The General Corbyn Thread

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IvanV
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by IvanV » Mon May 16, 2022 9:17 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 8:57 am
IvanV wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 8:40 am
If you want to see examples where a state-owned company isn't very different from a government dept/agency situation, then you don't have to look very far: National Highways (formerly Highways England and before that the Highways Agency) and Network Rail. Both of these are subject to annual budget votes of funds, and may borrow only from the National Loans Fund, just like a government department. They do each have a regulator/monitor between them and the departmental owner, to try and create a situation similar, for example, to privatised electricity distribution companies. It doesn't seem to work. I don't claim to know a better answer to these. I have never claimed/thought that privatising them was a good idea.
As a former employee of one of these companies, I can safely say you're not correct here. Network Rail is funded in five-year blocks, decided upon by the ORR, and the amount allocated is legally binding. They are not allocated money annually. Having moved onto a different public sector organisation which is much closer to being a government agency, Network Rail is pretty far from being that.
You are out of date on this. You are correct it has the five-year funding blocks from ORR. But it now also has the annual vote of funds, which came in once it was acknowledged to be a nationalised company. It is the British requirement for financial management of nationalised institutions.

It is set out quite clearly at paragraph 6.4 of the Framework Agreement between the Department for Transport and Network Rail.
6.4 For each financial year the Department will notify Network Rail of its formal budget control totals for that and subsequent years.
Each financial year. Each financial year the DfT tells them how much money they have got. Even though last financial year it may have set out "subsequent years", each financial year they will come along and say how much this year.

Very little attention is drawn to this in public. But, having done work for ORR on both National Highways' and Network Rail's financial management, I can assure you Network Rail in practice finds that this a very real p.i.t.a.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by lpm » Mon May 16, 2022 9:30 am

Whoa there, everyone talking about rural broadband. Always got to check starting assumptions.

The amount of investment into UK broadband, including rural broadband, is insane right now. Vast waves of capital investment are flooding the country.

BT Openreach is investing £15bn. Virgin Media £7bn. Everyone else - the alt-nets - are investing £12bn. There's several hundred alt-nets with licences to build, of which 50 have serious scale. Companies like CityFibre, HyperOptic, Community, B4RN (Broadband for Rural North), BAI, plus Vodafone and K-Com.

It's a full fibre to the home goldrush. In fact, the planned build is over-saturated - the total exceeds the number of homes in the UK by over double. There's too much money flooding in and some of is going to be wasted.

CityFibre's investors are giving them £4 bn. Would they have invested this if broadband had been nationalised by the glorious Corbyn government of 2019? Of course they f.cking wouldn't. Anyone here got their pension with USS? You've invested £300m in a company called G.Network. Anyone here a Russian oligarch? You might be one of the ones who've invested ********* funds into an alt-net.

When it comes to rural specifically, there's the same investment. Can be small local community alt-nets, or large ones like County Broadband who got £150m from Aviva to build fibre to 150 hard-to-reach villages in East Anglia. Or the more socialisty type schemes of community investment under the B4RN model.

And what about government support? The Tories have given it a slogan - Project Gigabit. But they've also given it £5bn. Alt-nets can bid for batches of subsidy for hard-to-reach rural areas. Want to build fibre to rural homes in Cornwall? There might be a subsidy for that. Want to build fibre to rural schools, GP surgeries and libraries? There's definitely a subsidy for that. And what about farmers miles from anywhere? There's a voucher scheme of up to £3,500 to fund a fibre to the premise for a business connection of £1,500 for a home. https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/

The UK classifies 1.4% of homes as "remote" and in need of direct intervention to get fibre broadband. That's about 400,000 premises. Of these about a third are impossible to reach, mainly in Scotland or Wales. The government has basically said these 100,000 or so premises aren't going to be connected and will need non-wired solutions. Every where else in the country will get fibre, eventually, and private enterprise is going to deliver with a modest splash of subsidy from the taxpayer.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by lpm » Mon May 16, 2022 9:34 am

Here's a list of the 207 main alt-nets.

Small entrepreneurial companies winning private investment and employing thousands of people.

Jeremy Corbyn wanted to destroy all these companies with his mad free broadband policy. He's even more anti-business than Boris Johnson.

