Geldof does a Bono

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I missed this one whilst away: Geldof plays the tax market in the same way that Bono does. In his case he's using his non-domicile status to avoid UK capital gains tax, inheritance tax and stamp duty by registering ownership of his UK properties through British Virgin Island companies. The full story is here.

This is not smart tax planning. This is living inconsistently with your principles. And that's not ethical.

I too happen to be an Irish citizen. I guess I could try to exploit that for tax. I don't. That is living consistently with my principles.

I'm not being sanctimonious. The point I'm making is that you have to walk the talk. And I was somewhat surprised to note recently that one of my offshore opponents said in a mail:

I hate the thought of having to agree with John Christensen or Richard Murphy but on this issue I feel they have got it right all the way. And what ever anybody says they stay true to their beliefs unlike so many people seeming to twist and turn to gain political kudos.

That is the point I am making. You can't pick and choose when you stake your reputation on principles, as Bono and Geldof have done. They've been diminished by their actions, and I regret that as it harms the development debate. It's time they made amends.