Andy Richardson: 'After six months of chaos, has anything changed?'

Taxes and death. The only two certainties in life, except, of course, if you’re a supposed billionaire world leader who gets away with paying nothing.

For most of us, the rules are pretty clear. You earn money, you pay tax, you spend what’s left over. For the super-rich, however, it’s easier to game the system. So if you’re Amazon or Apple, Donald Trump et al, you can pay much less than those who earn lower sums. The worst part? It’s perfectly legal. Death, therefore, is the only certainty.

Susie Dent might reasonably assume her publisher would have gone to extra lengths to make sure not a comma was out of place in her new book, Word Perfect, which, in fact, was anything but.

Printed erroneously, the Countdown lexicographer’s book contained a host of typos after an incorrect version was sent to press. The excuse that we’ll all be using from now on if there are any spelling mistakes in our copy. Whodda thunk it? As Susie probably hasn’t said.

A new week brings new opportunities. Will Priti Patel float a newly implausible plan to deal with immigration? Will MPs in Westminster get caught out breaking more rules? Will Boris remember what day it is? Will Amazon delivery drivers leave parcels under less conspicuous places than the door mat outside a front door? And will Jacob Rees-Mogg recite more Shakespeare as ordinary businesses go bust? Ah, the joys of MPs who remain in touch with us commoners.

Andrew Neil’s best interview in the past year may well have been the one in which the interviewee failed to turn up. When Boris Johnson got a dose of chicken by refusing to be interrogated by the former BBC newsman, he evaded questions relating to competence, integrity and truth-telling. Those questions seem more prescient now than ever.

As the effects of Storm Alex leave us all with a mopping up job there’s a sense of déjà vu. Rewind to February and March and there were dreadful storms, an infection rate leading to huge rises of Covid-19 cases and politicians running for cover. After six months of chaos, has anything changed?

T’Pau singer Carol Decker has found a new way to get through Covid-19 – she’s given up the booze. She’s raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support by climbing on the wagon with a China (tea cup) in her hand.

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