Panama? Just the hat for us

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - Ev­ery week BAR­BARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talk­ing. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­

IAM a bit late get­ting around to writ­ing my col­umn this week as I have had to sort out my off­shore ac­counts. Now that the Panama scam – sorry I mean tax avoid­ance scheme – has been rum­bled I need to find some­where else to put my mil­lions. Per­haps I’ll dust off my old post of­fice book, last used when I did a part-time job at the now de­funct Rich­mond Ice Rink.

My in­ter­est­ing ca­reer move, to Rich­mond, not Panama, was made when FJ* was a baby and I wanted to keep the brain alive, so, on two evenings a week (for prob­a­bly less than a min­i­mum wage), I sold sweets and cig­a­rettes from a kiosk over­look­ing the ice.

It was ac­tu­ally fun, oc­ca­sion­ally serv­ing rock leg­ends or see­ing top skat­ing stars, although it mainly con­sisted of watch­ing peo­ple fall over.

You know of my prob­lems with maths, but I didn’t even mind us­ing the an­cient till which re­quired a lot of old-fash­ioned adding up in my head.

I hadn’t passed my driv­ing test then, but I some­times had a lift home to Hayes where we then lived, on the back of a col­league’s scooter.

It was cer­tainly prefer­able to the hour and a half bus trip af­ter the pubs had closed.

Even bet­ter, if FJ was awake – she didn’t sleep much – the babysit­ter, Mr F, would strap her into her car seat and bring her to the bright lights of Rich­mond to meet me.

Af­ter we had locked up the kiosk, Mr F would also bun­dle an el­derly lady called Edith, who worked with me, into the Fish­mo­bile and drop her at her home.

It was on wealthy Rich­mond Hill so she ob­vi­ously wasn’t work­ing for pin money.

Of course I have no off-shore lu­cre, and the near­est I’ve got to Span­ish-speak­ing Cen­tral Amer­ica is Mr F’s hat. Yes, he has a Panama.

But, if you, like me, are fed up with the ar­ro­gance of those who think they don’t need to pay their taxes, I hope you saw Ed­die Iz­zard on the cur­rent af­fairs pro­gramme, The Agenda.

Never mind his in­tel­li­gent in­put on gen­der is­sues, or the in­cred­i­ble 27 marathons he ran in 27 days for char­ity, his ca­sual com­ment that he pays his 50 per cent tax and doesn’t see why oth­ers don’t, had me ap­plaud­ing and shout­ing YES, very loudly.

Apolo­gies to my neigh­bours if I woke them.

Email bmail­bar­ * FJ =Fisher Ju­nior

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