Some time ago I read - and I'm damned if I have been able to find the article since - that Van Morrison, unlike U2, had not availed of Ireland's artists' tax exemption - a wheeze introduced by one of the country's most corrupt (and therefore most respected) politicians ever, Charlie Haughey.
If it is true, it is interesting, for the dour Belfast man is generally known for being a tetchy, grumpy so-and-so; while the members of U2 - Bono in particular - are known for their vocal, and very public, devotion to helping eradicate poverty in the Third World...
Now U2 will point out that they are not tax dodgers, as the no-doubt libelous statement (left) proclaims.
Indeed it looks like Bono or The Edge might even have been out with the paintbrush overnight in an attempt to erase the graffiti, spotted on Dublin's Benburb Street.
But we must tread carefully here. Here is a group of leather-trousered philantropists who chased an ex-employee through the courts for a hat.
U2's decision to move part of their operation to Holland, when a cap (not a hat) was put on the amount of money rich artistes could avoid tax on in Ireland, was morally wrong.
At least it should have been morally wrong by the standards of people who preach to governments' on how more of their tax take should be spent on eradicating Third World poverty, while denying their own exchequers of their contribution.
Give me tetchy and grumpy any day - much easier to stomach than posturing, holier-than-thou, pop star hypocrites.
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