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Going Dutch

Just like any other large multi-national corporation with a social conscience - and keen to "spread the love" - the Threadbone Corporation has been quick to invest its modest profits overseas in regimes appreciative of its enterprise culture and keen to attract investment in their as yet under-taxed revenue-based regimes. A typical example would be the Corporation's commendably positive attitude towards capital transfer in the direction of the Dutch Antilles, a place which, according to Deputy Chair Royston Binstock is "progressive, non-judgemental and open for business" in a way that so many other UN-recognised countries aren't.

Globally informed yet financially non-inquisitive, the Dutch Antilles fiscal authority [Belastingdienst van de Nederlandse Antillen] seems the perfect partner for a thrusting Dorset-based conglomerate; yet the migration of capital in its direction has not gone unnoticed nor uncriticised by some who have accused the Great-Heaving based companies not only of opportunism but of tax evasion and the avoidance of financial obligation "nearer to home". What natural connection, some ask, has the Threadbone Corporation with the small but satisfyingly semi-autonomous "under the radar" island group other than cynical monetary advantage?

Happily there is an answer to this deeply disrespectful and unpleasant question and it is: history and heredity!

Anyone who knows anything about the Threadbone Corporation knows that its origins lie in the small fortune generated by its inspiration, everyday moral compass and progenitor Professor Brian Thrupiece whose successful monetarisation of his researches into the nutritional possibilities of fluff gave the world the huge benefaction that is the thrupiecediet. It is from this that much if not most of the Corporation's start-up capital was derived. So far so Dorset. Yet as fewer people know, the Professor's family came [four generations before his birth] from Germany where the Durchstucken had been peasant farmers for generations up until the great schnitzel famines of 1887. Left only with "Fleisch, Kartoffeln und indigestion" they, alongside many other Mecklenburg-Vorpommeron families, upped sticks and headed for a better life pastie-making in the South West of England. Even so - and the geographical realities of pre-Drexit Europe notwithstanding - proven German heritage does not a Dutchman make!

Recent researches in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, however, have revealed that a series of paintings once attributed to Fred de Kunstenaarhave [1844-1876] now been identified as the work of Peter van Door Stuk the Younger [1852-1899] - a member of the Leiden van Door Stuks to whom (pending definitive DNA tests) the Professor's German ancestors are believed to be related. Tenuous as this connection may be, Dutch genealogist Mijn Familie believes it is significant enough to have allowed the Professor, had he so wished, to play carpet bowls for the Dutch national side - an internationally recognised litmus test and one frequently applied in the Dutch Antilles themselves.

"It won't silence the critics", Royston Binstock concedes, "but in my view it does establish both our bona fides and out good faith ... and to those who say this changes nothing I say... Verdwaal, krijg een leven en zing de kanselier van de schatkist" [Get lost, get a life and sod the Chancellor of the Exchequer].

The four paintings by Peter van Door Stuk hanging in the Familie Portretten Kamer of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
The four paintings by Peter van Door Stuk hanging in the Familie Portretten Kamer of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. They depict [CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT] Bernard van Door Stuck contemplating a fine bush; Gijsbert van Door Stuck considering the pros and cons of a dildo-shaped cactus; postman Erik van Door Stuck delivering a singing telegram and Claes and Marjolein van Door Stuck and children spinning plates [originally attributed Wilhelm "Billy" Smaart the Elder].

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