Taxing Times

David of Revenue was led by the Spirit of Piketty

Into the wilderness.

David studied tax theory forty days and forty nights,

And in his delirium he had some Progressive Ideas.

Satan appeared in a flash and grinned at him broadly.

The horned one saith:

“If you are the truly the Son of the Labour Government,

Command these Progressive Ideas

To become a Capital Gains Tax.”

David calmly answered,

“One does not live by Capital Gains Taxes alone,

But by chunky reports from the IRD Taskforce.”

So the devil raised his eyebrows in mock surprise

And took David to Lambton Quay

Where he placed him on the pinnacle of the Beehive.

Then Satan said to David,

“If you are truly the Son of the Labour Government,

Front up to a press conference with the Warty Troglodytes

And explain your Progressive Ideas.”

David calmly replied, “Yea, it is written,

Do not put the Lord your God to the bright line test.”

Satan shook his head in mild amusement,

Then teleported David for a mini break to Lake Wakatipu

And toured him around the tax havens and golf courses

And bolt holes owned by the Scaly Demons of Silicon Valley.

Satan said to David, “All these I will give you,

If you will fall down and worship me.”

David snapped at him, “Get thee behind me, Satan!

For I am a Godly Soul of Reforming Inclinations.”

So the devil vanished in a puff of green smoke,

and a choir of angels manifested and took David to Cabinet

where he was welcomed and anointed with oils and incense.

And David came before the Holy Trinity.

This was Chris Hipkins,

Flanked by the Minister of Finance,

And the Holy Ghost Jacinda.

Then did David of Revenue preach and rail

Against the money changers who defiled the Temple;

And he demanded a modest rebalancing of the tax burden.

But a large gong sounded

And David was silenced mid-sentence.

A delegation came up from a trapdoor in the floor.

Up tramped the Scaly Demons and Warty Troglodytes,

And Satan himself,

Who whispered into the ear of Chris.

Then Chris called for his Golden Hose of Capitalist Realism,

And proceeded to hose down David of Revenue

With a crystal stream of extremely icy water

Leaving David spluttering like a drowned otter.

Lo, said Chris, let this be a learning unto you,

For this is a Labour Government:

And our job is to commission chunky reports into Demons and Troglodytes,

Not to do battle with them.

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to write Odes for such luminaries as Tova O’Brien, Christopher Luxon, and Mike Hosking.

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