My sister and I decided to go to Gala Bingo in Tooting on a recent Saturday night to celebrate the tax on bingo being cut to 10 per cent, thanks to Robert Halfon MP and the “Boost Bingo” campaign, backed by 330,000 people who signed a petition supporting the game. We had no idea what to expect and almost no idea how to play.
The received idea is that bingo players are elderly and female, as in Peter Brookes’s recent Times cartoon which depicted a naked Silvio Berlusconi, ordered to do community service by the Italian courts, inviting a wheelchair-bound pensioner to take part in a “bingo-bingo” party. Recent advertising has tried to substitute a different stereotype: fun-loving young women going for a night out with the girls.
‘Tax havens are distant and mysterious, and presumably up to no good. What better scapegoats could there be?’
‘Germans are obsessed with paying taxes – they are affronted by any state with little or not taxation – such as the British Virgin Islands’
‘It is profoundly irresponsible for priests, rabbis or imams to make excuses for breaking the law’
Britain’s claim to be the world’s foremost philanthropic nation is under threat under George Osborne’s new reforms
‘Beware: your government is about to become dangerous. It is about to become California’
The Shadow Universities and Skills Secretary David Willetts discusses the legacy of the post-war generation with the senior Labour MP Frank Field and Daniel Johnson, the Editor of Standpoint
‘We have veritably criminalised making money. The proposition that rich people have rights, too, has flown out the window’
‘The banking-football XI would certainly play an unusual formation: no defenders but 11 strikers’
‘Why should the Beckhams and Rooneys of corporate finance be penalised, but not the Beckhams and Rooneys of football?’