Back in October of last year, I posted a little rant on the subject of Bono and the slightly dubious finances of his non-profit organisation, the ONE Campaign. I wasn’t the only one who was confused and annoyed by all this (and by the U2 frontman’s ‘offshore’ tax activities) by any stretch of the imagination – indeed, last night, during the band’s Glastonbury Festival set, a group of UK Uncut protesters attempted to raise a banner rightly demanding that he pay his taxes.
They almost succeeded too, until the Glastonbury security spotted it and forced them to take it down. Music website The Quietus reports that there were “scuffles” with and “threats” from festival security in the process (what happened to peace and love, Glasto?). The NME quotes a “spokesman for Glastonbury” as saying, all too conveniently, what actually happened was that:
The stewards decided to stop the banner going up, but it was their decision and not under instruction from organisers. They clearly decided the banner could be dangerous and could disrupt people’s view. It was a decision taken on the grounds of health and safety, not on the grounds of censorship
Here’s a little story for you.
Once upon a time there was a small island in the middle of the North Sea. On this island lived many different people from many different cultures and and many different backgrounds; some were old and some were young, some were very rich and some were very poor, some had power and some were powerless. Much of the time, most of the islanders got on well enough with each other and tried to help those in need when they could – even during sad times, when there was not much money to go round.
However, there was one group of islanders who were determined to cause trouble. This strange and terrible group were called the ConDems, and they were very rich and very powerful. They saw that there was not much money to go round for most of the islanders and they saw that some particularly naughty people had been breaking important money rules, so they determined to do something about this because they thought it could be to their advantage…
And that’s where it all went badly pear-shaped. You see, the ConDems chose the wrong set of naughty people to target. It’s all too easy for politicians – who have posh houses and nice cars and plenty of money – to point the finger at and financially penalise those at the bottom end of society who are either just scraping by on a low wage or who have been forced to fall back on the welfare state in order to have any income at all.