That Starmer fella...

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  • The main people who objected to the plan were shareholders of the ISPs.

    There was actually quite a lot of overlap between Corbyn's broadband ideas and the governments own research on the subject.­/government/uploads/system/uploads/attac­hment_data/file/727890/FTIR_Annex_A_-_FE­_Report.pdf

  • The Tories abandoned the national monopoly idea because Australia tried it with mixed success and a big budget overrun. Singapore did a good job of it but don't have the same rural challenges.

    For me, I see it as a large national infrastructure project that would generate jobs and wealth while heloing to solve digital inequality rather than something that we shouldn't do because it'll piss off the shareholders. Its no different to having a progressive energy strategy rather than trying to bribe EDF to build a nuclear power station in my eyes.

  • The difference between the national monopoly model and the free broadband policy might sound small - it's just the addition of a retail layer - but it has enormous implications for the UK, which Labour didn't seem to think much about.

    The Australia / national monopoly model applies to the backhaul of a broadband service and is eminently sensible - govt need to ensure that everyone in the UK gets full fibre backhaul to their premise even where commercially unviable. Once its in there, retail ISPs build their services on the backhaul and sell them to customers - competition is preserved, customers have a choice, but also no-one gets left behind. That's totally sensible and it will happen within the next 20 years, it's obvious. It's absurd that Openreach is a profit-making entity.

    What Labour proposed - and the problem I have with it - went way beyond that. They wanted to do the above, yes, but they ALSO wanted to create a national retail ISP. This retail ISP would provide a working broadband service (not just backhaul infrastructure) to everyone in the country, whether they needed it or not.

    We can discuss the sensibleness or otherwise of that approach - imo it would be better to provide guaranteed free access to water and power before we move to broadband - but the real thing that scared me is that they didn't appear to consider the knock on impacts. I.e.

    • it would bankrupt 95% of retail ISPs in the country - most ISPs couldn't compete with free
    • it would do the million or so workers who work for those ISPs out of a job (i.e. it's not just shareholders!)
    • both these things could be subsidised by the govt (McDonnell mused on this on Radio Four, as well as buying Sky and Virgin) but it's hardly efficient
    • without competition there's no incentive for an embedded ISP to do better - remember the dark days of waiting 90 days for BT to install a telephone line in the 80s, we'd be heading back there
    • govt control of retail internet generally a bad idea - sure I might be OK with Labour doing it, but what if Raab or Dorries gets into power next year, do we really want them controlling what we can search for?
    • massive underestimation of the network retail
    • made no sense as a policy in context of the 2019 election

    I think the policy would've been stronger if they'd stuck to the backhaul. That's a genuinely good policy. There was no need to gild the lily.

  • Arthur Scargill, quoted in the Grun.

    “I’ve nothing but utter contempt for the leadership of the Labour party, particularly [Keir] Starmer,” Scargill said in response to a question on Labour’s attitude towards this week’s strikes. “Quite frankly, the Labour party has blown it completely. It does not represent the working class of this country.”

  • Scargill deserves better, but floating voters like my family will hear him saying he has contempt for Starmer and take that as an endorsement.

    It's the gamble isn't it. Starmer's betting that if he takes a hit from the unions he's likely to win 1-2 million voters for whom the unions (up until now) have been electoral poison.

    I think Mick Lynch may have shifted the dial on that a little and this summer is going to be a toughie. I wonder if Starmer might regret his quietness on Labour's support for trades unions in the future.

  • I wonder if Starmer might regret his quietness on Labour's support for trades unions in the future.

    I suppose this just shows that we probably look at different news sources, but I thought Starmer had been pretty solid on his support for trade unions in recent weeks. Its a core part of their policy statements too.

    I thought the argument was that he was too quiet on supporting RMT and this specific strike as opposed to too quiet on unions?

  • I suppose this just shows that we probably look at different news sources, but I thought Starmer had been pretty solid on his support for trade unions in recent weeks.

