Monday, January 25, 2010

Know Thyself

It's hardly a trade secret that a successful newspaper (or any sort of publication) is one that has a clear idea of who reads and gives them suitable fare. So what are we to make of the Guardian's view of its readers judging from its lowdown on tax returns?

Questions include:

I'm a teacher on PAYE. I earned about £1,000 in additional income last year from private tuition. About half was in cash. If I "forget" about that money, what are the chances I'll be caught?

A very Guardian-readery scenario that, I'll grant you, if not wholly complimentary about its reader's ethical standards. But what about?

How many tax returns are looked into or audited? I don't imagine more than one in 100, so the risk of being caught must be low.

Surely they wouldn't even think it? Not that bastion of right-thinking liberalism.

I've just started renting out my buy-to-let property. The tenant pays cash. Surely we'll never be found out?

Bloody hell, they think the Graun is read by a bunch of swindlers. No wonder they don't think there's any chance of getting people to pay for it in future.

Questions do not include: Why is this so bloody complicated? Am I right in thinking Gordon Brown is to blame? If I overpay, will these bloody bits of paper go away? Why do I leave this until the last minute every year? Where the hell did I put last year's stuff? and Sod this for a game of soldiers, can I get someone to do it for me and claim it on expenses?*

Poor show, Guardian.

* A: Only if you're the sodding Chancellor of the bloody buggering Exchequer.

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Blogger dominic said...

It could be that they are just trying to provoke a wider range of the self-righteous letters to which they correctly know their readership to be prone to writing, and their letters page editors to be prone to publishing.

10:36 am  
Blogger Sir Compton said...

No, no, no Bill. The whole point about bloody self-righteous and utterly humourless Graun readers is that they think the rules exist only to control the excesses of rightish sentiment and greed. They'd never do anything wrong. Human frailty is a truly marvellous thing.

2:23 pm  
Blogger bill said...

Maybe, chaps, maybe. But say what you like about Guardian readers - and I generally do - at least they might understand: "Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,/ —Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!"

10:26 pm  

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