy Sheffield and UK Uncut targeting tax dodgers like Sir Philip Green and Vodafone.

As Giles Fraser said two nights ago on Newsnight, minor issues of inconvenience in the greater realm of things are far less important than the issues being raised, issues which go to the core of Christianity and why churches like St Paul’s and our great cathedrals were built.

Giles Fraser was preceded by an odious woman from the Church of England General Synod, lacking in grace and lacking any understanding of the message of Jesus. People like her give all Christians a bad name.

- College Green update
Sheffield Cathedral Media Release: Occupy Sheffield 5 January 2012
Occupy the New year!
The Occupation Continues

Persecution of HMRC whistleblower Osita Mba

December 10, 2011
Osita Mba HMRC whistleblower

Osita Mba HMRC whistleblower

Osita Mba the solicitor at HM Revenue and Customs who has blown the whistle on dodgy tax deals at HMRC is now being persecuted by HMRC. His ‘crime’ to tell a parliamentary committee of the dodgy goings on at HMRC.

He has been told not to enter the Revenue’s building in Westminster without a personal escort from his line manager.

This is disgraceful treatment of a decent man who has exposed wrongdoing within HMRC.

A petition has been set up in support of Osita Mba and all future whistleblowers. Please support and sign.

The man who should be driven out of HMRC is Dodgy Dave Hartnett, the most wined and dined civil servant, the tax dodgers friend.

Be careful what you wish for. As a write I learn he is to be ‘retired’!

Why is it that corrupt and incompetent what are jokingly called public servants are nearly always retired, rarely fired and almost unknown to be prosecuted and thrown into prison?

For Dodgy Dave Hartnett, retirement on a fat penison, nice little earners from dodgy tax dodgers as a thank you is totally unacceptable, his retirement must be behind bars stripped of all pension rights.

He does not go until the summer of next year. No, he must go now, a nice Christmas present for hard working HMRC straff and ordinary tax payers on PAYE who pay their taxes.

Osita Mba is not the only rebel within HMRC.

Calling themselves Dissent, a rebel group of 324 tax office staff with members in every ofice have set up a whistleblowing network to expose what they see as ‘corruption, ineptitude and mismanagement’.

Morale is at rock bottom within HMRC with only 17% of staff having confidence in senior management.

Were HMRC to tackle the tax dodgers there would be no need for public sector cuts.

To anyone who says UKUncut and OccupyLSX are having no effect, would Dave Hartnett be getting the boot if they did not exist?

- Whistleblowing and tax: called to account
Goldman Sachs whistleblower threatened with the sack
Dave Harnett to step down from HMRC
Press release: UK Uncut respond to Hartnett’s ‘retirement’
Rebel tax office staff ready to blow whistle on ‘inept’ HM Revenue & Customs bosses
HMRC tax deal with Vodafone ‘may have been illegal’

Block the Bridge

October 10, 2011
Save our NHS - Westminster Bridge

Save our NHS - Westminster Bridge

Block the Bill - Westminster Bridge

Block the Bill - Westminster Bridge

Sunday afternoon people from all over the country occupied Westminster Bridge in protest at cuts and privatisation of the National Health Service.

On the eve of the protest I thought, why not the police let protesters occupy the bridge, it is after all public highway. For once intelligent policing, and that is what happened. Maybe because the police facing 20% cuts and in the same boat. Sadly though they did blot their copy book later by directing protesters off the bridge into a kettle on Lambeth Bridge.

Coverage of Block the Bridge by BBC Radio 4 news was a disgrace. A brief mention on a couple of on-the-hour two-minute news bulletins and that was it.

No mention on the garbage Westminster Hour. The real world occupies Westminster Bridge and yet not a mention. Nor a mention on the midnight news.

- We won’t take this lying down: Thousands of demonstrators force Westminster Bridge to close with protest over Government health reforms

I recall my grandmother talking about days before the NHS, dreading anyone falling ill and a visit from the doctor and having to pay the doctor. We do not wish to see a return to those grim days.

- I remember a pre-NHS Britain. I don’t want to see a post-NHS one

But already, in Yorkshire, patients are being charged for minor surgery. They are referred to a private company which surprise surprise, they find is owned by their own company.

