Saturday, 6 April 2013

Bono's "tax-cheat" graffiti scandalises Killiney - and The Gloss

Have you ever heard of Irish author, Robert Noonan?   Noonan, a Dubliner, is probably better known to the world as Robert Tressell - after the painter and decorators'  bench on which he plied his trade, his experiences of which can be found in The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists.

I read it yonks ago - when I was a mere slip of a thing in my twenties - and enjoyed it immensely.  I remember that Tressell was merciless in his satirisation of the supposed "charitable" tendencies of the factory owners, assorted town worthies and their wives, and the clergy.   The former loved to be seen doing "good deeds" for charity, even as they created the very conditions for such in their grimy, exploitative, sweatshop establishments.  

The book was set in the Edwardian era, between 1901-1910...  around the time the bockety old house I grew up in was built, in fact - fashioned by Tressell's very contemporaries.  

That house still stands - just about - and the "charitable" characters so keen to be seen doing "good deeds" are very much alive and thriving in Ireland... or living for tax reasons outside it.  You know the list:  J.P. McManus, Dermott Desmond, Denis O'Brien and the like.

Sure, they are doing nothing illegal.  Maybe if I was stinking rich I'd get out of the place too, not only for the sake of getting out of the place, but to "minimise my tax liability" .  I don't know for sure, but if the Euromillions numbers come up, I will keep you posted.

What gets me is the hypocrisy of -  on the one hand  -  denying a very broke Irish exchequer much-needed revenue and - on the the other - being seen to do "good deeds" in the eyes of the ever-dopey, ever-passive, ever-gobshitey Irish public.  

Not all of them are, thankfully.  Quite a few people are slowly wising up to the antics of one Bono Vox,  pop star, tax-avoidance specialist, and sickeningly pompous, self indulgent, charity posturer.  

Witness the following from the usually vacuous "The Gloss", which came with last Thursday's Irish Times:

We're speculating as to who on earth could be responsible for the new graffiti in Killiney? "Bono: shorted-assed tax cheat lives down here", it reads, in red, with an arrow helpfully pointing the way to the singer's house.

Neighbours have observed that the graffiti is in the CCTV blind spot, and therefore must have been executed by someone who knows the area very well.  

(See simulated Gombeen Nation graffiti - as it might have appeared - above.  Not very scientific, I know, but I can't be arsed driving out to Killiney to take a photo).

To get in on the fashion/gossip magazine spirit, one wonders if the culprit might have been grumpy Belfast contrarian Van Morrisson, who lives nearby?   He might not be all sweetness-and-light, our Van, but I can't imagine his hypocrisy-tolerance-level to be too high either.

And do you know what?  Despite being a grumpy so-and-so who doesn't bang on about saving the planet and spend time cosying up to world leaders - ostensibly to persuade them to do the same - he has, to the best of my knowledge, never availed of the artists' tax exemption. 

He pays his taxes which must run into monetary multiples of other popsters' "good deeds".


Maybe Van really is the man?

And maybe a word for JP, Dermott, Denis and the rest:

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aine said...

Bono is a disgrace, along with the other tax evaders They are cheating people out of services like health care and special needs assistants. I am glad that some has sprayed graffiti on his property.

The Gombeen Man said...

Does he not see the hypocrisy of his preaching and U2's tax-avoidance, Aine? If he just kept his mouth shut on issues of poverty and all the rest it would not be so bad.

John said...

Robert Noonan born in Dublin in 1870 wrote that great book. I think that this stage no one seriously takes Bono on his many vacuous crusades, like "Lets make Poverty history". The fact is that the "charity" industry is very profitable sector that pays its top staff massive salaries.

The Gombeen Man said...

And I swear I will chin one of those "CONCERN" chuggers if they accost me in the street again, John,

Anonymous said...

And poor Robbie Noonan buried in a paupers grave in Liverpool.

dirtybertie said...

i could forgive bono his pious hypocrisy (after all,he is irish) if the fucker would just stop singing.

The Gombeen Man said...

I'll go along with that!

Sean Whelan said...

Absolutely brilliant book. If you haven't read it you're missing out.