back to article 10Mbps universal speeds? We'll give you 30Mbps, pleads Labour in leaked manifesto

The UK Labour Party has pledged a 30Mbps universal broadband speed by 2022, according to a draft leaked version of its manifesto. The current universal service obligation has been set at 10Mbps by 2020, with a proposed amendment of 30Mbps by the House of Lords having been dropped in the recently passed Digital Economy Act. …

  1. Peter2 Silver badge

    So, we're going to borrow a quarter of a trillion to splurge on infrastructure because interest rates are low.

    Payments on labours last set of debts already cost us more yearly than the defence budget, I don't suppose they costed how much would this be increased to?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Blah blah blah Labour debts

      The current Tory government has increased national debt by more than all past Labour governments combined. Their austerity policies, rather than paying down the budget deficit have increased it (don't trust me, look the numbers up for yourself), whilst simultaneously destroying any growth that might have seen increased money from the tax revenue that comes with economic growth.

      Don't believe everything you read in the papers, especially the UK ones which have the worst right-wing bias in any developed country (you can verify this for yourself too rather than simply believing what you are told).

      Oh, and the tax cuts the Tories have given to corporations and on capital gains tax? Those give us the lowest taxation rates on the rich of any G8 country. There's your "costs us more yearly" right there.

      1. The Onymous Coward

        Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

        You know it's not "corporations" that end up paying corporation tax don't you? It's the customers of those corporations.

        1. TheDillinquent

          Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

          You know it's not "corporations" that end up paying corporation tax don't you? It's the customers of those corporations.

          The corporations have a choice - pay the tax out of gross profit or risk becoming less competitive by putting their prices up.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

        "Those give us the lowest taxation rates on the rich of any G8 country. There's your "costs us more yearly" right there."

        My biggest concern is the lab parties suggestion that 70k makes you rich (I believe this was revised to 80k) - Im not saying for a second that 80k a year is a low income, but its hardly rich - if they want to target the rich they should be looking at the deals that HMRC give Apple, Starbucks, Vodafone etc instead of going after the middle class... dont even get me started on IR35.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

          > I'm not saying for a second that 80k a year is a low income, but its hardly rich.... instead of going after the middle class

          It's 3 or 5% of UK population depending on who you believe and how they measure - more taxation is inevitable for that group - most will see a commensurate increase in salary as a result.

          It's a non-issue really - particularly as it's a group where easily 80-90% are Tory voters and the remainder agree they should be paying more than someone pulling in the average wage - £27K

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

            @AC.

            The question is not whether they should be paying more, but the percentages at play. Labour put around this idea that everyone who earns good money is undeserving and those who don't are downtrodden victims of some conspiracy and deserving (as Jeremy's recent speeches have said). In reality, there are deserving and undeserving in both groups. If someone works really hard and makes good money, they can be deserving. If someone lives on benefits and doesn't attempt to better themselves or do anything to help themselves, they're undeserving.

            Yes, people earning more should pay some more, but it's very difficult to make this point when Labour seem keen to take all this money and throw it at 'deserving' poor people regardless of how they came to be poor. Of course, there are deserving poor people, but there are a load of undeserving as well. If he wants to tax those better off more (and I'm quite happy with that), he also needs to demonstrate a plan to deal with the lazy and feckless. He has failed to do this and by inference, has even called these people deserving.

            If anybody tries really hard to better themselves and do well, give them all the help in the world. Those that can't be bothered and just smoke, drink etc. any money they have without lifting a finger (there are some, although people may disagree on the numbers), should get nothing. Effort should be rewarded, laziness should not.

            1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

              Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

              Always reminded of this: -

              Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

              •The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing

              •The fifth would pay £1

              •The sixth would pay £3

              •The seventh would pay £7

              •The eighth would pay £12

              •The ninth would pay £18

              •The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59

              So, that’s what they decided to do.

              The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.

              "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20″. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just £80.

              The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

              The bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

              •And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).

              •The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% saving).

              •The seventh now paid £5 instead of £7 (28% saving).

              •The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% saving).

              •The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% saving).

              •The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% saving).

              Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

              "I only got a pound out of the £20 saving," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,"but he got £10!"

