A tale of two Harrys: Or is it Much Ado about Nothing?

Two Harrys have dominated headlines in the UK this week. Prince Harry’s planned assignment to the Falkland Islands, and Harry Redknapp’s successful case against tax dodging to become favourite to become England’s football manager


The following story is robbed of much of its interest after the author discovered it was Prince Wills not Prince Harry who has taken up arms to defend the Falklands. [Thanks to subscriber S.M. for pointing this out. Harry has won his spurs but is still preparing for his next battle].

Anyway, on with the dubious post:

There’s not much linking the two stories, except perhaps an echo of one of Shakespeare’s patriotic lines Cry God For Harry England and St George.

Act the first

Prince Harry Windsor is summoned to serve his country and fly into battle in the distant Isles of the Falklands, long disputed by the Spanish foes (well, Argentina now). He accompanies a mighty battle-force, fresh raised. What a furore. The self-styled pretender to the Malvinas cries that the English are planning for war.

Act the second

Meanwhile Harry Redknapp, grand knight of the Hotspur lineage, was facing foul charges of robbing the Queen’s revenues, and secreting his ill-gotten gains abroad. As Prince Harry prepares his famed battle-charger for action, Hotspur is reprieved. He walks free to the acclaim of his faithful followers.

Act the third

The doughty warrior Sir Terry of the three Lions is brought low by words he may or may not have said. Lord Capello, the foreign-born king of the nation’s jousting forces, attempts in vain to save Sir Terry but is forced to fall on his sword.

Act the forth

Harry Hotspur hears the calls from his followers to take the crown from the fallen Capello. The Queen of all the Malvinas renames her countries after a famed warrior and craft which perished in the seas fighting to retrieve them from the English forces.

Act five

How will this end? Is it a triumph for one or both Harrys, or much ado about nothing.

3 Responses to A tale of two Harrys: Or is it Much Ado about Nothing?

  1. Alex Hough says:

    Both Harrys continue to show a mastery of an issue that has been part of leadership since the time when kings lived in caves. Tax.

    Tax and the taxing people is a classical leadership issue. How much to tax your followers before they overthrow you… and how to enforce payment… How to decide how to tax who by how much is the focus of much debate in the world right now.

    Taxing comes in many forms. It could be a leader taxing local business in exchange for protection. Or it could be outside the formal economy; human behavior is composed made of many less explicit “taxes”, deals where compliance is rewarded by the promise of some abstract future benefit.

    Favours, for example, might be said to have a tax element, and may sometimes involve the lending or giving of legitimate currency or other items of value; gold, artwork, plants, perfume, chocolate, cigars, watches, clothing.

    It becomes difficult for leadership practitioners when favours and presents attract the attention of the State or induce jealousy in bystanders. What might seem like helping out a friend with a bit of spare cash, or putting in a nice word here and there might wall outside the State’s regulations or prompt elements in society to voice concerns about one’s ethical and moral compasses.

    The Potteries – a scenic area south of Manchester famed for the production of luxury ceramics – has several delightful linguistic turns of phrase. One is “What’s the tax?”, meaning “How much does that cost?” It highlights the notion that we are being taxed all the time in ways we don’t normally think of as “paying tax.” It a prudent way of thinking: every transaction has a “tax” but sometimes we have difficulties modeling it.

    A question for LWD readers: What are you top creative leadership approaches to modeling tax such that optimum benefits are delivered to your followers?

  2. Paul Hinks says:

    Hi Alex,

    Wigan Athletic have ‘taxed’ Bolton Wanderers of the 3pts available in our local premiership fixture this weekend – from my perspective it would be great if the Wanderers could apply for some kind of ‘tax rebate’ and get a proportion of those 3pts back :o)

    In the case of Bolton Wanderers, Eddie Davies underwrites our club’s debt to the tune of £110m(!) – he’s clearly a very significant stakeholder.

    So while Championship football is beckoning the thought of servicing £110m debt outside of the Premiership is very worrying!

    To propose a solution to the question you ask, and to alleviate some of the pain associated with bring a Wanderers fan, I’ll respectfully request that Mr Coyle and the team he guides start ‘taxing’ some other teams’ of the 3pts on offer.

    (I remain pragmatic and recognise that this hope is unlikely to be realised in our next couple of premiership outings!)

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