Proposals to suspend the internet connections of those who repeatedly share music and films online will leave consumers with a bill for £500 million, ministers have admitted.
Yes, it's hardly an earth-shattering notion that government meddling quite often leaves us all to pick up the tab, but this one is a trifle different.
ISPs say that such interference with their customers’ connections would add £25 a year to a broadband subscription.
Ministers have not estimated the cost of the measures but say that the cost of the initial letter-writing campaign, estimated at an extra £1.40 per subscription, will lead to 40,000 households giving up their internet connections. Impact assessments published alongside the Bill predict that the measures will generate £1.7 billion in extra sales for the film and music industries over the next ten years ...
Now, at the risk of being dubbed simplistic, this not only goes against all previous government initiatives to increase the number of homes with online access, but also appears to be the very antithesis of fundamental Labour beliefs. In effect, we are seeing a Labour-backed redistribution of wealth from the proletariat ... to wealthy industrialists.
And there are frantic machinations by Labour to get this crammed in before the next election. Not very 'Labour' at all, is it?
There has been a lot of talk about Mandelson's cosy acquaintance with David Geffen, but why would such a relationship result in a socialist government abandoning one of the prime motivators underpinning its movement?
You may have noticed the elipsis in the above quote. It's there to delay this bit. Drum roll please.
... as well as £350 million for the Government in extra VAT.
The answer couldn't be as simple as 'KERCHING!', could it? Could it?
Just saying. You see, Labour's ideals are one thing, but their almost psychopathic addiction to stealing our money is far more powerful (especially with a leader desperate to claw back some meagre scraps of his erstwhile financial respect).
I mean, just imagine the diversity consultants, tobacco control officers and other assorted public sector paper clip sculptors that 350 mill could buy, eh?