As I understand it - although I am not a financial expert - the new treasury top bod Danny Alexander didn't pay tax when selling his home, and he didn't have to. And yet:
Now you may say that avoiding something is avoiding it, whether you do it deliberately and on an Ashcroft-sized scale, or whether by simply doing what you're doing you happen to fall into the category of avoiding.
However, if Mr Alexander had wanted advice on how to avoid capital gains tax, he could have used this newspaper's handy guide entitled "Home sweet second home":
Thank goodness for that 10-point plan to minimise the pain for those of us lucky enough to be able to have two homes! And as you've already guessed or already seen, you'll know the name of the newspaper which printed that handy guide - the Telegraph.
You could also point out that not everyone involved with that newspaper - I'm thinking of David and Frederick Barclay - pays as much tax in the UK as they might do if their financial arrangements were different. Is that 'avoiding', or is that 'minimising the pain'?
But leaving all that aside, what's going on with the Telegraph? Is there an agenda against the Liberal Democrats and the Coalition, as some are (quite understandably) claiming? Or is something else going on? After the David Laws story (about which Matthew Parris has written an excellent piece - he's of the few things I'll miss about the Times when it pulls up the drawbridge) it's as if there was a desperate search for more - whether it was entirely justified or not.
You can look back to election time, when there was another story about a Lib Dem - this time the leader, who was riding high in the polls - which seemed to be a fuss about nothing.
This was a story about 'payments into his private account' which were completely accounted for and which went to pay staff, and which weren't - not that this was even claimed - benefiting him personally at all. Just as with the Alexander story, there didn't seem to be a huge justification for the front-page prominence of it.
So what's going on? Are the Telegraph out to undermine the Coalition Government, by selecting Lib Dem targets and attempting to pull the rug out from under them, even when the content of the story doesn't warrant a front page lead? Are they out to undermine capital gains tax changes from David Cameron? Are they out to get him, for what they see as a small-l liberal agenda?
I have a more prosaic theory, I'm afraid. As the Times pulls down the shutters, I think they're aiming to position themselves in the marketplace as the home of the breaking story and investigative journalism. Whether they're going about it the right way is open to question, though.
What we have no way of knowing, of course, is what other stories the Telegraph has tucked away for a rainy day. Does it have tales to tell about Tories, which it has decided not to reveal (for now)? Has it got one on whichever Miliband wins the Labour leadership election? Is that evidence of an agenda, or just a tabloidish desire to pounce whenever someone gets to a high enough level of prominence?
While there was some sliver of justification you could just about grasp about the Laws story, the Alexander one - like the Clegg tale - appears to be nothing more than 'here's something that might appear slightly naughty in a certain light, even though there's nothing wrong with it really'. It looks a little desperate and I don't know if it really does make the Telegraph look like a beacon of investigative journalism, or a trashier type of broadsheet. I guess that's for the readers to decide.