110 Technologies
1310 LTD
2Connect Data Services Ltd
5 Rings Telecom Ltd
Abthorpe Broadband Association Limited
Abzorb Data LTD
Acuiti Solutions Ltd
AdEPT Telecom PLC
Airband Community
AJ Technology T/A Kloud 9
Alnwick Computerware LTD
Amatis Network
Amvia
Aspire Technology Solutions Limited
Atlas Communications (NI) Ltd
B4RN
Beacon Broadband
Beacons Telecom
Beeline Broadband Limited
Bink Networks Ltd
Blizzard Telecom
Bogons Limited
BorderLink Broadband Limited
Boundless Networks
Box Broadband Ltd
Briant Communications Sussex Ltd
Briskona Ltd
Broadband for Rural Kent Ltd
Broadband for Surrey Hills Ltd
Broadband N.I. Ltd
Broadway Partners Ltd
BSAS Telecoms Ltd
Bush Broadband Limited
Business Telephony Limited
C.I.D Fire and Security Ltd T/A Jamtech Communications
Cablewise Communications & Systems Ltd
Cambrian Connect
Cambridge Fibre Networks Ltd.
Camping Connect Ltd
Caudata Ltd
Cerberus Networks
CityFibre Limited
Claritel Ltd
Commsworld Ltd
Computer & Network Consultants Ltd
ComWales Ltd
Connectus Business Solutions Ltd
Connexin Limited
Country Connect Ltd
County Broadband Ltd
Cranberry Communications Ltd
Crockham Hill CIC trading as AirFast
C-Ways Ltd
Daisy Communications
Dragon WiFi LTD
Duplia Ltd
DX Networks Ltd
Eastern Telephones Limited t/a Eastern Voice & Data
easyNetworks Ltd
EBC Group (UK) Ltd
Ecom Fibre (Electronic Communities Ltd)
EUROCOMS UK LTD
e-volve Solutions Ltd
Exa Networks
Exascale Limited
Excell Business Systems
Exponential-e Ltd
External Reality Limited
F&W Networks Ltd
Factco
Fibairo Holdings Ltd
Fibre Broadband Company, Ltd.
Fibre Options Ltd.
Fibrus Ltd
Fibrus Networks Ltd
Flexifi Ltd
Focus Group
FreeClix
Freedom Fibre
Full Fibre Limited
Gigabair
Gigabit Networks Ltd
Gigaclear Ltd
Gigaloch Limited
Giganet (M 12 Solutions Ltd)
Glemnet Ltd
Glide Business Ltd
Grayshott Gigabit Limited
Green Colo Ltd
Green Telecom Ltd
Halo Communications Ltd
Hampshire Broadband Ltd t/a Hampshire Community Broadband
Hoki Limited
Home Counties Fibre Ltd
Infrasys Ltd
Integrated Digital Services Ltd
Intercommunications Ltd
Interface Advantage Limited
Internet Central Limited
Internetty Ltd
io IT Services Ltd
IP Exchange
IP River Ltd
ISUMO Ltd
IT Answers UK
Itility Limited
ITS Technology Group Ltd
Jurassic Fibre Limited
KCOM Group PLC
Kencomp Internet Limited
Keswick Computer Services Ltd T/A KCS Solutions
Lancehawk Ltd
Legend Communications Limited
Lightspeed Broadband Ltd
Link IP Networks Limited
Lothian Broadband Networks Ltd
Lugo Limited
Luminet Solutions Ltd
Midland Telecommunication Management Ltd
Midshire Business Systems (Communications) Ltd.
Millbeck Communications Limited
Millennium Telecom Ltd
Netomnia Limited
New Star Networks
Newman Business Solutions Ltd
Nexus UC Ltd
Odyssey Systems Limited
Openreach
Optionbox Ltd
Orbital Net Limited
Origin Solutions Ltd
Peak Telecom UK Ltd
Pine Media
Poundbury Systems Ltd
Quantum Air Fibre
Quickline Communications
razorblue Ltd
Redshelf Ltd
RHM Telecommunications Ltd
Runfibre Ltd
Rymote
Save9 Limited
Secure Web Services Ltd
Sequential Networks
Shadowfax Technology Limited
Signa Technologies Ltd
Skyline Networks and Consultancy
Smartinfo ltd
Solway Communications Limited
Southern Communications Ltd
Spectrum Fibre Limited trading as Ogi
Spectrum Internet LTD
Speedy Net Buckinghamshire Limited T/A Rapid Rural
Spindlewood Limited
Start Communications Group Ltd
Stix Internet Ltd
Sukh test
Surrey Hills Internet Limited
Swish Fibre Limited
Symmetris Broadband Ltd
Synergy UK
Talk Straight Ltd
Talking Technology Ltd
TalkTalk Communications Limited
Technological Services Limited
Techsapiens Limited
Telcom
Teledesign Solutions Limited
Terahost
TEST ACCOUNT 03
Thames Network Limited
The communication Gateway Ltd
The Internet Business Ltd. (Trading as TIBUS)
Think Systems UK Ltd
Touch Telecommunications Limited
TRIO TELECOM
Trooli
TrueSpeed Communications Ltd
Trunk Networks Limited
TxRx Communications Ltd
UK IT Networks Limited
Unite Communications Limited
V4VoIP Ltd
Village Networks Ltd
Viridian Communications Ltd t/a Gigabeam
Vispa Limited
Vital Wifi Ltd
VOIP-UN Ltd
Voneus Ltd
Vostron Limited
VXFIBER
Wavenet Limited
WELINK COMMUNICATIONS (UK) LTD
Wessex Internet Ltd
Wide FM LTD t/a Juice Broadband
Wifinity
Wightfibre Ltd
Wildanet Ltd
Wildcard UK Limited (Wildcard Networks)
Wurzel Ltd
X.Communications Limited
xoomtalk
Yoozoom Telecom Ltd
York Data Services Limited
YouFibre
Zone Telecommunications Ltd
Zzoomm plc
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by plodder » Mon May 16, 2022 10:19 am

