Holy cow, taxman! Featherweight activist battles the dodgers

July 8th, 2011

Tax Justice Network chief has seen issue of tax avoidance and havens take off as activists begin to win over public opinion

The Guardian

LONDON – Perhaps the easiest way to get a picture of John Christensen’s daily life is to imagine him in a (very large) boxing ring. In one corner are ranged the UK government, the global financial services industry, a scattering of other governments, and the richest, most powerful people and corporations in the world. In the other, backed up by a handful of non-governmental organisations and activists, plus a small but growing group of members of the public, is Christensen, head of the Tax Justice Network (TJN). He is tall, slightly stooped, with a sweet smile and a habit of saying things such as “crikey” and “holy cow”.

The competition, it is obvious, is not quite equal.But to Christensen, who has become the unlikely figurehead of a worldwide campaign against tax avoidance, the growing awareness of the issue has been tremendous, helped by the UK Uncut campaigns against retailers and other businesses.

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Written by Dan Hennessey

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