In Farnborough, doctors and dentists have been told to refer patients to a hospital in Basingstoke, not the nearby Frimley Park. Patients are being denied patient choice and when they try to exercise that choice are being told they have to go to Basingstoke.

- Farnborough patients denied patient choice

Yes, there are need for reforms. Consultants should be stopped from using the NHS to tout for business. Sorry a three month wait, but if you wish to bribe me, oops I mean pay me, you can be seen next week as my private patient.

Bono Pay Your Tax!

June 25, 2011
Chumbawamba headlining today at Glastonbury on the Tripod Stage! Great T-shirts!

Chumbawamba headlining today at Glastonbury on the Tripod Stage! Great T-shirts!

They have watchtowers built into the Glastonbury fence, seemed oddly familiar. — Mark Thomas

I’m all for protests. I’ve been protesting all of my life. I’m glad they got the chance to have their say. But, as it happens, what they’re protesting about is wrong. — Bono

Bono likes to pontificate on the world stage on Third World issues. Nothing wrong with that, he highlights real issues. But that does not excuse him from paying his taxes.

Last night at Glastonbury, ArtUncut pulled a stunt which highlighted his failure to pay his tax.

Campaigner Charlie Dewar said:

U2’s multi million-euro tax dodge is depriving the Irish people at a time when they desperately need income to offset the Irish government’s savage austerity programme.

Tax nestling in the band’s bank account should be helping to keep open the hospitals, schools and libraries that are closing all over Ireland.

Bono is well-known for his anti-poverty campaigning but Art Uncut is accusing him of hypocrisy.

Glastonbury security thugs were not amused. They pounced!

Bono was not amused. Bono criticised the tax protesters for “using large music events to raise awareness of political movements is tacky and opportunistic.”

Erm. Is this not what Bono does? Is this not the pot calling the kettle black?

Shame on the BBC who edited the incident out of their Glastonbury coverage.

Top story in Bono Daily (Saturday 25 June 2011).

- Violent scenes break out in the crowd at U2’s long-awaited Glastonbury debut
‘Heavy handed’ Glastonbury guards break up U2 protest
U2 tax protest turns violent

We are all in it together

January 2, 2011
exclusive Swiss ski resort of Klosters

exclusive Swiss ski resort of Klosters

Massive cuts to welfare budgets hitting the poorest and disadvantaged hardest. University student fees to rise threefold, education maintenance allowance for the poorest students scrapped. Lollipop ladies fired. Bookstart scrapped. Slash and burn of public services. The vast majority of the population seeing real disposable income fall as prices rise and the economy deflates.

We are all in it together!

Not if you are the super rich who have seen their wealth rise by a third in the year just ended. Not if you are tax dodgers like Sir Philip Green, Vodafone, Boots and many others.

Not if you are those who pushed through the austerity measures and slash and burn of public services. They celebrated Christmas and saw in the New Year living a life of Riley.

Millionaire Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne saw in the New Year at the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Klosters. No doubt those he rubbed shoulders with were happy to swap tips on the latest tax avoidance scams. But then Osborne does have the Finance Director of Vodafone as his adviser on corporate tax.

Probably the worst was House of Commons Speaker John Bercow elected to the position in the wake of the expenses scandal on a manifesto to clean up Parliament. Whilst the plebs shivered in the cold and the crush on the Embankment to watch the world’s most spectacular firework display to see in the New Year, Bercow held a lavish party on the House of Commons Terrace so he and his invited cronies could see in the New Year in style. Commons lackeys and flunkies were in attendance, including the Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms. One of those present was Prison Minister Cripin Blunt, having a good time whilst HMP Ford open prison in Sussex burnt to the ground. Bercow’s wife gushed on twitter what a wonderful time they were having.

Now why do I have an image of Mary Antoinette?

Also see

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

All in this together? 

Dance Against The Deficit Lies – Having it Peaceful

Why cuts are the wrong cure

Why austerity is not common sense

We are not the Topshop generation

Hundreds of lollipop ladies to be fired

December 28, 2010
hundreds of lollipop ladies to be fired

hundreds of lollipop ladies to be fired

Not satisfied with scrapping Bookstart, not content with increasing student university tuition fees three fold and scrapping Education Maintenance Allowance for the poorest students, the latest slash and burn of public services is to fire hundreds of lollipop men and women who help kids safely across the road as they leave school.

