You can set if not your watch, then at least your calendar by it. Every few years some jobsworth politico pops up and advises the powers that be that they should be taxing messaging. Nutter-of-the-year prize goes to....
This time it's the UK's very own Bob Crow, a union leader of the old 1970s class-war school and a type that has nearly died out in the UK. Bob, as leader of the transport workers, is practically the only one left in office.
Perhaps because he doesn't have many friends our Bob has just noticed that a lot of people are texting and that therefore, some company somewhere, must be making a lot of money out of it. So his contribution to the UK's lively national debate on debt and taxation, is to recommend that the government slap a penny tax on each SMS sent.
As usual, of course, poor old Bob is a bit behind the times.
This very idea used to pop up regularly in the early 2000s, usually proposed by some grizzled old European politician of the old corporatist school. But the motivation was similar. He (or perhaps she) suspected that someone somewhere was having a good time by building a successful business, and he (or she) was determined to put a stop to it - or at least confiscate the proceeds.
As Bob-followers were quick to point out, there is something like 100 billion SMS messages sent every year in the UK, so that would bring in a nice round billion - hardly worth bothering about when the national debt is measured in trillions.
But fear not. The establishment stopped taking Bob seriously years ago.
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