This thread is revealing. It shows that many people still mistake Corbyn for a misunderstood European style lefty centrist and they can't understand why the politics nerds in the Labour party never really swung behind him.

In reality he's a proper old school communist and the actual European style lefty centrists knew this and knew they couldn't trust him (or any of his gang).

Unless you've actually spent much time with any proper old school communists you won't understand how complete their belief system is, how entrenched their views are, and how the failure of communism only makes sense through the lens of capitalist conspiracy. Which of course opens the door to international banking cabals, historically influential families who may or may not be Jewish etc but also explains why Corbyn was so half hearted about staying in the EU.

His personal ethics (if we can separate them) are pretty admirable, his political ones less so (which he'll be entirely blind to due to the completeness of the fairy tale in his head).

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon May 16, 2022 2:25 pm

IvanV wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 9:17 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 8:57 am
IvanV wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 8:40 am
If you want to see examples where a state-owned company isn't very different from a government dept/agency situation, then you don't have to look very far: National Highways (formerly Highways England and before that the Highways Agency) and Network Rail. Both of these are subject to annual budget votes of funds, and may borrow only from the National Loans Fund, just like a government department. They do each have a regulator/monitor between them and the departmental owner, to try and create a situation similar, for example, to privatised electricity distribution companies. It doesn't seem to work. I don't claim to know a better answer to these. I have never claimed/thought that privatising them was a good idea.
As a former employee of one of these companies, I can safely say you're not correct here. Network Rail is funded in five-year blocks, decided upon by the ORR, and the amount allocated is legally binding. They are not allocated money annually. Having moved onto a different public sector organisation which is much closer to being a government agency, Network Rail is pretty far from being that.
You are out of date on this. You are correct it has the five-year funding blocks from ORR. But it now also has the annual vote of funds, which came in once it was acknowledged to be a nationalised company. It is the British requirement for financial management of nationalised institutions.

It is set out quite clearly at paragraph 6.4 of the Framework Agreement between the Department for Transport and Network Rail.
6.4 For each financial year the Department will notify Network Rail of its formal budget control totals for that and subsequent years.
Each financial year. Each financial year the DfT tells them how much money they have got. Even though last financial year it may have set out "subsequent years", each financial year they will come along and say how much this year.

