The Home Secretary Theresa May is actively considering the introduction of 'radical digitectomy' as a means of combating the growing menace of 21st Century civil disorder. The recent city based riots and looting have shown that, unlike their counterparts in the 1980s, the new wave of urban-wariors have a suite of electronic aids at their disposal.
"Technological development is moving at an increasing pace and it is important that we stay ahead of the curve on this one," said Wayne Parkin, the spokesperson for the Home Office's cutting edge 'Think Different; Steve Jobs Memorial Department' "the single most common factor within social media is the use of the opposable digit. The Human Being's Unique Selling Point, if you will; the thumb. The very best ideas are often the simplest. Put simply, for a certain defined number of offences, we propose removing the thumbs of offenders. Or indeed, of potential offenders."
Home Office mandarins have already had high level talks with their opposite numbers in the Department of Health. Parkin reported that the department heads have reached broad agreement with the proposals. It is thought that the associated fees, which will be met by a direct levy on the offender, could bring a much needed injection of funds to a health service struggling to meet stringent Treasury fiscal targets. "In order to ensure that the cash does indeed come in, there will be a straightforward arrangement. If we don't get the injection of cash - the offender will not get the injection of anaesthetic. So, it will also be a very demanding, or rather de-thumbing, form of community service. Much better than sweeping up leaves on a windy day or sorting out smelly clothes in a charity shop. Harsh, but fair".
Making it clear that these proposals had already been worked up in advance of today's press conference, Parkin went on to say "Leading market researchers Ipsos MORI have undertaken detailed quantitative-qualitative work on the subject for us. There is a clear groundswell of support within the community for this kind of bold inititative and it is important that the public's voice is heard. But, if whipping off the offender's thumbs doesn't work, we'll move on to the larynx."