360 posts • joined Thursday 10th November 2011 22:51 GMT
Law is never moral
The law is never moral. It wasn't long ago that it was illegal to be homosexual. Was the law moral then? No, so why can it be moral now? Taxation is just law, and so it can never be moral either. Why is it a moral duty to pay as much tax as possible knowing that it is going to be wasted. It is your duty to pay the minimum tax to force the government to be efficient with what it does get.
Stemcor aren't doing anything wrong. Nor are Google. But Hodge the Dodge is doing something wrong by attacking a company carrying out a legal activity whilst she herself does the same legal activity. It's called hypocrisy. Hodge is using a trust to avoid her children having to pay inheritance tax. A trust set up by her father specifically to avoid tax. It is true that currently no inheritance tax is due for unlisted family run companies like Stemcor, but it was not true when the trust was set up. Hodge is just grandstanding as chair of the PAC, lots of shouting but no action because no action is possible as everything is legal. She shouts a lot because she is a champagne socialist who just doesn't like it that everyone else is being taxed to the hilt to pay for all the voters that she would like to bribe with benefits.
@A J Stiles
Squatters are not homeless people. They are people who don't want to pay for their accommodation. Most squatters are working or entitled to housing benefit. They squat by choice.
Re: Déjà vu
Sounds like you are on the drugs. Seriously, you think that a very small number of infections by a dangerous trojan and a few other virus is the same as Win98's thousands upon thousands of infections. And Android at least has some notifications of what applications will do, Win98 had nothing. Android is not even beginning to look the same as Win98.
One person's hate speech is another person's free speech, just like someone is a freedom fighter to one side and a terrorist to the other. Depends which side the government is on, and to be honest I don't think this government (or any past present of future British government) is on the side of the public.
Women in IT is rare, so are men in teaching
So it's rare for women to be in IT. It's also rare for men to be in teaching, especially primary schools. But because the gender equality feminists are misandrists they want to force men to allow women into male dominated sectors using gender rather than ability as the criteria. But when it comes to female dominated sectors, they still keep men out. Thats because feminists are misandrists and have no interest in equality, it's just a narrative they can use as a cover for the more gullible of their followers.
Loads of tweaks to TIFKAM, but no real change to the underlying OS. Windows 3.1 had more changes than 8.1. What a waste.
I use Win8, but hardly touch Metro. The only bit I touch is bit they nicked from Ubuntu, Unity. Typing in a cmd this way is slightly better than the Win7 run method.
Re: ASA is a waste of space
"Or maybe a few people, sick of seeing ISPs misleading their customers, complain to try to get "unlimited" to mean unlimited."
Acting on behalf of others is a great way to go you know. That's why you have councillors saying St George's flags could be offensive to Muslims when all the local Muslims say "Don't be stupid, we are offended". Acting as a nanny for those who are perfectly capable of understanding what is going on is demeaning.
If you think advertising should lie to their customers then you don't understand advertising and marketing. It is ALL lies. Some lies are blatant, some white lies, some lies by omission, but it is always lies. Whenever you see an advert you should always ask "What it's trying to do", "What's it not telling me", etc.
Re: ASA is a waste of space
Misleading advertising misleads? So do you want this Rolex at 90% off. I promise you it's genuine, all Rolex watches are made in China.
Misleading advertising only misleads gullible. Do we need laws and rules to protect the stupid. We would need upteen million laws for every single situation that could ever happen. And it only punishes after the fact. Alternatively you teach people to understand what advertising is and to use their brains so that you don't need to go around holding their hand all their life.
It's like children. Do you protect them with bubble wrap and hover like a helicopter all the time 24/7, or do you teach them what is dangerous and what is not so that they be independent. The ASA is the state acting like a nanny.
ASA is a waste of space
So a few numpty customers who know that "unlimited" doesn't mean unlimited go running to the ASA and make a complaint, just to prove that they are clever and caught out a big company. There probably are a couple of customers who seriously think that "unlimited" really means you can download the whole internet over your broadband connection or don't realise how much data a download really is. 99.99% of the rest of the world realise that there is always a fair usage policy and that if you consistently download gigabytes then you're going to get throttled or kicked off.
All the ASA can do is publish the name of the naughty company and tell them not to do it again. Seriously, what is the point of it. It's better to teach people to understand what advertising is than the punish the miscreants after the fact which requires constant monitoring by interfering busybodies. But then I suppose you need to keep some people in a job doing eff all but paid a huge wack.
Considering that the trip is likely to be one way for a long time, I would have thought the slight increase in risk of getting cancer to be very low down the list of priorities to concentrate on.
I can think of a few groups that incite hatred and de-normalisation of others. Most of them are of the new-puritan nannying type. Think of anti-smoking groups that make out that smokers are evil. Should these groups be banned. I would love it to be so, but it's unlikely to happen as these groups are on the same side as authoritarian politicians. But it shows how difficult it is to define a hate group.
