The tax arrangements of Google, Amazon and Starbucks have been big news recently. Essentially these are big multi-national companies that arrange themselves financially such that they make large amounts of money from British consumers, but pay little or no tax because the profits are transferred out of the country.
Robert Peston, the well known BBC financial journalist published a great post questioning whether our government is scared of these big companies…
If the UK had an industrial strategy over the past 30 years, it could perhaps have been characterised as “foreigners more than welcome”.
To a greater extent than any developed economy, British governments have been almost wholly lacking in concerns when overseas companies set up shop in the UK or bought businesses here – because of the conviction that these overseas companies would bring decent management, useful competition and investment capital to this country.
Against this government policy backdrop, Google, Starbucks and Amazon seem to be examples of huge American companies doing as well or better in the UK than anywhere apart – perhaps – from their home market in the US.
That, at least, would be the case if success is measured in terms of revenues or market share.
Click here to view original web page at www.bbc.co.uk
Today I’m expecting a parcel from Amazon, sat in my office in Camberley… Looking at the tracking information, I doubt it is going to arrive since it’s apparently out for delivery on a van from their depot in Glasgow!
We have a somewhat frustrated Beth tonight. She is marking a batch of coursework from one of her classes – the task being to produce a film review. Four young gentlemen have had a startling improvement in their use of language, so she’s googled the contents of their reviews – one is a complete match to a review on Amazon, another is a lift from the LA Times, with another taking paragraphs from the Film4 site. Suffice to say that four young gentlemen are going to get a very nasty surprise tomorrow morning…
I’ve blogged a couple of times about Voces Cantabiles – originally a single choir, but now four choirs and an Educational Foundation working in a number of places around the country promoting the vision that:
… music is important for the social and cultural values it represents and promotes, and for the communities it can help to build an unite.
Alongside all the other projects, the original Voces Cantabiles choir that we heard on a couple of occasions at St James is still going strong, and is now a lot easier to hear with their latest album, now appearing on iTunes, and as a conventional CD from places like Amazon (although Amazon only mention Barnaby, not the whole choir on their listing).
Maybe it was optimistic to expect my last day before the Christmas Holiday to be quiet…
So far this morning:
- Last parcel from Amazon turns up having been damaged in transit – and probably no time to replace the damaged contents. Just waiting for Amazon to get back to me. Update: Just got an e-mail from Amazon – replacement items being despatched first class.
- After half a days worth of testing, we’ve found a trailing space in a bit of test data. Following a quick fix, as it is a fully validated system we have to go all the way back to the start of the tests and start again.
- Just had a call from one of my colleagues who should be on annual leave today. His team is doing an install in Cardiff and got to site to discover that they’d left the install CD that he’d put together for them at home.
- Had a moderation request from the Affirming Liberalism site – Peter Ould probably about as opposite in Anglican terms as you can get has linked to the site under the category “heresy” pairing it up with an unrelated video and a comment about growing liberal Churches seemingly implying that he doesn’t think there are any… Of course he’s most welcome to come along and visit St James – but he’d probably have trouble finding a seat, especially over the next couple of days.