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Showing posts from July, 2009

Schools and Schisms

The Board of Deputies of British Jews must not take sides in the case of admissions to the Jews' Free School

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/jul/23/faith-schools-board-deputies

Tax Avoidance: should the government have the right to punish me for doing something that is legal but, in its view, morally wrong?

An action can be wrong as well as illegal (for example, murder), or - conceivably – illegal but not necessarily wrong (for example exceeding a designated speed limit when it is, objectively speaking, perfectly safe to do so). But can an action be legal but still wrong? Of course the concept of moral relativism makes this a very difficult question to address. Many people believe it is wrong to sell one’s body as a prostitute. But – in this country at any rate – prostitution is of itself not illegal. However, I am thinking more of the public domain rather than the private. The campaign now being waged by the Guardian – and latterly with the apparent support of Chancellor Alastair Darling – against tax avoidance falls squarely within this category.

Earlier this year the Guardian launched a widescale investigation of the stratagems used by large corporations to minimise their liability to UK tax. The Guardian named twenty or so major British companies, analysed their “secretive tax s…