We can learn much from the wisdom of the Orient, where the various nations approach problems in a definitely un-English way. Consider their technique on tax avoiders, for instance.
The government ran a national campaign to recover lost revenue which was highly unsuccessful.
Then one particular local authority discussed various ways of getting round the problem of non-payers of local taxes –probably after a few pints of saki apiece. (I have drunk saki. Very pleasant and it appears to have no effect. Until you get up, that is. Then you reel across the room with one eye shut singing the Flower Drum Song, smash through several paper partitions and passionately embrace the 104-year-old matriarch who orders your execution by the local ninja club).
Anyway, the local council put Plan A into action. They employed gangs of eunuchs plastered in garish make-up and clad in weird clothing to stand outside the homes and business premises of tax dodgers and shaming them into paying up.
Accompanied by drums they shriek slogans such as ‘pay your taxes, miserable person’ and ‘your reputation will be tarnished’ for day after day until the defaulter is publicly humiliated and stumps up. Apparently the scheme is working well.
A council spokesman declared: ‘Castrated men are most experienced in asking for money because they spend their whole lifetime begging. In one day they collected more money that we get in a week. Once the money is in they get a 4% cut.’ Which seems to me to be little compensation for the 100% cut they took earlier...
Another story from the same neck of the woods. Think Japan and you won’t be far off.
Tempers flared at a provincial dog show when the top dog which won a thousand quid for its ‘keen intelligence and obedience’ turned out to be not just dead but stuffed. No-one was more upset than the owner of the runner-up dog which was alive and kicking. ‘No wonder the winner was obedient –it’s bleedin’ dead’ he yelled.
Please note: ‘bleedin’ is a more acceptable adjective to the one he used. Anyway, he was so upset he ordered his pooch to attack the winner. Showing intelligence and obedience it did so, chewing lumps of stuffing from its deceased rival.
The winner refused to hand back his winnings, claiming that no rule said the dog had to be alive. He said he would sue the runner-up and the organisers for the taxidermical damage. How very, very different from the procedures at our own dear Crufts...