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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Look who's back

The government wants to start another tax. This time it's 50p a month on every phone line, on the promise of something to do with digital inclusion. The press would have realised that it was just the thin end of the wedge, sure to go up every year in the Budget, and like road fund duty, nothing to do with the underlying costs it is purported to pay for.

In essence the government is telling you to pay for somebody else's internet access. Remember the story about Williie Walsh asking BA employees to work for free? Do you see a trend?

So how do they dress it up in the media? By dredging up Martha Lane Fox, and splashing her picture all over the papers as a "Digital Inclusion Champion", not that anyone asked for one. Indeed she seems to be in place to handle a problem that hasn't happened yet, nor does it seem likely. The internet has developed quite well so far without massive government intervention.

As a counterblast of all the pictures of Lane Fox that will appear in tomorrow's paper, here is a different image, the Lastminute.com share price, the closest you will get to exponential decay without resorting to radioactive materials. Let us not forget how at the start of the millenium, Ms Lane Fox and chums managed to turn a £316 million flotation into a £25 million company. With that on her CV, no wonder she has to scrounge for work on the government payroll.

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