Very little attention is drawn to this in public. But, having done work for ORR on both National Highways' and Network Rail's financial management, I can assure you Network Rail in practice finds that this a very real p.i.t.a.
Yes, but the spends and outputs are all agreed in each periodic review, specifically to ensure that money is secured over the whole control period. There may well be extra controls over the distribution of that money within each CP (which is a pain in the arse) but Network Rail knows what it's working with over a five-year period, which makes it quite different from pretty much every government department.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon May 16, 2022 2:28 pm

plodder wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 10:19 am
This thread is revealing. It shows that many people still mistake Corbyn for a misunderstood European style lefty centrist and they can't understand why the politics nerds in the Labour party never really swung behind him.

In reality he's a proper old school communist and the actual European style lefty centrists knew this and knew they couldn't trust him (or any of his gang).

Unless you've actually spent much time with any proper old school communists you won't understand how complete their belief system is, how entrenched their views are, and how the failure of communism only makes sense through the lens of capitalist conspiracy. Which of course opens the door to international banking cabals, historically influential families who may or may not be Jewish etc but also explains why Corbyn was so half hearted about staying in the EU.

His personal ethics (if we can separate them) are pretty admirable, his political ones less so (which he'll be entirely blind to due to the completeness of the fairy tale in his head).
One of the problems here, of course, is that on the centrist side of the party, they've spent the last seven years very diligently and patiently failing to provide any kind of vision or forward route for the UK beyond "mostly not the Tories" and "mostly not the far left". That doesn't make a difference in terms of who Corbyn is, per se, but it does explain why party members suddenly did swing behind him, after quite a long time of no vision whatsoever.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon May 16, 2022 2:57 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 2:28 pm
plodder wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 10:19 am
This thread is revealing. It shows that many people still mistake Corbyn for a misunderstood European style lefty centrist and they can't understand why the politics nerds in the Labour party never really swung behind him.

In reality he's a proper old school communist and the actual European style lefty centrists knew this and knew they couldn't trust him (or any of his gang).

Unless you've actually spent much time with any proper old school communists you won't understand how complete their belief system is, how entrenched their views are, and how the failure of communism only makes sense through the lens of capitalist conspiracy. Which of course opens the door to international banking cabals, historically influential families who may or may not be Jewish etc but also explains why Corbyn was so half hearted about staying in the EU.

His personal ethics (if we can separate them) are pretty admirable, his political ones less so (which he'll be entirely blind to due to the completeness of the fairy tale in his head).
One of the problems here, of course, is that on the centrist side of the party, they've spent the last seven years very diligently and patiently failing to provide any kind of vision or forward route for the UK beyond "mostly not the Tories" and "mostly not the far left". That doesn't make a difference in terms of who Corbyn is, per se, but it does explain why party members suddenly did swing behind him, after quite a long time of no vision whatsoever.
Yes, I think that's an important point. Corbyn himself may well be a crusty old tankie with a lot of strange ideas, but Corbyn-era Labour was notable for appearing to offer something positive as an alternative, that addressed many of the concerns of Labour's core demographic.

In terms of electoral arithmetic that's much more important than appealing to politics nerds. At least based on things like vote share, it seems that providing a reason to vote for Labour is a more successful strategy than relying on people voting against the Tories.

Hopefully Starmer et al. are just keeping their powder dry and will have something exciting up their sleeves in time for 2024.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon May 16, 2022 3:07 pm

Keeping their powder dry, to me, seems incredibly risky (sorry, talking about Starmer is presumably off-topic, but f.ck it). At the very least, he needs a f.cking vision. What should the UK be? What sort of things does he want? Does he want to see every home insulated? What would he do with the money from a windfall tax? Etc.

If he doesn't answer those questions soon then I'm not sure whether the electorate will listen in 2024.

I said ages ago that I liked the 2015 Labour manifesto. I liked the 2017 one a lot too, fwiw. Miliband and Corbyn both had some excellent ideas, but they're all moot if by the time you have an election, the electorate isn't listening enough to put you in power.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by jdc » Mon May 16, 2022 4:30 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 3:07 pm
Keeping their powder dry, to me, seems incredibly risky (sorry, talking about Starmer is presumably off-topic, but f.ck it). At the very least, he needs a f.cking vision. What should the UK be? What sort of things does he want? Does he want to see every home insulated? What would he do with the money from a windfall tax? Etc.

