Author of The Shell Collector: the mostly true tale of a 1970s financial scandal in the City of London. Reading, classical music, golf, grandparenting.

London
Joined August 2019
"The stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell
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Up at dawn to join our countrymen at Westminster. Found barricades everywhere, the funeral procession route at capacity. The only place to view was the big screens in Hyde Park. So we turned round and came home to view on our small screen. Ah well, you win some, you lose some!
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The Queen's estate and inheritance tax: Should King Charles pay IHT? Why should he be treated differently from the rest of us? A common sense thread.
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During our lives, we spend most of what we earn and leave whatever's left to our heirs. Apart from what the taxman takes. We hate that, but our inheritors have to pay up - unless we manage to salt our money away in some faraway tax-free haven, as oligarchs seem able to do.
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But our wealth is our own, to spend on anything we can afford that takes our fancy. Monarchs are a different case. If they were to spend their fortunes on luxury super-yachts and to indulge themselves at bunga-bunga parties like oligarchs, they would soon be ex-monarchs.
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In King Charles's case, his fortune is not really his own. His estate operates not as a private bank account but as a major corporation, of which he is Chairman, CEO and Trustee. The income supports a considerable household which works under his direction through his advisers.
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Among other things, this corporation profits the nation through its impact on trade and tourism. The Royal Family helps British exporters obtain markets for their products, and the hospitality industry thrive from inward tourism. It contributes handsomely to the balance of trade.
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Our late Queen agreed with the government to pay the greater part of the income of her estate to the Treasury. But if at the death of each monarch the Royal estate were to diminish through capital taxation, the Royal Family's ability to operate for our benefit would diminish.
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Do we as a nation want any of our great corporations to become smaller corporations, and ultimately die? By the same token, do we want to shrink our monarchy to the point where it is no longer capable of carrying out the tasks that so benefit the people? Common sense says no.
I've no idea how to show a photo in a tweet. I'd love to share one of my little granddaughter wearing a policewoman's hat, taken early this morning when she visited Buckingham Palace. Who will tell me what to do?
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DM if you prefer.
Robert Lyons retweeted
Martha's Vineyard resident with some words
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It seems Donald Trump has not been invited to attend The Queen's funeral. That's good news. But I hope the decision not to invite former Presidents was not taken to save Trump's face. I don't know of any British person who would not wish to see Barack and Michelle Obama here.
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Went down to Buckingham Palace today but couldn't get near - the queue was too long for our aching limbs. Tens of thousands of people wanting just to be there and to leave their floral tributes. Not everyone may want the monarchy, but there's little doubt they're in a minority.
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Our monarchy gives us: * a constitutional way to manage our democracy * a central point of reference for 50 other nations * a non-political entity interested in us and spreading kindness amongst us * a draw for tourists to visit us and all of it free from political ambition
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A constitutional monarch in a democratic country gives the people what elected leaders by their very nature do not: a head of state who takes an interest in and offers kindness to us all, without a personal ambition that can be so divisive. God save the King.
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Robert Lyons retweeted
BREAKING: President Biden and First Lady Jill release a statement on the Queen's death, calling her a "source of comfort and pride" for her country and a "stateswoman of unmatched dignity" whose "legacy will loom large in the pages of British history." RT IF YOU AGREE!
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Our profound sense of loss at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II is tempered with gratitude for her unfailing service and devotion to our nation. In her last formal act, while clearly unwell she bravely oversaw the peaceful transfer of government of which we are so proud.
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Her role as head of state has passed equally peacefully to King Charles III. May he have the support of all in the unenviable task of succeeding such a remarkable monarch. These events have shown that a constitutional monarchy works. God save the King.
Please watch and share. This is far too true for anyone to feel comfortable.Our Democracy is in deep trouble.
We should listen to this every single day to be aware exactly how precarious our position has become.
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MAKE AMERICA GRIFT AGAIN
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