At what cost in terms of maimed and killed school kids?

Every day in 2009, 12 children were killed or seriously injured on our roads.

Hundreds of lollipop ladies to be laid off

Liberal Democrats: Say goodbye to broken promises

December 21, 2010

When you watch this please try not to throw up!

Not only did LibDems fail to honour their election pledge on not hiking student fees, they pledged fair taxes, a fair society, no broken promises like the othert parties. We are different claimed the loathsome Nick Clegg.

Fairness? Cutting Education Maintenance Allowance to the poorest kids who wish to stay on in education. Hiking student fees to three times their current levels.

Affordable housing? Cutting housing benefits.

Fair Taxes? Letting the rich avoid paying tax.

The trail of broken promises comes to an end. We can say goodbye to broken promises.

But then the loathsome Nick Clegg got the whiff of power and the stench went to his head.

Also see

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Climate Rush carol singers prevented from lobbying

Tax dodgers shut down again

December 19, 2010
My Public Library Pay Your Tax So It Can Stay Open

My Public Library Pay Your Tax So It Can Stay Open

Topshop £285 million tax dodge

Topshop £285 million tax dodge

BHS banner drop Brighton

BHS banner drop Brighton

Topshop Tunbridge Wells

Topshop Tunbridge Wells

Chant: HSBC shame on you! We pay taxes, why can’t you?

Chant: tax avoiders off our streets! Philip green, national thief, pay yourt tax or we won’t leave!

Chant: Where did all our money go? Shipped it off to Monaco!

Dear The Rich, please pay your share so we, The Poor, don’t have to lose our welfare state to prop up your banks. Thanks.

It was the last weekend before Christmas, the busiest shopping day of the year, the cash bells ringing, then came the snow. It was the last weekend before Christmas, UK Uncut had decided to target the tax dodgers, shut down as many retail stores as possible, then came the snow.

Severe weather warnings, trains not running, the airports closed, roads closed, the weather dominated the news programmes. Not a good day to shut down Vodafone, Topshop and other tax dodgers, or so I thought. Only the day before over 50 actions had been flagged up.

But I was pleased to say I was proved wrong. They came, they occupied. Across the country stores and banks were occupied and closed down.

In Covent Garden, protesters held a sleep over in HSBC in protest at housing cuts. HSBC had now been added to the list after it was revealed they had dodged £2 billion in tax. If paid there would be no need for housing cuts.

A santa from Big Society Revenue and Customs was glued to the window of Dorothy Perkins.

M&S was targeted in Hackney and Oxford Street.

Why M&S? M&S trousered £492 million in unpaid tax over the last five years, that is if they had paid tax at the existing rate of corporate tax.

This needs putting in context: it apparently costs £162 million a year to provide school sport, or about £810 million over five years. M&S could have paid for 72% of that if it had paid the full rate of UK tax on its profits or 60% if it had just settled the total tax it provided on its profit and loss account.

In normally sleepy Tunbridge Wells, despite the inclement weather, around 30 protesters turned out.

The Library Bloc was very effective. Reading books to shut down stores whilst at the same time highlighting closure of public libraries. Closures that would not be necessary were tax dodgers to pay their taxes.

Well done Anna Fleur (@magiczebras) who revised for her GCSE whilst occupying HSBC. Trade minister Stephen Green just happened to be director of HSBC whilst they dodged £2bn in tax.

Topical and brilliant, Santa protests too much when he hears his local library might close. A festive verse comedy by Ian McMillan. [BBC Radio 4, broadcast 19:00 Saturday 18 Dec 2010, repeat 17:40 Sunday 19 Dec 2010]

Vodafone’s waived tax bill could have paid for every single cut to every single council in the country this year.

Philip Green’s tax dodges could have paid for two years of sports in every school in the country.

Shame on the BBC who failed to report!

Do not the Brits have a reputation for apathy? A winge over their lukewarm beer but that is as far as it goes. But push them too far, as Hitler found, and they fight

Austerity cuts, an exagerated budget defecit being used as an excuse for application of Shock Doctrine and the resultant slash and burn of public services, the rich laughing all the way to their offshore bank accounts and the long-sufring Brits have said enough is enough.

