back to article Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

Microsoft invited a UK government cabinet minister from the Remain camp to give its troops the big sell on why Blighty should stay in the EU – but shelved the meeting following the murder of MP Jo Cox, the company confirmed. The senior politician was to debrief the Windows giant's Brit workforce on the benefits of staying …


  1. TRT Silver badge

    Genuine LOL there.

    "El Reg contacted both the Remain and Leave camps for comment, but suspect neither set were able to hear email alert pings above all the bullshit they are talking."

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Genuine LOL there.

      Nice one, Paul. Have a virtual pint. This is the sort of thing that keeps me coming here.

  2. Bob Vistakin

    That's settled then

    If microsoft vote for it, you know its a shit idea.

    1. kryptylomese

      Re: That's settled then

      If Microsoft vote for it then they see it as good for business which it is indeed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's settled then

        Lower wages are great for profits. Not so great for wages.

        1. Terry Barnes

          Re: That's settled then

          How many minimum wage employees do you think Microsoft has in the UK? Or anywhere?

          Mind you, if we leave and the pound tanks, those wages just got a lot lower anyway. If lowering wage costs was your prime concern, you'd vote to exit.

          1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

            Re: That's settled then

            @ Terry Barnes

            "How many minimum wage employees do you think Microsoft has in the UK? Or anywhere?"

            The real question that impacts the Brexit vote is how many MORE minimum wage employees would MS like to have in the UK? Or anywhere (where they can outsource higher-paid jobs currently in Britain)?

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "the estimate was that any reduction in wages caused by EU immigration was of the order of 0.3%"

            Hmmm tough choice. Would I rather be paid 0.3% more and only pay a fraction of the rent/mortgage? Brexit wins again.

            1. kryptylomese

              Why would I sell my house for less if we leave?

            2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              The value of your house going down does not mean you pay less per month, as it is pretty darn likely interest rates will go up. Also, if you already have your mortgage, you will not pay less, only your house will be worth less. The bank doesn't actually call you and say they will reduce what you owe them now when your house is worth less.

              1. kryptylomese

                I pro remain BTW. However my house is worth what I decide to sell it for and what people are prepared to pay to pay for it - If interest rates go up etc than house owners will increase their sale price.

                Please explain why it will actually go down?

                1. chr0m4t1c

                  Because if interest rates go up, people can't afford to borrow as much so they can't afford to pay as much.

                  Depends where you are in the market, but some segments will see a reduction in demand as result meaning anyone who *needs* to sell may have to accept less, which leads to the perception that equivalent properties are worth less.

                  You can set the price you want, but if the market doesn't agree with you then you ain't selling. You only have control within market limits, you're deluding yourself if you think you can set whatever price you want. Why do you think that areas with lower demand (like the north of England) have lower prices?

                  Personally I'd love to be able to sell my place for £100m and then retire to the Bahamas, but I doubt I'd get any takers.

        3. energystar

          Re: That's settled then

          "Not so great for wage[r]s". Here, the little nazi in me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's settled then

        Microsoft quite liked the tax deal where they sold software out of Ireland instead of the U.K. To reduce their tax by around £10m/year.

        While HMRC should have stopped it (or tax rules changed to address the loophole), leaving the EU would potentially stop said loophole.

        On the issue of immigration, the EU provides a huge pool of talent and the ability for a company to move between countries as required to get the most benefit for the company. Not so great for the workers unless they're prepared to move as well.

        The EU - a socialist^h^h^h corporate dream.

    2. Terry Barnes

      Re: That's settled then

      "If microsoft vote for it, you know its a shit idea."

      I'd imagine Microsoft are against human slavery and putting asbestos in food. Play the ball, not the man (or the corporation, in this case).

    3. TitterYeNot

      Re: That's settled then

      "If microsoft vote for it, you know its a shit idea."

      Nah, it just means that if we vote remain we just have to be carefull not to turn our backs in case we get a popup that 'upgrades' us to Windows 10 the Euro and reboots our economy while we're not looking...

    4. Bob Vistakin

      Re: That's settled then

      Told you so.

