Friday, 26 April 2019

Getting agitated about things!

It’s odd the things people get worked up about.

A new law comes into effect at midnight making it illegal to shoot crows, jays, woodpigeons and a dozen or so other birds without a licence from Natural England, the government’s conservation watchdog. People who are indignant about this seem to have blamed Chris Packham, the BBC’s Springwatch presenter, for this. As far as I can gather, all he did was say he supported this move to bring legislation into the 21st century. As a result, some people have glued his gate shut and hung dead crows to it. I wonder what they hope to gain by that. And not all of them are farmers, who might understandably regard certain birds as lest, but people who think it’s fun to go out shooting birds. 

Then there are beards. How about this:

“Beards have a mixed reputation – men with beards are more attractive, said one study last year, yet 43% of women would not sleep with a man with a beard, according to another. Now, a report says men with beards carry more germs in their facial hair than dogs carry in their fur. These are the same dogs that eat discarded chicken bones off the pavement.”

Surely it is possible to keep a beard clean. It must not be beyond the wit of bearded men to give their facial hair a scrub in the shower. Personally I find it strange that so many men have their head clean shaven but wear a flowing beard. And there are those who shave off all but a funny little tuft just below the bottom lip. But then, who am I to criticise beard fashion? Men have as much right to wear their beards in odd ways as I have to dye my hair a colour to suit me.

More serious is the question of tax. We have been hearing a lot about firms moving their headquarters out of the UK. One after another they seem to have gone, not unlike rats leaving a sinking ship. And rich people keep threatening to follow suit. Here’s a bit of a report about one of them:-

“John Caudwell, the billionaire founder of Phones4u, has vowed to leave the UK for tax-free Monaco if Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister to avoid higher taxes. With an £1.6bn fortune, Caudwell, 66, is the UK’s 87th richest person, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. He said he and other wealthy Britons would emigrate to escape Corbyn’s proposed wealth tax.

Caudwell, who built his fortune importing and selling mobile phones in the late 80s and early 90s, said a Corbyn-led government would be “a complete fiasco”.

“If Corbyn wanted to start taxing more extensively than already, my appetite or tolerance to pay much more than I’m already paying is not very big,” Caudwell said.”

I find myself wondering just how much money a person needs. Like dragons sitting on their hoard of gold and jewels, some people just like to have it there for reassurance, even if it too much to spend. Even paying more tax, he would surely have enough to maintain an expensive lifestyle. And they don’t appear to mind paying accountants to help them avoid taxes!

Here’s a story about a young woman who conned her way into an expensive lifestyle.

“Using the name Anna Delvey, Sorokin deceived friends and financial institutions into believing she had a fortune of about $67m (60m euros) overseas that would cover her high-end clothing, luxury hotel stays and trans-Atlantic travel.

She claimed her father was diplomat or an oil baron and went to extraordinary lengths to have others pay her way. Prosecutors said she promised one friend an all-expenses paid trip to Morocco but then stuck her with the $62,000 bill.”

She must have had supreme self-confidence and a glib tongue. But she has had her comeuppance. There is a touch of Hollywood about the story. I wonder if they will make a film of it one day! It wouldn’t be the first time such a thing had happened.

And maybe that will make her a legitimate fortune. Who knows?

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