Being a successful award winning blogger, I thought I might share some of the secrets of my success for other visionary campaigners to benefit from.
The first thing I would point to is being knowledgeable about your subject. That’s the difficult bit.
You don’t just suddenly start calling yourself a ‘tax expert’ and people believe you are one simply because you validate their paranoia and play on their fears. No, I’m getting ahead of myself by talking about the second stage there.
So, step one: become a tax expert.
The great thing about this step is that tax legislation and HMRC practices never change, so whatever you learn will be relevant for the rest of your life and you needn’t ever read Tolley’s tax guide again. A case in point, I still refer to my edition from 1980, on the odd occasion I need a neoliberal sophist’s perspective if the world.
Step two: make people fear and respect your knowledge.
Tell them that common place tax compliance work is avoidance and that everyone is fiddling the system.
You’ll find that people may misunderstand and misquote you and your research. Don’t correct them, the last thing you want to do is educate people about the system they live in. It’ll only distract them from what you want to say to them.
Step three: comment on everything, especially paedophiles.
I tell you, the number of people who have been brought to my blog by search engine searches for things like:
“Shane Richie paedophile”
“is Shane Ritchie a paedophile”
“Jimmy Savile nonce should burn”
“is the Laffer effect a paedophile”
Well, paedophiles have been a rich source of advertising for my blog. And that’s why I never pass up an opportunity to discuss it.
A little tip. If you want to hear internet rumours about potential paedophiles, subtly mention the person you want rumours on in a blog containing the word “paedophile” or “nonce” or “pederast” (if they are an American).
This means you’ll get little pieces of information about what people are searching for.
It works for non paedophile stories too. For example, I discovered that Geoffrey Boycott was avoiding paying corporation tax on his coffee shop empire through a glut of search terms containing his name.
I’m still researching that one, so I should qualify that by saying he is “probably” committing tax avoidance.
Similarly, I discovered that infamous rightwing nanny-tax avoidance expert, Richard Murphy, may once have posed as a bunny girl for Newsnight through several unusual search terms. Again, I am still researching that story but picture evidence is, so far, inconclusive.
Another great thing about paedophiles is that they play in the fear element again.
The downside is that you see less helpful search terms, such as:
“why is Murphy Richards obsessed with paedophiles”
“Murphy Richards paedophile”
I have been informed by a reader that Google is automatically suggesting the latter. I cannot verify this as I refuse to use Google in response to their tax avoidance.
So those are the first three stages. You will do well to get past stage one though, because a tax expert like me comes along maybe once in a generation.
Other useful tips and advice are available in my book State of Courage which is still on sale, as will be my new book soon, The Joy of Being a Tax Expert.