Last summer former Builder turned Property Developer Mick Wallace stood as an Independent in our General Election. He freely admitted that he owed huge sums of money to the banks and that he had little hope of ever being able to repay them, and the people of Wexford, admiring his honesty, elected him to represent them.
Once in the Dáil he joined with 15 like-minded Independents to form a Technical Group (by having seven or more members they have full speaking rights), and he goes there in his trademark pink shirt and denim jeans to vote with them against absolutely everything, and to behave like a schoolboy pulling pig-tails.
This week it was discovered that while still in the business of building and selling apartments he deliberately understated the amount of tax he owed on his VAT Returns by €1.4 million, to “try to save his company”, and that he has agreed with Revenue that he owes them €2 million, but says that, since the company through which he did all of this is insolvent, the money will never be paid….
The poor peasants were getting poorer.
They were sorely taxed by the reign of King Enda the Ginger, who was taxing them sorely.
“A Household Charge,” he would decree one day. “Water Rates,” he would order the next. Every day a new tax, and every day aimed at the peasants, never at people who might be better able to bear the burden – the rich, for instance.
Then one day, as Enda the Ginger sat at his desk plotting a Poverty Tax (a tax on having no money) a shadow loomed over him.
He looked up. There stood a giant of a man, his long locks flowing, his family tartan gleaming pinkly.
“I am Wallace,” he said, “the Knaveheart.”
The Ginger looked at the motley assembly behind Wallace – Ming the Dope, Ross the Undecided, Others the Unmemorable.
“And who are these?” he asked
“These are my Technical Group,” said Knaveheart.
“I see,” said Enda. “And you number how many?”
“Four-hundred-and Thirty-two,” said Knaveheart, because counting was not his strongest talent.
“Sixteen,” admitted Ming.
“And what is it you want?” asked the Ginger.
“We want you to stop taxing the peasants,” said Knaveheart.
“But I need money to run the country,” said the Ginger. “We used to get lots from Builders, but that has stopped.”
Knaveheart went momentarily as pink as his shirt. “Well, you’ll not take anymore from the peasants,” he said.
“Stop simply telling me what not to do,” said the Ginger. “Suggest an alternative.”
“Don’t have to,” said Knaveheart. “I’m not the Government.”
For many months Knaveheart and his warriors heckled, harried and hassled, making merry at the Government’s expense, and come to think of it at the expense of the peasants too. But Knaveheart was troubled, because he held a deep secret. Whilst still in the Guild of Builders he had acted like a modern-day Robin Hood, robbing from Revenue and giving it to himself.
Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to say Robin Hood, I meant Al Capone.
And one day Enda the Ginger’s henchman, Tax the Feckers, found out about this and came calling. Knaveheart bravely tried to flee. He ran rings around the tax-laws, he hid behind a company, yet there was no escape.
Finally, in the very week that he was to travel to far-off Poland to watch the peasants play football, paying for this trip with, well, money, he found himself trapped. He looked around and found that the Technical Group had scattered wisely in all directions. He stood alone before Enda the Ginger .
“You owe us two million euro,” said King Enda. “Hand it over.”
In reply Knaveheart turned his back, bent over, and flipped up his pink shirt to reveal the ultimate in insults – the Builder’s Butt-cleavage.
“How dare you!” roared Enda. “You cannot moon the King!”
“I wasn’t mooning you,” said Knaveheart. “I was mooning the peasants.”