Tax Is Big Business

To us, it’s an obscure shift of tax law. To the City, it’s the heist of the century

…At the moment tax law ensures that companies based here, with branches in other countries, don’t get taxed twice on the same money. They have to pay only the difference between our rate and that of the other country. If, for example, Dirty Oil plc pays 10% corporation tax on its profits in Oblivia, then shifts the money over here, it should pay a further 18% in the UK, to match our rate of 28%. But under the new proposals, companies will pay nothing at all in this country on money made by their foreign branches…

Great article by George Monbiot, I knew nothing of these plans until I read this.

Obama to Close Guantánamo Bay

Obama Directs C.I.A. to Shut Guantánamo

Aerial View of Guantánamo Bay

Aerial View of Guantanamo Bay

WASHINGTON — President Obama signed executive orders Thursday directing the Central Intelligence Agency to shut what remains of its network of secret prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year, government officials said.

I have to say this is great, if not entirely unexpected, news. I think Guantánamo has been a pretty unhelpfull situation in the ‘war on terror’ that has only served to help create a sense of injustice and fuel extremeism.

Introducing: Barack Obama

Web site page capture

Web site page capture

OK, so Barack Obama probably doesn’t need much in the way of an introduction, especially seeing as he has just been elected as the President of the Unite States of America. What an incredible election though. I have to say, even as someone who hoped for an Obama victory, the most most incedible post-election moment for me was John McCain’s speach. Even tough I wouldn’t agree with much of his political policies, I have to say he has extraordinarily dignity and, for that, I applaud him. Quite a contrast to some of the mud slinging from the Hilary Clinton leadership campain.

In terms of the election itself, the whole issue of race in this election is one that sat very uncomfortably with me. In hindsight I think I underestimated the significance of this issue but, perhaps naively, I thought it shouldn’t really matter. It clearly does. Listening to the radio and reading commentary since the election, it has clearly been an inspiration to the black diaspora around the world and, indeed, to many people in general.

Goodbye, President Bush

George Bush

So long President Bush

Amongst all the excitement about the race for the White House, it seems to have been forgotten that as of tomorrow in January (damn, we have to wait until then), George W Bush will no longer be the President of the USA.

Personally I’m quite happy about this, although if Republican John McCain is victorious over the Democrat Barack Obama in the election, McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin would become President if McCain dies during his Presidency.

Seeing as she makes Bush look like Mahatma Ghandi, the thought of her becoming President is almost too fucking scary to think about.

Fortunately this scenario does rely on both McCain winning the election, which is looking increasingly unlikely, and dying during his term of office. Although I wouldn’t for one moment wish death on Senator McCain it is possible he could pass away at some point in the next fouir years, lets hope Senator Obama wins.

There’s plenty of classic ‘Dubbya’ quotes from the last 8 years but a couple of personal favorites are:

“The thing that’s wrong with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur”
George W. Bush

“I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully”
George W. Bush