Thursday, 25 March 2010

Tax & Taxmen

I used to work in the Civil Service. I'm a Facilities Manager by profession, and I worked in a government department until I realised I'd never be promoted following my preferred path. That's a quirk of the Civil Service.

Anyway, when I left, I invited a few lads out for a pint at the nearest decent local. Apparently, Alesha Dixon was busy washing her hair. We were sitting around chatting, and the conversation got onto taxation. One of the lads, John, stopped the show with his assertion that the United Nations should be responsible for all global taxation. He meant everything - all tax-setting and raising to be handled through the UN.

Once I stopped laughing disbelievingly, I asked him how it would work. He wasn't sure, but thought that everybody should be taxed the same as a starting point. What? I challenged, you'd tax workers in, say, Viet Nam the same as you would in the UK? What about relative GNP? And what about a nation's sovereign rights? He never answered. How could he? He was a middle manager at Ofsted who liked football. He just felt the rightness of his position.

I often wonder what happened to John. Think what you like about the people who work as civil servants, it was a piece of original thinking. Utterly impractical, but original nonetheless. That night, we never discussed sin taxes, but I'd liked to have gotten his take on how to deploy he instrument of regressive taxation as a means of behaviour modification, social change and topping up the piggy bank in tough times. I'm also enjoying the thought that today, he's inside HM Treasury, imposing his eccentric views on our national bean-counters.

I liked Pete Brown's take on Alistair Darling as Thunderbird Zero. However, a secret pic of the man in his true guise popped into my inbox late last night. The eyebrows give the game away. Obviously, the hair is a wig.

1 comment:

Paul Garrard said...

"He was a middle manager at Ofsted who liked football." - No hope for the poor fellow.

I'm currently reading a book called 'The Spirit Level', oft quoted from by Dickwhat Cameroon. It's an interesting reading and seems to offer justification for whacking up taxes for the rich good and proper. Nothing wrong with taxes as long as the right people are in charge.