Archives For Tax Avoidance
By cutting the corporate chains of an internet giant like Facebook and standing up for my principles of boycotting a company that is happy with tax avoidance schemes, I find myself tempted into the world of corporate social media within the first 24 hours of going ‘independent’. But how do I know that I’m not jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire?
After writing my first post and navigating the various technical processes of the amateur blogger, I found myself in a world of buttons and widgets that any lapsed geek would find irresistible. And not surprisingly I explored every possible option, resulting in the reclassification of my blog as ‘mature’ – you’re now reading a porn site apparently! And every good porn site needs a good tweet….. so I looked at the Twitter options within WordPress and within moments, I’d signed up without really knowing the history of the company. I even changed the name of my blog from ‘The Lapsed Catholic’ to ‘A Lapsed Catholic’ because Twitter had a 15 character limit on it’s usernames.
I suppose that I was less concerned with this company selling my personal data, since I used my pseudonym to setup the account, but I have no idea if Twitter has a better tax record than Facebook. So should I automatically accept that this company has a good ethical policy and one that I would be happy to support? Or should I be investigating every corporation, business, and organisation, that I interact with? And who am I to judge?
I remember recently visiting The Green Party and doing a quick search on the internet (probably using Google!) and finding an article about the massive heat loss from the party HQ, in comparison with the energy efficient Conservative and Labour headquarters. How could I support a party that doesn’t even practise what it preaches?! And, Oh My God, they have muffins in plastic packaging! Don’t they know about the gyre in the Pacific Ocean?! Of course, I judged them too quickly and the building that they occupied was shared with a number of other NGOs with a landlord that was ethical enough to offer space to organisations with a social and ethical cause rather than the organisation willing to pay the most money, so probably a little strapped for cash to make major improvements to the buildings. I never asked about the muffins when I found out that this national political party was run by only nine paid individuals – reliant on thousands of volunteers and limited donations. The other political parties may have the resources to ejaculate their green policies but their is little evidence of their success – and more suggestion of their corruption (I stolen that verb from Arthur Conan Doyle via Stephen Fry on QI, and thought it was appropriate for my ‘mature’ audience).
So I shouldn’t judge Twitter too quickly but at the same time, I shouldn’t be ignorant of an issue that needs to be addressed. I will look further into their ethical policies and tax affairs, and continue to utilise their services until such time. And eventually I will work out how to remove the Facebook button from my blog…….!
Is it easier to boycott unethical companies and corporations that one doesn’t use? The simple answer is yes, of course, but trying to justify a continued relationship with, for example, Facebook – because of the importance of the social and charitable messages within a post or the need for a controlled social contact to support mental well being – is hypocritical at best.
So then look for an alternative, like The People’s Operator instead of Vodafone or Look Mum No Hands instead of Starbucks, – but where are the ethical social media sites? Easy, the internet itself is the best example of a free platform to share things that are important and eventually connect with people from all walks of life. And a recommendation of WordPress from GreenNet seemed like a good starting point.
Why choose ‘A Lapsed Catholic’ as a blog name? I didn’t want to use my name because I’m not a professional writer or journalist, plus I didn’t want to pigeonhole the blog. Although the thoughts won’t be random, the posts will float between difference subject, different passions, different points of view. As a person, I have always resisted the labels that people are expected to put on themselves – their sex, their race, their origins, their religion, their sexuality, their job title, etc – and the only real label that I would be happy with is a lapsed catholic. It’s vague and ambiguous enough to allow the reader to fill in the gaps if they wish.
The main image on this page shows Charles Darwin, a somewhat hero of mine, and the first drawing of the tree of life and his ideas of evolution – with the phrase ‘I think’ showing an open-minded person with doubts. Having strong views about something doesn’t make it right and we should all be open to a few doubts.
Welcome to A Lapsed Catholic’s blog…….