Wednesday, 16 January 2013


 The task I most hate having to do is preparing accounts for filing my tax returns. The older I get, the more times I have completed the job over more years, the more complex, bewildering and depressing the system and process seems to become. And, I was an accountant; latterly with more than 1,500 clients, from being aged 17 to 47; thirty professional years of accounts and tax work – yet, even now, still descending into the hell of clinical depression and despair when faced with a few days of summarising my own invoices, bank accounts and completing tedious, misleading, badly designed, barely legible, galling, life sapping, badly printed on recycled reused grainy, porous, usually fawn or buff forms.

And – to drive the bitter stake of inescapable duty deeper into our hearts, THEY have now crawled onto our World Wide Web, our space for films, music, laughter and conversations, and created grey on grey Internet sites to suck the life blood from us and baffle us electronically, to leave us dried out and close to death.

Why? I hear my cry, my soulful lament, does a relatively simple exercise affect me – and most of the people I speak with – so negatively and so fundamentally.

My latest theory is that like birds born knowing how to build a nest, we inherit in our DNA, or genes, or bones, racial memories passed down the ages of terrible gimlet eyed tax-collectors, with platoons of cruel soldiers, raiding our hovels, our small holdings, our little defenceless wooden shacks – and carrying off our last stores of winter grain, our last laying hen or goose, our last milch cow and dried rabbit carcasses, leaving us and our families to starve through the bleak midwinter. THEY, took the fruits of our years of labour, our harvests, our savings, our carefully preserved provisions, our seed corn, and locked it away in the Aristocrat’s Castle and Keep. And we, and our blameless and innocent wives, children and aged parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours, the sick, the halt, the lame and all the homeless beggars and lonely wanderers we were generously sheltering from the bitter cold, sharing our pitiful commons with, would slowly and inevitably starve to death.

That is probably it; old, bad memories. And today, even though we democratically vote for and elect a social system that has a central treasury, a shared commons and an agreed budget to even out the peaks and troughs, to feed us all through the worst times, to protect us all from thieves and psychopathic invaders, to bring us warmth when we are cold, succour when we are ill and education when we are ignorant, and to plan ahead and invest in industrious activities that will gainfully employ us all, even then, and despite our common consent, the racial memories reaching back thousands of years, of being beaten, bamboozled, cheated, conned, tricked and robbed by self-promoted self-elevated upper-classes – who steal all the cakes – and the breadcrumbs from our hearths; those lingering memories sweep up from the collective unconscious and overwhelm us – when we are obliged to fill in and SUBMIT our Income Tax Return Forms; just after Christmas.

It is a dreadful time of embedded psychological pain; an affliction which may even excuse the tax evaders, individual and corporate – who may not be the selfish, greedy, F*** the lot of you, social saboteurs, taking and putting nothing back, that we brand them, as they scurry away with all our capital and most of our taxes to secret tax-haven, exotic islands – but who may instead need our understanding and help to overcome and free themselves from ancestral painful phobias, about paying taxes.

Instead of hunting down our fellow-men like common criminals, and instead of confiscating the money, the seed-corn, they have gouged from our economies, we should embrace them with love, compassion and warmth; we should turn the other cheek and demonstrate that the bad-old-days of bloated aristocrats and starving peasants are centuries behind us; that today we, we the people, share the world’s unparalleled wealth fairly and unstintingly to all the households and homesteads who helped to create that wealth.

And next year – I am sure you agree - we will all, including me, prepare our Tax Returns with mutual joy and celebration in our hearts.


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