14.11.12 The Guardian
189. The ﬁrst vasectomy was carried out ona dog in 1823.
It’s true. And try to treat this with theseriousness it deserves. Vasectomies on menstarted soon after, but didn’t become widespreaduntil the second world war.
I’ll leave that to the picture desk,who have to come up with something tastefulto illustrate this.
Why are we talking about it?
Because new datashows the number of NHS vasectomies has morethan halved over the past decade.
That must be down to the cuts.
Look, this anextremely sensitive and important subject. Thedrop in the number of vasectomies is being blamed for a 10% increase in abortion ratesamong women over the age of 30. You take thisﬂippant view because you are a MAN, and apretty selﬁsh, uncaring, wantonly sperm-sprayingman at that.
Steady on. Why don’t we calm down and go back to basics. What is a vasectomy?
Accordingto the NHS, it is “a minor operation duringwhich the tubes that carry sperm from a man’stesticles to the penis are cut, blocked or sealedwith heat”.
Bloody hell. I think I need a drink.
Oh don’t be so ridiculous. It’s nowhere near as bad asyou’re making out. When you have a vasectomy,you get a local anaesthetic, go home the sameday, and the bruises on your balls will disappearwithin a week.
Bruises on my balls!?
It won’t just be your ballsthat are bruised if you don’t start seeing thisfrom the woman’s point of view. As Ann Furedi,chief executive of the British Pregnancy AdvisoryService says: “Vasectomy is a safe and reliablemethod that gives men the opportunity to playan active role in contraception. It is disappointingthat the only long-term method which enablesmen to play this part is declining.”
OK, OK. So why are NHS vasectomies falling?
Men want to keep their options open. Even oncethey’ve had ﬁve children with Belinda, theythink they might want to start all over again withthirtysomething Melissa. Typical!
Not to be confused with:
Having your tonsils out.
“How much does it cost to go private?”
“It’s a snip!”
Cringing at the BBC’s coverageof its crisis? Cameras trailingthose who have stepped aside;Emily Maitlis on Newsnightlooking like she might laugh orcry; Radio 4 PM’s Tim Davie’s“get a grip” montage. Enough.Calling 80s hairfans. MichaelJ Fox stages afashion comebackin this year’s GapChristmas ad.Blimey.
2012 additions to theOxford Dictionary
Mo Farah’s victorydance
Courtesy of FiftyShades of Grey
Old term revived
Acronym: You onlylive once
A cheery thought forthe morning commute:according to the TUC theaverage Briton spends 75minutes a day travelling toand from work. If you’re full-time that’s ﬁve weeks a year.
Beeb’s blundersWasted yearsRetro style
if it can show that it would haveagreed on the terms between theparent company and UK companyeven if they were not connected.
Do other businesses chargea premium?
Yes. McDonald’sand Burger King chargepremiums of up to 5% of turnover, while Wal-Martcharges its UK subsidiary,Asda, 0.6% for servicesincluding royalties.However, all three makea proﬁt in the UK and paysubsequent taxes.
Any other reasons for Starbucks’slow tax bill?
Yes. The companyspends $500m (£315m) annuallyon tax-deductible areas includingresearch and development. Thecompany also claims the rentalrates on its stores in the UK aresome of the highest in the world,especially in central Londonwhere some stores have already been closed because of thecost. The Europe, MiddleEast and Asia division,which overseesthe UK operation,also loans cashfor investment,which it thencharges intereston. This can be written oﬀ against tax.
Starbucks: yourtax questionsanswered
P H O T O G R A P H S
T H E W A S H I N G T O N P O S T , G E T T Y I M A G E S
tarbucks has had sales of £3bn cumulatively sincesetting up operations in theUK 14 years ago. But with nearly800 stores across the country, itis still making a loss. How come?Here, your burning Starbucks/taxquestions are answered …
How much tax has Starbuckspaid in the UK?
A total of£8.5min corporation tax since 1998.
Why so little?
With more than 750coﬀee shops in the UK, any proﬁtis wiped out through a numberof payments that Starbucks mustmake to subsidiaries abroad.
A 4.7% premium ispaid to the Dutch divisionof Starbucks – the re-gional headquarters – forrights images and the cof-fee recipes. The premium,which used to be 6% beforeHer Majesty’s Revenue & Customs(HMRC) asked for it to be lowered,also includes the cost of the roast-ing process that takes place there.
Where does it buy the coﬀee beans?
From the company’sSwiss operation at up to a20% premium.
Why does the UK operation paya premium?
The stores are notfranchises, however HMRCallows companies to payintellectual propertyfees to overseasparent compa-nies if theyare made at“arm’s length”.Starbucks cancharge the premium