This is a festering boil that needs to be lanced - quickly

COMMENT: The pebbles may be small, but their impact is large

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David Cameron must have known he was offering up a massive hostage to fortune when he expressed the view that ‘we’re all in it together’.

It has returned to nibble his backside a couple of times since, but the allegation that the taxman has cost the country £25bn by making cosy arrangements with big business is hugely buttock-threatening.

Ordinary people have already been taken to the brink of open mutiny by the financial yoke placed upon them in response to a crisis for which they had little or no responsibility.

Now they find themselves regarded as easy targets by an HMRC fighting shy of confrontation with the giant corporations. It’s a festering boil which needs to be lanced – and quickly.