Life can be tough even for multi-millionaires, says Richard Harvey.
Take Gary Barlow for example. His media profile as a singer and songwriter is stratospheric, and he entered into national treasuredom by organising the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.
However, now that he’s been clobbered for millions by the Inland Revenue for investing in a suspect tax avoidance scheme – I bet the letter they sent him was headed ‘Take That!’ – the battalions of the morally righteous have been on the march. Why, some are even suggesting that he should forfeit his OBE.
But the thing is, any sense of outrage which has as its chief spokesperson Margaret Hodge MP needs to be queried. I’m not suggesting for one moment that Ms Hodge was caught up in the Westminster expenses scandal, but lots of her fellow MPs were. And I don’t recall too many gongs being posted back to the Palace or even constituency seats being given up. Pots and kettles come to mind.
Isn’t the real villain in this episode the accountant who advised Barlow to invest in the scheme in the first place?
Still, look on the bright side. Legions of Take That fans are now eagerly anticipating the band going back on the road to pay off the Inland Revenue. Who would ever have guessed that the taxman would become a teen hero?