English establishment pet monkey Irishman who, as a registered ‘non dom’, uses a tax loophole to avoid paying tax in Britain gushes about the greatness of Britain.
“Glasgow was one of the first places where we could get a gig when people in London wouldn’t look at us.”
“It was the people of Scotland who bought our records, which got us up the charts.”
“You two guys (England and Scotland) invented the modern world. Why go back from that?” Geldof said.
“Remember I’m Irish but it was the UK which gave me my life. The people inside this political nation are truly extraordinary.
“The English are an amazing people. Their history is just f**ing amazing.
“But it took the Scottish nation’s genius – and literally that is the word – to invent the modern world. That’s the truth of it.”
“The logic of the 21st century and immediate future is towards co-operation, consensus and compromise, as opposed to the past and the murderous 20th century which was defined by competition. Why retreat into the past? Why regress to an imagined national idyll? It won’t happen.
“What interest does the world have in Scotland or England unilaterally? The nation state is dead. The 21st century is about interdependence.”
“Things are always bigger than we are. Therefore the bigger we are, the better it is. Isn’t that what we learned from our labour struggles? Isn’t that what we learned from our wars? Isn’t that what we learned from football and families? That’s the way it just is. It’s not me just inventing it.”
“It’s a very healthy sense to understand who you are as a people and your place in this world. That’s a normal human instinct. We have a word for it – it’s called patriotism. But when it’s manipulated into the base metal of politics, which is nationalism – when political people on both sides of the argument do that – you have to be very wary. You really must think through these things.
“Nationalism is a very dangerous political animal. I know this – I’m Irish. It’s a cheap political trick which twists the understanding of who we are.
“I completely understand the emotional impulse towards independence. But always consider independence in inverted commas because what the f*** does it mean?
“We are entirely dependent on one another. None of us, in our private lives or our political constructs, are ever independent.
“We are all sovereign unto ourselves but we’re dependent on one another.”
“You think you guys are p***ed off with Westminster? What do you think it’s like living in London? Fupping Londoners are pissed off with Westminster. The world is changing and needs different institutions, but not just removing ourselves from each other.
“Actually co-operating with each other – that excites me. That interests me more than the f***ing bagpipe playing. That sort of stuff drives me nuts in Ireland as well.”
“We [Ireland] were an occupied country for 700 f***ing years.
“We were never allowed to industrialise. You guys had the very opposite. You guys chose – very Scottish, very practical – you saw the way to utilise your genius was by joining up, together. F*** me did you do it – and ran the f***ing show and still do.
“Look at Ireland within the Euro. F***ed up. Completely f***ed up.”
“There’s going to be an independent Scotland and a united Ireland and it will all be great? What will be great about it? Please explain that to me. Do you have any less pride in being Scottish or Irish than you will have next week? Seriously? It’s the manipulation of that pride and spurious arguments like that which drives me nuts.”
‘Our time is now’ – what the f**k does that mean? The time is any time.”
Bob was asked about his tax affairs by The Times’ Lucy Bannerman at the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa in 2012:
So how much is he worth? “I’m not telling you. But I am rich, let’s be clear.”
Can he understand why some might get annoyed when rich rock stars campaign about poverty?
He explodes with rage. “I pay all my taxes. My time? Is that not a tax? I employ 500 people [through his production companies]. I have created business for the UK government. I have given my ideas. I have given half my life to this. How dare you lecture me about morals?”