MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Questions Of The Day (Politics)
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 144, 145, 146 ... 177, 178, 179  Next
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Oh right, now I understand. The Democrats have raised this hullabaloo to keep the heat off Joe Biden when nobody was interested in this before the hullabaloo.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

But since you raise technical points about falsehoods I suppose I had better deal with them equally technically.

Hearsay = Rumour.

They are quite different. A rumour has no source. Hearsay is when person A is quoting person B speaking to person C. Courts actually allow hearsay evidence if persons B & C are unavailable since person A is still giving, as it were, direct evidence.

You may be familiar with phrases like "Plausible Deniability".

Yes, I am. Thanks for asking.

You should also be aware of phrases like "Parallel Construction"
.
I'm afraid I'm not, and I'm alarmed to hear there are other things which are 'like' it, which I suppose I haven't heard about either.

Parallel construction is a process of building a parallel (or separate) evidentiary basis for a criminal investigation in order to conceal how an investigation actually began.

Sounds excitingly complex. I can't see the point since the end product would be the same but do go on.

The most common method with TLA agencies

I know I'm showing my ignorance but what does TLA stand for again?

is, allegedly, to "induce" another agency to produce a Dodgy Dossier (WOMD, Steele, etc),

Neither of these were dodgy dossiers. They were prepared in good faith, however flawed in substance. Couldn't you come up with one that wasn't?

which is than leaked to a pliable member of the press (eager for any juicy story, regardless of provenance).

The two you mentioned were issued to the press in the normal way. Couldn't you come up with one that wasn't?

The first agency can then be a whistleblower and say "It's not us (honest), but we have just heard that...(whatever)"

Did you have a name in mind? If it's secret we'll quite understand.

You might say this is a SOP (standard operating procedure), I couldn't possibly comment.

I think you've done wonderfully well anyway. We are all now thoroughly familiar with the BOR (Boreades) SOP.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/chilcot-report-author-of-dodgy-dossier-accuses-uk-of-systematic-failure-a7123136.html

Hatty, can you read this? Borry's on the warpath about something or other.
Send private message
Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
View user's profile
Reply with quote

McDonnell is both right and wrong.

It makes sense to nationalise broadband, but of course, you have to do it by stealth. The long march was started with a single step, Comrade.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Yes, a fascinating development. And very significant since it will be the first new nationalisation since the nineteen-forties (leaving aside rescues and the aircraft industry under Wilson which was a renationalisation). I wonder why. It may be John McDonnell (aka Jon Lansman) has calculated that it is a ‘commanding height’ (aka we’ll have you by the goolies) or it may be an electoral bribe. Either way, let’s see how it works.

1. It is currently under a theoretically independent, supervised by a government regulator, subsidiary of BT, which is itself an ex-nationalised company (and still is in ethos) so there is not much to be gained there. Who would notice?

2. Well, people in out of the way places mostly so actually it is quite a good idea on grounds of basic fairness. If, that is, you assume a fully government-owned entity would be more efficient providing it than a fully government-supervised one. A reasonable assumption since equality is a Labour shibboleth. (Not to mention the stated purpose of the whole enterprise.)

3. But obviously this isn’t what McDonnell is interested in. It’s the providers he’s after. Nationalising them would be gynormously expensive and, since they’re multinational conglomerates, fraught with international complications. Can be done -- but only if we are outside the EU!

4. So, come 2023, we are all logging on to Britnet (or whatever). I’m not sure how they could stop us logging on to someone else outside the country but since China has managed to solve this problem, I expect John McD will be able to do so as well. With or without detector vans, though Momentum would like these anyway. ("People at number 37 are having fun. Over.")

5. We’re all paying our present providers twenty sovs a week or whatever and competition is keeping the subs down and the speed up. Whether this will continue under a monopoly provider is ... I was gong to say 'anyone’s guess’ but I think we all know the answer to that one.

6. However, that is never the point with a utility because...
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Let's consider the mechanism. The government gives BT twenty billion, BT gives the government Openreach. Openreach under BT was tasked with bringing the fastest broadband to the most people as quickly as possible. They haven't because BT found it more profitable to bring medium broadband to the nearest people as quickly as was convenient for BT. The regulator huffed and puffed, BT didn't.

Maybe the government can kick arses but remember this is still Openreach. It's like Royal Mail. All the same people, all the same attitudes will be present, only this time with a top dressing of Labour Treasury ministers saying, "Look, 2030 is years off, meanwhile this year we gotta cut business rates in the inner city to save retail. This broadband's playing merry hell. Cutting Openreach's budget kinda kills two birds." The Treasury always knows the right arguments, the Treasury always gets its way.

So the most basic question of all is: who'll get there sooner, BT Openreach or HMG Openreach?
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Why then do I cautiously welcome the Labour proposition? Not because I wish to demonstrate my AE credentials by supporting left wing solutions as readily as right wing ones, but that will do for now. A good nationalisation is possible when two conditions are satisfied

1. The product is so uniform, so technically familiar and so universally required that creativity on either the demand side or the supply side is unimportant. That is, even civil servants can do it.
2. The situation at present is unsatisfactory.

