The General Secretary of the militant Rail, Maritime and Transport union was booed as he outlined his idea for a 1p tax on each email during an appearance on a late night comedy show.He said that rather than cutting public services, the Government should tax email traffic and scrap the replacement for the Trident nuclear defence system.
Asked for his strategy for protecting jobs while tackling the deficit, Mr Crow told Channel 4’s 10 O’clock Live Show: “If groups of workers are under attack, we believe we should coordinate and stand firm - propose a tax of 1p per email, and get rid of Trident.”
Now whilst there are a lot of emails sent in this country, (2.8 million per second) a hell of a lot of those are spam and I can't imagine an easy way to tax them other than going by your ISP and getting them to spy on you. Even then that wouldn't work too well against the millions who use an online service such as Hotmail or Gmail and a variety of computers (and mobile phones) to access them, or even providers who are based abroad and aren't subject to UK taxes. I can imagine that he might be able to get at UK companies using outlook, but I also suspect that they'd either pass the costs on or find ways not to use UK based email services as well.
I get the feeling that Bob Crow is somewhat divorced from reality (well any union leader would be) in that he leads a sheltered existence from real life only to emerge every now and again to call on his members to lose money by going on industrial action and then wondering why the public don't particularly like him. Mind you as he arranged himself a 12% pay rise last year from the pockets of his membership whilst they only (generally) got less than 5% which is a damned sight more than a lot of us in the private sector got.
Now in the past, the unions served a useful purpose in moderating the excesses of the private sector and forcing health and safety legislation through parliament by protests, even today they represent their members well when it comes to representing them with management and defending them from abuse. However those at the top of the unions seem to have lost touch with reality, they are now part of the political classes who think that we should do as we're told and ignore what they get up too. Bob Crow is a prime example of a guy who although he started off looking after his members interests, now seems to be doing all right looking after himself. He thinks he's looking after their interests by taxing all of us to keep the system going, all he'll end up doing is delaying the inevitable fall or forcing more people into penury. If it costs money to send emails, people wont send them, if it costs too much to use trains, people wont use them, it's part of the law of diminishing returns and shows up quite well in laffer curve statistics on taxation. Bob Crow doesn't get it, we're sick of paying out for reduced services, we want value for money, something the public services have avoided for years, we don't want to pay out more to keep things the way they are.