Britain's most prestigious publishers, including News International, Express Newspapers and the Sunday Sport, are up in arms about people who browse the content of their publications without paying for them.
One complained that it's almost as bad as avoiding your taxes. 'Except that avoiding your taxes is perfectly legal and it's all above board. Unlike accessing our stories for free, which is wrong. Although, yeah OK, it's technically not illegal.'
Unlike being a multi millionaire who evades paying a tax contribution to a nation which has given him considerable wealth, the man who looks at newspaper headlines while shopping in WH Smith or Waitrose is breaking a social contract, argued the publishers. They are also contravening a moral code, being snide and just not playing cricket. It goes against the British sense of fair play, said one porn publisher. 'It's bang out of order. My journalists work bloody hard to reproduce Max Clifford's press releases. And these scumbags with supermarket trolleys are getting to see the stories without paying for them.'
Browsing the headlines of all the papers, before buying your usual newspaper, isn't just bad for publishing - it's bad for Britain, says new research. It could render Britain's industries fatally incapable of competing globally, would encourage Al Qaeda to attack and would make warlord asylum seeker's children get priority in all the best state schools - even though they don't actually live in Kingston!
'Every time someone sneaks a view of one of my papers, without buying it, a little piece of old Englande dies,' said one tax haven based billionaire.