The top 1% own 48% of global wealth, but even they aren’t happy. A survey by Boston College of people with an average net worth of $78m found that they too were assailed by anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Many of them reported feeling financially insecure: to reach safe ground, they believed, they would need, on average, about 25% more money. (And if they got it? They’d doubtless need another 25%). One respondent said he wouldn’t get there until he had $1bn in the bank.
Aditya Chakrabortty: Billions of pounds of British public money has gone to business, with Disney getting £170m. They really are taking the Mickey
If taxpayers are to fund corporations, why shouldn’t they demand that those businesses observe certain conditions of basic fairness? The publicly funded train operators should pay their staff living wages, provide decent pensions and sick pay. And all recipients of public money should be banned from using elaborate structures to avoid paying tax.
Our semi-secret system makes no such demands: of the 44 companies that received over £1m in government grants between 2005 and 2011, 13 didn’t pay any corporation tax at all; a further 17 didn’t pay any corporation tax either the year before or the year of receiving their public money. These aren’t two-bit firms, either: Farnsworth’s list includes Tesco Personal Finance, Dell and Plusnet.
Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by Western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally “the database”, was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.
The truth is, there is no islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity…The country behind this propaganda is the US
In early August 2005, Cook and his wife, Gaynor, took a two-week holiday in the Highlands of Scotland. At around 2:20 pm, on 6 August 2005, whilst walking down Ben Stack in Sutherland, Scotland, Cook suddenly suffered a severe heart attack, collapsed, lost consciousness and fell about 8 feet (2.4 m) down a ridge. A helicopter containing paramedics arrived 30 minutes after a 999 call was made. Cook then was flown to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. Gaynor did not get in the helicopter, and walked down the mountain. Despite efforts made by the medical team to revive Cook in the helicopter, he was already beyond recovery, and at 4:05pm, minutes after arrival at the hospital, was pronounced dead. Two days later, a post mortem examination claimed that Cook had died of hypertensive heart disease. A funeral service was held on 12 August 2005, at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, even though Cook had been an atheist.Gordon Brown gave the eulogy, and German foreign minister Joschka Fischer was one of the guests. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was on holiday at the time, did not attend. In his speech at the funeral, Cook’s friend, the racing pundit John McCririck, criticised Blair for not attending.
“What is the explanation of the seemingly insane drive of man to be painter and poet if it is not an act of defiance against man’s fall and an assertion that he return to the Garden of Eden? For the artists are the first men.”—Barnett Newman
“It starts at home with Champagne or red wine, before 10 a.m. Then again Champagne. Then pastis, maybe half a bottle. Then food, accompanied by two bottles of wine. In the afternoon, Champagne, beer, and more pastis at around 5 p.m., to finish off the bottle. Later on vodka and/or whiskey.”—Gerard Depardieu