Tag: uk_politics

June 29, 2016
November 25, 2014
I use Amazon a lot – for Kindle books, for CDs and DVDs, for gadgets; and sometimes even for unexpected stuff like really excellent flour from Welsh watermills. But lately I have been thinking that Amazon isn’t so deserving of my business; from its employment practices to its well-documented tax avoidance.

Margaret Hodge, MP and chair of the public accounts committee, makes a good case that consumer action forced Starbucks to pay tax in UK, and that the same kind of action could force Amazon’s hand.

October 15, 2014
The following is based on what I have learned while trying to cope with unsolicited telephone calls. I have done my best to make it accurate, but I am not a lawyer or expert in this field. If you are aware of any glaring errors in this article, please let me know.

I am plagued with unsolicited phone calls. Sometimes I think I get too angry about them, some friends say I should just ignore them; but when you receive more unwanted sales and marketing phone calls than actual valid calls from friends, family and organisations you want to hear from, you know something is wrong.

April 15, 2013
April 15, 2013
I was driving up to Glasgow on Monday afternoon, and hadn’t caught the news in the morning. So when I turned on my radio and heard her voice, I assumed it was a news item or programme about her, and immediately switched to CD. 20 minutes later, I switched back, and she was still being broadcast, so I continued with my CD.

An hour or so into the journey, I was amazed to switch back to radio 4 and find that they were still broadcasting Margaret Thatcher. Yelling at the radio, “Why is that woman still on????”, it was about then that I realised that something had happened.

November 17, 2012
A pathetic turnout for the Police and Crime Commissioner election results (some might say a pathetic turnout for a pathetic idea), so one is wary to draw any conclusions from the results.

See some analysis here at the Guardian

October 6, 2012
Back in September, I asked if Hunt was “a safe pair of hands for the NHS”, having a record for supporting homeopathy and limits on abortion.

Now, according to the BBC, he has stated – once again, in a new interview in the Times – that he “favours a change in law that would halve the limit on abortions from 24 weeks into a pregnancy to 12”.

September 4, 2012
August 28, 2012
I’ve had an addiction, for several years, that I have finally decided to kick. My friends have previously told me that it is no good for me; that any enjoyment I might get from it is no compensation for the way it tries to warp my mind; that it is destructive, and the best thing I can do is just walk away. Despite that, without it, I find it difficult to wake up and get myself out of bed.

But, finally, I’ve decided to go cold turkey on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

July 14, 2012


Listening to an interview on Radio 4 with Nick Buckles of G4S.

He has said a large part of why they only identified their inability to provide sufficient numbers in the last “9-10 days” was because the people they were employing were only available for training for a limited period. He said some people were taking time off work, in order to work the games, and others were students who had their studies and exams to work around.

June 24, 2012
The subject of a levy on disposable plastic carrier bags has come up again, in an attempt to reduce the number used. The Scottish Parliament is planning a consultation on the idea of a 5p tax per bag. Cameron would like to follow suit, but has been blocked by the treasury, who think it might be seen as an attack on the common people.

One idea that has been raised to balance the idea of a “carrier tax” is that all funds raised be given to charity.

June 23, 2012
Comedian Jimmy Carr has been in the news this week, due not so much to revelations that he benefited from a tax loophole that saw him pay 1% tax on earnings reported as 3 million a year; but more due to Prime Minister David Cameron targeting him, and him alone, for comment, saying his tax arrangements were “morally wrong”.

Now, I’m not defending Carr’s tax arrangements, but I feel it inappropriate for him to be singled out in this way by the leader of the government. I might be more in agreement with this, if the morally righteous Cameron hadn’t himself inherited a fortune made on off-shore savings, and if he had thought to comment on others who might deserve it a little more, such as businessman and government advisor Philip Green, whose own tax arrangements have saved him in excess of 250 million of personal and corporate tax.