Author Archive

Josh Booth

Josh Booth is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. His research examines the value and purpose of social scientific research and its place in both advancing and critiquing the role of the university. He's currently writing about the history of academic publishing and different conceptions of ownership and evaluation in academia. He blogs here, and tweets from @joshnwbooth. His academic work can be followed here.

George Osborne is cracking down on tax avoidance. After a scandal in which it has emerged that some major multinationals have paid little or no UK corporate tax, the head of Britain’s Treasury has announced his mission “to turn concern over tax avoidance into a catalyst for change”. Osborne, formerly known as the City-boys’ puppet in power, has turned into the Great Enforcer, riding his “new agenda of transparency” into Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania. But the domestic scandal over tax avoidance – the outraged bluster of Margaret Hodge’s mock trial of the Great Avoiders before the UK Public Accounts Committee; David Cameron’s barely-veiled threat at Davos to corporations who needed to “wake up and smell the coffee”; UK Uncut’s shop-floor protests – has done little damage to its targets. Even Starbucks, which felt compelled to donate £10 million to the Exchequer, apparently because it had listened to customers’ concerns, has ended up paying remarkably little in public contributions.