Jimmy Carr the fat tax avoiding cat
Jimmy Carr once performed a now well-known joke that goes:
“Someone came up to me last week and complained about a joke, quite a big-boned girl.
She said: “I think you’re fattist.” I said: “No, I think you’re fattest”.
It’s offensive. But I’m not so stupid as to think that Jimmy Carr is being offensive, he’s being ironic. He’s testing our sensitivities, and he’s seeing how far he can push us. He knows his audience, they’ll laugh anyway, but the wider public; it makes them uncomfortable, and like it or not this is what he wants – he’s making a point.
He admits so himself. Carr used to write for the comedian Jim Davidson – and when he told a joke, you knew he was being offensive. In fact the above joke demonstrates the difference between the two Jim’s perfectly – when Jim Davidson says something about fat people, he’s laughing at fat people because he is ignorant. When Jimmy Carr is doing it, he’s laughing at our shirks and discomfort.
In fact this joke has a special relationship between the two because Jimmy Carr accused Jim Davidson of stealing it in 2004.
Carr, on the subject of being a former writer for Davidson, said when he told an offensive joke he didn’t have to look over his shoulder at who he was telling it to. This relates to the time Jim Davidson refused to play a show with disabled fans sat at the front row. Carr means to imply that when Davidson is pointing fun at disabled people he really means it, which is why he became awkward about doing it. Carr doesn’t have to look over his shoulder, he doesn’t mean it, he’s making a joke designed to highlight a wider point.
On being compared to Jim Davidson, Carr once said:
I think the vast majority of my audience recognise a liberal, slightly over-educated man telling jokes and playing with what you can and can’t say.
But do the awkward similarities end there?
In the same year (2004) Jim Davidson decided to move to Dubai with the reason: “I may as well go to Dubai and be an ethnic minority there than wait five years till I become one here.”
What a dick.
Then he changed his story. His move was “motivated primarily by the tax-free status afforded him.” He obviously didn’t like his own tax status, and how much he was paying. After a 2003 visit to the Inland Revenue, he confessed disgust at the system, and having to pay £10,000 back in back taxes, saying “My problem is money – I used to earn five times as much as I do now, but I still pay the same maintenance, school fees and commission to agents”.
Not 12 months later and he moved in with the ethnics.
But Jimmy Carr is better than that, right?
As Nick Cohen has put as his Facebook status tonight:
A year ago Jimmy Carr, appeared on 10 O’Clock Live on Channel 4 wearing a blonde wig.
Lampooning Barclays, which had been criticised for carrying out a tax-avoidance scheme, the comedian played a female bank clerk ready to impart some advice.
“Why don’t you apply for the Barclays’ 1 per cent tax scam,” Carr joked. “You will need the world’s biggest, most aggressive team of blood-hungry amoral tax lawyers. If you meet the criteria, you’ll pay 1 per cent tax, like Barclays do.”
1 per cent tax scams would be well above Carr, that epicentre of morality; that doer of things all right.
Thousands of wealthy people in Britain pay as little as 1 per cent income tax using “below the radar” accounting methods, part of a tax avoidance industry that costs the country billions of pounds.
An investigation by The Times into tax avoidance begins today with the exposure of a single Jersey-based scheme that shelters £168 million a year from the taxman.
Who is the largest beneficiary of this scheme? Yes, you guessed it: James Anthony Patrick “Jimmy” Carr.
The Times goes on:
Mr Carr shelters £3.3 million a year through K2, which is used by 1,100 tax avoiders, according to an accountant selling the scheme.
You could blow me down with a feather – Carr is one of those bastards having it every which way with a 1 per cent tax scheme.
But, you know, when he does it, unlike Davidson and Barclays, he’s only joking.