What the Google?

I have filed my tax return with 9 hours to spare. This is a success, or as George Osborne would describe this kind of wet fart in the Treasury’s favour, 'a massive success'. It’s taken me nearly 10 years to become this efficient and I want to tell everyone about it; but they’re either not interested (because they filed their returns last year) or they’re too busy (filing their returns). Evidently George forgot what side he was on when he announced the £130mn in back taxes wrangled from Google. 'Finally it’s filed', he thought, too exhausted to realise he is at the receiving end of this violent frottage. He’s spent so long lusting after Google’s numbers he’s gone goggle-eyed. Sure it should be £1bn at least but he felt he’d won the lotto, just not on a rollover week. No wonder he couldn’t keep shtum.Other European leaders of course are delighted. It’s the first bit of good news they’ve had in months. They only have to beat George by a smidge to look like they’ve succeeded. And Google can afford to let them, because the benchmark has been set so low, and because it’s so wealthy. And Google is wealthy. I know, because I Googled it. The problem with money is that people that have it want more and more. They want to count it; wear it; fuck it; and float around in it. Look at Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, and his obscene, ugly £114 million yacht that just tore up 80% of the Cayman Islands protected coral reef. ‘He is an environmentalist’, his PR agent has managed to sneak into every account of this ecological travesty. With environmentalists like him, who needs BP?My point is that Google will never have enough money for Google, so we can’t ask for it like it’s a favour, we must take it in accordance with the law. And if there’s a Google-shaped hole in the law, we must close it. Google, and the other big companies we love so much, like Vodafone, Apple and Starbucks, won’t suddenly stop selling in the UK if they have to pay tax because they will still be making billions of pounds. But nor will they pay tax voluntarily, because when you have billions, billions don’t seem like much. Our government can’t do it alone. The Labour party can’t help, because they’re not about to win, so they’re even less relevant to these big companies than national borders. We, the consumer, must pitch in. But have I launched an alternative server, transferred my mobile account or given up my MacBook? No. I have merely used the Starbucks amenities without purchasing a coffee, and I’m not sure anyone noticed. Shame on me. Disgust with Osborne will only help a little. We must give up our Google to make a real difference. Until it costs them more than it saves them, they will continue to avoid paying tax, which chips away at our public services, while paying their minions to tell us how cool they are to work for. A bit like a tycoon with a disgusting yacht that wreaks havoc, who pays his minions to remind us that he cares about the ocean.