Pranksters crash final speech of corporate tax avoidance taxman, posh hilarity ensues

UK fair tax/anti-cuts activists crashed the Key Haven Publications' Practical Tax Planning conference in Oxford, where Dave Hartnett, the outgoing top UK taxation bureaucrat, was giving the final speech of his career. Hartnett was responsible for widely criticized blunders that forgave billions in tax liability owed by Vodaphone and Goldman Sachs. Posing as representatives of Goldman Sachs and Vodaphone, they entered the hall during Hartnett's after-dinner speech to present "The Golden Handshake Award for Lifetime Achievement in Corporate Tax Planning." After a few moments' confusion, the conference organisers twigged to what was going on, and began to say some of the weirdest, most stagey-sound posh=weirdo utterances heard this side of a Mr Burns impersonator's night at a cabaret:

"Everybody, these people are trespassers and intruders. This is a [garbled] to trespass, and you will go sir, you will depart immediately, before we set the dogs on you."

[Protesters leave, singing, "For he's a jolly good fellow, and so say Goldman Sachs"].

"Go! You're trespassing. You're trespassing scum! Go!"

[Exeunt omnes]

All in a posh accent that could cut glass.

Black tie activists crash HMRC boss' retirement do (via MeFi)



  1. “Ironic, isn’t it, Smithers. This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you.”

  2. The thing is, I dont think he has any dogs to set on them… Nor any rentacops with tasers, firearms or zipcuffs. I have come to expect more of the uppercrust’s retaliations to our working class pranksters after living in America.  I mean, where is the loafer grinding into a human face… forever? 

      1. The mechanical Richard Simmons was in the shop for maintenance. A spokesperson has since apologized for the error in judgement.

    1. That gentleman is Robert Venables QC, who (literally) wrote the book on tax fraud (sorry, offshore tax planning) – “Non-Resident Trusts, 9th Edition”.

  3. This video made me realise there was a whole other separate England that I did not realise existed. The 1%* are very exotic! It can’t escape the feeling I’m watching a 1920s news reel. Now I understand why they want 19th century labour laws. 

    *it is estimated the 1% who are the subject and sole beneficiaries of our economic policies are in fact, merely 0.001%. (We may regard this as our economic success rate.) Nothing signifies stagnation like 0.001% ;-)

  4. Very interesting to watch. However – what was the point? Make some rich people with no morals angry for part of an evening? 

      1. Yes, and it might inspire and encourage more such exposes. Butterfly effect and all that, eh? We should all do as much, or at least what we can.

  5. Excellent stuff. That was the best response the pranksters could’ve hoped for: toffs acting above and beyond the call of toffery.

  6. This was at least a little less depressing than Romney’s Boca debacle. Sure, no one in Boca knew they were being videoed, but I somehow can’t imagine any of the Florida crowd sharing a laugh with the pranksters, as a couple of Sir Peter Ubertoff’s fellow guests seemed to be doing.

  7. Full quote:

    “Everybody, these people are trespassers and intruders. They have… This is an unlawful conspiracy to trespass, and you will go sir, you will depart immediately, before we set the dogs on you.”

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