Regular Sloggers may remember that, following an 18-month battle to get beyond the HMRC pond-life, I sent a registered letter to the section head there – whose inaccurate claims had moved on from blunt reminders of money I didn’t owe to threats of heavy legal action and media-shaming if I didn’t cough up a hundred quid by return.

So I sent a registered letter to the bloke involved, copied to the relevant Treasury Mandarin by email with links to Slogposts previous on the subject of peanuts, monkeys etc.

This is what arrived this morning in reply:



I wonder how many of you remember a truly wonderful vintage BBC comedy series called Misleading Cases? It ran from 1967-71 – that is, for a large percentage of my time at University….and its recurrent theme was the increasingly cunning attempts by reluctant taxpayer Alfred Haddock (Roy Dotrice) to outwit the Revenue in Court cases brought before a judge played by the most consistently anti-Establishment comedic actor of all time, Alistair Sim.

I was in those days quite often in the main Liverpool University Students’ TV lounge from around 4pm until 10pm – as often as not risking my Grant monies with Iraqi engineering students in a poker school. The two unmissable programmes capable of packing this vast room to the rafters were The Magic Roundabout, and Misleading Cases. Dotrice variously signed Revenue cheques on a cow, sent payments via the Thames in a bottle and employed mediaeval tax rulings to successfully avoid the spindly Nosforatu grabbing fingers of the voracious Inland Revenue.

I am a long way from being in the same class as A P Herbert’s Mr Haddock, but sweeping and peaceful leech-salting campaigns can be won, eventually, by many such small victories.

Last Night at The Slog: Paris attacks and poisonous agendas