<-- Fail for obvious reasons.
Corp tax is on PROFIT, not turnover
The Sunday Times reported that: "In 2011, the internet search provider paid just £6m in corporation tax despite its US accounts revealing that its UK turnover was £2.7bn. That year Google’s profit margin was 26 per cent, which, if applied to its British revenue, would produce profits of £676m and a corporation tax bill of more than £180m."
This statement is so wrong on so many levels.
"£6m tax .. turnover £2.7bn" - Corporation tax is paid on profit, not turnover. If it was paid on turnover, then new businesses would find it hard to start up when they are in the initial phases and making a loss (because of the capital investment, etc).
"profit margin 26%" - That's the worldwide profit margin, not the UK one. So it cannot be applied to British revenue in any way shape or form. So the corp tax bill of £180m from £676m profit is based on an invalid assumption that UK margin is the same as the world wide margin.
Google's accounts have been audited by accountants and filed and checked by HMRC. If anything is wrong, they would have been pulled up on it by now. All companies follow the law. If the law is wrong, change it. Don't go around grandstanding saying that Google aren't following the rules. They are following the rules. Oh, and when you do change the rules to tax companies on their turnover (if you manage to get it past the sensible accountants and not ones living in cloud cuckoo land), be prepared for massive recession as companies go bust or leave the UK.
Re: Ban everything
Yep, all politicians just think "ban everything" rather than get existing laws properly enforced.
If illegal acts are being carried out, then prosecute. Don't shut down the whole operation because of the actions of a few. Or shout out lots of hyperbole just because things aren't going the way you think they are.
The above can also be assigned to Margaret Hodge (HodgeTheDodge).
So the beer makers are so worried about the water quality deteriorating that they might have to install water quality analyzers at extra cost. You get the impression that they just use the pure water as is straight from the ground. As if. They will already have tons of kit filtering and cleaning the water so whatever fracking might do will have no bearing on the water the beer makers use. Plus most water will not have come from thousands of feet below the ground where fracking takes place.
2FA only when changing login method
I thought most 2FAs came into action only when you log in via a non-recognised machine, basically you didn't have a cookie set. I didn't think it required the 2FA every time you login, that would be very irritating for something that is not top secret. So it's not really a problem for corporate accounts. Just requires the "phone owner" to pass on the 2FA when users are given their new corporate laptop/blackberry/etc. Not such a palaver afterall.
"If all companies actually paid all the tax they should then income tax could be dropped by one or two pence in the pound which would stimulate the economy a treat."
Don't you realise that they are stimulating the economy by not paying a tax, just like paying less income tax would stimulate the economy. The whole point is that a government can never stimulate an economy. That's because they only way they can do it is to spend money, but money they have taken from taxpayers. It's a lot more efficient for the public to do the stimulating themselves by spending their money as they wish than for the government to spend it on big wasteful projects like HS2 (which will only start years after the recession has finished).
The politicians (and their lackey civil servants) wrote the tax laws. If someone's taking advantage of them because politicians kept writing in special exceptions for their "club" and making the law more and more complex then who's at fault? I blame the politicians. And all the noise is from the politicians who have realised that they have run out of exceptions so they now need to find another way to placate their "club". You know what the answer is? Piano wire.
Closed the door
That's the problem with subtle attacks. A lot of the time it just raises the awareness of the victim to watch out for further attacks whilst not actually causing any real long term damage. Just like even a minor virus infection in a company will lead it to introduce anti-virus s/w across the board. In this case Stuxnet has made it a lot harder if not impossible to attack Iran via other technological methods. Either they should have gone for the brute force method and destroyed all the centrifuges and made it nigh on impossible to make more or just kept schtum and just monitored what Iran are really up to. There would have been better information about Iran is up to if they had just left it alone.
And I like the whole "you're not allowed to have nukes but we are because we're the good guys" attitude. Good guys in whose eyes? Depends on which side you're on.
For the balance
And for the other point of view...
No point me trying to persuade you that John Cook is wrong. Just read the linked articles and make up your own mind.
"only two of the UK's FTSE 100 companies have no subsidiaries at all in tax-friendly places"
And how many of the UK's FTSE 100 companies are actually British. Only a very very small number. Most are international and have HQ elsewhere. Listing on the London stock exchange says nothing about the company's base. Though I bet everyone in UKUncut etc all think that the FTSE is only British companies and therefore they are all tax avoiders. When in reality they are paying their legally set amount of tax - for a subsidiary/branch in the UK and not the whole business.
Re: Less Basil Fawlty
Used to be that you could employ a man in a shed for a pittance. That was because the man usually had a good pension and saw the job as a way of getting out of the house and meeting people, the money not being a major factor and probably spent on beer.