              "Yeah, that’s right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!"

              "That’s true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back, when I got only £2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

              "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!"

              The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

              The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

              And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

                I like the analogy and it's exactly what happened during the 70's.

                Problem is, people always compare the absolute amount, hence he got a £10 reduction, but I only got £1. However, what really matters is what percentage they're paying. Even if you reduced each percentage by the same amount, the person paying the most will natuarally get the biggest reduction. When dealing with taxation, it's percentages rather than absolute amounts that really matter. That and understanding that the state should be a safety net and it's far from that now. There are people (you can argue over how many) who see the state as a source of funds and never contemplate earning their own. They're happy to take and take and take without ever giving. It never ceases to amaze me how journalists are able to find households living entirely on benefits who have big screen TVs and XBoxes in every room, getting huge amounts from the state and still complaining about their lot whilst doing nothing to earn money themselves. There may only be 100 of them, or might be 100,000 or whatever, but that needs dealing with, as otherwise anyone paying tax is bound to question why.

              2. strum Silver badge

                Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

                >And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works.

                And that, boys and girls, is the kind of crap economics that has dragged this country down, since we stopped trading with gunboats. Even in your crap analogy, it is the tax *cuts* for the rich that create disharmony. There's precious little evidence that tax raises push the rich abroad (they tend to hire more accountants).

                1. Mad Mike

                  Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

                  @strum

                  "There's precious little evidence that tax raises push the rich abroad (they tend to hire more accountants)."

                  Absolute garbage. They (whethers companies or individuals) find ways round it. This either means moving abroad or hiring lots of suits to find loopholes etc. Either way, the result is the same. The government gets no more tax or often even less. This is well known and established and has been shown to be true for decades. Morals and tax take don't go hand in hand. What we're after is the highest tax take even if some inequalities have to be tolerated. Overall, it's the best 'win'.

            2. strum Silver badge

              Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

              >there are deserving poor people, but there are a load of undeserving as well.

              And you, of course, can tell the difference at 100 yards? Poppycock.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

                @strum.

                I never said I could. I was simply stating that calling everyone who has worked and done well undeserving and everyone who hasn't (whether their own fault or not) deserving is simply not right. I was saying that some people are poor because they don't try. Some are trying really hard and should be helped as much as possible. However, those that don't try shouldn't be helped, as they need to take responsibility for themselves and put some effort in.

        2. TheDillinquent

          Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

          My biggest concern is the lab parties suggestion that 70k makes you rich (I believe this was revised to 80k)

          £80k was chosen because its the 95% mark, i.e. only 5% of earners will be affected, which seems fairer than the blanket tax rises promoted by the other parties.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

        Oh, and the tax cuts the Tories have given to corporations and on capital gains tax?

        They are also what has contributed to our growth (and less of a decline) during the recession when compared to other countries in the G7, and to our current historic low levels of unemployment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do you have a single graph to back that up?

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        @AC, it is trivially easy for you to google any number of graphs showing the national debt, or deficit to confirm my assertions, for example:

        national deficit

        edit - this graph show national borrowing, those bit above the baseline are deficit; try overlaying the party in power with this graph, and tell me which is the party of high debt?

        It is probably worth reminding those with a short memory that the debts incurred around 2007/2008 were as a result of a global financial crisis, not one caused by the party in power in a country with around 1% of the world's population.

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          It is probably worth reminding those with a short memory that the debts incurred around 2007/2008 were as a result of a global financial crisis, not one caused by the party in power in a country with around 1% of the world's population.

          It is probably worth reminding those with a selective memory that in the years running up to 2007/2008 when the economy was in overdrive absolutely nothing at all was done to build up a reserve. Nobody of sane mind thought that level could last (though few predicted quite how hard the global economy would crash). When we should have been building up a reserve for the inevitable rainy day instead the government in power spent spent spent every penny coming in and at the same time reduced the reserves we did hold.

          Which party was in power during that time?

          1. Mad Mike

            How very true

            Running a government is like running your own household, but simply at a much larger scale. When times are hard, you rely on some savings and maybe use loans etc. as well to see yourself through. When times are good, you should pay off the loans and try to build up the savings buffer again. Unfortunately, because politicians don't give a s**t about tomorrow (their life expectency is so short), they never pay off the loans, let alone build up the buffer again. So, next time something bad happens, it's made much worse by the lack of buffer and debts you're already holding.

