Thursday, 22 September 2016


What's this, do you think?

It's this, is what it is.

Surely not, the reader surely says.

And yet

it surely is.

Yes indeed, schools are receiving mailings from bankrupt, tax-evading Mike Basman enlisting their help in his struggle against whoever he's struggling against.

From the photos it appears that the material consists, in part, of the ludicrous posters that we saw earlier in the week - which, as Gary observes, he is presumably supposed to put up on a school noticeboard - plus a covering letter. An extraordinary covering letter.

Amongst little else, this letter informs us that
I have been bankrupted by an overzealous HMRC government department
British brain power won World War II for us
it would be fantastic if the children also communicated with the MPs.
Have I said yes indeed already? Let me say it again. Yes indeed.

Mike Basman is trying to recruit school pupils to write letters to MPs, on his behalf, comparing himself to St George and Alan Turing and likening his cause to the Allied side in World War II. Whether or not he has sent the statement comparing himself to Gandhi, I do not know.

Now one question would be whether this is entirely appropriate conduct on Mike Basman's part.

A second question would be who precisely is paying for these mailings.

A third question would be whether Delancey, whose name appears at the top, know and approve of the mailing's contents.

I am sure there are others, but let's kick off with those three.


Anonymous said...

The consequence of HMRC's imposition of VAT rules would be that entry fees for schools and individuals would have to increase to recoup the additional expenses. It may not have to be by 20% each because the entry fees could be cross subsidised and the VAT contained in the expenses of UKCC in purchasing fluffy pencils and similar as prizes should be able to be offset against VAT on entry fees. There would also be the added expense, if a volunteer didn't do it, of doing the necessary record keeping. VAT paid on school entry fees might be reclaimable by the schools anyway.

AS far as this particular "game" is concerned, continuing a political struggle is akin to playing on a piece down against a GM.


Anonymous said...

whomever he is struggling against.

chess as "the premier brain activity" sounds a bit self-serving, to put it mildly.

Then again, Kirsan said a few days ago ( post) that Magnus and Karjakin will be fighting for the title of "smartest person in the world" come November.

Are chess folks really that deluded about where they stand on the intellect scale? Admittedly, failing to be objective is a common fault of players who fail to make GM (say). And too many of these end up in chess admin (Danailov, Makro, ...).

Anonymous said...

Is the British brain power reference to the Code Breakers? (Bletchley Park)
Milner-Barry and Alexander, I presume?

AdamP said...

whomever he is struggling against. <-- silly pedantry.

Anonymous said...

Don't see the reason for mounting any high horses here. I'm pretty sure my school chess club didn't pay VAT on my subs. Mr Basman may have broken the tax law, but it's a pretty stupid one that penalises chess as compared to "baton-twirling" and darts, and I presume the breach was inadvertant. It's HMRC that don't look good, not Mr Basman.

ejh said...

I presume the breach was inadvertent

There is no particular reason to believe this and Mr Basman himself has not made this claim. Moreover, as he continued to operate in the same way a long time after proceedings were taken out against him, he plainly did know by then, if not before.

Is the British brain power reference to the Code Breakers?

One assumes so. Its relevance to Basman v HMRC is of course nil.

Anonymous said...

More imperonations of an ostrich:'tSupportChildren.pdf


Anonymous said...

impersonations, I meant!

Anonymous said...

Mr Basman may have broken the tax law, but it's a pretty stupid one that penalises chess as compared to "baton-twirling" and darts, and I presume the breach was inadvertant.

Someone who I suspect is a relative expert on the subject of VAT has pointed out that the sports VAT exemption is subject to conditions which the structure of the UKCC may not have met. As a possible comparison, running a hypothetical nationwide table tennis competition with school qualifiers to county, regional and national championships might have run into the same VAT issues when set up as a sole trader business.