The BBC is reporting that the amount paid out by the Parliamentary Labour Party* to Vodafone for messaging services has doubled over the past year, which must mean that pagers are back. No, they're not, not exactly. We all handed over our pagers (in my case, retrieving it from the desk drawer where it lived, buzzing away unnoticed) earlier this year, and we now get text messages on our phones telling us if a vote is expected, or if someone important is speaking at the PLP, or if there's a statement coming up in the Chamber. Which is actually quite useful.
If you're in a meeting you know whether you need to get to the point quickly, because you will have to rush off to vote soon, or whether you have the luxury of talking around the issue and going off at a bit of a tangent for a while. And if you're in the office, you know it's time to take off the scruffy cardy and put the boots back on.
*MPs pay for this, they contribute 2% of their wages each year.