            More recently (last few decades), governments have even got into the habit of almost never running a surplus and actually taking out debt whether times are bad or good. Surpluses have happened, but are the exception rather than the rule. Why? Because the population vote for people who spend lots of money on new shiny bling for the population. Education, NHS etc.etc. Not saying they're not important, but the population needs to realise that all this nice new bling has to be paid for somehow. You can't have something for nothing. We have been trying for years and now it's catching up with us. The population needs to get realistic about what is achievable, stop blaming everyone else (normally anyone with more than them) and making some hard decisions. The NHS, for instance, can't go on as it is. You could throw an almost unlimited amount of money at it and all you'll do is put off the inevitable. We need to have a sensible debate on what is affordable (what people are willing to pay), what we want it to cover and how to achieve that. But, at the moment, that simply isn't happening.

            1. strum Silver badge

              Re: How very true

              >Running a government is like running your own household

              Is it bollocks. Since when did Mr&Mrs. Bloggs print their own money? SInce when did Mr&Mrs Bloggs have hundreds of years to pay of debt?

              A national economy bears virtually no resemblance to a household budget.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: How very true

                @strum.

                "A national economy bears virtually no resemblance to a household budget."

                Some parameters are different, but the underlying principles are very similar. If you really think it's a good idea for governments to spend hundreds of years paying off debt, I assume you're a politician and responsible for the mess. That really is passing the buck (i.e. debt) onto your great, great grandchildren. All over those hundreds of years, you've got to pay interest. How much do you pay back in the end?

                I assume you think that anyone overpaying their mortgage to end it quicker (and save years of interest payments) is therefore a fool?

          2. strum Silver badge

            >It is probably worth reminding those with a selective memory

            ..of which you appear to be one. Can you remember the Tories demanding greater regulation of banks? Can you remember them saying that house prices were getting too high? Can you remember which party deregulated the City in the first place?

            1. Mad Mike

              @strum

              "..of which you appear to be one. Can you remember the Tories demanding greater regulation of banks? Can you remember them saying that house prices were getting too high? Can you remember which party deregulated the City in the first place?"

              Nope, the Tories haven't. However, I also haven't turned a blind eye to the largest amount of banking deregulation in modern times, which happened under Gordon Brown. All parties have deregulated, but Gordon Brown carries the can for a huge amount of it. Also, the deregulation that allowed banks to take far greater commercial risks, which didn't exactly help the collapse that then happened.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        @AC

        Here's another graph for you:

        Corporate taxation rates in G8 countries

        Oh look, we're equal last with Russia, that bastion of economic competency.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: @AC

          @LoyalCommenter

          Thats out of date, our CT rates are now 19%

          That said, I dont agree that these should be increased, if they are then it needs to be tiered as a rise above 20% would cripple many small businesses.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC

          @ Loyal Commenter

          Re: Corporate taxation rates in G8 countries

          Also...

          Corporates don't pay 40%

          "288 big and profitable Fortune 500 corporations paid an average effective federal tax rate of just 19.4% from 2008 to 2012."

          Cite: https://americansfortaxfairness.org/tax-fairness-briefing-booklet/fact-sheet-corporate-tax-rates/

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge
    3. Naselus Silver badge

      With interest rates on UK 30-year gilts currently 0.8% lower than inflation, lenders effectively pay the government to borrow from them. Our 30-year gilt fixed rate is presently 1.5%, so if the economy picks up and inflation rises the amount that the debt shrinks in real terms will increase. So it makes perfect macro-economic sense to borrow and invest now, and bugger all sense to pay off debt at present.

      And 'Labour's last set of debts' - or, more accurately, all debt ever generated by all Labour governments in the UK, ever, combined - is about the same amount that the present Conservative government have added to that debt in the last 7 years. Partially this is because austerity has never worked to clear up an economic mess, and partially it's because most governments manage to borrow more money than their predecessors because inflation is a thing that happens.

