Every week the Author invites a celebrated guest to interview him about his work as he strives for literary success.
This week: Jeremy Corbyn wants to talk tax…
JC: Thank you for agreeing to this interview today, Mark.
Author: That’s okay Jeremy, it’s a pleasure.
JC: I think you should call me Prime Minister?
Author: Err…you’re the Leader of Opposition not the Prime Minister?
JC: Yes, but I will be after the election this week.
Author: The polls seem to indicate otherwise. Anyway, let’s get on with the interview Jez. Can I call you Jez?
JC: No you fucking can’t. Let’s be clear about this…you’re telling me, the future Prime Minister, that I won’t be Prime Minister?
Author: I’m not telling you anything. I’m just saying…
JC: How much do you earn?
Author: I’m sorry?
JC: Do you pay your taxes?
Author: What’s that got to do with this interview? I’d rather you just stick to the questions about my books Jeremy.
JC: Prime Minister.
JC: Prime Minister.
Author: No. I’m not calling you Prime Minister. Please get on with the interview Jeremy.
JC: Okay. But I’m not happy. Let’s be clear on that, Mark. So. Tell me about this new book you’re working on. What’s the story there?
Author: Yes, The Boatman’s Dog. Its main theme deals with age and the issues that arise due to the clash between older people and younger people. And old and new ideas or technology. Everyone gets touched by it at some point in life. It might be an older neighbour or just someone on the bus. But it will happen to you in one form or another. As you get older yourself, you get more exposed to the issues and feelings that come with it. It’s not easy to deal with for any of us.
JC: For instance?
Author: Well, it could be dealing with elderly relatives and the difficulties that come with dementia or other illnesses. Or it might be something as simple as technology where you gradually feel more disconnected from a world that now relies on it. As our lives become more dependent on technology it increasingly isolates the older end of society. Or it could be something related to your job. Anything, really.
JC: Yes, I like old people. And young people. And the poor. Have you got any poor people in it?
Author: I think you’re missing the point here Jeremy. It’s a reflection about society in general – not a random collection of particular demographics.
JC: I’m just looking for common ground here because these are the very people I’m going to give all the money to as Prime Minister.
Author: Err…even if you were Prime Minister, I don’t think you can just give money away. Not that sort of money anyway.
JC: That’s where you’re wrong. I’m not your usual politician. I’m going to drain the swamp and take executive decisions without the need for discussion. It’s all the rage in that America place I’ve heard about. It worked very well for Stalin as well.
Author: So where will you get all the money from?
JC: The rich of course. That’s why I need to know if you’re paying your taxes.
Author: What, so that you can give it to the poor?
JC: Yes. And students. And old people.
Author: I don’t think that will work unless you’ve...
JC: Of course it will work. While you Tory Boys were all poncing around at public school, I was getting a proper education based in reality. Have you never seen Robin Hood with all his merry men? I can sing you the theme tune if you like? It worked like a dream. He’s vastly underrated as an economist.
Author: I think you’ll find he’s a fictional character based on folk lore, not an economist.
JC: What would you know about fiction, let alone economics? It’s simple. You take all the castles, money and jewels from the rich - and give it to the poor.
Author: And what would you class as rich?
JC: Let’s be absolutely clear on this. Anyone earning over £500 a year – including children with their undeclared pocket money. They will lose 99% of their earnings to tax. Then I’d have plenty of money to give to the poor.
Author: But then everyone would be poor, surely?
JC: Bingo! Tory Boy finally gets it. And then you give them money and other stuff because they’re poor. It’s not that hard is it?
Author: Other stuff? What do you mean by “other stuff”?
JC: I don’t know all the details yet - but I’ve still got a few days left to come up with something.
Author: Indeed. Look, I think we’re getting a bit distracted here Jeremy. Shall we get back on with the interview? And please don’t call me Tory Boy.
JC: Oh good. Are you a communist then?
Author: I’m not anything. I’m just normal.
JC: There’s no such thing. You’re either a fascist or a communist.
Author: I’m here to do an interview. Let’s leave the politics for people more informed than us, shall we?
JC: Good idea Mark. Now then. What on earth made you pick this age theme for The Boatman’s Dog?
Author: Good question. I think it was mainly because I’m of a certain age myself and it’s not until you talk to other people that you realise just how many are trying to cope with the emotional and physical stress of age related issues. There are aspects that are both sad and funny, especially…
JC: Funny? What’s funny about it?
Author: Have you not watched David Baddiel’s televised struggle to deal with his father’s illness? It was very moving and very inspirational. These sensitive issues can be funny and sad at the same time, Jeremy. They’re not mutually exclusive.
JC: Don’t patronise me Mark. You’re starting to sound a bit too liberal-lefty, cleverdicky now. Is he rich? That’s all I need to know.
Author: I’m not sure you’ve thought this tax thing through, Jeremy. You might find that everyone will leave the country and take their money with them. That’s what usually happens.
JC: That’s where you’re wrong.
JC: Because I won’t let them.
Author: Err…I don’t think you’ll be able to do that.
JC: I’m building a wall. Right around the coast. Corbyn’s Wall. It will stand for centuries.
Author: I think that’s been tried.
JC: Walls are trending, Mark. You’re out of touch. It’s that age thing you were rambling on about earlier. These are modern walls. Digital and everything like that. That’s what they’re doing in that America place.
Author: I think you’re getting confused. Trump’s wall is designed to keep people out. Your wall would be designed to keep people in I presume? Just like the one they built in Berlin. And you’ll have to think about the finances. Where will all the money come from to pay for it?
JC: I’m going to subject the poor to a “Wall Tax”…
Author: The poor? That doesn’t make economic sense. They haven’t got any money by definition.
JC: Because…I’ll tax them after I’ve given them all the money and jewels and stuff from the rich.
Author: Jeremy, put those bricks down…
Next week: Uri Geller talks about truth and how to Bend It Like Beckham…