Many of the people implicated in The Paradise Papers leak are notable for their charitable giving: Bono and Lord Ashcroft seem to think they are above tax but willing to donate both time and large sums of money to their own pet causes.
What the fuck?
Tax is not something you can opt out of and decide how to use your money and status better. You don’t get to choose who or what is worth your expenditure. You don’t get to ‘solve’ famine in Africa and not contribute to Government aid to a hurricane, or donate an entire wing of the IWM and not contribute to the arts, sports and museum grants that keep countless doors open. You especially don’t get to be an active political commentator, whether that’s organising protest concerts or forming part of the government, when your actions converge so wildly from those demanded by the system of government you operate in.
If you want to be a rich twat, then do. Lewis Hamilton has never pretended to be a benevolent force for good and he takes endorsement deals for anything – we know he wants to be rich, and under capitalism and the current legal system (whatever my own view on the morality of it is) that’s OK. But how the fuck do you think you can tell people that you’re doing good and valuable work to support them – whatever country they are in – if you cannot support the work that voters chose? How can you show off all the good you do when all the money you deny has actively caused crippling austerity? We the taxpayer don’t want your dirty charity money. It’s the nation’s equivalent of and off-list wedding gift: sure, that’s a nice bottle of champers, but we don’t have plates to eat off. Schools don’t want a book you chose for them, they want adequate funding. Can’t you see that? Can’t you see that everything you give as charity pushes your agenda and image above whatever moral value it is supposed to bestow? Can’t you see us scrabbling for money to pay nurses as you ‘forget’ you bought a shopping centre for over £5m?
You, the individual, do not get to chose what is of value to our nation. If we are in a situation where we require rich men’s charity bestowed upon us to fill holes in our society, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out where those gaps came from.
Just pay your fucking taxes. Everything else is extra.