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Hacking away

Sep 6, 2011, 09:51 AM
Authors : Daniel
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Post date : Sep 6, 2011, 09:51 AM

I read some garbage, I do. Sometimes it’s necessary: the Daily Mail and Daily Express are among the newspapers covered by Taxation’s news briefing (which is delivered free of charge to subscribers every Friday afternoon). I always wash my hands after handling those particular tabloids. I wish I could also cleanse my soul.

Other tosh I read for pleasure. Well, I say ‘pleasure’… I mean ‘by accident’. A few weeks ago, for instance, I paid money for The Slap, the supposedly daring novel by Christos Tsiolkas – a man who I, having heroically made it to the end of his inconsequential, hate-filled dross, would happily beat unconscious with the Commonwealth Writers Prize he inexplicably won for his loathsome book.

From that to this morning when more literary effluent sloshed my way. I received a press release from a PR consultant called Jacky Morgan, who wished me to know of a pronouncement made by London-based barrister Jonathan Fisher QC.

Seemingly without a hint of irony or the intention to resort to hyperbole, he has aired his belief that the taxman could be Tony Soprano’s effete British cousin.

This morning, Mr Fisher apparently stood up in Jesus College, Cambridge, and, with a straight face, told delegates at the 29th International Symposium on Economic Crime, ‘There is sufficient material in the public arena to justify fears that HMRC’s systems and internal processes have been penetrated by criminal organisations for money laundering purposes.’

I’m not making this up.

I know the Revenue is faaaaar from perfect and is no doubt occasionally exploited by a tricky villain, but to accuse the department of being little more than the unwitting front of a criminal conspiracy is hackery on par with anything else I've read recently.

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