Christmas is a time all about tax, yes, but let’s not forget it the rest of the year

I published a post yesterday which touched on the importance of telling stories.

As with all good stories, people suspend their disbelief when it is something they want to hear. So we accept that the Gruffalo doesn’t eat the mouse on sight, as he has eaten thousands of mice before, and decides to strike up a conversation with it. We learn as infants to stop questioning.

Or, at least, my children did. To question the tenets upon which the Gruffalo is based (that the Gruffalo is a sadistic neoliberal who toys with all of his prey) was sophistry and such comments were routinely moderated at story time.

Yes, people will ignore almost any sized plot hole provided that they like the overall story. So you see that it is important for Justice for Taxes to link tax to everything and anything that people like, regardless of how tenuous it may seem. The important point is that people like the story, not that it makes sense. It only needs to seem like it might make sense.

So, without further ado, I announce my Christmas lecture:

Tax is for life, not just for Christmas

The one and only Murphy Richard, President of Researches for Taxes UK

Wednesday 11th December
6.00pm – 7.30pm followed by Reception
Room B52, Nottingham University Business School, South Building, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham

Apparently the allocated room number depends on the speaker and is some sort of in-joke with the Business School staff.

The theme of my lecture is that, rather like a dog, people commonly associate Christmas with taxation. It is probably because Christmas is a time for giving rather than receiving. Which is something that The State loves to hear from its citizens.

But my deliberately provocative point is that we should also think about taxation the rest of the year too.

As with a dog, being responsible for taxation requires year-long care. It involves administering worming tablets, vaccinations, sticking a microchip in the neck and carrying plastic bags in your pocket at all times. It means going out in the cold for long walks in the pouring rain, sometimes shouting its name, giving up and finding it waiting on the doorstep for you wagging its tail. Sometimes taxation will steal your roast dinner from the kitchen work surface whilst your back is turned and you will have to have a cup-a-soup instead. 

The only difference I can think of is that we shouldn’t have taxation put down when it becomes too burdensome to look after. And we shouldn’t leave it in kennels in the UK when we go abroad. You should get a pet passport for your UK tax liability and take it with you wherever you go.

It is another one of my powerful metaphors that makes the point readily understandable and accessible to all. Rather like a Venn diagram would.

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5 thoughts on “Christmas is a time all about tax, yes, but let’s not forget it the rest of the year

  1. Murphy, I know you live in rural Norfolk and eschew the consumerist society that we have become, which is increasingly obsessed by trinkets and bleeping electronic gadgets knocked up by enslaved 6 year old children in South East Asia. I note your green commitment too, preferring to wear rather fetching pink cardigans in preference to turning the heating up in your home office (which is actually only a spare room, not earmarked specifically for business use).

    I wonder if there could be a win-win alternative approach here at this time of giving? If everyone submitted their Christmas present list to HMRC rather than Santa, and HMRC issued a supplementary tax assessment to charge the precise cost of the presents it deemed to be stuff that would end up in landfill, we would all experience the joy of giving the same amount, but without acquiring further useless tat? Items having real value and merit, such as your books, would not be affected.

  2. As always, even in the briefest of metaphors, Murphy provides the truest illumination and definition of Christmas, surpassing even the story which originates the holiday. This post burns 1000 times brighter than the Star of Bethlehem.

    It would take a heart of stone, or worse …… a pedantic neoliberal sophist, not to read, weep and appreciate what has been written, nay ….. given to us, by Murphy. Let’s be clear, we are all dogs now!

    As has been so patently proven, as such – fact, in the post above, the justice for tax movement surpasses all previously held beliefs in all walks of life, be they: social, economic, theological, philosophical or web-based. Candidly, I must add, like a dog returning to his own sick, we will return day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, and fight …. in the committee room, at the seminar table (invitation only), in the grant-making process and in the comments sections, to ensure that taxes receive the justice they are due.

    Frankly, and in all matters we hold dearly, we shall eternally stand upon the threshold of sentiency!

    So sayeth the shepherd, so sayeth the flock!

  3. Murphy, you correctly point out – as a Quaker – that tax cannot just be for Christmas. Otherwise, as a non-celebrant of Christmas this would imply that tax does not exist at all. As it does exist, it follows that tax must exist all year round. QED. All without the aid of a Venn diagram!

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