  3. dervheid

    Shitstorm V2

    There was one helluva stink in Scotland when various companies were castigated (rightly so IMHO) for pretty much telling their employees how to vote two years ago. This is not only in the same field, but standing ankle-deep in the same cowpat.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Shitstorm V2

      Perhaps, as with cows and sheep, the distance made the Scottish referendum look prettier to the rest of us. With this one we're all right-up close and it's caked all over with something that's not very nice.

      And it's pretty much divided the country and poisoned all future rational debate about the UK's place in the EU. Well done politicos.

      1. SolidSquid

        Re: Shitstorm V2

        As someone in Scotland who experienced the independence referendum first hand, it wasn't even in the same league as the bullshit that's being spouted during this campaign (although it's quite funny to hear the same arguments being trotted out by the Brexit camp as were by the Scottish independence camp)

      2. Esme

        Re: Shitstorm V2

        Aye, Dan 55. IMO the referendum should've been an EU-wide one on how to fix the EU, rather than whether we in the UK should stay or leave. I don't particularly want us to leave the EU, but I don't want to have untrammeled immigration to continue without their being very serious consequences for those who immigrate and then refuse to accept the local laws and mores. Ironically, it's the business far right that is most keen on completely free movement of people, as it lets them reduce labour costs, whilst the unwashed far right screams about the influx of foreigners.

        Meanwhile the impact of immigration on local culture and societal norms is quietly ignored - because there's perceived to be no economic impact. The immigration question isn't about racism, it's about culture. I've spoken to several immigrants who feel as strongly about this as I do - they've come to the UK because of our generally tolerant society, and the last thing they want is for the UK to be turned into the kind of religously dominated bullying kind of society that they've moved her eto get away from. So far as I'm concerned, I don't care what colour a person is or where they're from - if they're in the UK, and adhere by our laws, customs and mores, they're British. If anoyone's here that doesn't accept that, no matter even if they were born here, then I do wish they'd bugger off to somewhere that suits them better instead of trying to turn the UK into a totalitarian hellhole. I gather from a French friend that there's folk over in France feel the same way there, too.

        All this crap about being concerned about immigration equating to racism is unadulterated bullshit. There's not been a lot of sense spoken about sovereignty or trade issues, either. A pox on all their (the Leave/Remain campaigns) houses, for spreading disinformation. I think the referendum should be scrapped, and replaced with some kind of vote on how to fix the EU so that it doesn't cause so many within it to be unhappy about it.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Shitstorm V2

      "various companies were castigated (rightly so IMHO) for pretty much telling their employees how to vote"

      which is why this time around companies are starting the sentence with "It's your vote, and it's up to you to decide how you cast it, but...", and then finishing the sentence telling you which way they want you to vote.

      1. AdamT

        Re: Shitstorm V2

        I have no particular objection to a company saying to its workforce "this is what we believe the consequences of the two outcomes will be both for the company itself and you as as member of staff" - and then backing it up with some actual facts, actual reasoned arguments and clarification of which bits were opinion, company policy, etc. (*)

        Of course I'd like the same from the wider debate too, so clearly I'm an eternal optimist due to live forever in a state of disappointment.

        1. A K Stiles

          State of disappointment?

          Is that what we're calling the nation next Friday while Boris, Nige and Rupert are quaffing their celebratory Bolly?

          1. Flatpackhamster

            Re: State of disappointment?

            If we do vote to Leave I will be mostly drinking the bitter tears of the vile Remain campaign, whose campaigning slogan has been "We are all geniuses, and people who are better and richer than you think this, so fucking vote the way we tell you, you vile plebs."

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: State of disappointment? @ Flatpackhamster

              Lets be honest neither side has come out of it lookng good with the levels of demagoguery versus facts, and then seeing a comment like that I understand why. Thought we were supposed to be a bit better than all this.

              1. Flatpackhamster

                Re: State of disappointment? @ Flatpackhamster

                It's all media spin and crap. I have been out on the streets with the Leave campaign. I've done leafleting, a scrap of canvassing and I'm out on Thursday reminding Leavers to get the vote out. And I have talked to hundreds of people in all lines of work. Millionaires to bin men, housewives, teachers, farmers, every walk of life.

