Each product, we are told, has its own code and staff must spend hours thumbing through a 912-page, 2in-thick manual to find the right one. And then we learn that this "hefty book", is called the Intrastat Classification Nomenclature, which categorises everything from livestock, chemicals and cosmetics to umbrellas, swords and wigs.
This "hefty book" though goes back to 1992, which is when we were writing on it. It goes so far back as to be pre-internet days. To remind myself of what Booker and I were writing at the time, I had to go back to The Castle of Lies, which you can now buy for a penny, plus p&p.
And there is pages 115-117 – all there, published in 1996 – the story of Intrastats. So, what Booker and I write sixteen years ago, The Sun finds news for today. If we wait another sixteen years, I suppose it might just catch up with what we are currently writing.
Richard North 09/04/2012
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