Tuesday, February 09, 2016

GOOGLE-EYED! (weekly poem)


A Guardian letter writer said he would be contacting
HMRC to arrange to pay less tax--as per Google.

I’m writing to HMRC,
About my rate of tax;
As I’ve heard with their ‘Sweetheart Deals’,
The rate is rather lax!
I would prefer the three percent,
That Google have achieved;
Than pay the social dues of which,  
I’m normally relieved.  

I’ll contact George in Downing Street, (1)
To knock off a few pence;
And make a verbal contract and,
Then shake hands like bent gents.
We’d best avoid a written deal,
Because that’s evidence;
And George prefers to bullshit and, (2)
Then sit upon the fence.

The ‘Don’t be evil’ motto of,
The Google Company; (3)
Is clearly one big corporate sham,
Not unsurprisingly.
There’s clearly laws for rich and poor,
In our society;
And Google’s deal exposes one,
More impropriety.

(1) Google executives met Government ministers 25 times in the last 18 months before settlement.

(2) The tax deal, supposedly was 3% p.a. but £33m of the £130m paid was related to share options.

(3) 2005. Michael Howard’s chief of staff, Rachel Whetstone, joined Google as a European director.
2011. David Cameron’s head of strategic communications, Tim Chatwin, became a Google director.
2012. Jeremy Hunt’s adviser, Naomi Gummer, became Google’s UK policy adviser.
2015. Chris Grayling’s adviser, Amy Fisher, was responsible for Google’s policy communications.
2015. Baroness Shields, MD of Google Europe, Middle East & Africa became a Conservative minister.

© Richard Layton

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