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Richard Murphy.Richard Murphy (53) is a chartered accountant and economist. He has been described by the Guardian newspaper as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”.Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror has said:We’ve got to take sides on tax. Rich individuals, corporations, well-funded special interest groups and much of Fleet Street is on one (the wrong) side and then there is Richard Murphy plus a few others, including yours truly. But it is Murphy who is the heroic figure. Tireless and forensic, driven by an admirable moral fervour, I take my hat off to a campaigner with Duracell batteries.A graduate in Economics and Accountancy from Southampton University he was articled to Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co in London. He subsequently founded a firm of accountants in London which he and his partners sold in 2000. In parallel with his practice career Richard was chairman, chief executive or finance director of more than ten SMEs.
Since 2003 Richard has been increasingly involved in economic and taxation policy issues. He was a founder of the Tax Justice Network and is director of Tax Research LLP which undertakes work on taxation policy, advocacy and research for aid agencies, unions, NGOs and others in the UK and abroad.Richard Murphy has been responsible for introducing many new issues into debates on tax policy. In particular he created the entirely new accounting concept of Country-by-Country reporting that is now being considered for adoption by the European Union, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Accounting Standards Board and others. Country-by-Country reporting requires a multinational company to publish a proper loss account each and every jurisdiction in which it trades, without exception, and is seen as as a mechanism for holding multinational corporations to account for their activities in developing countries, the extractive industries and tax havens. It will also assist the monitoring of corporate transfer mispricing and is believed to cost developing countries tens and maybe hundreds of billions of dollars a year as well as corporate tax and governance risk in multinational corporations.As principal researcher of the Tax Justice Network from its inception until 2009 Richard helped put the tax haven issue on the international agenda as principal author of such works as ‘Tax Us If You Can’, ‘Closing the Floodgates’, ‘Creating Turmoil’ and the extensive analysis underpinning TJN’s Secrecy Jurisdictions website and its Financial Secrecy Index. During the course of this work he defined what a secrecy jurisdiction is and this term has as a result been widely used in international dialogue on tackling tax abuse through what were previously known as tax havens. The practical consequences of this work can be seen in changes imposed upon the tax systems of locations such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, all resulting from his exposure of their failure to comply with international requirements.Richard’s work for the TUC, PCS and others on the tax gap in the United Kingdom has also put this issue on the UK tax agenda. It was not part of taxation debate until the TUC published his report ‘The Missing Billions’ in 2008. It is now the main priority of H M Revenue & Customs’ business plan.Richard is also a principal author of many of the proposals made by the Green New Deal group in the UK, which has had a significant influence on political debate in the UK and beyond. He has written extensively on tackling the UK’s deficit without imposing cuts on the most vulnerable in society.Richard has written widely, and blogs frequently. He has appeared in many radio and television documentaries on taxation issues. He has also presented written and oral evidence to select committee committees of the House of Commons and House of Lords.Richard has been a visiting fellow at Portsmouth University Business School, the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex and at the Tax Research Institute, University of Nottingham.He is a co-author of ‘Tax Havens: How Globalization Really Works‘, Cornell University Press, 2009. He is now working on a new book entitled ‘The Joy of Tax’.Richard was voted the seventh most influential left wing thinker in 2010/11 in a Left Foot Forward poll, making him the highest ranked UK based economist on the list.
ConformityBy Faith Brown Once at the end, I stepped outside to walk to the usual place that my mom picks me up. I decided to go with a new route this one time and pass through the massive crowds of teenagers underneath our skywalk. I couldn’t believe my eyes at first, yet as I looked again, I saw that absolutely everyone was wearing Hollister or some sort of name brand shirt. All the girls had the same big hair and the guys were wearing tight pants with slip on shoes. Everyone looked the same to me. I almost started laughing because I realized that all of these people, whether they knew it or not, looked and acted the same. They all seemed to walk the same and were texting on their cell phones. High school is definitely the spot to see the effects of conformity. Step into a high school or middle school and you will find that almost everyone is wearing the same clothing, has the same type of hairstyle and spends their weekends doing the same things, either partying, working, or just hanging out. Not that there is anything wrong with having a cool hairstyle that looks like everyone else’s or wearing brands that everyone notices. I’m just trying to make my point in saying that teenagers are known to conform to their peers. I know we constantly think we are the special ones that aren’t like everyone else, and hopefully we are. I once heard this quote that said, “You are unique…..just like everyone else.” Everyone thinks they’re the unique ones.
