The title of this piece alludes to an old English saying; to ‘run with the hares and hunt with the hounds’ is a way of saying that someone attempts to benefit from both sides in a dispute.
This saying was bought very much to my mind last week by the actions of two entertainers whose behaviour might be regarded as jarring somewhat with the ‘public persona’ that has made them famous.
The first of these is the satirist Armando Iannucci – described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘the hardman of political satire’ for his work with TV show ‘The Thick of It’ and the film ‘In the loop’. It seems odd that such a person should accept an OBE – which is what has happened. In other words, satirist honoured by the system that he apparently despises so much, and who then chooses to accept the honour. Consider yourself neutered, Armando.
The second is Jimmy Carr, comedian and someone who has been shown to be ‘frugal with his tax payments’ by using a legal tax avoidance scheme. There is an old joke that says ‘What’s the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion? About 7 years in Pentonville prison….’; well, Carr has apparently seen the light and accepted that what he did was wrong. After all, sheltering 3 million a year from HMRC at a time when most of us are under the cosh might seem a little unfeeling- especially coming from a man who’s humour has included comments about the fact that Barclays Bank only pays 1% tax. But it’s OK – it’s all a joke, isn’t it?
These two gentlemen, in my eyes, do seem to want the benefits of appearing edgy and slightly risky, whilst apparently accepting all the perks and benefits that the current establishment and economic system have to offer. To me it leaves a rather nasty taste in my mouth.
I have to say that I’m not a fan of the work of either man – I guess that’s made it easier for me to be grumpy about it – but my estimation of both of them would have gone up had they walked the walk that goes with their talk.