I don’t read the newspapers as much as I used to, but any time I do - UK newspapers at least - I’m reminded that 90% of the so-called ‘news’ is just a literal waste of time.
Note, for example, the ‘news’ that Nick Clegg wants an ‘emergency tax’ on the UK’s rich:
Britain’s wealthiest people should face an emergency tax to avoid a breakdown in social cohesion as the country fights an “economic war” caused by a longer than expected recession, Nick Clegg has said.
In the first interview by a senior member of the cabinet to mark the new political season, the deputy prime minister told the Guardian he is embarking on a battle to persuade his Tory coalition partners of the need to ensure the rich shoulder a greater burden of the economic pain.
“If we are going to ask people for more sacrifices over a longer period of time, a longer period of belt tightening as a country, then we just have to make sure that people see it is being done as fairly and as progressively as possible,” Clegg said.
“While I am proud of some of the things we have done as a government I actually think we need to really hard-wire fairness into what we do in the next phases of fiscal restraint. If we don’t do that I don’t think the process will be either socially or politically sustainable or acceptable.”
This is the definition of nonsense. An emergency tax would raise less money and be more politically difficult than just restoring the 50p rate. Its chances of happening are practically zero. Clegg knows this, but is floating it in a desperate bid to cling onto disgruntled lefty members. The Guardian knows it, but is running it because idiots like me will click on it. Everyone’s time is wasted, everyone is distracted, thousands of tweets are generated, and no-one gains or learns anything.
It’s all so exhausting.