Boris and Donald
This could be a tale of two shaggy dogs or possibly a shaggy dog story.
If any of you have managed to bury your heads in the sand successfully enough to imagine that this tale is about Becker and Bradman or a Russian spy and a Disney duck, many congratulations.
The Western world is now in thrall to a couple of wannabe politicians who appear heavy on rhetoric but light on policy.
The shaggy dog association is doubly remarkable. On a literal level, in one case this is the result of genetics and in the other a possibly drunken wig maker. As a result, in the media the pair look remarkably like an old English sheepdog and a “badly-dyed” Pekinese respectively.
Sadly, when I hear them talk I’m reminded of those that love telling shaggy dog stories. Their speeches strike me as interminable, meaningless and very rarely get to any point.
For accountants, the proof that money talks in the political arena might not be all bad news. Donald Trump seems to be proud of the kind of wealth that could buy the US presidency as others do soccer teams, while Boris Becker (oops perhaps that should be Johnson) never strikes me as the kind of man who dines anywhere but Michelin-starred restaurants.
Once they become the joint leaders of the Western world, it therefore follows that they are likely to favour their kind, potentially encouraging inventive tax-planning and introducing economic policies that favour the kinds of clients that accountants dream of servicing.
Going a step further, I do not see them as the types to become over concerned by regulation, which could be a real breath of fresh air for the profession on both sides of the Atlantic.
It has to be said that both the US and the UK seem wary of a pair whose feet rarely leave their mouths.
Harold Wilson was often misquoted as saying that a week is a long time in politics. One of those in June and another towards the end of the year might however lead to this hitherto unexpected outcome.
In particular, I am one of many who is concerned about what life would be like for accountants under the double billing of Hillary (who needs a surname?) and Jeremy Corbyn (he does). Both seem far too keen on sharing wealth, although arguably this might hit clients but provide opportunities for those that are able to mitigate the damage.
In any event, I am looking forward to the big day when the dynamic duo takes over. Indeed, I have full confidence that when Donald Trump becomes President next January, after banning all Muslims from the US, he will prove to be a wise and thoughtful tenant at the White House.
Similarly and perhaps sooner, once Britain votes to leave Europe it can only be a matter of days before Johnson (got it right at last) chases David Cameron from Number 10 and starts to assert his own brand of compassionate, egalitarian politicking.
The next year is likely to be both scary and fascinating, whatever your political leanings. It could also be comical in the extreme, as both Boris and Donald move into overdrive in their efforts to take power.