If he doesn't answer those questions soon then I'm not sure whether the electorate will listen in 2024.

I said ages ago that I liked the 2015 Labour manifesto. I liked the 2017 one a lot too, fwiw. Miliband and Corbyn both had some excellent ideas, but they're all moot if by the time you have an election, the electorate isn't listening enough to put you in power.
Short on detail, but it looks like they'd just give us the cash as a subsidy on our leccy bills ("Labour would introduce one-off windfall tax on booming oil and gas profits to save households up to £600, now", and "Vote for a windfall tax on bumper energy profits to cut bills")

They're also after insulating homes in the longer term ("Ensure 19 million homes are warm and well-insulated, saving households an average of £400 a year") but that seems to be separate to the windfall tax and its redistribution.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon May 16, 2022 4:53 pm

fair enough - where did you find that, please?
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by jdc » Mon May 16, 2022 5:05 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 4:53 pm
fair enough - where did you find that, please?
Found a bunch of stuff on their website & twitter e.g.

https://twitter.com/UKLabour/status/1525747817154719744
https://twitter.com/AngelaRayner/status ... 3299076097
https://twitter.com/edfomeara/status/15 ... 1557124097

I was looking for the wording of their proposal but I guess we have to wait till tomorrow for that.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon May 16, 2022 6:26 pm

Starmer's got 10 pledges up on his website.

For instance:
3. Climate justice

Put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything we do. There is no issue more important to our future than the climate emergency. A Clean Air Act to tackle pollution locally. Demand international action on climate rights.
There was a Green New Deal in the 2019 manifesto, largely developed by academics, and it was pretty good. Not sure how much of it will remain, though. Starmer's already ruled out renationalising the energy sector.

He also pledges
5. Common ownership

Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system.
Presumably that's the good sensible kind of common ownership, not the scary Corbyn Vuvuzela common ownership, so no renationalisations necessary.

But yeah every now and then I pop over to Labour's website and try to find out what specifically they are planning to do, but I seem to fail at navigating it. At the conference last year they said things like
an annual £28bn green investment fund, a mass retrofitting programme, a pledge to decarbonise steel and a “net zero and nature test” for every policy.
but the devil is always in the details and so far I've not found much.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by Woodchopper » Mon May 16, 2022 6:37 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 2:57 pm

Yes, I think that's an important point. Corbyn himself may well be a crusty old tankie with a lot of strange ideas, but Corbyn-era Labour was notable for appearing to offer something positive as an alternative, that addressed many of the concerns of Labour's core demographic.
Out of interest, which policies offered a positive alternative which addressed many of the concerns of Labour's core demographic? I looked up the 2019 manifesto as the only thing people have been talking about has been free broadband https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/upload ... o-2019.pdf

Its full of sensible proposals but given that the proposed tax rises are modest (p. 29-30) a Corbyn Labour government would be operating within a similar financial framework to Theresa May's conservatives.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by Millennie Al » Tue May 17, 2022 2:21 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 6:37 pm
https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/upload ... o-2019.pdf

Its full of sensible proposals but given that the proposed tax rises are modest (p. 29-30) a Corbyn Labour government would be operating within a similar financial framework to Theresa May's conservatives.
Since a manifesto is not enforceable in any way, sensible voters will vote based on what they think the candidates will really do rather than what they say they will do.

And that manifesto contains quite a lot to make a sensible voter wary. It talks a lot about spending on many different things, but has very little to say on how this would be funded. The main statement is:
We will pay for this by creating a fairer taxation system,
asking for a little more from those with the broadest
shoulders, and making sure that everyone pays what
they owe.
which is simply not credible given all of the things that allegedly will have more spent on them. And then you have the totally stupid nationalised broadband, rent controls, and paying for face-to-face banking in branches (via nationalising the Royal Mail).

