Why is it unethical to comply with the law? That is precisely what anyone who claims a company is immoral if it legally minimises its tax is saying. That is what anyone who boycotts Starbucks, or any other multinational company, is saying. The protesters – who have vowed to continue their action even though Starbucks agreed to pay £10m in taxes in each of the next two years – seem to be setting themselves above the law.
First of all, what place does morality have in this? There are some universally agreed moral principles – do not kill is pretty widely accepted – but does this really fall into the same category? Is it right, for example, to have a friend round to dinner rather than send some money to feed the hungry? Some will say one thing, some another. Universal moral principles are of the greatest importance, but are not a guide to every detail of life.