“Former Sir Leicester’s Five Rules of Business,” by Jesper Soerensen

May 29th, 2024 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Former Sir Leicester is in town. His entry from the UK was uncharacteristically low-key compared to his spectacular entrances at ribbon-cutting ceremonies and trade shows. He did not arrive in a hot air balloon or on an elephant’s back, as we have seen him do before. He simply landed at the airport on a jet plane like any other mortal being. He flew the plane himself, though, being a certified pilot.

The kids adore former Sir Leicester. We are not talking about kids in the literal sense, as in toddlers in rompers. We mean “kids” as in junior conservatives, dressed in suits since their late teens. They are well-represented at most of the speaking engagements former Sir Leicester has undertaken on his short visit, and here they are heard chanting “Pay the fine, pay the fine, pay the fine…” after each bold statement from the billionaire. His audacity is tremendous. People have a similar fascination with former Sir Leicester as they have with celebrities in the entertainment industry. They think that with all that success and money and power, he must know something we don’t. So please, former Sir Leicester, cast your pearls and enlighten us!

Former Sir Leicester’s Five Rules of Business:

1. Pay the Fine: Former Sir Leicester’s pay-the-fine ethos has become so well known by now that he usually abbreviates it to PTF in his outrageous blog. It is his war cry for civil disobedience against a system that has become the stooge of socialism. Although it is a general protest against the interference of a paternalistic government, it is mainly directed against the tax authorities. The slogan comes from his belief that it is cheaper to pay the fine for tax evasion than it is to pay the tax itself. He not only urges his followers to not pay taxes if they can avoid it, he says it is their duty to combat the systematic persecution of the minority 1%. Whenever he writes about taxation of the rich, he gets so agitated that he often likens it to the Salem witch hunts and the plunder and vandalism by the Nazis against the Jews in the 1930s. With the current administration imposing its punishing taxes on the most industrious people, we have allowed a fascist state as bad as that of 1930s Germany to emerge, he tells us. Whenever former Sir Leicester plays the Nazi card in the debate, he gets an avalanche of comments from his followers, saying he is a beacon of common sense in a world that has gone stark raving mad.

Unfortunately, the tax authorities were not as lenient as former Sir Leicester thought they would be, and he should consider changing his tax evasion slogan from “Pay the Fine” to “Do the Time.” You see, he used to be Sir Leicester, but he had his title annulled by the queen after he was sentenced to eight years in prison for tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud. Although no longer a Sir—in fact, many have even dispensed with any form of courtesy title, and are now addressing him by his less glamorous first name: Moe—former Sir Leicester has emerged solitarily from the rubble of his collapsed estate under which his investors are still helplessly trapped. Today he is considered the Lazarus of embezzlers, and his star is still rising high.

2. Good is Bad for Business: As former Sir Leicester explains to his audience, there is nothing wrong with being good, but good has no place in business. Business and altruism are incompatible. Period. Anyone who tries to establish a business with social conscience will be swallowed up by the competition. That is the Darwinian reality of competition, so if you want to do good, then you had better be bad in order to create wealth that will trickle down eventually. Once you have made the investors a fortune, you can choose to fulfill your propensity for philanthropy (that all venture capitalists are known to possess) in the private sphere.

Former sir Leicester himself has an outstanding reputation for philanthropy: Having repented long enough in prison, his first action upon his release was to establish the Moe Leicester Foundation. Such a success story of sincere atonement it was—unless, as his enemies claim, the foundation was established with the purpose of serving as a shelter against creditors and a front for former Sir Leicester, who is still barred from most kinds of licensure. But surely time will humiliate those vile calumniators.

3. Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel: You have to work hard for it and be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices. Former Sir Leicester will tell you he has paid his dues (although the many creditor’s claims to his bankrupt estates tell a different story). In his knighthood days, B.J. (Before Jail), he supposedly worked twenty hours a day, seven days a week for twenty years to achieve his then estimated net worth of two billion British pounds. Most people are unwilling to make that kind of sacrifice, and that is why former Sir Leicester and his tribe have become outlaws, hunted down by socialist highway robbers. And former Sir Leicester worked hard for his two billion: If we calculate a workday of twenty hours, seven days a week, for twenty years, his hourly wage is down to just over 13,700 British pounds. Surely, we all see that charging taxes from that puny amount is like plucking the hair off of a bald man’s head. In order to get rich, former Sir Leicester tells the kids, “You must put your shoulder to the wheel.” That, by the bye, is also what he tells the renters in his apartment buildings in south London who are struggling to keep up with his usurious rents.

