Taking Stock: The death of Facts

IT’S NOT VERY OFTEN Taking Stock gets to attend fancy shindigs at the Savoy, but when it does, it takes the opportunity with aplomb.

So imagine the surprise that spread its way through the TS desk when an invitation to the CIoT’s President’s Luncheon arrived. Suits were duly laundered and dusted off, and we swaggered all the way to the Strand.

To our delight, not only was there a lunch and drinks, but there was also a – admittedly small – show, when CIoT president Patrick Stevens gave what is only the second ever Council Award, to John Andrews for his work with the Low Incomes Tax Reforms Group (LITRG).

Not only is Andrews a worthy recipient of the institute’s highest accolade, having both served as president of the CIoT in 1998/99 and founded the LITRG, not to mention boasting a highly distinguished career spanning more than 45 years, but he made an astonishing announcement in his acceptance speech: the death of Facts.

Facts, said Andrews, was born 2,300 years ago in Greece when Aristotle noticed that assertion must be backed up with evidence.

Since then, he said, wild opinion and baseless assertion – latterly on tax – appearing to show a tax on grannies was to be introduced, left Facts hospitalised, before eventually dying upon receipt of the news that “a coffee bean company can now set corporation tax”.

All at the TS desk are deeply saddened to hear of Facts’ passing, and send our condolences to its next of kin, Tax Law.

Related reading