COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Covid-19 discussion, bring your own statistics
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lpm
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by lpm » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:23 am

What actually is happening is that Branson (and many like him) isn't a billionaire. He appears to be a billionaire, but his most valuable assets are mortgaged or run at a loss. He doesn't own most Virgin branded companies and the licensing fees aren't particularly big relative to what an airline needs.

It's a bit bizarre people expect him to have ready cash sitting around in a bank when wealth of entrepreneurs is tied up in their business. Obviously he can't sell businesses in the current environment, or increase the loans secured on them.
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:59 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:58 am
Pretending not to understand the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion isn't clever.

Nor is conflating morality and legality.
This

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Pucksoppet » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:37 pm

Lew Dolby wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:19 am
. . . but recognising that large scale tax-avoidance is possible because laws are written for the benefit of the super-rich, whether personal or corporate, is immoral AND something can and should be done about it is .
Well, the super-rich, whether corporate or persons, have access to expensive tax-accountants and lawyers. If I could spend the same proportion of my income on advice for the same percentage benefit, I would, but the minimum initial costs are rather high. You don't get a lot of good and effective tax advice for tuppence ha'penny. It is another example of the Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice, also here: MoneyWise: Boots Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Lew Dolby » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:48 pm

Pucksoppet wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:37 pm
Well, the super-rich, whether corporate or persons, have access to expensive tax-accountants and lawyers. etc
granted - but how does that affect the truth (or otherwise) of what I posted ??

or are you saying that a future gov. shouldn't even try to raise taxes on the super-rich ??

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Pucksoppet » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:19 pm

Lew Dolby wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:48 pm
Pucksoppet wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:37 pm
Well, the super-rich, whether corporate or persons, have access to expensive tax-accountants and lawyers. etc
granted - but how does that affect the truth (or otherwise) of what I posted ??

or are you saying that a future gov. shouldn't even try to raise taxes on the super-rich ??
Possibly it doesn't, but I wouldn't be so sure that "laws are written for the benefit of the super-rich". I think a consequence of being super-rich is that you can take advantage of opportunities that are theoretically available to all, but practically too expensive for most, such that an entirely just and equitable law ends up applying in a different way to you.

For example, non-criminal offences become meaningless if the only thing that happens is that you pay fines (unless the fines are graduated on the basis of your income, but even that can be worked around, as very rich people can make things appear as though they have very little actual income). Even losing points on a driving licence is an inconvenience that is less of an issue if you can employ chauffeurs, and only really becomes an imposition if you happen to enjoy driving on public roads.

One thing the super-rich can do is lobby against laws they regard as inconvenient. So while I think it is unlikely that in the UK the civil servants who draft laws are actively being corrupted by rich people to write laws that positively discriminate in favour of rich people, it is entirely possible that laws that could be inconveniences for the rich are less likely to be written.

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:39 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:58 am
Pretending not to understand the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion isn't clever.
It is, however, extremely common for some people. The sort of people who accuse someone of not paying their taxes when what they really mean is that that person has no legal obligation to pay any more tax but they have a moral obligation to make additional voluntary contributions to society by giving money to the state.
Nor is conflating morality and legality.
Someone complained about Branson not paying his taxes. I'll ask again to anyone who holds that view: how much should he have paid and why? In avoiding conflating morality and legality, if you claim that he should have paid money other than through a legal obligation, explain also why these sums should be referred to as "taxes".
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by JQH » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:53 am

Branson does business in this country. He doesn't pay much tax on it, IIUC, because the businesses are registered in tax havens. Without a major rewrite of international treaties that is legal, though immoral IMO as he hasn't earned his money there.

But that's legal as you say. However, if he needs a coronavirus pay out he should tap the haven governments, not the British Government.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Lew Dolby » Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:57 am


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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by JQH » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:00 pm

It's not often I find myself in agreement with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Truly it is the end times.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by murmur » Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:33 pm

JQH wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:53 am
Branson does business in this country. He doesn't pay much tax on it, IIUC, because the businesses are registered in tax havens. Without a major rewrite of international treaties that is legal, though immoral IMO as he hasn't earned his money there.

