Rod Liddle

I Fought The Laws and the Laws Won

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As you are no doubt aware, I am an intensely private person, and for this reason I hope that you can understand my decision not to have declared a very large amount of income tax to the Inland Revenue over the last seven years. This was money I earned writing for publications which I would rather people did not know I wrote for, such as the magazine “Bouncy Barnyard Fun” and the low circulation periodical “I Love My Goat”. I hope you will appreciate that my intention, in not declaring this source of income to the tax authorities, was solely to protect the privacy of both myself and that of my Valais Blackneck goat, Campbell-Bannerman, and not to maximize the amount of money I trousered as a consequence. The fact that I accrued some £40,000 in this manner was never the point - just an, um, unfortunate coincidence. I ought to point out too that my relationship with Campbell-Bannerman ended three years ago and we have gone our separate ways (he is now living in a sanctuary for traumatized exotic livestock near Rochester, but that is none of your business). But equally, even at the time we were together we did not consider one another spouses, per se; we had separate bank accounts and used distinct bedding materials, as you might expect. And when friends came to visit, Campbell-Bannerman would vacate the living room and be tethered to a fence post at the bottom of the garden, where he would munch away at the surrounding foliage in an innocent goat-like manner.

I hope you will accept too that at all times I believed, in not disclosing this income, I was acting within the law and indeed within the spirit of the law. And it is a mark of my flagrant honesty that as soon as the Inland Revenue announced that they would bring criminal charges against me for failure to disclose this income, I immediately told them of my full intention to pay it all back. And I hope you will be kind enough to allow both myself and Campbell-Bannerman to put this matter behind the both of us and continue with our lives. This has been a stressful time, for me, the goat and my new partner, a dearly beloved Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pig called Ming.