4. Bubbles are Your Friends: As former Sir Leicester talks himself warm, the air in the room becomes increasingly hot, and it is a good thing that a cold glass of champagne awaits him afterwards. He loves bubbles, they made him rich, and he will tell you why you should love them too.

“Is there a housing bubble?” his hearers want to know.

“Is the crypto currency market going to crash?” someone asks with heartbreaking urgency.

“Are we heading towards a recession?”

To all these questions, former Sir Leicester replies with an overbearing chuckle: “Let’s hope so.”

Former Sir Leicester is here referring to the well-known business proverb “The small investor’s ruin is what you should be pursuing.” He explains: “You don’t want to rush into the market just yet. When you see a panic-stricken flock of investors in a stampede towards the trading floor, that’s when you strike! We’re not there yet, are we? Just wait for the bankruptcies—I promise it will be beautiful—and then you put up your money. The market will recover over time, it always has and always will.”

He is not at all ashamed of admitting this tactic of capitalizing on the misfortune of others, which brings us to the last of former Sir Leicester’s five rules of business:

5. They’d Do It Too: Former Sir Leicester does not mind being called a dog-eat-dog businessman. It is only the rhetoric of jealous socialists and bleeding-heart liberals, intended to vilify capitalists. “Capitalism,” he says, “is a fair game whose principles of combat, harsh as they may be, are openly stated – unlike those of the sneaky government with its undercover agents prying under your covers.” This bold statement elicits the biggest applause of the night, followed by more “Pay the Fine” chanting.

The audience members wish to share with former Sir Leicester the horrors of the systematic plunder they are suffering as a highly taxed people. He has indeed heard of the abominably high tax burdens of this country that is smothering the entrepreneurial spirit. The entrepreneurial spirit, he says, must not be tethered by laws and regulations, it must run free like the buffaloes on the prairie! Former Sir Leicester predicts that a country where the population has no incentive to make an extra effort will be swallowed up by unstoppable globalization and go bankrupt soon enough. Unless, that is, the necessary reforms (i.e., tax cuts) are made. Furthermore, he declares, private property—the basic right and dignity of every man—must be protected against theft by socialist usurpers!

Resisting the temptation of taking a pleasure voyage down the Nazi tangent, Former Sir Leicester prudently returns to the main road and resumes his talk about morals. “They’d Do It Too,” he tells us, is a maxim that anyone who aspires to be a successful capitalist must embrace. This means that if something seems to you to be too morally reprehensible, then you must remember that if you don’t do it yourself, somebody else will do it instead of you—and to you. The way to overcome your scruples, is to remember that any moral standard is a double standard. No one can claim to be without sin, and therefore no one is in a position to criticize anybody. Let that truth set you free, saith former Sir Leicester. Anyone that says you must not do business with warmongers and oppressors is a hypocrite, unless they never wore a t-shirt made in Myanmar or bought a bike pump produced in China.

It is unfortunate that former Sir Leicester closes his lecture with this rule because it is the greatest fallacy of his philosophy, and the cause of his downfall. Thinking that everyone acts from the same principles as he does, he displays his capacity for bold-faced lying and his willingness to cheat others a bit too proudly. That is why former Sir Leicester and those jolly good fellows down at the hedge fund think the only way to get ahead is to break the rules. It is also the reason why he was so shocked when the member of the jury read the verdict to him. He thought that everyone was breaking the law, and since no one he knew had ever been sentenced to prison, he didn’t expect to be punished himself. To prove how fundamentally wrong former Sir Leicester is in his assumption that “They’d Do It Too,” we ask you to imagine, among all the people you know, how many would be willing to act like he does. Our guess is it is close to zero.


Jesper Soerensen is from Denmark and now lives in Denver, Colorado. His humor writing has appeared  on various humor sites, such as Little Old Lady Comedy, Roi Fainéant Press, Robot Butt, Humour Me, and others. His first book, Charles Dickens—The Stories of His Life, which is an introduction to the works of the greatest humor writer of all time, is out now from Olympia Publishers. Go to his Instagram for mountain views and writing news, and also check out his relentlessly cute dogs, Hurricane Nora and Charming Charlie: https://www.instagram.com/soerensen.jesper/

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