Now, with minimum wage, you can't employ such men. So the company loses as they have to use hi-tech, and the man loses as he's stuck at home going stir crazy and probably dying before his time.
In this day and age, after all the past disasters from blocking IP addresses, you would have thought some knowledge would have disseminated down* to the politicians and lawmakers that if are going to block, do it by domain rather than hamfisted IP. Or, because blocking by domain doesn't work 'cause you can bypass it (if the dodgy site is on a fixed unshared IP which is very few), realise that blocking anything on the internet is always doomed to failure. All it ever does is stop the stupid, but those who want to get around it will do so, and easily.
I equate banning to the equivalent of continually removing harm from a child rather than teaching children to avoid harm. The former requires the parent to continually monitor every single aspect of their child's life. The later means that the child can cope when the parent isn't around and can cope with a larger variety of situations. So with the case of the internet, teach people about the dangers.
* Note that I said down, not up.
Google follow the law
Google is following a law created in 1966 between Luxembourg and the UK over double taxation relief. That means that a business which only has warehousing in the UK but a HQ in Lux, doesn't have to pay full tax on the UK aspect as well as the Lux part. The UK is actually a subsidiary of the Lux based Amazon. Amazon is not a UK company that is escaping the UK.
The whole setup is something that the EU was created explicitly for. To enable a business to have a single head office somewhere in the EU and to serve the rest of europe from it without having to create a full business in each and every single european country. The EU law forces businesses to only have a single base.
Either call for the EU to dictate that all european countries should have the same tax rates (and look how well just having countries to share a currency is working out - Not!) or call for the UK to exit the EU. Both options will force Amazon to create a full business paying full tax (so long as they make a profit).
Google, the law, and morality
Google are not doing anything immoral. That's because the law, tax or otherwise, never has any moral aspect. It wasn't so long ago that gay civil marriage was illegal. Was that moral? No way. Tax law is also immoral about the sharing of property between spinster sisters sharing a house when one dies. So law is never moral. That's because its a view of the morals of a past society as law is always behind current societies views and thoughts. For instance the laws around homosexuality only changed after society became more accepting of them. Only via a private members bill, not a government backed bill.
And it would be really useful to do that pump priming years, if not decades after the recession. Infrastructure projects always take so long that the case for them dragging a country out of recession is lost before they have even dug the first hole in the ground.
As for multiplier. Don't be so stupid. All the money spent on the project will go overseas. The trains won't be built here. The contractors that will do most of the work are international. All that will spent here is a relatively small amount on British labour.
HS2 hits the law of diminishing returns. When a train can cut the journey time from 3 days to 6 hours, then its very useful. When it saves 10 minutes off a 3 hour journey then its case it pretty much dead in the water.
Re: Pot and Kettle? downvote?
Why would anyone down vote a link to a statement of fact?
It's great all this coming from the great tax avoider herself. Margaret Hodge is well known for having lots of shares (multi-million pounds worth) in her family firm which she has placed in a trust. All this so that her children avoid paying inheritance tax. She herself is not avoiding so she can claim the moral high ground. Except that she is the one taking the action on behalf of her children so that they can avoid tax. So she is a tax avoider.
Even though the complainant's name appears against "scientology" and "fraud" it's probably not him that is the reason for the appearance. Don't the German courts realise that many people have the same name. Even I with a very uncommon name have found that four other people in the whole of the UK have my name. If they were associated with something nefarious, should I sue them for bringing my name into disrepute or Google?
And the UK would still be giving them aid, even in 2020, if there wasn't such a brouhaha because of the recession which has raised the issue to the forefront of the public's attention.
The DfID should be scrapped all together. It is not fit for purpose. In fact it has no purpose any more at all. Any emergency aid can be supplied by the armed forces who are better organized than the useless people in DfID.
"never underestimate the ability of the law to be several decades behind what it is that people are actually doing."
Or rather never underestimate the ability of the law to be a total and utter cock and pile of shite with stupidity piled on top as a garnish, especially when its created by politicians and civil servants who have no clue about how it all works in real life.
Re: Ref doghouse and "tenuous IT link"
Sound sensor on a Pi. When dog barks, Pi connected to a GSM module sends a text to your phone so that no matter where in the world you are, you will know someone is attempting a break in. Or the local boars have invaded.
To be honest DavCrav, the article you link to is bollocks. So full of twisted stats to push an agenda that is could be twisting itself down the plughole.
"Owning a gun increases your risk of falling victim to a gun accident, a suicide or a homicide. ....... Eighty-five Americans are shot and killed on an average day. Sixty-two percent of those who are killed are the victims of self-inflicted wounds from committing suicide."
It first tries to make out that you are more likely to die if you own a gun. Then it lets slip that most who die do so from killing themselves. So remove the gun and are the suicides going to drop. Nope, they'll use a car a bridge or something else which would require you to say that these objects need banning too.
