Billionaire Branson offers his island a guarantee to save his empire

Motorboating enthusiast Richard Branson is playing a very idiosyncratic game of Monopoly. He would really like to mortgage his private Caribbean Island. In return, you, the taxpayer, need to buy him Mayfair and Park Lane, all the greens, all the yellows, all the reds, and stick a hotel on all of them. Also, if Richard lands on Super Tax or tax he doesn’t pay them. And if he gets the charity saying “pay hospital fees”, he refuses and sues the hospital. the sole silver lining is that he not operates out of any of the stations.

But perhaps we’re getting before ourselves. By way of a recap, the tycoon is seeking a reported £ 500m government bailout of his Virgin Atlantic airline, and has stated during a blogpost that he's willing to place Necker Island up as collateral to secure lending for his businesses.

Without wishing to ask the cursory amount of questions, is that this an equivalent island that seems to urge virtually destroyed every few years? I do believe it's. So… nice try, hotshot. This seems like being offered the prospect to underwrite Richard Hammond's automobile insurance. a fast archive trawl confirms that Necker has in recent years been struck by both a devastating fire and a devastating hurricane - which, if I were religious, would probably make me think God was a man who believed in paying UK tax. Either way, offering up Necker is arguably the foremost WTF-tinged piece of collateral action since that late-1980s moment when Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond bought Van Gogh’s Irises at Sotheby’s, employing a loan from Sotheby’s, that the painting itself was collateral. Confused? Don’t worry; the short version is that it ended badly during a number of the way.

But back to this day, and Britain's Best-Loved Businessman ™. You'll note that there has been some debate on whether this is often quite the instant for a person who once sued the NHS, and who has not paid tax during this country for 14 years, to request a taxpayer bailout. The way Richard sees it, judging by his lengthily defensive blogpost on Monday, is that he’s lifted numerous people up. And he has. Mainly women - and bodily. The sheer volume of archive photos of a guffawing Branson carrying some stilettoed lovely, usually in water, makes it a genre all of its own. If he finishes up being unable to fly passengers, I almost feel he could personally heft every single one among Earth's promotions girls across the oceans, like an alarmingly veneered St Christopher.

“As you recognize,” Richard’s appeal for funds continues, “creating positive social and environmental impact has always been at the guts of this brand.” Richard? Richard? IT’S AN AIRLINE. i assume the galaxy-brained question is: can our rapidly heating planet afford to not bail it out? While you ponder that, I’d direct you to Richard’s recent assertion that aviation are going to be carbon neutral “sooner than we realise”. And I'd encourage you to take a position on how soon it'll be before Richard requests UK or US bailout money for his Virgin Galactic enterprise, where spaceflight has been “set to be a reality next year” for an honest 12 years now .

Ultimately, it’s hard to ascertain Branson as anything aside from the classic “billionaire philanthropist” (is there the other quite billionaire?) Who declines to simply accept that public finances would be in rather better shape if people like them contributed their justifiable share. Philanthropy starts with paying tax. With the simplest will within the world, it isn’t enough to imply the sole reason you use out of a country is because you wish the weather.
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