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Great to see that despite the weather the UK Uncut call out has been extremely successful with actions all over the country against Vodaphone and a new tax-dodging target, Britain’s most notorious tax-avoider Sir Philip Green and his vast retail empire. The Vodaphone shop in Newcastle was shut down as was the flagship TopShop in London, and lots more.

At the same time as making massive cuts to public services, this government is letting rich individuals and corporations avoid billions of pounds of tax. Join UK Uncut’s Big Society Revenue & Customs (BSRC) and become part of an army of citizen volunteers determined to make wealthy tax avoiders pay. If they won't chase them, we will

And if you find a moment to spare, go to the No. 10 website and nominate us* for a Big Society Award. We think we’re all going to deserve it.

Get prepared. Get excited. See you on the high streets.

Meanwhile, South Tyneside College will be having a Save the EMA day – with a lunchtime protest on Monday 13 December, and our Public Services Alliance will be supporting the students and staff to defend against this retrogressive move, which punishes young people continuing to study and gain skills, and will push more onto
the dole, because there certainly aren’t any jobs for them round here…..

Tomorrow, Sunday 5th, there’s a benefit to support the Student Occupation at Newcastle University, with a performance by Tim Dalling, comedian, story teller and musician and friends, 7pm in the Fine Arts Building behind the Northern Stage Theatre, near Haymarket metro. My mum’s very proud that they are occupying the Fine Arts building, because she was an art student there – and became politicised then – her first demo was against Suez.

Then on Wednesday 15th it’s National Day of Protest Against Welfare and Benefit Cuts.

Just so much to protest about – and of course today saw the National Climate March which reminds me there was a rare discussion of the whole question of Economic Growth on the Radio 4 programme In Business last week.

In the middle of a recession renewed economic growth is always considered the great panacea that will get us out of the mess we are in. However, is this really the way to tackle the problems of a finite world? Peter Day wonders if our reliance on growth is not a snare and a delusion.

He interviewed Professor Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity Without Growth, Andrew Simms of New Economics Foundation and Hal Gilmore and Ben Brangwen from Transition Towns Network, plus of course the author of Ferraris For All, Daniel Ben-Ami.

Another recent delight on Radio 4 was the Food Programme on Pub Food. Starting with Pete Brown on his new book on the history of pubs Man Walks Into A Pub, Roger Protz’s final message was Think Local, Drink Local!




    • Paddy O'Dea
    • Posted December 6, 2010 at 11:19 am
    • Permalink

    I would be much more interested in seeing people get wild about tax EVASION, which is huge, rather than AVOIDANCE, which is perfectly legal. There are billions lost to Treasury due to evasion. I want to see HMRC clean up its act and get its systems in order to prevent people evading tax.

    • shirleyford
    • Posted December 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm
    • Permalink

    You are right that tax evasion is a massive problem and that the HMRC should being doing a hell of a lot more to enforce the law and get those people and companies to pay up. The avoidance of Vodaphone, Sir Philip Green and George Osborne are only the tip of the iceberg. I support the calls by the PCS union that the run-down of the HMRC through cuts in staff must be reversed, as must the rapid centralisation of HMRC into big city centres, so that there just is no local enforcement on the ground.

    The Greens up here are contributing to the tax justice campaigning that has ignited over Vodaphone and now Sir Philip Green. We want to strengthen that campaign and hope that we can get Richard Murphy up here for a public meeting.

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