Should MoneySavingExpert encourage tax avoidance?

Update 14 November 2017: From the Paradise Papers to the Panama Papers, Jimmy Carr to David Cameron and Google to Starbucks, headlines about avoidance continue to split the nation – some view it as a moral abhorrence, others legal self-protection. So I thought it would be worth setting out mine and MSE’s view. First of all, let’s clear...

A poem of modern Britons – written in the strangest way

This poem came about by accident, and for me that makes it even more beautiful. On St George’s Day, I asked people on my Facebook page: "What are you doing today?" The unplanned result was a portrait of Britons from the mundane to the magnificent. As I read it, I realised it was a poem and needed...

Dad, I’ve made it, I’m on Corrie!

Tough man to please, my father. If I get a "it was fine" about a programme or owt else I’m doing, that’s heady praise indeed. He considers it his mission to keep my feet on the ground (not that it’s necessary – I’m hypercritical of everything I do anyway, so my feet are firmly buried a couple...

I’m writing today and I feel like I’m skiving

I’m sitting in a coffee bar, tapping away on an article on my keyboard and I feel like I’m skiving. Today was meant to be the last filming day for my ITV show, but it’s been cancelled as we’re all done. So I’ve reclaimed the day to catch up on my articles. Yet I’m struggling to get...

The Martian – the most gripping book I’ve read in a long time (and it cost 77p)

Update Note August 2016: When I wrote this blog the Martian was by a minor publisher. Many people downloaded the book after the blog, which boosted it up Amazon charts. Soon after it was taken off as it was due to be republished with a bigger publisher and to become a film. That film became a Hollywood blockbuster...

A warning to FCA boss Martin Wheatley – please don’t screw up the savings market

I read with horror a BBC news headline yesterday – Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) hints it may act act on ‘teaser’ rates – based on comments by the new regulator, the FCA’s (was the FSA) boss, Martin Wheatley. Thankfully, later in the piece it says he wouldn’t consider an outright ban on teaser rates, just some tinkering. However...

Mrs Thatcher’s funeral should set a precedent

Politics is a tribal game. Like football fans, supporters of each team often position themselves at odds with each other, even when differences can be intangible. Therefore, when one of our country’s former Prime Ministers dies, that polarisation makes its difficult for our ruling elite to decide the appropriate treatment. The problem here, what makes a "great...

I am Tory scum and a rabid socialist

Last week, I was accused of being "Tory scum", as well as being a "rabid socialist", on social media. It shows the rather scary tribalism we have in our political system, so I thought it time to set the record straight. The "rabid socialist" comments came on the back of tweeting that I thought the Philpott case...

New Rock, Paper, Scissors game – the tennis version

I’ve come up with a twist to the Rock, Paper, Scissors game, which I wanted to share (and before anyone says anything, yes, I am a nerd). In a nutshell, you play the game with tennis scoring and serving rules. Regular readers of my blog will know my hero, Dr Sheldon Cooper, is a huge fan of...

Why the introduction of “Simple Financial Products” may do more harm than good

The plan for a new "Simple Financial Products" kitemark could run the risk of misleading customers into getting poor deals. While I know many would’ve thought I’d support it – unless done right, it risks more harm than good. Listen to this on Radio 5 I’m writing this blog on the back of a debate on Radio...