This is Sir Philip Green, the billionaire boss of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge among others.
These UK companies are part of Green’s Arcadia Group which is in turn owned by Taveta Investments Limited, which is registered to an office on the tax-haven island of Jersey. Taveta Investments is owned by Green’s family members living in Monaco, where income tax is 0%. It has been estimated that this set up enabled Green to avoid paying £300million in tax in 2005 alone.
Sir Philip was a vocal supporter of David Cameron, George Osbourne and the Conservatives before last year’s election.
Incredibly, he was asked to assist the coalition government with its spending review after it had been elected – a tax evader deciding on how tax revenue should be spent on services he doesn’t need to use.
The UK government has said with sinister monotony that tough choices have to be made in the current economic climate and that “we’re all in it together”. The tough choices have resulted in misery for ordinary people as wages have been frozen or reduced whilst Value Added Tax has been increased. Not to mention savage cuts to the welfare state and high levels of job insecurity.
(image above from Harpymarx blog)
So it’s hardly surprising that people got pissed off about this and protested at Arcadia shops in the run up to Christmas. What is more surprising is that these protests received reasonably positive coverage in right wing rags like the Daily Mail.
But what’s this got to do with the Sex Pistols, you might ask?
Well, after the protests Sir Philip spent the Christmas period at a £17,000-a-night Barbados resort with his family. Oh and his super rich chums Simon Cowell, Michael Winner and Sylvester Stallone. In fact Green likes his friends so much that he’s immortalised them on a special t-shirt:
Comparing himself to the Sex Pistols is clearly Green’s great new wheeze, because here he is again, this time with himself and his wife as Sid ‘n’ Nancy:
Punk was always a mixed bag of left and right influences, but surely a Billionaire Tory appointee like Green using Jamie Reid’s logo to bolster his own bogus “rebel” status is the ultimate in recuperation?
Or perhaps not – a number of people have pointed out that Green bears a striking resemblance to Sex Pistols guest vocalist and train robber Ronnie Biggs. But whilst Biggs and his accomplices in the great train robbery were convicted of stealing £2.6 million in 1963, Sir Philip’s ambitions are far greater – and completely untroubled by judicial complications.