Friday, 27 February 2009

Tax is for the little people - Bono excluded

Is it Gombeen Man’s – admittedly fertile – imagination, or does Bono look even more egotistical, smug and more divorced from reality with every photograph taken of him? Is his band’s declining popularity forcing him into the role of chief clown in order to keep U2 in the fading spotlight?

If none of these, what else could explain his spirited defence of U2 taking its commercial operation out of Ireland after the Government finally introduced a tax on wealthy rock stars’ royalties? Even if they still pay no tax at all on the first €250,000.

Bono would seem to have lost sight of reality a long time ago… probably about the time his substantial head disappeared up the ample posterior of his PVC trousers. Most people would see the hypocrisy inherent in a mega-wealthy man haranguing governments on how their tax takings should be spent (namely to save the World and eradicate poverty, man), while he himself removes the bulk of his own income from the domestic tax net to avoid paying those very taxes. But not our Bono.

Bono sees himself as one of the wealth creators behind the Celtic Tiger…as if that was something to brag about. No really - it seems that Bono sees himself and his band of buddies up there with the US multinationals that were lured here by low corporate tax rates. “There are some very clever people in the Government and in the Revenue who created a financial architecture that prospered the entire nation – it was a way of attracting people into this country who wouldn’t normally do business here”, said the self-anointed guardian of the poor and the hungry in today’s Irish Times. Sounds like George Bush speaking there, Bono... you should be more careful of the company you keep.

You see, most people would consider your views very economically right-wing for an anti-poverty campaigner. In fact, Mother Theresa was probably well to the left of you in that respect. Most anti-poverty activists would see the multinationals you praise as one of the main drivers behind global inequity and Third Word debt.

In fairness, however, US conglomerates only set up in favourable tax regimes all over the world (and they’re not too fussy about the nature of those regimes in many cases) with one aim, and one aim only - to make money. Far from seeing themselves as the saviours of the world, they are simply out to exploit it. But at least they don’t pretend otherwise.

Bono. You’ve taken your business out of Ireland – just as the multinationals you admire so much are now doing. Is there any chance that you might go too, so we don’t have to listen to your tiresome twaddle any longer? And I don’t just mean your crap music.


See also:

It's offical - Bono is the artful tax dodger"

Is Bono a hypocrite"

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Cilla, the singing sister in law said...

Bono has always been proud of his intellectual tendancies. In one of his earlier unrecorded interviews Bono explained why they shortened their original name from 'Me1 - U2' to 'U2'. "The original transparent titling suited the broke-boy-next-door image of our earlier days but was inconsistent with our later 'artistic artifice' rebranding.". We did consider "Me1" as a kind of post modernist ironic name but decided against that when our agent threatened to resign"
He shared some further confidences at that time:
"Another thing that most people aren't smart enough to have worked out where my name came from. Some people think it was a bastardisation of 'bonhomme' a term of endearment used by Claudine, my first girlfriend - a blind French teenager. 'Bonhomme' loosely and affectionately translates as "prat". Actually it is a simple condensation of "boring nobody".
Claudine got off lightly. Oh la la.

The Gombeen Man said...

Prat is right, Cilla... Claudine had him sussed.

What's the French for "pretentious wanker", I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Hi GM,

Responding a bit late to this one, but this Bono interview in The Ticket was one of the best bits of laugh out loud reading I've come across in quite some time.

His protestations about the unfairness and "hurt" of such criticism was hilarious enough, but the bit that had me asphyxiating on my cornflakes was when he said "...everybody in Ireland knows that there are some very clever people in the Government and in the Revenue who created a financial architecture that prospered the entire nation..."

Bono divorced from reality? Ya don't say!

Message to Bono: You deserve every tax break you get if you can name one, just one, very clever person in the Irish Government and Revenue.

What's that I hear? The sound of tumbleweed rolling across a desert? Yeah I know Bono, that's that Joshua Tree/Rattle and Hum sound. Great fucking albums man! Now, can we get back to the name just one bit?...

The Gombeen Man said...

"Message to Bono: You deserve every tax break you get if you can name one, just one, very clever person in the Irish Government and Revenue."

Yes, Anon. I had a good belly laugh myself when I read his statement on those "clever people" we have running the country. Well now, aren't we the cynics! Obviously we don't know what's good for us. I'm sure Charles Haughey was one of the "clever people", as he introduced the "artists" tax exemption rule which enable Bono to squirrel away millions and millions without paying a penny tax. Very clever indeed, from Bono's point of view.