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Friday 13 April 2012

New pairing for Strictly Come Dancing

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have Margaret Thatcher and David ‘Dave’ Cameron as competitors on this show?

Those familiar with the format will immediately state that it requires a professional dancer, and a celebrity partner; this pairing would therefore be unsuitable.

I strongly disagree.

Lady Thatcher is, by any measure, a celebrity. There is obviously the potentially contentions issue that if “the lady’s not for turning”; a larger venue may be required to appreciate her particular speciality.

Dave, on the other hand, is a seasoned veteran of fancy footwork. One only has to observe his repeatedly, and expertly, executed ‘QUATTRO’*.  This step, which has become his hallmark, is always very clumsily executed; as this is intentional, judges will not reduce their marks.

There is a story doing the rounds that Dave always has the door opened for him. This is not in deference to his exalted position as Prime Minister but, to avoid confusion. In a rehearsal for greeting a fellow member of the ‘club’, Dave was observed entering a revolving door and not exiting for some considerable time, having twirled round and round. Upon exit, he is quoted as saying “that was one hell of a dance. Which way did I decide ‘in’ or ‘out’… and we’d better reverse that decision straightaway”.

…this brings us, not very neatly, to the subject of charitable giving. In the usual QUATTRO move, Dave has reduced charitable donations to a maximum of £50,000, or 25% of income, or has he? Who said “I used to be indecisive, now, I’m not so sure”.

The solution to the ‘charitable deduction for tax avoidance purposes’ gaffe is simple. Restrict deductible donations to entities registered as charities by the charities commission. There are 162,136 of them so, anyone genuinely interested in making a substantial donation should find something to their taste. Smaller donations could still be channelled through the efficient ‘just giving’ scheme. Overseas help would still be fundable through a UK registered charity, which provides aid abroad. Contributions to foreign registered ‘charities’ would not be tax deductible.

*For those of you who have had been sheltered from the finer points of ballroom dancing, a QUATTRO is a step so called, because it is a QUick About Turn with Twirl and Reverse Observation.

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