Rolling out superfast broadband certainly seems to meet both criteria. But, please, take care. It is a little more complicated than, say, electricity supply and it is not likely to be as profitable as, say, tobacco. Do you want a broadband that is either Gaulois or Gitane, among the strongest in the world, but becomes periodically unavailable because of maintenance issues and/or global warming?
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

It turns out my very own candidate, Sam Giancana, is the Lib Dem spokesman on broadband so I'll get their views when he comes round to solicit my vote. A halfway house probably -- they nationalise Openreach then outsource the work to BT. The Labour position is still fuzzy as they work out what gives, but the essentials have been provided by Mathew Lawrence, director of the thinktank Common Wealth who ( I’m guessing here, but it's a safe bet) actually dreamt the whole thing up

There is no doubt that the UK’s digital infrastructure needs an upgrade. In South Korea, 99% of premises have full-fibre broadband internet. In Japan, it’s 97%.

So, Matty-jugs, ever wondered why those perfectionist dudes haven’t reached the magic one-o? S’right, it’s cos the last bit is stupendously expensive so, bub, you can start off by telling our future Chancellor of the Exchequer that while it sounds great, and wouldn’t be much of a policy if he started hedging already, it would be better to level with us now and not get elected rather than beggar our post-Brexit coffers. And there’s more piffle to come...
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

The number here is 7%. This paucity of coverage – especially in rural areas –

Matt doesn't seem to have a grasp of the rural/urban divide in Britain

is why Boris Johnson made connecting every home in the country to full-fibre a central promise in his Tory leadership campaign.

Well, whadyknow, it's a race to the bottom.

Now Labour has upped the ante, pledging to provide free full-fibre internet access to every home and business by 2030. The intervention is striking, even though all parties are committed to radically upgrading the UK’s digital infrastructure.

So, not striking at all. Just a technical question as to how best to get it on.

The big question is how it will be done – by whom and who will benefit.

Nope. It will be Openreach and it's all of us. Except for the free bit but we'll come to that later.

What Labour has promised therefore, is more than just better broadband for everyone; it is democratic ownership of a vital utility, with basic services run for the public good and not for profit.

Sheer vomit. Everybody is promising exactly the same superfast broadband; everyone's offering it to everyone; nobody gives a monkeys who owns it; we all agree it's a basic utility run for the public good. The only question is whether having the profit creamed off is worth the difference between a public and privately-run service.

Now, you tell me: the profit on utilities is always small, maybe two or three per cent, so in your experience are public services two or three per cent worse than private ones, or is it usually a bit more? That's right, Monsignor Lawrence, it's usually a bit more. It's usually a lot more. It's usually a fuck of a lot more. But as socialists always say, it'll be different this time. The last hundred times were just dry runs.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Name one thing that is supplied to every citizen for free. The National Health Service. Good, now another one. Education. err... basic welfare payments. The Americans have a name for it. The Department of HEW, Health, Education and Welfare. Britain, under Labour, will have the HEWBB. That's where we should start, I guess, because, as AE-ists say, that's weird.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

We now enter a world of ‘tyranny of large numbers’ i.e. everybody is selecting the largest (or smallest) from a range of possible outcomes.

The prize of success is great: nationwide full-fibre is estimated to provide a potential boost to productivity worth an estimated £59bn
.
OK. I’ll buy it. You’re saying, however we do it, we should be doing it.

Currently, the UK’s core digital infrastructure and the development of the networks of the future – full-fibre and 5G – are in the hands of a set of private providers owned by for-profit investors. It is these actors who are currently responsible for delivering – or failing to deliver – the government’s key goals relating to digital connectivity and infrastructure.

This is a bit rich. It has been private providers, not the state, that has got us this far. It’s you that wants to change this fabulously successful business model. You might be right but there’s no need to badmouth the heroes of the story thus far.

Yet these private firms are poorly equipped to build a world-class, universal digital infrastructure. The construction of fibreoptic networks is characterised by high fixed costs and economies of scales that make their deployment unprofitable in rural or poorer areas.

They haven’t been doing badly but I suppose we ought to give Whitehall mandarins the chance to see if they can do better. What precisely is the problem?

The sector now exhibits the classic symptoms of market failure: cherry-picking, under-provision and damaging short-termism.

Bastards. They need stringing up not being nationalised.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Indeed, the government’s own Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review concluded that without government intervention, commercial markets would – at best – reach only 75% of the UK, and take more than 20 years to do so.

OK, I agree, everybody agrees, there’s a problem that needs fixing. Boris Johnson said there was a problem that needs fixing and made it a central plank of his leadership pitch.