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue May 17, 2022 8:46 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 2:21 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 6:37 pm
https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/upload ... o-2019.pdf

Its full of sensible proposals but given that the proposed tax rises are modest (p. 29-30) a Corbyn Labour government would be operating within a similar financial framework to Theresa May's conservatives.
Since a manifesto is not enforceable in any way, sensible voters will vote based on what they think the candidates will really do rather than what they say they will do.
A manifesto actually is enforceable in a certain way: the Salisbury Doctrine means that the Lords won't ultimately oppose bills mentioned in a governing party's manifesto when the government doesn't have a majority there. Bills not mentioned in this way can be opposed by the Lords for as long as they want (until, at least, the Commons exercises its power to override the Lords, which can take a long time).
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by monkey » Tue May 17, 2022 1:12 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 8:46 am
Millennie Al wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 2:21 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 6:37 pm
https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/upload ... o-2019.pdf

Its full of sensible proposals but given that the proposed tax rises are modest (p. 29-30) a Corbyn Labour government would be operating within a similar financial framework to Theresa May's conservatives.
Since a manifesto is not enforceable in any way, sensible voters will vote based on what they think the candidates will really do rather than what they say they will do.
A manifesto actually is enforceable in a certain way: the Salisbury Doctrine means that the Lords won't ultimately oppose bills mentioned in a governing party's manifesto when the government doesn't have a majority there. Bills not mentioned in this way can be opposed by the Lords for as long as they want (until, at least, the Commons exercises its power to override the Lords, which can take a long time).
It's not as long as they want, it's two years. And bills involving budgets and taxes don't get a veto at all.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue May 17, 2022 3:53 pm

There was a bit in brackets there that you ignored.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by monkey » Tue May 17, 2022 3:56 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 3:53 pm
There was a bit in brackets there that you ignored.
Sorry, I wasn't ignoring it on purpose, just had my fuzzy morning head on.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by IvanV » Tue May 17, 2022 5:30 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 6:26 pm
Starmer's got 10 pledges up on his website.
1. Economic justice
Increase income tax for the top 5% of earners, reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax and clamp down on tax avoidance, particularly of large corporations. No stepping back from our core principles.
What a minimal contribution to economic justice that is. This is essentially the problem with the "moderate" wing of the labour party. They don't take reducing inequality seriously. That's why the hard left runs rings around them. They promise to reduced inequality, though probably making everyone equally poor isn't the best way to do it.

No 1 is really all that matters. If you have economic justice, much of the rest doesn't matter very much. Because much of the rest are about economic justice too, but by pandering to particular political prejudices about how economic justice might be achieved. The real issues of the UK's institutional failures that predispose it to preserving an privileged minority go unmentioned - the justice system, education and training, the healthcare system, support for child care, etc.

A clear and objective policy to actually have a measurable impact on economic justice could be described in the form, for example, "reduce the post-tax-and-adjustments-and-basic-cost-of-living Gini coefficient by 5 points". A government that set out in good faith with policies that would realistically achieved that would have utterly huge and demonstrable positive impact on economic justice. It's not a good slogan, and the sloganisers would have to work on it. But, ultimately, it is what, at root, is desired. To get us back to the 1960s, you need something like 10 points, but 5 points is still huge, and planning to achieve it would be a huge and laudable government project to really change the nature of our society, beginning to undo what Thatcher did to damage it. (I'm not saying everything that Thatcher did damaged society, but it was under her watch that the large damage was done.)

Would people in general really even care if parts of the health service were outsourced, if they got a decent health service, health service workers were better remunerated, and there was substantially lower economic inequality? Only those who were rigidly wedded to a political philosophy regardless of outcome.

For example, "no outsourcing" is just a silly policy. Many private sector companies outsource lots of things, because it works, if you do it right and apply to the right services. The problem in this country has been that a certain amount of public sector outsourcing has been done with rigidly closed minds that think that "outsourcing is good" and without sufficient care as to what is being outsourced and how. (And too often with corrupt gain in mind.) Thus many foolish results eventuate, from hospital cleaning to military recruitment. That doesn't mean it is, in general, a foolish idea, and should be banned from the public sector.

