John Harris

Journalist & Author

We are addicted to the mighty Google, but that can change | John Harris

The left is in a lather about tax, but the bigger question is the omnipotence of digital corporations – and how we might cut them down to size

Before I even had breakfast on Thursday, I had used Google at least 10 times. As ever, I checked my Gmail account 15 minutes after I got up. Without even thinking, I then used Google to Google the latest developments in the Google tax story. As far as I know, I do not have Google dreams, but that is probably only because it is such an omnipresent part of my life that my subconscious has no need to chew it over. I’m not sure: maybe I should Google it.

Down the years, the corporations seen as guilty of amoral capitalism – from Nestlé through Monsanto and Exxon to the multinational banks and beyond – have been separate enough from most people’s lives to allow them to be painted as the evil Other, and loudly decried. The rising controversy about Google, by contrast, is a case study in something much more insidious and sophisticated: a company apparently indulging in some of the worst aspects of corporate behaviour, but because it is both stupendously well branded and tightly woven into our view of ourselves and the wider world, still looking as unassailably titanic as ever.

Related: Google agrees to face grilling from MPs on ’sweetheart’ tax deal

Related: The Big Shortfall: how UK taxpayers are cheated by business lobbyists | Simon Jenkins

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 29th, 2016 at 10:45 pm and is filed under Guardian RSS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. « Bristol Cable founders: ‘We’re holding people to account for their actions’ | Long hours, endless admin and angry parents – why schools just can’t get the teachers »
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