      There's some really, really, really good reasons not to vote for Labour right now - the fact that the party is about as united as a combined Israeli-Palestinian football team, for example - but the supposedly superior economic competence of the Tories is certainly not one of them. Macroeconomics is not the same as balancing your household budget.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The One Show's Myra Hindley / Ian Brady "lookalikes"

      Well we did it (a quarter of a trillion) for "Too big to fail" big banks, can't say that has proved worthwhile in any shape or form, so why not infrastructure?

      It's people paying taxes, in work, doing worthwhile jobs, that's what Infrastructure spending really amounts to.

      Compared to the disturbing, The One Show performance by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady "lookalikes", who just happen to also enjoy walks on the North Yorkshire moors, and bins... I'll take infrastructure spending based on historically low interest rates, than repetitive bullshit nonsense by a clueless lightweight in the form of May. She is anything but - Strong and Stable.

      It's about time the rest of the UK realised how bad she actually is, in terms diplomacy, Negotiation, and just general demeanor, which is just plain arkward.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The One Show's Myra Hindley / Ian Brady "lookalikes"

        I might be that 'she' is the best of a bad bunch.

        I fully expect that once the Brexit deal is done and dusted she'd be ousted much like Maggie was before her.

        The nasty party has to keep up the reputation you know.

        Shame really because my local councillor is a pretty good guy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          At last, a common sense discussion on the debt in the comments section of a news website, look elsewhere and it's brain washed idiots repeating each others bullshit like an echo chamber of imbeciles.

          I've said it before, May and the Stasi don't want to get re-elected because they know brexit is going to be very hard. I mean seriously, fox hunting? dodgy campaign funding, tax rises. I wouldn't be surprised if between now and the election there will be a few scandals or their manifesto is a big FU to the majority of people. Then again people will still probably vote for them.

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      So, we're going to borrow a quarter of a trillion to splurge on infrastructure because interest rates are low.

      Who told you they will remain low. I do not see how they can remain low if UK credit rating starts dropping (and it will).

      Any borrowing increase at the moment is first degree grand treason not for any other reason, but because we cannot predict what we will be paying on it in two years time.

    6. Mycho Silver badge

      Short version

      After the next election we'll have a grey haired pushover negotiating our surrender to the EU. Your vote can decide which one.

      Sorry, both major parties, but your leaders are surrender monkeys who only ever stand up to the little people.

  2. smudge Silver badge
    Holmes

    5G coverage

    "We will improve 4G coverage and will invest to ensure all urban areas as well as major roads and railways have uninterrupted 5G coverage,"

    Excellent! I look forward to my uninterrupted 5G connection as I drive or take the train between Blair Atholl and Inverness.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5G coverage

      Excellent! I look forward to my uninterrupted 5G connection as I drive or take the train between Blair Atholl and Inverness.

      But you'll be in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Scotland by then so won't see any benefit.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    According to the Labour manifesto:

    1) Everyone will get a perpetual motion engine car.

    2) Guaranteed sunny weather every summer under a Labour Gov. (q.v. Sunny Jim Callaghan)

    3) A free PhD

    4) Instant multimillionaire status due to the Pound collapsing on international markets and hyperinflation

    5 ) A Jeremy Corbyn mug

    6 ) Long term imprisonment of Richard Branson

    Hmm that last one just might get my vote..

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Labour has pledged

    see small print

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Labour has pledged

      The small print is they aren't going to be able to do shit after they lose 100 seats. The best part will be how Corbyn will stay on after to lead the UKIP of the left (soon to have as many seat(s)).

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Labour has pledged

        Was just trolling but sadly just read (Yank desperate for any international news here with Megamind in charge of Metrocity) the seats most vulnerable for Labour happen to be his biggest enemies in the party. The worse the party does the better for him. He will survive and Labour will pretty much represent only the urban blight areas (wipe out in middle England likely).

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Labour has pledged

          The problem is that fundamentally Labour seeks to appeal to two separate groups.

          1) The low income "working class" who are screwed over by low wages and a high cost of living, which are their primary political concerns.

          2) The Metropolitan liberals who earn enough to not be too pressed by the high cost of living, and benefit from cheap labour and want to perpetuate this.