And where does "no public sector outsourcing" end? In New Zealand, until about about 50 years ago, they used to take "no outsourcing by the public sector" so seriously that there was a government department that made public sector office furniture, public sector stationery and other sundry supplies for the public sector. It even grew its own wood, so they didn't even outsource the wood to make telegraph poles, tables and paper.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by Woodchopper » Tue May 17, 2022 5:55 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 5:30 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon May 16, 2022 6:26 pm
Starmer's got 10 pledges up on his website.
1. Economic justice
Increase income tax for the top 5% of earners, reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax and clamp down on tax avoidance, particularly of large corporations. No stepping back from our core principles.
What a minimal contribution to economic justice that is. This is essentially the problem with the "moderate" wing of the labour party. They don't take reducing inequality seriously. That's why the hard left runs rings around them. They promise to reduced inequality, though probably making everyone equally poor isn't the best way to do it.
As per the above link, when Corbyn was Labour leader the 2019 manifesto pledge on income tax was:
We’ll ask those who earn more than £80,000 a year to pay a little more income tax,


Starmer's pledge is at least more specific, but it covers approximately the same number of earners. Despite all the ire projected at both by all sides, on income tax it appears to be 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss'.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by Millennie Al » Thu May 19, 2022 11:14 pm

Re the Labour party manifesto:
IvanV wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 5:30 pm
They don't take reducing inequality seriously.
Just as well. Reducing inequality is not a legitimate priority. The priority should be helping those in most need. Unfortunately, due to a combination of the completely bogus widespread belief in zero-sum economics and the left's naturaly affinity with envy, many people think the two are very similar or even the same. This is completely wrong. In principle, you could give everyone free housing, meals, and other necessities, which would greatly help those in most need but do nothing to reduce inequality. Similarly, you could seize all the assets of the richest 0.1% and destroy them, which would reduce inequality but do nothing to help those in need. In practice, inequality is an essential side-effect of many things that help the poorest, whether directly or indrectly, so a direct attack on inequality is likely to do more harm than good.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by JQH » Fri May 20, 2022 9:38 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:14 pm
Reducing inequality is not a legitimate priority ...
How do you feel about the legitimacy of reducing crime?
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by lpm » Fri May 20, 2022 10:10 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:14 pm
Re the Labour party manifesto:
IvanV wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 5:30 pm
They don't take reducing inequality seriously.
Just as well. Reducing inequality is not a legitimate priority. The priority should be helping those in most need. Unfortunately, due to a combination of the completely bogus widespread belief in zero-sum economics and the left's naturaly affinity with envy, many people think the two are very similar or even the same. This is completely wrong. In principle, you could give everyone free housing, meals, and other necessities, which would greatly help those in most need but do nothing to reduce inequality. Similarly, you could seize all the assets of the richest 0.1% and destroy them, which would reduce inequality but do nothing to help those in need. In practice, inequality is an essential side-effect of many things that help the poorest, whether directly or indrectly, so a direct attack on inequality is likely to do more harm than good.
In a time of economic misery, priority to helping those in most need obviously requires reductions at the top.

It's not just zero-sum economics, at the moment it's shrinking cake economics.

Plus reducing inequalities, it has been persuasively been argued, boosts productivity and a country's economic performance.

The argument that "inequality is an essential side-effect of many things that help the poorest" is pretty extraordinary.
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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by IvanV » Fri May 20, 2022 12:09 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:14 pm
Re the Labour party manifesto:
IvanV wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 5:30 pm
They don't take reducing inequality seriously.
Just as well. Reducing inequality is not a legitimate priority. The priority should be helping those in most need. Unfortunately, due to a combination of the completely bogus widespread belief in zero-sum economics and the left's naturaly affinity with envy, many people think the two are very similar or even the same. This is completely wrong. In principle, you could give everyone free housing, meals, and other necessities, which would greatly help those in most need but do nothing to reduce inequality. Similarly, you could seize all the assets of the richest 0.1% and destroy them, which would reduce inequality but do nothing to help those in need. In practice, inequality is an essential side-effect of many things that help the poorest, whether directly or indrectly, so a direct attack on inequality is likely to do more harm than good.
It is a common way of thinking, and I used to think that way too, but I no longer do. Perhaps to oversimplify, what you are basically saying is that poverty is absolute poverty, and relative poverty doesn't really matter very much.