However, I can guarantee that you have fallen for peer pressure at least once and have been sucked into some sort of conformity. Maybe it isn’t wearing name brand sweaters or listening to musical hits. Instead, you may be hanging out with friends who all hate a certain type of music or like to spend their nights playing video games. Somehow, their interests have inspired your interests and now you enjoy something you wouldn’t have discovered by yourself. This is where Jesus’ teaching comes in, Rom 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Yes, his will is PERFECT!)1 Peter 2:11, "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." (We’re aliens?)Wait. What?! You mean we’re NOT supposed to conform to the pattern of this world? We’re not like everyone else? We’re ALIENS?! The answer is, yes! The problem is, it is so difficult to act like we’re not of this world! We like things and do things subconsciously because we want someone to acknowledge us so we think we’re not freaks. But, Jesus’ teaching says the opposite. We don’t even need human approval because we’re supposed to be impressing God. How does one even stick out among peers? Let’s look at Jesus as our example. Jesus defied the unwritten laws of conformity by hanging out with sinners and by healing on the Sabbath. These things were absolutely unheard of! He would not stop preaching even if people made fun of him or told him that he was wrong. People even went so far as to kill him. Someone else who defied laws of conformity is John the Baptist. The man looked like he was living in a cave for goodness sakes! Yet, these people that we admire so greatly are the ones that stuck out in their times. They were the outcasts. Since we are not of this world, we shouldn’t be acting like all of our peers. I’m not saying go buy new clothes and get a haircut. Conformity is more than just that. Conformity can mean changing your entire views on something to fit in or compromising beliefs because you don’t want to be the freak that doesn’t party. We always seem to want approval from friends and even random strangers. I know you don’t want to be an outcast, but that’s just one of the things that will bring us closer to God.
The ways of the world, especially nowadays it seems, are wicked. If we continue to live in wickedness how are we ever going to obey God’s word? What about what He wants? We know the bible says not to get drunk, don’t rebel against authority, and not to have sex until marriage. Yet, these things seem to help us fit in. They make us feel normal. But remember, we’re not normal. We’re aliens. Aliens aren’t followers, they’re leaders. Aliens don’t compromise their beliefs. They stick up for them, even if they are standing alone. If you really want to be an individual, don’t go out and get drunk or why don’t you get good grades in school. That will start getting your peers talking. And you know what? I have learned from experience that people respect you a lot more if you do not give into peer pressure. If you don’t drink or smoke, it blows their minds! If you don’t cuss, they wonder how it’s possible. We’re supposed to be the examples. What if you’re the only Jesus someone ever sees? Are they going to see a Christian who actually obeys the Bible or are they going to see a Christian who is showing Jesus in a bad light? If someone knows you’re a Christian, they’re watching you. I know it sounds creepy and it stinks sometimes if you do somehow mess up, but we need to act like Jesus. Go ahead. Be rebellious and defy conformity. I dare you.
I like that article by Faith Brown.However, the part where she says "Don't rebel against authority" is not quite right fior me. I would have preferred it i=f sh'd said "Don't rebel against GOD'S authority". There were times that Jesus and the prophets had to break the man made rules which were in opposition to God's law. When Jesus was rebuked by the Pharasees for healing people on the Sabbath day, he was actually being pulled up on a legal issue, as the Pharasees were basically the Ministry of Justice. We can't obey slavishly, we have a duty to use our judgement over issues, that's why God gave each of us a brain, otherwise we would be like Daleks or Cyborgs or some other robotic civilisation.
Mark 3Jesus Heals on the Sabbath 1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Jesus was brave and kind. If anyone wants to follow him that's how they ought to try to be, brave and kind.
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