Three wheels on my wagon...By Simon Sweetman

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HMRC, we are told, is now to be run by a triumvirate (or possibly a troika, or if you insist on Anglo-Saxon, a threesome) consisting of Mike Clasper, the non-executive chair, Lesley Strathie, the Chief Executive, and Dave Hartnett as permanent secretary, tax.

A triumvirate is a sort of mnage a trios without the rude bits. So Mike knows about money, Lesley about people, and Dave about tax. Excellent. But the omens for tripartite government are not always good.

Let us remind ourselves. the first Roman triumvirate was an informal political alliance of two rival generals, Julius Caesar and Pompey with the wealthy businessman Marcus Lucinius Crassus. This fell apart after the death of Crassus, and the two other triumvirs...

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Sorry, but for me the troika always conjures up a vision of a 3-horse Russian sleigh, and ELP playing in the background. It's probably an age thing.

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Free the HMRC three!
Sooty, Sweep & Soo?

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If you like the LHC and James Joyce ...
... three quarks for Master Mark !

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If you're old enough to remember
How about Rag, Tag and Bobtail or even Bill, Ben and Weed?

Hebop, Bill, hebop Ben, hebop Weeeed!

Off to take my medicine now.

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Other example role models ...
Huey, Dewey and Louie
Moe, Curly and Larry

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A threefold cord
The Bible says that 'a threefold cord is not easily broken'. Certainly not when it is composed of Grasper, Smartie and Hartebeeste.

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Missing bit ...
Your analysis omitted to mention that the vir part of triumvirate means "man" - as opposed to woman: as in "virile".
I note that "Lesley" being spelt as such must be a lady.

Still, HMRC has never let language get in the way of its goals ...

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Another fine mess
The other trio missing from your list is the one that was charged with financial stability and was split by our Glorious Leader between the FSA, Bank of England and the Treasury.

I rest my case.

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