          This would be best served by having one party representing each group instead of one representing both, where the interests of one are in opposition to the other.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: Labour has pledged

            @Peter2.

            Perhaps the best bet would be to not just consider one group at a time, but look for the best solution across the board, with everyone gaining something. The attitude of just worrying about yourself and only being concerned about what happens to you is killing good government. I'm quite happy to pay some additional tax (as I can), but in return I'd like to see scroungers dealt with. Problem is, the parties that want to take the additional tax from me won't do anything about the scroungers and vice versa.

            1. strum Silver badge

              Re: Labour has pledged

              > I'd like to see scroungers dealt with.

              Shareholders, I assume you mean?

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: Labour has pledged

                @strum.

                You're just playing the politics of envy there and doing so wrongly. Shareholders are either people who have earned and save money and choose to invest it in the stockmarket, or people with pensions. How does provising money for companies make them scroungers? Anyone with a personal pension (i.e. not state) in this country is almost certain to be a scrounger by your logic.

  5. inmypjs Silver badge

    Completely scrapping ADSL then

    No more moronic than the rest of nice things in their manifesto.

    Lots of treats we would all like if only we actually lived in labour's cloud cuckoo land where no one has to pay for them.

    That said, the end of my knob has more chance of being prime minister than Corbyn, why does anyone even bother reading their manifesto?

    1. Alt C

      Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

      or you could try doing some investigation yourself and see how some of the 'moronic' things arn't actually that moronic.

      borrowing for infrastructure actually generates revenue in the economy but only if it is done as government borrowing not the abortion of PFI (see private eye ad nauseam for how well that works) yes the great gordon broon came up with the idea but he was a muppet - the tories said they would scrap it but gideon decided it was well worth running with and saddling the young of the country with even more debt.

      I'd also be surprised given how much money we currently bung at the railways to fund stagecoaches' sharholders - we couldn't provide the same service re-nationalising it at the same cost to the taxpayer.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

        @Alt C.

        Apart from Gordon Brown didn't come up with it. It actually started in John Majors government. Granted they did very little and it was Brown and Blair that oversaw the huge rise in use of it.

        Government borrowing (guilts) and PFI are quite different in some ways, but very similar in others. In both, you're effectively getting money now, but paying for it into the future. Of course, with PFI, you never actually own the asset, as someone else builds it, then you rent it back as a service. I agree that PFI is an absolute disaster, but politicians like it because it allows them to show the electorate bright shiny things now, whilst pushing the cost into the future when someone else will have to deal with it.

        Government borrowing is also not good though. Of course, you need some to allow for flattening things out, just like people would with credit cards etc. and their household budgets. But, in the long term, you're simply passing debt to someone down the track. You have to pay interest on it, which is variable. The idea that government debt is cheap now, so lets go and borrow a load is mind blowingly stupid. Think of it like a mortgage. You take it out today when interest rates are very low (say 2.5%) and that's great. You might even get a fixed rate for a while (sort of like Guilts which pay a fixed return over a period). But, after that time, the interest rate can change and is not really in your control. It's up to the markets. So, in say 5 years time, what interest rate will you be paying? The mere act of taking out large amounts of government debt actually impacts inflation and also reduces a countries credit rating. This almost guarantees the interest rate when renegotiated will go up.

        Of course, all this depends on how much you borrow. Small amounts won't make much difference. But, adding anywhere between £250b and £500b to our national debt will change it. It's way too big a percentage for it not to. So, it is sheer madness and an economically stupid thing to do.

        If you do borrow money, there are different things you could spend it on and I do agree that infrastructure projects are the better things to use it for than just cheap tax cuts or whatever. But even so, Labours offering is complete and utter madness in scale.

        Labour are effectively taking the electorate for fools. They're offering everybody pretty much everything they could ever ask for. More money for anything you could ever desire. They're offering to re-nationalise some companies (energy etc.), but have no sane plan for doing it. That'll be more borrowing then (confiscation would consign us to the same standing as Zimbabwe). This is also just attacking things that people hate. Not saying they're great companies or maybe no the right longterm more, but it's a cheap populist ploy. Similarly, the tax rich b**tards more (whether companies or individuals) card. History has shown many times that there is a limit and then the more wealthy will simply get round it and tax revenue normally drops. So, short term, gives you more, but long term, you loose. It may or may not be moral, but the objective should be to increase tax take as much as possible and increasing companies taxes too much will drive companies out of business or into tax avoidance measures or moving operations abroad. None of these increase long term tax take. Similarly with individuals. The 70s proved all this very nicely thank you.

