Emma Thompson on tax-strike until HSBC tax evaders are jailed

The actor and her husband, Greg Wise, have vowed to withhold their tax until the UK tax authorities begin to imprison the tax-cheats who were revealed to be using HSBC's Swiss money-laundry, even if it means going to jail themselves.

The couple describe themselves as glad tax-payers who support progressive taxation, but they are fed up with the culture of impunity for crimes from the financial sector and Britain's pampered investor class.

Steward Gulliver, HSBC's CEO, was revealed to be using two different tax-havens to hide his compensation from his subordinates, in order to keep them from discovering how much money he was making.

Wise, a Labour supporter, expressed disappointment at the party as the country heads for a general election in May. "I'm in absolute despair at all of them," he said. "I liked Tony before he made his mistakes. I cannot forgive him and the party, and the country. I was one of the 2 million out there, marching. Made fuck-all difference. There is no such thing as democracy."

Wise said injustice made him more angry than anything. "Whether it's someone being hassled in the street to HSBC getting away with this. I'm the least violent man you've ever met, but I will plough into fights in the street to stop someone being set upon. Days afterwards I'm a mess because I hate violence. But I cannot see injustice."

He added: "Yes, I've got my basic north London leftwing woolly ideas about what's going on. [Companies like] HSBC haven't even been slapped on the wrist [because of this] beautiful grey area between avoidance and evasion. It's iniquitous. We need to do something – come on!"

Emma Thompson and Greg Wise in tax boycott over HSBC scandal [Mark Tran/The Guardian]

(via Reddit)

(Image: Emma Thompson at climate march, Garryknight, CC-BY)