LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
18 October 2012
One More Shot

IT'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL and I don't like it.

To see the old Rolling Stones: £95 - £406, £1,140 to get stoned on the Stones.
30,000 tickets for two dates sold out in 7 minutes to see Mick/ Charlie/ Keith/
Ronnie at the O2. They will also play at Newark, New Jersey if devotees are left
wanting more.

I'm jumping for joy that they are still flouncing, leaping, prancing, strutting,
swaggering, shouting, screeching to celebrate their 50th anniversary tour (OK
only Mick is making a mug of himself) - but after all these years they should
perform for free or at least donate the mass of money they will stuff in their
tight, tight trousers to charity. 'Ain't too proud to beg' then.

The boys will probably be paid £16 million. A bit more than the £5 (£88 in
today's money) for their first gig in 1962 at the Marquee Club in London. Their
last gig was in 2007 and earned £350 million - the second highest grossing
music tour ever.

One of their new songs is One More Shot. Their repackaged 'best of' will be
called 'Grrr!'. I'm thinking 'aughhhh'.


Over-paid, Over-fed, Over-sexed and Over Here

It's the usual US suspects: Starbucks, Vodaphone, Amazon, Apple, Facebook,
Google all bypassing British tax laws. Billions made, little paid.

Starbucks' 735 cafés in the UK have added £1.2 billion to their coffers in the
past three years. And they paid how much in corporation tax? Nothing, nil,
zero. In 14 years the Seattle based corporation selling coffees, coffee beans,
hot and cold drinks, tea, ice cream, sandwiches, salads, snacks, pastries,
mugs and music has paid almost no tax at all. All perfectly legal. All perfectly
planned. All perfectly unethical. All that boasting of a principled, moral
organisation changing the world....

They have 19,972 stores in 60 countries offering over 87,000 different drink
combinations. "Scores of people are passionate devotees of this signature
beverage. So bewitched are they, you’d think it was some kind of magical elixir.
Well there’s no hocus pocus here. We’ll tell you exactly what goes into it:
creamy vanilla-flavoured syrup, freshly steamed milk with a topping of velvety-
rich foam, an intense hit of our Espresso Roast, a finishing of buttery caramel
drizzle … okay, we take it back. That does sounds like magic to us. (And it
tastes even better)." Well. It doesn't sound like magic to me. Nauseating really;
the drink and the manipulation. Perhaps this is why I have never pressed a
Starbuck recycled paper cup to my mouth. In fact, I only stepped into one of
their ubiquitous coffee shops to accompany a friend when she bought a simple
coffee.

Google, which makes much of its money from advertising, with sales in the UK
of £2.1billion, paying a paltry £5million of tax.

Lest we forget, PM CallMeDave's former (?) adviser Steve Hilton is married to
Rachel Whetstone, a former head of communications at Google, godmother to
CMD's late son Ivan.

Karmic retribution? The God of Greed unresponsive? Oops. Google's shares
fell by 9% in just 8 minutes after the release of its 20% drop in profits report
(but up 20% in the UK).

Google suffered the single largest plunge in stock market history on Thursday
when $24billion (£15bn) was wiped off the company's value. Google lost more
than $45 million every second until it was shutdown to save itself. All due to a
printers' 'human error'  causing the unprecedented slide into the abyss. Oh well.
Google has chosen Ireland and Bermuda as tax havens, Facebook likes
Ireland, while Amazon prefers Luxembourg.

Last year Facebook paid £275,000 on average to its 90 UK staff; handed over
£195,890 in taxes with UK revenues of £20.4 million - although the true figure is
closer to £275 million. No mention of how much they are making on selling your
personal information.

Amazon - oh dear - not Amazon as well - made £3 billion from books and
DVDs. Again - no tax was paid.

Make it stop: boycott the bastards.


Mi Casa Su Casa

OFGS! They simply can't stop can they? We told them the first time they were
caught out that we weren't going to pay for their Kit Kats anymore, but they
aren't listening are they.

MP's already add to their incomes by working for friends in the banking and
corporate world and yet at least 27 of the idiots feel the need to rent out homes
paid for by public money to other MPs or 'close' mates for fun and profit. "Your
place or mine?" "Aren't they the same?"

Liam Fox, Chris Bryant are revealed in
The Telegraph. The Daily Mail adds
Linda Riordan and MP Iain McKenzie to the list. A pox on all their houses. The
very houses we paid to have renovated, repaired, refurbished, redecorated to
their bespoke tastes.

Commons Speaker John Bercow argued the MPs security would be exposed
and that would be of 'grave concern causing unwarranted damage and
distress'  if their addresses were exposed. I say: what a lovely idea. The threat
of 'we know where you live' is deliciously appealing. Occupy London might have
a few ingenious ideas for the disingenuous.

Adding insult to injury - or death (from freezing) - PM CallMeDave has pledged
that the greedy European-owned utility companies can increase their charges
with his new idea to cause chaos; the companies would have to charge
customers the lowest tariffs - by obviously raising them. They are 'all in it
together' and this is just like opening the door to freezing temperatures (that
have been forecasted) and massive energy bills. Brilliant, Dave. Just brilliant.
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