        The Labour Parties manifesto is populist with no basis in reality. All sounds great, but there's a world of difference between theory and practice and it fails on that basis.

        P.S.

        Why is it that people think they should get great broadband wherever they live? If you choose to live in rural Wales, one of the trade-offs might be poor broadband and mobile, but the advantage is you get to look at fields rather than the factory across the road. By their logic, someone living in town could insist on the area around them being cleared out and returned to fields as they have a 'right' to a nice view. In reality land, you can choose where to live and there are pro's and con's to each possible location. You simply need to take the right choice for you, with the compromise that entails.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          @Mad Mike (the PS)

          Well... Jeremy Corbyn promised to "democratise the internet" in his Digital Manifesto.

          Technically the internet is already democratic - its where the demos (people) are.

          It's worse if you take the original Greek meaning, as it means "people of a city state". Ho ho ho.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

        I'd also be surprised given how much money we currently bung at the railways to fund stagecoaches' sharholders - we couldn't provide the same service re-nationalising it at the same cost to the taxpayer.

        Essentially, this is the main difference between voting Tory and voting Labour:

        Tories believe that government is bad at running businesses because of inefficiency and bureaucracy, and that private enterprise, even if it has to be partly subsidised, will produce a higher quality of service at a cheaper price.

        Labour believe that private enterprise is bad at running businesses because they are profit focused and exploit both their workers and their customers. They believe that any profits from these activities should go towards the exchequer and not private individuals, and that government funded investment will keep those businesses up to date.

        If you look at Labour's (draft) manifesto, this is what they are proposing for almost everything. You can't mandate mobile coverage or broadband provision without directly controlling the enterprises that make that provision.

        I don't think either are particularly right, but I remember how the trains, telecoms and power were when run by the government, not sure I'd like to go back to that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

          >I don't think either are particularly right, but I remember how the trains, telecoms and power were when run by the government, not sure I'd like to go back to that

          Yet EDF (owned by the French Government) is the worlds largest energy supplier and SNCF runs like a dream compared to our network - this in a country with amongst 'the worst' trade unions (usually cited as the reason UK government couldn't run a railway or power generation).

          1. nijam Silver badge

            Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

            > SNCF runs like a dream compared to our network

            No, not really ... a few high profile services are impressive, but mostly French railways are just as shit as ours.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

              >> SNCF runs like a dream compared to our network

              >No, not really

              I suspect you're not interested in facts, but you can download the performance data here:

              http://www.sncf.com/en/transparency/on-time-performance-data

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

          I'm not really sure that's entirely right. I mean, after WW2 Labour nationalised every industry that was unionised. Coal mining, shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing, car manufacturing, electricity generation, electricity distribution, railways, you name it.

          The country went bust as a result of owning every loss making industry in the UK, the country went to the IMF with a begging bowl for a loan, and Labour were booted out of office replaced by the Conservatives. Their solution was to declare that the UK government had no business trying to run every loss making business in the country, and they simply privatised everything that Labour had nationalised, so the companies losing money was a problem with that company going bankrupt rather than the entire country going bankrupt.

          Labour clearly agreed with this policy privately if not publically, since they didn't extend any help to these once nationalised companies when they were in power even when they asked for help and haven't nationalised anything since...

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

            > the country went to the IMF with a begging bowl for a loan

            I suggest you look at who was in power a year or so earlier. Tony Barber's 1972 budget flooded the economy with phoney money - most of which went on secondary banking and high-rise offices. Healey was fire-fighting a Tory shitstorm.

        3. strum Silver badge

          Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

          > I remember how the trains...were when run by the government, not sure I'd like to go back to that.

          Doesn't need a particularly long memory. Between 14 November 2009 and 28 February 2015, the East Coast Main Line was run by a govt-owned company (and it returned £1Bn to the Treasury during that time).

