From ‘Death and Taxes’

Monday 21st November 2011

A FEW verses from Death and Taxes, a study in black humour:

There’s a government document, not yet released,
But I’ve obtained a copy; so am feeling very pleased.
Parts of the report are a little bit bitty,
But what would you expect – it’s written by a committee.

To ensure independence or any kind of fudge
The government appointed, as chair, an eminent judge,
Well known for supporting radical solutions,
Like his alternative to ASBOs: summary executions.

Also on the committee, ensuring balance and polemic –
There’s always one of these – a leading academic:
Professor of Mortality Studies, Dr Vernon Trigg
From the NatWest University of Scunthorpe and Brigg.

And alongside them, an interesting choice:
Tamsin McGregor, a somewhat younger voice,
A make-over consultant with the subtlety of the Borgias,
And presenter of Channel 4’s Drop Dead, Gorgeous.

With a bit of blue sky thinking, outside the box,
The committee’s main proposal, entitled ‘Stop All the Clocks’,
Will mean that, as from 2020, we’ll all have to apply
To a government department for permission to die.

This stunning piece of ingenuity
Not only satisfies the need for continuity,
So our whereabouts are known from the cradle to the grave,
But takes account of the amount the tax man will save.

The Post Office will have the necessary packs
On the left, at the bottom, in one of those racks;
Just fill in the form, provide proof of ID,
And get it signed by a solicitor – there’ll be a small fee,

But the pre-paid envelope will save you a few pence
And by return you will be issued with a Dying Licence,
In the form a swipe card, rectangular and plastic;
Word has it some of the mega-stores are very enthusiastic

About tying it in to their loyalty card schemes,
So a focus group of shoppers will explore what this means:
Maybe 1000 extra points and vouchers galore,
If you promise not to snuff it when shopping in the store.

You can’t bequeath a Dying Licence,
As a part of your estate;
It must be returned to the government
After its… and your… expiry date.

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