But relative poverty is genuine poverty. For example, the poor in Britain today have an income similar to the middle class in the 19th century, who then were thought of as "prosperous". But by today's standards, they are poor. Similarly, applying modern income criteria of what is poverty to 1960 incomes, and you find that 90% of the 1960 population was poor. Relative poverty is poverty, because if your income is insufficient to join in the normal activities of present-day society and its economy, you are substantially excluded from that economy and society.

Today, the focus of all serious poverty reduction programs in better off countries is reducing relative poverty. So, in practical reality, inequality reduction is in fact the aim of poverty reduction, although clearly it focuses on increasing the income of the lower income sector. And plainly you need to have some attention to the shape of the curve, since some redistribution of income within the middle class is not of much interest, even if it scores you some points on the measure you are using.

I suspect the effect of the thought experiment you suggest might not be as nugatory as you think. That 0.1% have a very profound effect on society, which would be much changed if they were no longer rich. That is not to say that I am proposing it. Though it is not dissimilar to the kind of thing that happened as practice in various revolutions and was probably even a specific aim of the revolutionaries: there was a large loss of societal wealth in those revolutions, and the formerly wealthy were dispossessed. So wealth vanished, especially from the very rich, who often lost everything.

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Re: The General Corbyn Thread

Post by dyqik » Fri May 20, 2022 2:19 pm

IvanV wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 12:09 pm
Millennie Al wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 11:14 pm
Re the Labour party manifesto:
IvanV wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 5:30 pm
They don't take reducing inequality seriously.
Just as well. Reducing inequality is not a legitimate priority. The priority should be helping those in most need. Unfortunately, due to a combination of the completely bogus widespread belief in zero-sum economics and the left's naturaly affinity with envy, many people think the two are very similar or even the same. This is completely wrong. In principle, you could give everyone free housing, meals, and other necessities, which would greatly help those in most need but do nothing to reduce inequality. Similarly, you could seize all the assets of the richest 0.1% and destroy them, which would reduce inequality but do nothing to help those in need. In practice, inequality is an essential side-effect of many things that help the poorest, whether directly or indrectly, so a direct attack on inequality is likely to do more harm than good.
It is a common way of thinking, and I used to think that way too, but I no longer do. Perhaps to oversimplify, what you are basically saying is that poverty is absolute poverty, and relative poverty doesn't really matter very much.

But relative poverty is genuine poverty. For example, the poor in Britain today have an income similar to the middle class in the 19th century, who then were thought of as "prosperous". But by today's standards, they are poor. Similarly, applying modern income criteria of what is poverty to 1960 incomes, and you find that 90% of the 1960 population was poor. Relative poverty is poverty, because if your income is insufficient to join in the normal activities of present-day society and its economy, you are substantially excluded from that economy and society.

Today, the focus of all serious poverty reduction programs in better off countries is reducing relative poverty. So, in practical reality, inequality reduction is in fact the aim of poverty reduction, although clearly it focuses on increasing the income of the lower income sector. And plainly you need to have some attention to the shape of the curve, since some redistribution of income within the middle class is not of much interest, even if it scores you some points on the measure you are using.

I suspect the effect of the thought experiment you suggest might not be as nugatory as you think. That 0.1% have a very profound effect on society, which would be much changed if they were no longer rich. That is not to say that I am proposing it. Though it is not dissimilar to the kind of thing that happened as practice in various revolutions and was probably even a specific aim of the revolutionaries: there was a large loss of societal wealth in those revolutions, and the formerly wealthy were dispossessed. So wealth vanished, especially from the very rich, who often lost everything.
And to put it another way, the price of housing, which is the largest expense in any middle or lower income household (and often more than 50% of all expenses or income), is set by market conditions: i.e. how much others can afford to pay, and what income landlords need to feel prosperous. Similarly, the price of food, clothing, energy is all at least partially set by the national economic conditions - labour costs, etc., as well as world economic conditions. Relative poverty largely is absolute poverty.

The UK poverty level is set at 60% of the median UK income, which reflects this point.

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