Last night, Intelligence Squared hosted Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google at the RGS. Bryan Appleyard was the chairman for the event and he did a pretty poor job of it.
Tickets were £25 because though this was an "In Conversation" evening it was also to plug his book The New Digital Age which I had read earlier in the month. Schmidt had hurried back from the Hay- on-Wye festival where he had had to answer more questions on Google's tax position.
By and large Schmidt had to parry these questions at the RGS and try as he might there were fewer questions on his book and though the evening was a sell out few stopped to buy it afterwards.
There were a couple of issues which went unaddressed:
The Closeness of Schmidt to Cameron at a time when the latter intends to raise tax at the G8. Clearly, what we need is a root and branch reform of the WTO's tax committees or a brand new global tax body. What will Cameron propose? We'll have to wait and see.
Google's dominance in the search space is worrying and it is pointless the Senate/FCC holding an Inquiry whilst the EU holds another. It's time that the tech and oil companies were examined by a joint committee of USA and the EU. To do this we need a new world tax body.