But that's legal as you say. However, if he needs a coronavirus pay out he should tap the haven governments, not the British Government.
Which was my point in carping about the beardy fraud: why tap the UK taxpayer while avoiding/evading/getting out of/ignoring/whatever the f.ck the acceptable term for what he's doing in not paying taxes here?

It's yet another variation of these vaunted "entrepreneurs" being all risk take-y until some faecal matter hits a revolving object and then wanting a bail out from the little folk who do pay taxes and have to have pay freezes because "austerity", caused by those risk takers gambling away the financial sytem...

Fine, Beardy perfectly legally and morally does not pay tax, so he can perfectly legally and morally sort out his own f.cking mess. Especially as it's for a f.cking airline, which doesn't pay anything like the tax on fuel that most of us do on our cars.
It's so much more attractive inside the moral kiosk

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by lpm » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:34 pm

Richard Branson does not own Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic is a UK company, so presumably should be eligible for government aid. It is owned by Delta (49%) and Virgin Group (51%).

Virgin Group is a UK company that owns the Virgin brand, plus a wide variety of investments where it is usually a minority shareholder - e.g. Virgin Money (13%), Virgin Active (20%), Virgin Galactic (33%), Virgin Radio (100%). As a UK company, on the face of it there's no reason why it wouldn't qualify for assistance.

Ownership of Virgin Group is probably pretty opaque, as it's a private company, but this is where it will get into offshore legal entities with "efficient" tax arrangements. Unclear how much of his holding will have been mortgaged by Branson, in return for cash to invest in other private assets (such as an island).

I can't see any means by which Branson could raise easily cash to invest into Virgin Atlantic, as banks won't be lending any more and it's a tough market in which to be selling assets or shareholdings. He's put Virgin Group's 51% shareholding up for sale, but who wants to buy an airline during The Great Pandemic?

Govt decisions on who to save and who to let go bust shouldn't have anything to do with whether shareholders pay UK taxes, have a beard or have a private island. They should only be decided on the basis of whether we want the company to rapidly bounce back into business in The After. We want an engineering company in the west Midlands to spring back, for example, or a hotel chain, or a design consultancy. Given we'll still have the planes and the pilots, and return to air travel could well be very very slow, there's no obvious reason why we'd want this particular company under its current ownership.
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:39 am

murmur wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:33 pm
Fine, Beardy perfectly legally and morally does not pay tax, so he can perfectly legally and morally sort out his own f.cking mess. Especially as it's for a f.cking airline, which doesn't pay anything like the tax on fuel that most of us do on our cars.
So how much "tax" do you think he should pay on fuel to be treated equally with other businesses? And where should this be paid? The place where the fuel is purchased, where the aircrasft is registered, where the aircraft owner is registered/resides, where the aircraft tank is filled, where the flight starts (i.e. where the passengers board if it's a passenger flight), the countries over which the flight passes, the place where the flight terminates, or what proportion in each?
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Millennie Al » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:57 am

JQH wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:53 am
Branson does business in this country. He doesn't pay much tax on it, IIUC, because the businesses are registered in tax havens. Without a major rewrite of international treaties that is legal, though immoral IMO as he hasn't earned his money there.

But that's legal as you say. However, if he needs a coronavirus pay out he should tap the haven governments, not the British Government.
I'm not sure Branson does do any business in this country. Virgin Atlantic, however, is headquartered here. If any state is to contribute to saving the company, why shouldn't it be the one where it is registered and which benefits from its operations?
Covid-19 - Don't catch it: don't spread it.

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Rich Scopie
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Rich Scopie » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:08 pm

An interesting explanation about airline tax affairs here:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/willhorton ... 8e722e3620
It first was a rumour dismissed as a lie, but then came the evidence none could deny:
a double page spread in the Sunday Express — the Russians are running the DHSS!

