Friday, June 10, 2011

Bono: anti-poverty campaigner & tax cheat

My musical regard for the group U2 matches that of Pink Floyd – that is, none whatsoever.  Their music is treacly & pedestrian, & brings to mind Voltaire’s aphorism that there is no notion so silly that it can’t be sung.  All of U2’s music sounds the same, so they are the pop music version of Mahler.

Fortunately for them, their lack of talent is well-exceeded by the talents of their agent, schooled by the example of the success of Andy Warhol, all of them imperial fashion-mavens.  Helen Hayes saw clearly through this cultural smog with her summation of Madonna: “She’s not without some talent . . . and she’s managed her career remarkably well.”

The ‘news’ spends an inordinate amount of time on egotistical lead singer Bono, who pumps the current gush of hand-wringing over the environment & capitalises on the ever-present plight of the poor of the world (Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, John 12:8).  He says that the ‘rich’, with whatever definition of the moment, should pay more to compensate for the travails of the downtrodden.

Imagine my frisson of Schadenfreude when I find that protestors in their native Ireland are targeting U2’s move to cut their taxes with an ‘off-shore’ move to the Netherlands.
Irish politicians branded U2’s move a cynical ploy, leading to accusations that, while the band were urging the Government to give more money to relieve poverty, they were denying it the funds to do so. . . .

Tax expert and anti-poverty campaigner Richard Murphy said: ‘If Bono thinks he is just like any other Irishman, he should pay his taxes like everyone else.  That is the only way for Ireland to break out of this mess it is in.’

After the initial success of the Beatles, they were stunned to discover their tax liability, which resulted in George Harrison’s song ‘Taxman’.  Perhaps Bono should consider a similar opus.

Update:  The protest occurred, & the event organizers weren't happy about it.

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