Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Saturday 26 January 2013

And now it's the Conservatives' Turn!

My previous post concerned a slip of the tongue by a Liberal-Democrat MP; this one concerns communicative incompetence by the Prime Minister.

Referring to what I suppose might be called a certain reluctance on the part of various multi-national companies and corporations to pay tax (quelle surprise) Mr Cameron announced at the World Economic Forum at Davos that they "must wake up and smell the coffee."

The giant multi-national that sells coffee-flavoured drinks, Starbuck's, has displayed a distressing degree of hyper-sensitivity to this comment, assuming that it was a "dig" at their organisation and in consequence has threatened to withhold a substantial investment (i.e. more look-alike near-coffee shops) in Britain.

I don't think that the P.M. intended to make a 'dig' at Starbuck's, though I suppose "wake up and smell the search engine" wouldn't work very well; no, I think he was being or rather trying to be, irritatingly 'modern' as perhaps he thought.  Horrible - and he was at Eton - the school that I wish I had attended!
However, given my recent experience at Starbuck's I am not inclined to be sympathetic to  managing director Mr Engskov's cries of anguish about what is simply a nasty piece of American business jargon.

But in future Mr Cameron might be better advised to say for example "In future, Her Majesty's Government intends to examine very closely the elaborate tax-avoidance schemes being practised by a number of multi-national business organisations."

There you are, Prime Minister, why not "Put it on the 5:15 and see if it gets off at Westchester" or perhaps a little more appositely, "Put it in your percolator and see if it comes out brown."

Until the next time.


27th January: The BBC reports that Starbuck's rejects suggestions that the company had reacted to the "smell the coffee" comment and that Friday's meeting with the PM had been scheduled for some time.  Perhaps the Sunday Telegraph allowed itself to get a little over-excited, though given the alleged proclivities of the Telegraph's proprietors I should have thought that the subject of tax avoidance was one to keep quiet about.  A storm in a (near) coffee-cup then perhaps?


Anonymous said...

hi, anonymous wonders why a company who would have us believe that they make such little profit wish to expand their presence in UK with such aggression.

(if you`d gone to Eton, would you be one of our corrupt ministers now?)

Paul said...

Probably because they want to convert the whole world to coffee that doesn't taste of anything.

No, I doubt I'd have sought a career in politics - too much compromise for a choleric pedant such as myself.