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by discovolante » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:12 am

On a different note, and possibly not quite the right thread (here because the gov are the 'villains', not Sunny Hundal). Open Democracy and Sunny Hundal are making a thing about the fact that the £60k payouts are going to come with a letter stating there is no admission of liability, as if it is a scandal.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opende ... ff-deaths/

If lots of lawyers end up disagreeing with me, then fine, but to be honest I would have been astonished if they had admitted liability. They could have stayed silent on it but that would have been extremely careless on their part. I'm not saying it is good they haven't admitted liability, just that from a legal perspective it seems like common sense to me. The Open Democracy story on it says they arent offering it in full and final settlement so it is open to people to bring claims if they want (although claims for dead people don't get as much money as those for people who are still alive). The scandal is the inequality of arms when it comes to bringing these sorts of claims.

Arguing against myself, the alternative would be to decide where they may accept liability and offer a payment in respect of that, which would probably take a long time and would need evidence of loss from the families etc. Which is essentially what a claim would involve anyway, and loss is difficult to calculate without legal representation. I mean they could offer to pay legal costs up to £x amount, which if it was reasonable would be attractive to both lawyers and claimants because there would be no deduction of legal fees from their compensation. But that still isnt the same as admitting liability.

Obviously if the now omniscient David Allen Green says otherwise I'll backtrack just to save face.
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by raven » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:36 pm

It does seem sensible not to admit liability, especially if the government knows full well it is responsible for a lack of PPE and thinks people may well be very angry about that at some later point, when they have time for things like court cases and lawyers.

Anyhow... I came to post a hero. Another restaurant owner cooking meals for a local hospital & homeless organisation, and raising money for the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-c ... e-52396197

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by discovolante » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:40 pm

OK, it seems Sunny misunderstood the article and thought it meant that the government was effectively offering the money in full and final settlement of any claims. It does actually say in the article that they said they weren't doing that, but hey ho thousands of people have read him getting angry about it now, no matter.
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Gfamily » Wed May 06, 2020 10:32 pm

Another heroic Docaster Council tweet thread

https://twitter.com/MyDoncaster/status/ ... 5192863746
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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by bagpuss » Thu May 07, 2020 8:11 am

Gfamily wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:32 pm
Another heroic Docaster Council tweet thread

https://twitter.com/MyDoncaster/status/ ... 5192863746
Utterly brilliant. Again. Thank you for posting it :D

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by JQH » Thu May 07, 2020 10:50 am

Gfamily wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:32 pm
Another heroic Docaster Council tweet thread

https://twitter.com/MyDoncaster/status/ ... 5192863746
That's brilliant!
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Herainestold » Fri May 08, 2020 3:47 am

Who is the hero and who is the villain?

Once upon a virus

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by EACLucifer » Fri May 08, 2020 4:17 am

Herainestold wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 3:47 am
Who is the hero and who is the villain?

Once upon a virus
That's easy.

The fascist regime that covered this up, suppressed media and independent reporting to reinforce that coverup, and permitted the conditions that encouraged the outbreak in the first place.

sh.tty, pathetic lego propaganda videos filled with downright lies just add to it.

Not as much as evil sh.t like this, mind you (before and after of the Jafari Sadiq Shrine, one of many sacred Uighur sites, inc cemetaries, the Chinese regime have destroyed in part of their concerted attempt to wipe out a minority group's entire culture. From this Gaurdian article Revealed: new evidence of China's mission to raze the mosques of Xinjiang

Image

The Washington Post puts it even more bluntly - In China, every day is Kristallnacht

Given how much you continue to regurgitate the propaganda of this fascist regime, despite being challenged on their myriad crimes - the one above is just one of many - I can only conclude actions like this, with hundreds of thousands forced into concentration camps and systematic destruction of places of worship and cemetaries - are something you think are acceptable, you fascist prick.

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by frozenwarning » Fri May 08, 2020 6:30 am

A blast from the past - Judy Mikovits gone and done a Wakefield

https://t.co/biZXClspeA

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri May 08, 2020 7:55 am

:shock: that is full on loon

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Re: COVID-19 Heroes and Villains

Post by Gfamily » Sun May 10, 2020 1:06 pm

It must be a bit of hayfever

Heroic teenagers

https://mobile.twitter.com/snickerpants ... 1207201792
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