                Everyone I have met has been courteous. To a man and woman they have been interested in the debate. They have wanted more information to make better informed decisions. I got my hair cut and everyone in the salon was talking about the referendum. In a hairdressers where the average level of conversation is about holidays there were stylists and clients talking about the CAP and the economy. I haven't had a single aggressive or unpleasant encounter when I've met people face to face. They have been passionate, oh yes, deeply passionate about things

                It has reaffirmed my faith in the Demos. And it has made me all the more committed to Leave because people CAN make decisions for themselves without politicians and they WANT to do it.

                All the shit in the media is just that. We are better than this, I've seen it and it makes me want to see it again and again. Even if the UK votes to Remain (and I sincerely hope it doesn't) the experience on the ground has been fantastic.

                1. Triggerfish

                  Re: State of disappointment? @ Flatpackhamster

                  It's all media spin and crap.

                  Which media entity was it that wrote your prevous comment then? Are you bothered by this intrusion into your life? Do you think your password for the forum was hijacked?

                  1. Flatpackhamster

                    Re: State of disappointment? @ Flatpackhamster

                    Did you try talking to anyone face to face about the referendum? Did they shout at you? Did they scream? Did they hurl abuse? No, they didn't. But that's how the media has played the whole campaign for both sides.

                    But if you want to believe I'm some secret paid-up shill for Leave, that's your decision.

                    Don't forget that if you're voting to Remain, your voting time runs from 10pm on Thursday until 10pm on Friday.

                2. John H Woods

                  Re: State of disappointment? @ Flatpackhamster

                  All the shit in the media? I think you'll find the Leave campaign have a very variable relationship with the truth, Remain less so, but perhaps only because they've said fewer specifics.

                  I can't see how a referendum result can even be valid until the campaigners on both sides retract all the false statements they have made and that's going to take time.

                3. Rich 11 Silver badge

                  Re: State of disappointment? @ Flatpackhamster

                  Everyone I have met has been courteous

                  the vile Remain campaign

                  Everyone has been courteous except you, apparently. Oh, and except for those of your allies who have been blowing racist dogwhistles about Syrian refugees, foreign rapists and Turkish visas.

                  1. Triggerfish

                    Re: State of disappointment? @ Flatpackhamster

                    Rich 11 understood my point, read your first comment.

            2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: State of disappointment?

              "We are all geniuses, and people who are better and richer than you think this, so fucking vote the way we tell you, you vile plebs."

              I haven't seen any of this. Perhaps you have a massive inferiority complex?

              What I have seen, however, is disgusting xenofobic nazi-style rethoric from that slug Nigel.

              Is Farage planning to expell his wife if Brexit wins?

          2. A K Stiles

            Re: State of disappointment?

            Sheesh! - I double-checked, and I did put the joke icon on it.

            Being serious for a moment though, I've looked at as much analysis as I could find and at who is actually pushing which side of the campaign and what their personal motives might be, and once you cut through as much of the crap from both sides as you can identify it seems pretty clear to me where the right answer lies.

            All I ask of anyone voting on Thursday is that you try to get to the truth amongst the hyperbole and make an informed decision, don't just vote with the grumbling sensation in your skull and belly from too much beer with last night's dinner.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The senior politician was to debrief the local workforce on the benefits of staying inside the EU today"

    I think you really mean brief, as this was to be before the event, and its purpose would have been to inform actors and involved parties of factors pertinent to the forthcoming event; a debriefing occurs after an event, to gain information from the actors and involved parties about what actually happened during that event.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Debrief?

      Maybe all the Microsoft employees had already used their postal vote...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cisco did not quite nail the colors to the mast

    Cisco bet is more subtle. While it did hoist the remain flag it prepared itself for the eventuality of BrExit 2+ years ago. It reorganized the UK business structure so that everything more important is now formally registered in Scotland. If UK goes BrExit, the likelihood of Scottish Secession is estimated to be >70%. See gov'nor, we did not actively work to ensure that that a BrExited Britain (or what is left of it) will lose most of the revenue from our HQ and staffing operations. It is just the way it happened...

    That is at least more subtle than Google's "ripping of HQ plans" and delaying its Eu HQ investment after it becomes clear if its Eu HQ will be in Eu. The official party line that the project was not "sufficiently bold" smelled like a megaton of bovine excrement on a really hot summer morning.

    I have not looked into what other large USA companies have done, but every single one of them ran through some sort of "prepare for an exit" exercise and none of them will be around in a couple of years time after a BrExit. All in all, it makes you wonder, did Osborne actually underestimate how bad it will hit the economy. I think he did.

