King Canute Spotted On Brighton Beach
Jeremy Hetherington-Gore Unleashed
14 August, 2007
Also to be seen on Brighton beach, though, and providing innocent amusement for the children now that Punch and Judy has gone the way of Noddy and that unmentionable marmalade sticker, was the UK's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, James Purnell, doing his inimitable rendering of King Canute in a set of flowing robes worthy of Charlton Heston.
One Thousand Offshore Gambling Websites Face UK Marketing Ban, screamed the tax-news headline. What a coincidence though that the only two offshore jurisdictions to be given the kiss of life happened to be the only two UK inshore islands with gaming sectors, the Isle of Man and Alderney. How they must be chuckling in Whitehall's Palace of Culture that they have pulled a fast one on the other 20 islands dotted around the globe whose livelihoods depend on gaming.
But of course, it's all a waste of time. Despite the UK government's evident intention of having a cctv camera in every living room, it has failed so far to come up with a way of stopping you from patronising a Caribbean web-site if you choose to do so, and Google won't stop listing offshore gaming sites just because the brits don't like them.
What it does do, though, is to add another country to the black-list of destinations best avoided by the owners and operators of Costa Rican gaming businesses. They have learnt not to go to the US, if they don't want to spend 20 years contemplating their navels in Fort Leavenworth, and like all businessmen they know not to go to France or Spain, where the judiciaries just love to pounce on unsuspecting company directors just for the hell of it. Now they will have to avoid Heathrow as well (quite a relief, probably) or be prepared for a cameo role as a master criminal on News At Ten.
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