The world of accountancy had been building itself up for Sajid Javid’s long-awaited Budget debut on 11 March. As readers will be well aware, this writer did not have much confidence in the new Chancellor’s grasp of the tax system but was prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
It's even more surprising then that a man who seemed relatively harmless if ineffectual should apparently have been sacked summarily by the Prime Minister.
Readers might question the verb used in the last sentence, not fully understanding that in political circles, the word “resign” is, as often as not, a euphemism to cover a brutal dismissal.
That was certainly the view taken by political commentators in the media in the aftermath of Javid’s departure taken alongside his bold but possibly inadvisable words of farewell.
In retrospect, it is possible that the departing politician’s original appointment was made under the mistaken assumption that his degree was not from Exeter University but Exeter College Oxford.
That error is not to be repeated, since this week’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, former Goldman Sachs banker Rishi Sunak, is an Oxford graduate and, even better, studied PPE, the favoured degree course for government ministers.
One hopes that Javid’s shoes are the right size, since there is nothing worse than stepping into the footwear of a dead man and finding that the leather pinches your toes.
Reading the runes does not offer much encouragement. Apparently, the Prime Minister was so scared of any kind of independent behaviour on the part of his red brick Chancellor that, without notice, he blacklisted not one or two Javid advisers but the whole damn lot of them.
Those who know their King Lear will instantly spot a trend that proved popular with his daughters Goneril and Regan, whereby every one of the King’s servants was banned, albeit less brutally and more gradually than the methods perpetrated by Johnson yesterday.
Where does this leave us? Who knows?
After over two years without a meaningful Budget, it is unclear whether Sunak will be ready (or permitted) to stand at the dispatch box on the allotted Wednesday in mid-March.
If he does, there has to be every chance that, like his predecessor but one on the last occasion that Parliament assembled to hear about the latest spending and tax changes, there will be no significant tax measures.
This will be great news for the tax avoidance and evasion industry, which thrives on lethargy on the part of government. These upstanding citizens come up with a raft of schemes that they know will get outlawed in the fullness of time and then pray that they are permitted a few years of earning power before the axe falls. The number of years is increasing as this Government ducks the issues.
In particular, it will be fascinating to see whether Johnson (or should that read Sunak) decides to bow to pressure from Donald Trump and scrap the digital services tax. Given his desperate need for a trade deal and the amount of effort that will be expended on trying to sort out the European position in the next 10 and a half months, that has to be a likely outcome.
It gets boring to remind everyone on an almost weekly basis that the Tory manifesto included promises to freeze rates of income tax, NIC and VAT but that has surely become a certainty this time around.
Now it has to be possible that every other tax will be frozen too, while spending goes through the roof as the Northern Powerhouse becomes a financial black hole of epic proportions.
Sajid Javid might not but the rest of us have exciting times ahead.