Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Correction, Watch Out For Bad Journalism


Set out below is the text of a statement supplied by Elton's company, W A Bong Ltd.

"Some reports about Elton are based upon stupidity of the reporter. Other reports are based upon prejudice. Sometimes, as with the latest article in the Daily Mail today, reports are based upon both stupidity and prejudice.

"The Daily Mail claims that Elton's staff went from 14 to 22 between 2008 and 2010 and implies that the increase is due to arrangements being made for the birth of Zachary. This claim has now been picked up and distorted by others on the internet.
"The inconvenient facts are:

A. The accounts of William A Bong for the period April 2008 to March 31, 2009, showed administrative staff of 13, and for the next year (April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010) the figure was 21. By the way, on any count this does not mean, except to a moron, that the staff has "doubled."

B. Zachary would hardly have been conceived during the financial year ended March 31, 2010, and it is again a suggestion of true absurdity that any increase in staff shown in those accounts was related in any way to the addition to Elton and David's family. Furthermore, the employment of purely personal staff such as housekeepers and nannies would constitute a fraud on the Revenue, as would be obvious to anybody but a financial illiterate such as the Daily Mail's reporter, Simon Cable.

C. Nobody talked to us about the figures, and if they had done so we would have pointed out that the wages and salaries had risen for administrative staff from £1,260,854 in 2008/9 to £1,276,023 in 2009/10, a rise of just over £15,000. Even if wages had been entirely frozen for the entire 13 original staff, it would surely defy logic to suggest that an additional 8 staff could be employed at a total cost of £15,000 for the year. This simple fact would have put any fair-minded reporter on enquiry. The truth is that the increase in numbers is a purely procedural step taken because some staff who previously were employed by other companies associated with Elton John (e.g.TwentyFirst Artists Ltd.) have been counted in the later accounts as William A Bong employees if they performed any duties at all for that company. In short there has been no actual increase in the staff of William A Bong Ltd.

D. If further evidence of the financial illiteracy of the reporter was required one need only look at the final paragraph of the article - the claim that Elton took "a £283,825 hit simply by turning his foreign income back into pounds." Under the administrative expenses section of the accounts the figure of £283,825 is shown in brackets - a commonplace accounting device to show not a cost but a profit! How incompetent can you get?

"The article is yet another piece of pathetic journalism by a newspaper with a continuing agenda against Elton."

- EltonJohn.com/ William A Bong LTD.

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