The change is thought to have been prompted by the annoyance felt by the Lord Chef Justice that people kept doing it to him : ‘Only the other day, I came out of the High Court, turned my phone back on and saw I had a voicemail. So I listened as that stupid automated voice laboriously told me what number had called, and then after all that there was just two seconds of silence. I mean, what a complete cockwomble.’
He added that he also wanted to kill people who leave messages just telling you that they called, without saying what it’s about: ‘As if your phone doesn’t bloody tell you who’s called anyway,’ he raged. ‘For God’s sake, I fought in the Crimean War and I know that.’
It’s thought the bill will enjoy widespread support in the House of Lords, many of whose members never liked these newfangled mobile telephones and worried that no good would come of them.
‘I never know how to turn mine off,’ said Lord Bufton of Tufton. ‘Only the other day, it rang during a crucial debate about removing benefits from the most vulnerable in society. Woke me up before it was even time to vote.’