tax 13-08-2012

so... i did an interview for the sunday times 3 weeks ago. it was nominally about simon stephens' adptation of curious incident being on at the national theatre but it was intended for the news section, so we strayed inevitably into newsy territory. i can't remember the specific questions i was asked and i can't read the interview because it's behind the times paywall. but at one point i said that i'd written to my MP, nicola blackwood, several times in vain asking her why, in this time of recession, the poor and the disabled were suffering when the comfortable lives of wealthy people like myself like myself hadn't changed a jot.

as has become increasingly obvious over the recent months, there are plenty of wealthy people who think that they should pay less tax while benefits to the poor and disabled should be cut. and those people are, in my opinion, beyond contempt. but i didn't think my own opinion was quite that singular or newsworthy. nevertheless i've been inundated with requests for interviews.  i'm turning them down because i seem to have been quoted in every national newspaper, and going into recording studios or sitting in front of a camera or talking to more journalists in order simply to repeat myself seems like unnecessary soapboxing (not to mention the fact that i'm looking after small children during the school holidays).

for the record, i also said (and because of the paywall i have no idea whether this was quoted in the original interview), 'the present government came to power with one of the weakest mandates in living memory yet their ministers are carrying out the most radical reforms in living memory, many of which involve slashing vital services upon which wealthy people like themselves have never depended, and which are hugely important to people with whom they have absiolutely no sympathy'.

also, for the record, all those on twitter and in the guardian comment columns who suggest that i simply send an extra cheque to the HMRC are missing the point. i am talking about a systemic, moral and political problem not personal feelings of guilt. and, in point of fact, i do send an extra cheque, but i send it to oxfam. some people think that's wrong, too, but you can't please everybody...