Jumpin' Jack Flash is tight with cash, cash, cash.
Britain's cartoonists, headline writers and editorialists are having a field day with the decision by the Rolling Stones to call off their British tour because of a new tax law.Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll are just a memory for the bad boys of pop who are famed above all for Mick Jagger's swiveling hips, pout-ing lips and fierce sex drive.
Now the fifty-something Stones boast luxury houses around the world, collect antiques, read the Financial Times and keep in close touch with their accountants.
After getting no satisfaction from Britain's new Labor government, they pulled the plug on their four-date British tour, saying they stood to lose 12 million pounds ($19.6 million) in tax.
Faithful fans who had nostalgically followed the Stones into middle age turned angrily on their idols.
A Treasury official put it bluntly for the government that has assiduously promoted a "Cool Britannia" image: "We are not going to be lectured on tax affairs by tax exiles."
Under Britain's old tax law, Britons who lived and worked abroad for more than a year were exempt from British taxes on their earnings so long as they did not spend more than 62 days in this country.
But the Labor government elected a year ago has scrapped that arrangement for everyone except some 10,000 seafarers. Now any resident who works in Britain at all must pay tax on their entire year's earnings.