    I actually agree with you fwiw - the fact that he hasn't taken a position on these strikes doesn't mean that he doesn't support the TU movement, in fact I think the man is quietly but passionately in love with it - but many on the hard left are spending a lot of effort in suggesting that Starmer's reticence to speak publicly about being 100% behind the strikes amounts to a blanket withdrawal of support for organised labour in general. You see it in a lot of those pieces titled things like 'if Labour can't support workers what's the point' etc. And it has some traction. And it's potentially electorally useful.

    I was trying to say (not very well) that that approach works right up to the point where it becomes a legit summer of discontent and the strikes become a cultural cornerstone issue like Brexit. Strategic ambiguity doesn't work in that kind of situation and I wonder if he'll regret benefitting from it.

    (Probably not now I think about it. The tories have also spent quite a bit of effort trying to link the strikes to Labour; if they become popular it may very well be the coffin that buries them!)

  • I know we've touched upon it a few times in the last few days but I thought I'd try and put some numbers on how much of an uphill battle Starmer has with the media.

    About four million people read the Daily Mail and the Sun in print every day. Online, the number is closer to thirty million. There is also a network effect from that. Its not just about readership, its about the fact that many newspaper readers talk to friends and family about what they read in the papers.

    I personally think it is absolutely remarkable that Starmer is doing so well not doing worse.

  • The Guardian, our only real left of centre news outlet of note has about 125k print readers and 18m online.

  • Don't disagree. Right now the strategy is the right one, and pending a complete cultural shift in the mood of this country, is likely to remain the right one.

    I think I'm just laying higher odds than I was this time last week on a fundamental cultural shift: Tories out of power for a decade. The Mail, bankrupted. Johnson on benefits. The reintroduction of social housing. Collective worker action lauded not demonised. Labour's 20 year plan. A picture of the future comprising of Alan Rusbringer stomping on a human face forever (in vegan open toed sandals). Aaah.

  • ^ bikes4all

  • Doesn't The Mirror have a bigger print readership than The Graun? No idea on online.

  • Oooh good point. I completely forgot about the Mirror. My bad.

  • The Mirror has been doing better than most (including the Guardian) at holding the government to account. Although the Mirror's political editor is off to the Guardian soon so we may see a bit more.

    Can't imagine the Mirror's online reach is anything like the Guardian's though.

  • Starmer had the audacity to mention that he isn't going to go into the next GE using the Labour manifesto from 2019 where the government bagged an 80 seat majority today.

    Labour members on Twitter losing their shit about it. Some calling him a liar because they say he his leadership bid was built on broadly similar principles. Feels like a bit of a stretch to call him a liar when you haven't seen what he is replacing it with yet.

  • Going into the next election with 'Corbyn's' manifesto would be unbelievably stupid, and the Tory's would be absolutely made up if Labour did that.

  • It's so easily framed in the way they would love to fight the next election, how can people not understand/see this

  • Exactly, 'the manifesto we used when we lost in 2019 is as good as we get' doesn't really cut it.

  • It's not like there hasn't been some pretty fundamental changes since then either.

  • Labour members on Twitter losing their shit about it.

    Every party's membership has some crazies...

  • 'but we won the argument' is something i'm glad lockdown meant i didn't have to go to a meeting each month and hear

  • Every party's membership has some crazies...

    For sure, it just feels like the Tory crazies are united against the opposition.

  • They also have comparatively very few members IIRC.

  • I think way under half.

    Was trying to find out how true it is that Starmer has broken all 10 of his leadership campaign pledges which is something you see a lot on social media. The best I could find was this link:­roken-pledges

    Really not particularly impressed with the "evidence" tbh. Imagine thinking that linking to a PDF file of a document written by "Corbynism Socialism Movement" as evidence that Starmer has broken a pledge.

  • Lib Dems naming their price for a lib lab coalition­us/1542185232845111303

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That Starmer fella...

Posted by Avatar for aggi @aggi