How to fund Christmas
July 25, 2019 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Bob Geldof's African fund, 8 Miles, which invests exclusively in African startups, began setting up subsidiaries in Mauritius, a tax haven in the Indian Ocean that is roughly 6,000 miles from London. 8 Miles, it seems, was trying to avoid taxes that would have otherwise gone to the African governments and people the company aimed to help. Investigative reporting at Quartz breaks the scandal based on the recent "Mauritius leaks" treasure trove of documents received by the ICIJ
posted by Mrs Potato (18 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why am I not surprised when someone's white savior bullshit turns out to be white colonialist bullshit.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:35 AM on July 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


Give them your fucking money you fucking hypocritical prick.
posted by howfar at 11:37 AM on July 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


umm just to be clear that's directed at Geldoff ok sorry bye
posted by howfar at 11:40 AM on July 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


Also, sorry, that should obviously be "their money", even though that would kind of ruin the "joke" such as it is.

Christ I really don't like Bob Geldoff.
posted by howfar at 11:49 AM on July 25, 2019 [6 favorites]


/my_shocked_face

I mean... look what happened in round one.
posted by Cosine at 12:25 PM on July 25, 2019


There's a joke to be made here about 8 Mile, the Eminem rap-battle movie, but I'm just not quite seeing it. In my defense, I had a big lunch.
posted by box at 12:28 PM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


done with Mauritius intent, no doubt.
posted by scruss at 1:50 PM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Huh, I didn't know the story about how Live Aid funded Mengistu's genocide, nor SPIN's decades-long grudge.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:01 PM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


There's a joke to be made here about 8 Mile, the Eminem rap-battle movie,

You better recuse yourself from the board, the movement
You blew it, you better let it go
You only had one shot, you missed your chance, you blow
This liability comes once every fiscal, you better
posted by RakDaddy at 2:02 PM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


In my defense, I, too, had a big lunch.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:03 PM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've been thinking about this some more and, I have to say, as people go he's just a really bad person.
posted by howfar at 3:25 PM on July 25, 2019


There is no real problem with this as far as I can tell. He's not paying taxes to those countries? Boo fucking hoo. The Live Aid debacle is a good motivator to invest directly in startup ventures and avoid letting the authorities taking what they can. The countries mentioned, Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda sadly suffer from a good deal of corruption. If I were investing in African countries, you'd better believe I'd be all about avoiding any tax burden possible. If only to ease my conscience, since a startup is far more likely to positively affect real lives in those countries than my taxes. And of course, if those countries dislike it so much, they can always boot the investment.

But wait, the UK might be getting stiffed, too? Hell, I want to stiff the UK for all its stupidity, and I haven't even been there in 25 years...
posted by 2N2222 at 5:46 PM on July 25, 2019


He's not paying taxes to those countries? Boo fucking hoo.

And this, boys and girls, is why we're here today.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:46 PM on July 25, 2019 [6 favorites]


It's complicated. Yes, there is massive corruption. But without a stable tax base from companies and people paying taxes, government officials can't survive without corruption - they'll be paid by bribes or ghosting government jobs to work privately. You want a functioning government, you need to pay taxes AND lobby for anti-corruption. You can't refuse to pay taxes and expect a functioning government to magically appear.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:04 PM on July 25, 2019 [16 favorites]


Also, there would be startup businesses even without the Great White Saviour bestowing his financial blessing upon the natives. For every business that's leaking money via Mauritius, there's a potential domestic replacement that would reward people in Ethiopia and pay taxes in Ethiopia and help Ethiopia grow.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:43 PM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


You can't refuse to pay taxes and expect a functioning government to magically appear.

85 billion times this: the refusal of capitalism to recognise that government doesn't happen out of the goodness of people's hearts to "produce a favourable landscape for job creation" (or whatever bullshit) is, as Joe also notes above, pretty much the reason that capitalism is failing. The externalisation of every cost possible, while simultaneously refusing to fund those externalities through taxation, means that corruption is the only mechanism by which many necessary processes can function. Corruption isn't a wicked infection spread by loose societal morals, it's a rational response to the breakdown of other, more efficient systems, like the receipt and expenditure of tax.
posted by howfar at 10:53 PM on July 25, 2019 [9 favorites]


Pre-coffee no-glasses me read the first link as "Investigative reporting at Qwantz" and I was briefly excited to read some hard-hitting journalism as told by dinosaurs.
posted by xedrik at 6:50 AM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


I did not know.
I was such a big Geldof and Live Aid fan so many years ago.

I really can't tell, based on the article and comments above, whether the current controversy is as bad as it's been made to seem. But the Live Aid money, that is horrifying. I'm surprised that some of the many artists involved didn't do... something. Maybe they did. I was in high school at the time and not a big consumer of news.

So. Through incredibly stupid, unconscionable decisions, Bob Geldof/Live Aid managed to not only fail to help, but to actively aid in existing atrocities. And that jackass continues to believe he is a great and noble man. Christ, what an asshole. Fucking hell.
posted by Glinn at 8:55 AM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


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