Then it gives three case studies. Adam Lanza being a fantastic case to use to say that the average gun owner is likely to die from a gun shot because their family member is a nut case. Keith Ratliff being a fantastic case to use when the element of surprise is a major factor in not getting to your gun first. Meleanie Hain being a fantastic case to use to highlight the build up of fear caused by the excessive publicity to gun crime to make it out that a criminal is around every single corner. All crap and spurious studies.
I'm afraid your article just makes a better case for gun ownership as the reasons for not owning one are stupid, puerile, and silly.
The city people must be stupid. Did they think that if they imposed such a rule that every phone manufacturer would kowtow to their demands. Did they not think that the manufacturers would just ignore their rules and just not sell phones in the city meaning a loss of jobs and businesses. A lot easier to do that than work out SAR levels. But city officials in any city in the world tend to be stupid. There is no requirement for them to know what they are doing, just to spout rubbish which a few gullible people believe and vote them in.
So the ASA jumps in again to save people from themselves.
People who are looking at different packages will look at the channels available and the price and will make a decision based on that. Sometimes after some time they might regret making the decision to go one way or the other based on the cost being too expensive or the package not having a channel that a programme they want to watch is on. But that's not for the ASA to decide on, but it seems that they do.
I went with Talk Talk because it did have the best value (a very subjective term) package for my needs. I didn't want the expense of Sky's offering which included channels I didn't watch. TalkTalk's had just what I wanted, plus the offered us 3 months free and 6 months half price and monthly is still cheaper than Sky.
Maybe I should go to the ASA and tell them that Sky's adverts don't provide the best value.
It's a bit more than a single use weapon. If you read the previous reports into the story you will find that they did initially start off with a single use one, but after re-designing etc, they can now use it multiple times. Still not as long a life as a real metal gun though.
CNC milling machines might be expensive to buy, but why limit your thinking to just that path. You can rent, hire, or just ask a company to make one for you.
As for not having a CNC machine, many don't have a 3D printer either. In fact there are fewer 3D printers in the world (at the moment) than CNC machines. They will be overtaken as 3D printing takes off (thanks to the publicity like this), but for now it's still easier for someone to go to a company with a 3D printer or CNC milling machine then to do it themselves.
Law & Morality, never the twain shall meet
"There's no suggestion any of the companies mentioned above do or have ever done anything illegal on the tax front. The morality of their practices is for readers to decide."
The law is never moral. Tax laws are not moral either.
The law until recently made it illegal to be a homosexual. Was it moral then? No. So why is it moral now.
The law until recently taxed women as though they were part of their husband. Was it moral then. No. So why is it moral now.
Well CBC regularly promote AGW which is just as dodgy in science terms as the idea that getting just the number and expiry of a card via NFC is the end-of-times for credit cards.
Jobs for US workers
Why this fixation on jobs for US workers. In the 60s there were tens of thousands of people working on the Saturns etc. But with the advancement of technology and science, it's not necessary to use that many people to create even better rockets. It sounds like a lot of money, but compared to America's GDP and to the overall economy it's a tiny percentage.
Politicians are fixated on something that was true in the past, but no longer. Manufacturing and other businesses that require lots of people to generate work are declining in importance throughout the world. Service is the new manufacturing idiom.
Re: Can we check one thing? @TimWorstal
Yep, #HodgeTheDodge. Mrs Hodge is one of the most egregious of tax avoiders. You get the feeling that she is making a point of shouting "tax avoider" at everyone to try and avoid the finger being pointed at herself.
We got it free
We got the box free. We even got first six months free due to a cock up in the transfer from the old Tiscali TV service to the TalkTalk YouView service which left us with no TV for a week (only got an old analogue tube TV).
For all those that complain to ASA. Have they not got a life. Have they not got any common sense to realise that unlimited is a marketing term, just like free is. Always look at the small print (or the bill).
Or are they doing it on behalf of others who they think are so stupid as to not realise what they are buying? Not got much faith in humanity have they?
Re: Bribery by any other name.
And a good reason why the state should not be so large and controlling that it's worthwhile for companies and organisations (fake charities) to lobby the government.
With a small state, and more local democracy, it would be harder for lobbying to work as they would have to do it many times in many places rather than just once to some naive, weak willed , spending-someone-elses-money civil servant or some money grabbing, power mad, empire building politician.
The woman is waving at the google car, so I suspect a bit of a setup situation, rather than being caught in flagrante delicto.
Typical. An existing private service exists, but the government thinks it can do better and copies it. Using tax payers money in the process. What a waste.
Sounds like someone saying "It's not fair that we made a bad decision. We shouldn't be penalised for making a mistake. Spend lots of money on our special case please government. Then we can be successful without having to spend any of our own money."
Actually a clever April Fool.
All the right pieces to make it half believable but with a smidgen of hints to give a few clues that it's a joke.