While the numbers are bound to provoke debate, it is worth noting the government’s commissioned research has suggested a monopoly infrastructure provider would deliver 100% full-fibre coverage and support nationally uniform prices – with a deployment cost of £20.3bn, which is much lower than achieving the same outcome through competition between private firms, estimated to be £32.3bn
.
But at least it's their money, not ours. If true, of course. And if we are happy to rely on one system rather than several. But we have finally come to the nub. The problem is that currently we have a monopoly infrastructure provider, it’s called Openreach. Maybe nationalising it would be better than putting a bomb under it or sticking extra billions into it but it’s difficult to see what all the fuss is about.

Unless, and personally I think it’s this unless that excites Momentum, it’s these private providers which are the real target. Mathew Whatsisface has been indulging in wholesale ‘careful ignoral’, slipping and sliding between the boring, technical stuff about laying fibre optic cables at one end and the interesting, consumer stuff about who we like to have on our screens at the other. And just to show you who is really is in his/their sights, let me end with this little honey

The annual cost of network maintenance, estimated by the National Infrastructure Commission to be about £230m a year, will be paid for by a tax on tech multinationals.

Dear God, even this tuppeny-happenny amount has got to be paid for by someone else. It doesn't matter who so long as it isn’t the voter.

PS If the government wants all this to be 'free at the point of delivery' and paid for out of general taxation, I'm rather in favour. Though I expect, at the end of the day, it will just be means-tested so 'the poor' can have it if they want it.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

I'm pretty shocked by all these vast spending programmes everybody's announcing. Not because I'm opposed to vast spending programmes -- as I keep pointing out you can borrow as much you like if you can pay the interest, as we obviously can -- but because of the accompanying lies. Labour says it's going to borrow z hundred billion pounds without admitting we'll lose our triple-A rating and have to pay serious interest on it. Plus, get this from Moxy MacDonnell, the national debt will be lower at the end of the first Labour term. And get this, it's going to be paid for by the top five per cent paying 'a little more'. That means the UK population is several billion by my reckoning.

The Lib Dems claim they can spend an extra fifty billion because that's what we'll save by staying in the EU. Yeah right, honey, I'm gonna spend an extra million cos my next book is going to win the Booker. Their electoral chums, the Greens, are going to be carbon neutral by 2030. By burning money in their new power generators, I suppose. As for the Tories ... ah, shut the fuck up, you're an old-fashioned tax-and-spend, bribe-the-voters party for the first time since ... for the first time ever actually.

New people, new times, I guess. Old chickens, old roosts, I predict.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

"Labour spending will still only bring us to levels of France, Sweden and Norway." Leftist pundit, Newsnight.

Always remember the pundit 'careful ignoral' rule: when you get given a slightly weird list of examples, it's because the others are really weird.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

I just can't get a handle on this British ISIS refugees stuff. If I hadn't lived through the last few years I would assume you take back your citizens as a matter of routine. You got no choice. They may be a nuisance but it's just what you do. There's no 'policy' about it. It's part of the citizenship deal, not particularly a British thing though the British have normally been on the punctilious side of these things for historical and colonial reasons.

So what changed? It doesn't seem a matter of casual racism. I expect blonde, blue-eyed Anglicans would have had a less hard time but too many governments have burned too many fingers to make such an elementary error. Sajid Javed can't be that cynical, can he? It can't be security, or at least not only security, since now we are trembling at the prospect of a few dozen orphans arriving on our shores. Though as Channel 4 pointed out darkly, they may already be radicalised.

Nope. It's something to do with a loss of national nerve. Though whether Brexit will put this right or was the most recent example of it remains to be seen. Not that, as an AE-ist, I am against losing one's nerve, it's often a very good idea. Saves you from a lot of folly. It's just we might as well know it is that if it is that.
Send private message
Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
View user's profile
Reply with quote

I just can't get a handle on this British ISIS refugees stuff.


No nation is taking ISIS folks back unless they have to, ie unless folks can prove they are British, French, German etc nationals, they will not be taken back. If folks hold a British passport and have no other nationality they will be brought back. But for some reason folks have no passports and no other ID.

Of course we could take the word of the ISIS folks but given the natural desire to leave the camps, I think we might find that there were more British folk than expected. Of course it could be argued it matters not a lot for these adults where they go as, providing you can show you are an EU citizen once you are returned to the UK (providing you are not charged, and most won't be, because mysteriously their ID will then be contested by a defence barrister), you can then happily leave for Germany under Rights of Free Movement.

The problem is that ISIS has a multi-national army, many well practised in concealing their ID, and nobody wants to take a shed load of Iraqis purported to be British, French, German etc, because the thinking is that a combination of naivety about Muslim terrorism and our super liberal asylum policies got us into this mess in the first place, that is when we decided with the Yanks to engage in foreign misadventures. Of course if it is proven ISIS folk are Iraqi and they are returned to Iraq, they will be executed. So arguably claiming to be European does have advantages.
Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 144, 145, 146 ... 177, 178, 179  Next

Jump to:  
Page 145 of 179

MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group