On 15th October last, Liberal Democrat Voice published my splutteringly crimson outburst about multinational corporation tax avoiders Opinion: Calling All Bloggers – Don’t make me a tax avoidance accomplice.
Back then, I pleaded that an ongoing media debate would hopefully, at last, provide the oxygen needed to bring about some serious action in respect of corporate tax collecting: “…the media at least seems to be smelling blood. I hope they see this through to some sort of conclusion.”
And didn’t they do well?
But the sleepy-eyed laissez-faire attitude by the respondents to my call-to-arms was frankly pathetic; apart from one or two likeminded firebrands, the nit-picking pedantry and lack of battle in the rest of the bellies was palpable.
All the more reason to train my virtual arsenal of rotten vegetables not only at the culprits, but also at the accomplices; all those bloggers who try to sell me books, their own as well as others’, by clicking through to Amazon (£2.3m tax on £7bn UK sales).
The few per cent Amazon throws to such ‘affiliates’ could well be likened to a bung and yes, the accomplices – sorry ‘affiliates’ include Liberal Democrat Voice and at least two of LDV’s heaviest hitters – you know who you are! Other accomplices are available: Labour List, Guido Fawkes.
Since October I have carried out my threat to boycott any blogger who didn’t terminate their link to Amazon and link instead to a fully UK-tax-paid-up online bookseller. There are several:
All price match Amazon for the most part, and they also carry all the same stock – unless you’re desperate for something like “French for Cats” or “How To Lose Weight through Great Sex with Celebrities (the Elvis Way)”, in which case you might struggle. In more ways than one.
And Oh, how I whooped and cheered when Danny Alexander bashfully confessed to Andrew Marr that he hadn’t actually bought anything from Amazon since this tax-dodging-transfer-payment-row erupted.
My bliss was complete an hour later when a grinning Chuka Umunna joined the fray, telling Andrew Neil that he hadn’t favoured the aforementioned tax-acrobat with his Christmas business either – WooHoo!
So remember guys, there’s only one thing worse than belonging to the wrong party: belonging to the right party whilst applying the wrong principles.
Lib Dem Voice would welcome the views of its readers on whether it should continue to display ads as an Amazon Associate.
* Kirsten de Keyser sits on the Camden Liberal Democrat Executive and is a member of Social Liberal Forum and Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine. She blogs here.