As Dave Hartnett gives his last speech as boss of HM Revenue and Customs, “Vodafone” and “Goldman Sachs” show up to present him with an award in recognition of a lifetime of services to taxdodging. Vodafone alone

The dapper discontents include Green councillor Sam Hollick, columnist Ellie O’Hagan and Bright Green’s own Adam Ramsay.

The delegates at the Practical Tax Planning 2012 conference each paid £854 plus VAT to get tax dodging tips from the master, and let’s be honest if they actually paid the VAT then they really need his help.

Vodafone can vouch for Hartnett’s generosity – he intervened personally to let them off a tax bill of £6billion, or roughly the same amount George Osborne is planning to take off the most vulnerable by freezing benefits.

At 1:49 the trainee taxdodgers join in a big round of applause for their hero’s award; at 2:22 Hartnett (the only one in the room who notices anything strange, probably because he’s been through this before) grasses up the campaigners; at 2:35 a hilariously posh gentleman threatens to “set the dogs” on them; at 2:50 Hartnett looks like the loneliest man in the world; and at 3:08 another posh but rather less gentle man lets the mask slip.


Gary Dunion

About Gary Dunion

Gary Dunion is Parliamentary Officer for Friends of the Earth Scotland. He has prevously worked for Green and Independent MSPs, and campaign organisations including Global Justice Now and WWF Scotland. He was a founding editor of Bright Green.