It all started with the shutdown of the Vodafone flagship store in Oxford street on 7 October 2010 and it has taken off from there. We have seen what has become almost a regular feature of the weekend, shutdown of Vodafone stores and other tax dodgers. We have seen students take to the streets and occupation of universities not seen since the late 1960s.

And yet we have see what appears to be a media blackout.

The first most people know of these protests is when out shopping and ask what is going on. They then join in.


Tax Justice Network

Tax Research UK Blog

False Economy

Also see

UK Uncut Brighton – Sir Philip Green’s Christmas Payday

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Heavy snow and ice bring travel chaos across UK

Tax protesters step up protest against store


Topshop and the solidarity of the ‘ordinary shopper’

#ukuncut actions around the country mark ‘Payday’

Big business goes on the defensive as tax protesters win the propaganda war

High street stores hit in day of action over corporate tax avoidance

Crisis? What crisis? Topshop boss enjoys Barbados holiday despite tax protestsl

Knickers to tax

Tax cheats avoiding fines when caught

From Fact to Fiction: Santa’s Sit-in

The return of the public?

The ethics of tax avoidance

Lone Protests Against Tax Avoiders

Tax justice: Back on the agenda

Vodafone tax protest made me smile

Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

Shop a Scrounger

Topshop day of action against tax dodger Sir Philip Green

Tax dodging: what would Jesus do?

What would Jesus do?

Vodafone tax protest made me smile

December 12, 2010
Vodafone unpaid tax

Vodafone unpaid tax

It made me smile to see tax dodging corporation Vodafone shoot themselves in the foot.

In what could be seen as a misappropriation of Make My Day, Vodafone did just that by appropriating the twitter hashtag #mademesmile as an ill thought out marketing campaign.

The idea was you would tweet something meaningless and gibberish with the hashtag #mademesmile and the best would get a Vodafone prize.

UK Uncut had far better ideas. They made use of the hashtag #mademesmile to make it a tending topic on twitter with messages like

Captain SKA – Liar Liar #LiarLiar4XMASno1 #music #ukuncut #mademesmile

Tax protest turns Vodafone’s smile upside down #mademesmile #ukuncut

Vodafone forced to pay their unpaid taxes #mademesmile #Ukuncut

Grateful Vodafone executives say a big thank you to Chancellor George Osborne #mademesmile #Ukuncut

Vodafone tax protest made me smile #ukuncut #mademesmile

Please re-tweet this messages to keep them trending.

A huge success. By trending it has alerted many more people to tax dodging by Vodafone and their unpaid £6 billion tax bill.

Now not only do we have he opportunity to shut down and occupy Vodafone stores on the High Street, thanks to the Christmas goodwill of Vodafone we can carry on the protest 24 hours a day in cyberspace!

The terms and conditions Vodafone had imposed on the competition, number 11 of 18 provide particular mirth: “Check to see if there’s any tax implication by winning a prize as you’ll be responsible for this.”

Also see

Tax protest turns Vodafone’s smile upside down

Grateful Vodafone executives say a big thank you to Chancellor George Osborne

Brighton Uncut Vodafone Action

Nationwide shut down of Vodafone stores

Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill

Shop a Scrounger

Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

What we’re arguing against and what we’re fighting for

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Right to protest?

December 12, 2010

We live in a democracy right?

So we all have the right to be represented. In fact equal rights to representation is the ideology on which our society has (eventually) been built. My rights as a citizen in this country depend upon my recognition of your rights. If I have access to the vote then so should you. If I have access to education then so too you. Especially since we have a first class education system – accessible to all, excellence for all.

Or we did. Until Thursday 9th December at around 4.30pm when a slim majority of 21 MPs compromised their election promises and sided with the coalition government, rather than the students who voted them in. 21 MPs. 21 individuals have made a decision that will dismantle our national treasure – a world famous and public Higher Education. Along with the hike in tuition fees those 21 MPs have forced hundred of thousands of children, the poorest children in our society, to finish school at 16. The fates of 660,000 of our most vulnerable children have been decided by 21 people who promised to represent them.

This is the back-story to the youth protests that have shook our cities and dominated the nation’s press.

Kids have never had it so hard – their future mortgaged to shore up a deficit created by the banks; an ecological debt created because our leaders lack the will and imagination to invest in a sustainable future. For the first time in a long time young people with the smallest voice and the most to lose have got together and coordinated a response.

