The Paradise Papers have revealed something else, and it’s absolutely sensational [OPINION]

paradise papers

The Paradise Papers have revealed that once again, the world’s rich, including the Queen and companies like Apple, use techniques to avoid paying their share of tax. And the tax-paying public has rightfully reacted with rage. But it has also given rise to a campaign for change that has highlighted something truly wonderful. As part of the campaign, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has spoken about the incredible achievements that people power can really bring.

Learned helplessness

Many people experience the sensation of ‘learned helplessness’ when reading the news. This is where we are exposed to something negative and believe that we are helpless to do anything to change it. We read about the latest scandal or gun massacre, and because we can’t influence these events, we become passive and simply absorb the feeling of being powerless. But this could be about to change.

Learned empowerment

In a campaign started by the activist group Avaaz, Brown spoke about the huge impact that people power has in an email seen by The Canary:

As someone who was the target of Avaaz campaigns when I was Prime Minister, I can tell you that they make a powerful difference.

And speaking further about the change that the reaction to the paradise papers could instigate, Brown said:

This movement is driving forward the idealism of the world. This scandal gives us the chance to tackle one of the biggest challenges we face head-on – let’s not waste it.

Whatever your opinion on Brown as a politician, his words indicate that when it comes to the news, learned helplessness could now be consigned to the past. Individually, our voice is limited, but collectively people are powerful. And this notion shakes society’s established power structure to its core.

Read on...

Watch A Bug’s Life explain how the rich fool everyone else

Tax avoiders named in the Paradise Papers- like the Queen, Prince Charles and Lewis Hamilton – all depend on society’s apathy. Whether they realise it or not. Their interests in avoiding tax payments are best served when we don’t think we can do anything to change it. But we can.

You can.

Thanks to advances in technology, mass activism is now easier than ever. We were told that the status quo doesn’t change. The rich get richer while the rest – the 99% – must do what we can to get by. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can now fight for what you believe in from the comfort of your mobile phone, for all of a couple of minutes a day. And if Gordon Brown is right, the Paradise Papers could be the watershed moment for the world to realise that the power was there in the palms of our hands all along. We just had to put them together.

Take back the power!

Sign the Avaaz campaign to end tax havens now and make the rich pay their taxes.

Join The Canary to help make support our work.

– Join local, national and international organisations dedicated to the causes that you believe in.

Featured image via Flickr / Flickr

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed