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Guess what he's talking about

It was only when I was gifted a subscription to 'Private Eye' for my 50th birthday that I became an avid reader and fan. What have I been missing all these years?!

I've already commented on one item from this week's issue on my Tax Advice Network blog. This one is in a similar vein but more light hearted as befits this blog.

It concerns Tory backbencher Sir Nicholas Winterton and quotes an extract of his contribution to a debate in the House of Commons, as recorded in Hansard on on 7 July:

I am concerned about the elderly who need to use [xxxx].

Is [the Minister] concerned about the fact that elderly people, in particular, may not be getting value for money or a fair deal, because the system is so complicated that they do not understand how to go through it...?.


Of course you might imagine the xxxx refers to some element of the tax or tax credits system. It could so easily do so, couldn't it?! In fact Sir Nicholas was bemoaning the difficulties that the elderly have with public transport. If only that was all they had to worry about.
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One, but he'll have 1500 of them to do on 31st January.

(This response was suggested by Adrian Higgs)

Are you a prostitute or are you an auditor?

1. You work very odd hours.

2. You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy.

3. You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money.

4. You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

5. You charge by the hour but your time can be extended.

6. You are not proud of what you do.

7. Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded.

8. It's difficult to have a family.

9. You have no job satisfaction.

10. If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client.

11. You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living.

12. People ask you, "What do you do?" and you can't explain it.

13. Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate.

14. Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money.

15. Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or Jaguars.

16. Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all.

17. You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth but if the client…

Ken Dodd and the Inland Revenue

The comedian Ken Dodd, was prosecuted for tax evasion in 1989 as has been mentioned on this blog before, here and here. I'd love to find a clip of him talking about it in his act. For now though here are a couple of references to comments he makes about the experience.

He is known to introduce himself as a “failed accountant”. That, he explains, is simply to establish a rapport with the audience. “People today are all stressed out about home economics, and accountants are the current bogeymen. [Since when?]

Dodd is the butt of a lot of his material and repeated references are made to his love of money, his dislike of what he insists on calling the Inland Revenue and his past run-in with them. “They sent me a self-assessment form the other day. To me! I invented self-assessment.”

During the trial it was revealed that Dodd had very little money in his bank account. He did however have £336,000 in cash stashed in suitcases in his attic. When asked by the judge, "What does a…