It's all Jimmy Carr's fault. And maybe Gary Barlow too, though he writes songs for The Queen, so we may let him off (even if he rhymes "sing it clearer with "everyone will hear yer"). How foolish we were not to notice what was happening. While many of us were focused on enormous severance packages paid to CEOs whose companies were failing, massive bonuses "earned" by people who simply moved money from one place to another by pressing a button, and dreadful financial decisions by governments, it was the entertainers who let us down.
After all this time, it's taken a fearless investigation by The Thunderer, in the spirit of the old Sunday Times Insight team, to uncover that fact that an entertainer has been taking the advice of an accountant who he paid to deliver - er - advice. A shocking revelation. Even David Cameron has been taken aback by the scale of the scandal. In fact, he's been literally dumbstruck, and therefore unable to comment at all on apparently similar practices by people he knows well.
Mr Carr has now accepted responsibility for the enormous damage that his thoughtless actions have wrought. He is believed to be changing his stage name to Mr Bicycle to reflect his contrition. It's even rumoured that on his forthcoming tour he may offer to pay the taxes of everyone in his audience. But it may not be enough. There may need to be a radical solution.
So here's the idea. We're all feeling pretty low right now. It's pouring with rain everywhere. We're all running up frightening credit card bills. Have I Got News for You has finished its run. We need cheering up, and people like Jimmy Carr can do it. I'm proposing a tax amnesty for comedians until we all feel better. Happy people work harder, produce more, and don't turn to crime. Jimmy Carr, and comics like him, should be national heroes. We need him in this dark hour. We could even extend the amnesty to Gary Barlow, but he has to promise to write proper rhymes in future.