    1. YARR

      So none of these corporations invested in Britain before the EU existed? None of them invest in the multitude of other countries throughout the world outside the EU that have smaller economies than the UK?

      If some companies move their HQ to the Eurozone that's overall better for us and the EU as it will relieve our overheated economy. We are overcrowded, have sky high property prices and employ over a million more EU citizens than the EU employs Brits. Meanwhile there is chronic youth unemployment in other parts of the EU. It would be better for us all if some major employers did relocate out of the UK.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        So none of these corporations invested in Britain before the EU existed?

        Of course they did. But now that the EU exists, they see it as providing them with a better option.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        As you may know EU has been around a long time. So, yes, many of the companies would not have been investing in the UK before EU existed. They may not leave instantly, of course, but in due time investements will be channelled elswhere.

        Wealth is found where employement is found, so it would not be better for the UK if employers moved out of the UK. That is just some bizarre reasoning.

        1. YARR

          Quality of life = wealth / cost of living

          If we optimised our lives for quality of life instead of wealth, people would be happier. The way to achieve this is with much reduced immigration and low house prices. Leaving the EU is a step in the right direction. The longer the government continue increasing our population to make the nation wealthier but more overcrowded, the more our quality of life will decline. Our relative position in economic terms doesn't improve quality of life, provided we don't let wealthy foreigners buy up our country. Service industry jobs also tend not to provide the same job satisfaction of manufacturing/creative jobs once did.

          The majority of British people had a better quality of life before we joined the EU.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            "Quality of life = wealth / cost of living"

            If the pound devalues, which it will on a leave, the cost of living will go up.

            Why is that then?

            Because anything not made in Britain will be more expensive.

            In addition, most things made in Britain are made from parts made elsewhere, so they will also go up in price.

            Exports *may* increase due to the now relatively cheap British labour. But this may be negated due to EU countries' import duty.

            And, with your strategy, going abroad will be very expensive. But perhaps you see that as a plus.

          2. chr0m4t1c

            >The majority of British people had a better quality of life before we joined the EU.


            Absolutely nothing else could have caused a change in quality of life since then?

            In 40 years?

            I would like to see any facts that support your supposition that the *majority* of British people had a better quality of life 40+ years ago and it was *because* of EU membership that things got worse (if they have).

            You do realise that we don't have access to a parallel universe where the UK didn't join the EU so we can compare outcomes, don't you? You're comparing what did happen to a scenario that exists entirely in your imagination, which is clearly complete nonsense.

  6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    "The increasingly tedious referendum"

    We sometimes fail to remember this vote will have the most profound impact on Britain's relationship with Europe and the rest of the world. It can be easy to forget what damage has been done in pitting Brit against Brit and the toxic legacy which will endure.

    One may even sometimes forget that this is not simply a vote on whether Conservatives should be a right wing or an even further to the right party.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: "The increasingly tedious referendum"

      Quote :" One may even sometimes forget that this is not simply a vote on whether Conservatives should be a right wing or an even further to the right party."

      And even more sickening is the way the labour party, led by a left winger, are suddenly in favour of the globalist multi-national agenda when it comes to the EU and jumped aboard the tory ship without even wondering exactly why working class brits feel so stiffed by them....

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "The increasingly tedious referendum"

          Re: He wants the EU without the "globalist multi-national agenda", which means working inside it to reform it rather than just sit outside trying to piss in.

          Yes, because now the EU listens more to large corporates via lobbying and has effectively depose red individual countries by making them part of a much larger voting block that tends to follow Germany for the money, the UKs voice is so clearly heard in the EU.

          Reforming the UKs relationship with the EU as it stands was tried by Dave as a precursor to this referendum - doesn't anyone remember the concessions he won?

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: "The increasingly tedious referendum"

            Reforming the EU, while a good intention, is likely to take many years and arguments. Not a weekend of schmoozing by a second-rate me-too politician.

            1. John H Woods

              Re: "The increasingly tedious referendum"

              "Reforming the EU, while a good intention, is likely to take many years and arguments" - Adrian 4

              Absolutely true. How long do you think it will take to complete a review of the last four decades of UK legislation and negotiate scores of bilateral trade deals?


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