Forget about the sense of aristocratic entitlement that apparently pervaded the membership of Ireland’s financial corporations. The heads of the Anglo-Irish Bank laughed at the indentured servitude they had so craftily bestowed on the Irish people? So what. Here is what the real sense of entitlement cultivated by Ireland’s 1% sounds like. Gay Byrne interviewing Bono, lead singer and accountancy expert with U2, on RTÉ last night (via the Broadsheet):
“Gay Byrne: If I don’t ask you this, I’ll be criticised and if I do ask you this I’ll be criticised but since you’ve touched on the subject now. The subject of U2′s taxation arrangements, whereby people are expressing their wonder at what they call your hypocrisy, not my word, their word, hypocrisy of haranguing us all and asking us to pay for more international aid, at the same time as you shift your company overseas in order to save taxation.
Bono: Yeah, but it’s [unintelligible] of Irish people to be critical of this is because the shock horror moment here is U2 behaving like a business. [fake shock facial and gasp expression]. And I mean our, we live in a small rock in the North Atlantic and we would be under water were it not for very clever people working in Government and in the Revenue who made tax competitiveness a central part of Irish economic life.
It is the reason we have companies like, you know, Google and Facebook and, indeed, I helped bring those companies to Ireland. So it’s more than churlish for Irish people to say well we don’t want an Irish company involved in that stuff that we do want everyone else.”
UPDATE 27/06/2013: Thanks to An Lorcánach for this link to a review of Harry Browne’s highly critical new bio of Bono featured in the Guardian. And here is Browne himself discussing Bono’s faith and politics over on CounterPunch, with thanks to Pól for the tip. Finally Méabh in New York sent me this link to a feature on a recent TV interview with the evangelical one.
- The Frontman: Bono (In The Name of Power) by Harry Browne – review (realnewsnow.com)
- Bono: Sacred Cow or Sad Clown? (counterpunch.org)
- ‘Irish blood is boiling – the second instalment’ (independent.ie)
- Laughing All The Way To The Bank (ansionnachfionn.com)