Cameron responded to their frustration and anger with appaled outrage. How dare these children use any means possible to achieve representation? How dare they smash national treasures he asks whilst he holds the axe to Higher Education, the Independent Living Fund, the nation’s forests, the NHS.

Originally posted by Climate Rush on their blog.

Quite right David Cameron. The violence we saw on the streets during the student fees protest last week was totally unacceptable. The violence by the police was not restricted to a tiny minority.

We saw police charge demonstrators with horses (leaving one girl with a broken collar bone). We saw police beat protesters with batons and riot shields (leaving one man with serious head injuries). We saw people held for many hours on the streets in freezing cold conditions without water or food or toilet facilities.

People have the right to demonstrate in front of Parliament not find their access blocked.

People have the right to expect the police to safeguard their democratic right to protest, not to herd and coral and beat around the head.

Will you be launching a full Public Inquiry into the appalling policing that took place last Thursday?

People expect the police to be there to protect them not live in fear of them.

We want policing by consent, not policing by baton wielding thugs in uniform and riot gear.

This is not a Third World State or a country in the old Soviet Bloc and yet I saw no difference in behaviour by the state security apparatus. What we are seeing is history repeating itself, our Prague Spring, our Orange Revolution, and the knee-jerk reaction of the state is the same.

Will you be launching a full Public Inquiry into the beating of student Alfie Meadows? Who would have died but for his mother finding him.

We demand, not politely request, all FIT film footage to be placed in the public domain and to be handed over to Alfie’s family.

We demand a prompt and speedy and competent investigation. We do not want to see the delays we saw into the death of Ian Tomlinson, that by the time the case reaches the Courts it is too late for a prosecution of those police officers involved.

Has nothing been learnt from the death of Ian Tomlinson? Has nothing been learnt from the illegal kettling?

Sup Julia Pendry blatantly lied when she gave her press conference from New Scotland Yard. As did the Met Commissioner.

Yes, there was violence committed that day, violence that will have long reaching impact, that will scar a generation for life. That was the violence committed on our education system and the youth of our country.

We are seeing the privatisation, marketisation of our education system. We are seeing people who live in slums denied a helping hand. We are seeing massive welfare cuts. We are seeing housing cuts. Next will come NHS, our libraries, our public transport, our museums, sell off of our woods and forests.

An alleged Budget Deficit is being used as the excuse for slash and burn of the public sector. There would not even be a budget deficit if tax dodgers were forced to pay their taxes.

No we are not in it all together. The rich retain their privileges whilst the poor, the disadvantaged, the environment, pay the price of greedy bankers and decades of economic mismanagement.

What you saw on Thursday was the Big Society in action. It may take a long time and a lot of provocation to awaken from its slumber, but provocation has finally roused its ire. Big Society is on the case and does not like what it finds. Big Society does not like the democratic deficit at the heart of the Gothic chamber of horrors.

The anger that erupted on the streets, was as a direct result of the vote in Parliament and the violence and intimidation by the police beforehand.

Had you been with the students and lecturers and school kids as they walked to Parliament, you would have been able to have joined in the party atmosphere, what many described as a carnival. But you would have also have seen the attempted kettles, the blocked roads, to try and stop people reaching Parliament.

You owe an apology for falsely claiming there were ‘scenes of police officers being dragged off police horses and beaten’.

Maybe you should spend some time talking to Caroline Lucas MP as she seems to have a better grasp of reality than either yourself or lying hypocrites Nick Clegg and Vince Cable.

A pity Bruce Kent took part in the Sky News discussion as he clearly did not have a clue what he was talking about. In contrast Tamsin Omond put the case across very eloquently. A pity about the appalling sound quality.

Note: There is a mistake in the Climate Rush report. The vote came through after 5-30pm, not 4-30pm.

Also see

Caroline Lucas MP speaks at student fees protest

A sad day for democracy

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

The Battle for Parliament Square

Taming the Vampire Squid: Take back our banks

Why cuts are the wrong cure

London Student Assembly Press Conference

Alfie Meadows seriously injured in student fees protest

‘Scenes of police officers being dragged off police horses and beaten’

Inside the Parliament Square kettle

Kettled During 9th of December Protest

Britain’s woods and forests for sale

Climate Rendezvous with Climate Rush


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