Instant gratification, lap-dancing and City bonuses

Heather McGregor has caught Harriet Harman talking rubbish yet again. Lap dancing, like any other form of corporate entertainment, is not tax deductable, so asking Alistair Darling to stop a tax break that doesn’t exist makes Harriet look pretty stupid. As if the poor man hasn’t enough to worry about.

But this little aside in Heather’s article was intriguing:

Lap dancing continues to be accepted entertainment in certain circles in the City; the more instant the relationship between effort and reward, the more likely it is. Hence you are far more likely to find the instantly gratified foreign exchange traders in Spearmint Rhino than, say, the more sophisticated merger & acquisition advisers.

Sadly, she offers no evidence for this, yet there might be a grain of truth in it. The people I worked with at a City investment bank were far more likely to go to such establishments than the accountants and management consultants at the Big Four firm to which I escaped when I couldn’t stand the banking enviroment any longer. In fact, during my seven years with ‘The Firm’ no-one even suggested such a thing. Everyone was far too gentlemanly for that. At least, that’s what we liked to think. Sure, we all used to go out and get blind drunk regularly but a chap had to know where to draw the line.

Accountancy and management consultancy are not occupations for those who want instant gratification. It can take months to secure a project with a major client. Consequently, we had to wait some time for the fees to roll in and our bonuses to materialise. So was there a relationship between the nature of our jobs and the fact that we didn’t go to lap dancing clubs? Or was it just because we were all too tight-fisted to cough up a tenner for a dance?

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. All theories and hypotheses, however bonkers, are welcome.

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3 Responses to Instant gratification, lap-dancing and City bonuses

  1. Simon Fawthrop says:

    I’m not convinced that, in the great scheme of things, tax relief on corporate entertainment in lap dancing clubs registers in company accounts or the Exchequer’s revenues.

    The only companies likely to do it are those looking for large orders, probably in the £m’s so a couple of £k in a lap dancing club is neither here nor there, let alone tax relieve on it. Changing the rules is going to make sod all difference to those companies.

  2. john b says:

    @rick, my time in Big 4-ness (with both accountants and consultants) was also entirely stripper-free. However, my friend who works in reinsurance finds himself regularly ‘dragged’ (he claims) to such places. Given that reinsurance is about using personal relationships to land large, at-least-annual contracts, I’m not sure that fits the model.

    @simon, but they don’t get tax relief on it now, so changing the rules will make *less than* sod-all difference…

  3. randy says:

    Something you should read …

    Amongst other things, it shows how 700 rapes are turned into 70,000 by people like Harriet Harman in order to pursue their own ambitions.


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