U2 Glasto tax protest crushed

The Art Uncut protest against U2‘s alleged tax affairs was crushed quickly.

The orginisation, who have been protesting against the rich avaoiding tax in the UK, with series of demos inflated a huge sign in the crowd with the message “U pay tax 2?” on it.

A ten strong security squad moved in quickly and brought the sign down. Our spy nearby said that there was a minor scuffle as the protest about the band’s handling of their finaces was crushed.

The secuirty claim they were acting alone and not under orders from the festival or U2 themsleves and said that they were acting in the audience’s interests because the sign was too big.

The Art Uncut group were making the protest about U2’s tax affairs, which they called “convoluted”. In 2006 U2 moved their business affairs from Ireland to the Netherlands, in a switch which some people maintian was made so they could enjoy tax breaks.

Whether this is true or not is open for debate. Festival organiser Michael Eavis said he believes the protest was unfair, pointing out that the band regularly give generous amounts of money to charity.

The band’s manager Paul McGuinness said that U2 “is a global business and it pays taxes globally” and is “fully compliant” with Irish tax rules.

A spokesman for Glastonbury said that the decision was taken by the event’s stewards and not after orders from organisers. They said: “The stewards decided to stop the banner going up, but it was their decision and not under instruction from organisers. They clearly decided the banner could be dangerous and could disrupt people’s view. It was a decision taken on the grounds of health and safety, not on the grounds of censorship.”

Our spy said the banner was large when it was briefly unfurled but not that much larger than all the flags and banners that were held up in the crowd.

It’s a curious state of afairs and throws up lots of interesting questions.

Why pick on U2? All rock bands move their money around to avoid paying supertax – that’s rock n roll. The Rolling Stones are hardly known for their charity are they?

Is there any proof that U2 are not paying tax? Maybe they just wanted to move their money to Holland instead of Ireland, and an organsation of that size will have money in lots of bank accounts.

Whilst the bankers get the heat for their vast earnings isn’t it about time we looked at why musicians and sports stars at the top get away with earning vast amounts of money?

At least Bono is concerned about poverty in the world and whether you like his music or not, at least he has drawn attention to these issues and maybe he does give a lot of his own money to these causes…

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  1. It’s because bono is a hypocrite. He can’t moan at govt not giving enough for aid and then be a tax cheat

  2. It was always going to happen Im afraid, Im sure a lot of other big bands do the same the big difference being these bands don’t have a big mouthed spokesman who travels the world lecturing anyone and everyone about world poverty while at the same time as saving hundreds of thousands in the pocket of his silly leather suit

  3. It’s cos’ Bono’s a self rightus cunt who’s way out of his depth. The fact that U2 are shit doesn’t help of course…

    • “It\’s cos\’ Bono\’s a self rightus cunt who\’s way out of his depth. The fact that U2 are shit doesn\’t help of course…”

      Harsh, Stuart. Harsh.

      But eminently fair.

  4. What I find more disturbing is the actions of the ‘security’ guards who decided, allegedly without the consent of either band or promoter, to remove the offending inflatable. I saw a video clip which shows them forcibly taking down the sign to much cheering from nearby revellers. Whether U2 are engaged in dubious tax evasion techniques or not is irrelevant, the fact that corporate Glasto doesn’t like individuals to express their views peacefully is quite distasteful.

  5. And judging by the lack of comments it looks like very few are really all that bothered about Bono’s tax affairs, oh well…

  6. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

  7. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.


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