          The railways themselves are still nationalised. Would you trust that work to a private company? Even the Tories wouldn't.

          1. Mad Mike

            Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

            @strum.

            Some of the issue now is not even whether they're better off nationalised or not. It's how would you bring them back into public hands if you wanted to. You'd have to buy them back. Confiscation would destroy all business confidence in this country because of the precedent set. So, where do we get the billions required to buy them back?

        4. Phil W

          Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

          "I remember how the trains, telecoms and power were when run by the government, not sure I'd like to go back to that."

          This is precisely the reason NOT to vote Labour in the general election. Particularly when it comes to telecoms and power. Railways aren't quite such a big problem, and in fact in some ways lend themselves to being government run because there really isn't a competitive market force anyway, regional franchises are awarded to single companies so you don't get to pick who you use to get from Manchester to London, or whatever your journey may be, in any meaningful way. Unless you're going to allow rail companies to build their own separate lines to compete (which isn't practical obviously), rail is the sort of infrastructure where it needs to at least some degree be run by government.

          But I'm not sure how going back to a world where gas and electricity are run by a single national authority (or even multiple regional authorities) is even remotely sensible.

          Corbyn claims this is his plan to end "rip off Britain", to end the free market competition for gas and electricity which helps keeps prices down (or at least prevent them rising as fast as they otherwise might) and have it all run by government instead, where you pay what you're told the price is, and have no choice but to accept it or do without. Government decides the price of your gas and electric is going up, then it is, and you have to pay it if you don't want to live in a cold dark house.

          The same backwards looking attitude applies towards University education. He claims to want to make University tuition free because fees are too high and people can't afford to go. In reality this is utter bollocks, on two fronts.

          Firstly the increased University fees haven't increased the actual cost of going to University to any significant degree for those who don't earn huge salaries after graduation, due to the mechanism by which student loans are repaid. In actual operation student loans are really a graduate tax and the rate at which it's paid hasn't significantly changed, only the period of time you might pay it for before it ends. For those only just earning over the threshold for paying it back, they may never have paid it off before it was automatically wiped after the set period, and for most in the bracket that's still the case. The only change has been for those earning higher salaries, who will be paying a small percentage of their wage as an effective graduate tax for longer.

          The second reason this manifesto pledge is utter bollocks, is that Corbyn doesn't want tuition to be free because he wants more people to go to University. He wants tuition to be free because then the government will be setting the amount they pay per student again entirely at their own whim, and not at the level the Universities actual need. This will result in Universities becoming underfunded, many will close and others will simply become awful, and the number of available places will drop. Then we're back to Higher Education landscape we were in 70's to 90's where most people couldn't go to University, and Further Education College was the highest most people could hope for.

          This isn't a surprise coming from a man who went to a Polytechnic College rather than an actual University, and left after arguing with tutors because he didn't agree with syllabus (typical I know better than you student attitude no doubt).

          N.B. There's nothing wrong with not going to University, or only having an FE College or old Polytechnic College education, but you probably aren't the right person to decide how Universities should be run or funded if you've never been, and it's dubious if you're the right person for that choice if you dropped out because of arguing with the people that ran the place.

          Also most or all of the old Polytechnics are now quite respectable Universities, but that was only really possible because of the increased funding they began to get as a result of tuition fees coming into existence.

      3. strum Silver badge

        Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

        >yes the great gordon broon came up with the idea

        Actually, it was John Major.

      4. strum Silver badge

        Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

        >yes the great gordon broon came up with the idea

        Actually, it was John Major. Don't believe everything (anything) you read in the press.

        And PFI isn't the unmitigated disaster it's portrayed as. Corporations have done leaseback schemes like these for decades, with good outcomes for both sides of the transaction.

        The difference was that the corporations had armies of lawyers to ensure that the terms were equitable. Local Councils and NHS trusts didn't - and they were taken for a ride by the PFI companies.

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Completely scrapping ADSL then

      >Completely scrapping ADSL then

      PPPoE at least should have died a decade ago at least. The overhead is beyond stupid. Still by being so shitty I am about to get 20Mbs service for less than $30 a month unbundled here in the states which ain't bad.

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