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Musings from the Merse
Saturday, September 05, 2009
 
Humble and Obedient

As a junior member of my first Foreign Office department my principal chore was replying to letters from the public-and being involved in the Arab/Israeli confrontation there were plenty of angry customers with strong views to sooth and inform. And plenty of right eejits who were away off the wall but still had to be responded to punctiliously and politely. We had to take the job seriously as long gone were the days that civil servants could reply to persistent letter writers with a 'Dear Sir or Madam, I am instructed to inform you that your letter has not been selected for a reply. I remain, Sir or Madam, your humble and obedient servant...

Accordingly I much enjoyed this letter from the Guardian sent in by a regular bloggee


Dear Mr ,

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to
our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I
will address them, as ever, in order.

Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging
letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand".
This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy,
traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the "endless stream of crapulent
whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the
doormat" has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other
letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from
"pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers"
might indicate that your decision to "file them next to the toilet in case
of emergencies" is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own
organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as
a "lackwit bumpkin" or, come to that, a "sodding charity". More likely they
see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute
to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth
in your assertion that the taxes you pay "go to shore up the
canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services", a moment's
rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the
government in any way expects you to "stump up for the whole damned party"
yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor's disbursement of the
funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off
the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on "junkets for Bunterish
lickspittles" and "dancing w**res" whilst far more than you have accounted
for is allocated to, for example, "that box-ticking fa├žade of a university
system."

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:
1. The reason we don't simply write "Muggins" on the envelope has to do with
the vagaries of the postal system;
2. You can rest assured that "sucking the very marrow of those with nothing
else to give" has never been considered as a practice because even if the
Personal Allowance didn't render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics
involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish
to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that
even if you did choose to "give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live
in India" you would still owe us the money.

Please send it to us by Friday.

Yours sincerely,
xxxx
Customer Relations

Fi


This is said to be a genuine letter (I have removed the names)

I can believe it

Inland Revenue for me in Second Life

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Comments:
So, I'm a bit late reading this, but that letter did have me falling off my chair..also reminded me I need to fill in my tax returns..joy!
 
Do you need to fill in a tax return? Surely not a UK one?
 
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