“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

An Empire On The Cheap? Or How Not To Pay Your Taxes?

with 6 comments

The British Empire has a certain resonance to the Brits, and remains a popular historical myth within the wider public discourse, that longing for a bygone age when Brits could survey the world and take any bits that took their fancy.

Ascension Island was one of them, a lump of rock in the Atlantic, but the near terminal decline of the British Empire and penny-pinching in Whitehall have yet to embarrass the British into paying the taxes that they owe, the Times has more:

“Unless the Ministry of Defence pays millions of pounds in unpaid taxes for its RAF airbase, the island will be bankrupt by June. The only school will have to close, the hospital will have no doctors, the few shops, one hotel and fledgeling tourist trade will be unviable. Even the conservation programme will have to be abandoned.

The threat comes because the MoD is determined to cut costs to pay for Afghanistan. Its refusal to pay back-taxes on the airbase that Britain shares with the US has left Ascension with a £900,000 deficit on its £6 million budget. The island’s small council and government, responsible for all services to the 900 inhabitants, have cut spending to the bone.

Unless a deal can be done in Whitehall, Britain’s strategic asset in the South Atlantic may soon become no more than a barren fortress, the function it first had when troops arrived in the 1820s to prevent a French fleet from rescuing Napoleon. “

Oh, the Brits and their pith helmet style diplomacy.

Written by modernityblog

22/10/2009 at 20:16

6 Responses

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  1. I salute the Britsh Empire for keeping the peace at sea, protecting and encouraging commerce, and allowing America the space and the peace to develop. Long live the Queen. Also, it was Tommies what liberated my mum in 1945 and broght her little cakes.


    22/10/2009 at 23:11

  2. can you lend HMG a few dollars so they can pay their tax bill?



    22/10/2009 at 23:49

  3. We’re broke too, mod.


    22/10/2009 at 23:56

  4. No Tarp money left? 900K is chicken feed to North Americans, you probably spend more on light bulbs for Congress or doughnuts for policemen!


    23/10/2009 at 00:44

  5. TARP is all gone. We are $1,400,000,000,000 in the red this year alone. That’s a lot, even when expressed in Francs or whatever the hell that money you have is called.


    23/10/2009 at 01:23

  6. Francs are so, so yesterday. The currency in Europe is the Euro!


    23/10/2009 at 02:21

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