New Internationalist

Bono: tax dodger

It really felt like sticking my neck out in 2003, having a go at Bono, Sting and St Bob in the following full page story in the NI’s music issue, and sure enough we got complaints…



By the time of Live 8 no-one batted an eyelid over this one of Geldof…



I’d previously ‘got away’ with having a go at a Sting type figure as well…



The new Bono cartoon was initially a rough for my Big Bad World strip, but Chris, my NI editor, felt that by the time the next available mag was published in Sept, it’d look old hat, what with uncut planning to protest Bono at Glastonbury this month…

Bono tax dodging cartoon by polyp

I put together the rough by lazily cutting and pasting Bono’s head from the Rock Star Kidnap strip, and once it was agreed it wasn’t going in the NI, a penny dropped and I thought UK Uncut would love it, so I drew it up using the old artwork for speed, and put it out as a freebie via facebook.

Today I got a message saying it’s being turned into a sticker for Glastonbury! Result!

Editor’s note: To enlarge images, use the option in the View menu of your browser, or click on them. For a closer look at the issue of tax avoidance, take a look at our October 2008 issue, and in particular its keynote article, ‘Tax justice and the global fiddle’. You may notice a certain Irish rock star lurking at the bottom.

Comments on Bono: tax dodger

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  1. #1 Zappy 24 Jun 11

    Typical fascist. Like other a*hole the Dalai Llama rabbitting on about peace when he congratulated India for exploding their nuclear bomb.

  2. #2 openworld 24 Jun 11

    HYPOCRIT – GLORY SEEKER – ALL MOUTH NO ACTION

  3. #3 Johnno 27 Jun 11

    I’m bored of the sensationalist uproar already. Youtube post-Glastonbury is filled with more venomous hatred of Bono than is directed at convicted serial killers and paedophiles. It’s as if this is an opportunity to make a character assassination; the moment ’we’ have been waiting for slag him off with total justifications (when usually it’s just because “we” don’t like him). Can someone please research and write a serious piece on U2 and their tax affairs – not just this controversy but with some background. For example, when trying to find out more about this I found an old quote (1980s) from U2’s manager about how they would pay less tax if they left Ireland, but they wanted to stay. And even now, they are still tax-paying residents there. I’m not an Economist, but surely they are paying tax (in Ireland, as Irish residents) on the money they are making by moving the money to Holland and getting richer for doing so??

  4. #4 eloise 01 Jul 11

    U2: Invested in commercial interests in Dublin during the Celtic Tiger, helping boost the economy.
    U2: Brought a music scene to Ireland
    U2: Have residences in Ireland, pay taxes
    U2: Rock so hard during their 360 tour in Dublin that they violated Dublin's sound ordinance over 15 times, each time forking out $15,000+ (’paying their debt to society’)

    Can't tell me that they don't give back to their community.

  5. #5 the hedge 04 Jul 11

    U2: Sold a shitload of records off the back of human misery
    U2: Kept the money and moved it to another country to avoid paying tax

    <q>U2: Rock so hard during their 360 tour in Dublin that they violated Dublin's sound ordinance over 15 times, each time forking out $15,000+ (’paying their debt to society’)<br />
    Can't tell me that they don't give back to their community.
    </q>

    Because they play their rubbish, second rate, generic pop music so loud it breaks a sound ordinance, thus alienating everyone in the community who isn't an aging, bourgeois lamer in the middle of a pathetic and tedious mid-life crisis. Presumably.

  6. #6 Phil 17 Jul 11

    To ’The hedge’,

    Ok, so you say:

    ’Because they play their rubbish, second rate, generic pop music ... alienating everyone in the community who isn't an aging, bourgeois lamer in the middle of a pathetic and tedious mid-life crisis. Presumably.’

    Presumptions are not helpful here. You approach this topic with the urgency of a News of the World reader trying to find out what's happening in the world.

    This isn't an issue about their musical style. Just because you don't like it, it isn't a reason to condemn their tax affairs. Condemn their tax affairs on the basis of their tax affairs.
    Selling records ’off the back of human misery.’ Come on. Ridiculous comment. How many movies, books, songs are about human misery? It's not exactly News International hacking phones to get stories to sell newspapers. Does this magazine/website with a similar-sounding name, New Internationalist, not run as a business ’off the back of human misery’? Accusations are so easy to make. Where are the facts?

    Too much unintelligent debate on this U2 tax story makes me think there isn't much substance to it.

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