Another Day, Another Protest Against Vodafone And Clever Accounting
Saturday afternoon off I went to Oxford Street a street that I have described as quite probably being worse than hell, but I guess I’m stupid or I like punishing myself! Let me think, the answer could quite probably be a bit of both! Anyway the occasion was a protest against tax dodging businesses and the recent VAT rise imposed upon the citizens of this country and London Is Cool was there to see what it was all about!
The location was 350 Oxford Street and the Vodafone store. Vodafone have been targeted quite simply because they are one of the biggest players in using clever accounting tactics to avoid paying their dues. For some reason the boss of HM Revenue & Customs Dave Hartnett recently let the company off with having to pay £4.8 billion of tax. You go figure that one. I personally feel that he should be put live on television or better still in front of court of law and told to explain why! It stinks if you ask me! Corruption!
The kick off time for the protest was 1pm and I got there nice and early at around 12.50pm at the wrong Vodafone store on Oxford Street. I stood outside wondering WTF is going on. The shop was empty, apart from 4 members of staff who all looked a bit on the nervous side as I peered through the door. It then dawned on my that I had got off the bus at the wrong place.
5 minutes later I had found what I was looking for. There was about 60 or 70 protesters seated and standing outside the store, a couple of tough guys guarding the entrance and a dozen or so coppers keeping an eye on proceedings. There weren’t any of those nasty riot police lurking around, but I’m sure they were sitting in vans some place nearby.
The Vodafone protest was a friendly affair, with lots of smiling faces, good natured singing, speeches and chocolate digestives, if only someone had brought some tea with them! It was good to see a mixture of ages group in the crowd, the old and young, rich and poor, students and workers.
And to all those beady eyes that were clocking the guy with the not so familiar face with the camera, it was me William K Wallace, the host of ‘London Is Cool’, yes indeed. I’m not a friend or a foe! But I do agree that we all have to pay our taxes, and that all those tax avoiding loopholes have to be closed ASAP!
The best laugh I had all day, was when this ever so posh woman walked past muttering to her friend said, ‘do they have to sit there, why can’t they go to the park’. Maybe if the Government started putting VAT on private school fees, she would wake up and smell the coffee!
It was good to see people protesting in a peaceful and good natured manner. People standing up together against something that is wrong. Hopefully the Government will listen to the voices of reason, and realise that they can’t fuck us all in the ass and then leave the door wide open for the rich and big business to milk the system for all its worth…