Anyone remember the special telephone line 101? It was a little idea to have a non-emergency phone line that people could use instead of 999 to report crimes that didn't require SO19 to pile in with their H&K MP5s.
It was, naturally a complete waste of time and money, being piloted then slowly dropped having cost the taxpayer £1.8 million
Calls to the line, designed to ease pressure on 999, included such requests as, "can you tell me the times of trains to Brighton?", "I'd like someone to test my smoke alarm." and "Do you know when the next bus leaves for Southampton?"
You'll be glad to hear therefore that our Coalition Government would not be so stupid as to introduce a similar sort of scheme ever again, less face the embarrassment of throwing more of our money away at a service that would be used and abused... oh wait, no... what am I talking about, they are introducing such a scheme.
For those wondering, this is the point at which you put your head in your hands and scream "Oh God no! Not again!".
Note: I've tried to save them some marketing spend by hacking up the old logo as I like to do my bit in these tough economic times.
Anyway, this service is going to "take the pressure off 999 calls" (where have we heard that one before huh?), so we're now going to have 111 which will be piloted in a few areas first (sound familiar?), and will deal with urgent but non-emergency care calls in relation to health issues.
Note: Please ignore the fact that such a service exists already, remember, in the Matrix there is no spoon.
So, how long before this line gets quietly shelved as an idea, and how long before we learn that calls to the service have included such things as "I cut my finger on a piece of paper and it stings, what should I do?"
Still, it's only money right?
Update: How many more repeats are we going to get under the Coalition?