back to article UK PM Theresa May orders review of online abuse laws in suffrage centenary speech

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a review of British laws governing online communications in her latest shot at big tech firms. In a speech today marking the centenary of at least some women gaining the right to vote in Blighty, May will say that public debate is "coarsening" with a lot of this troubling behaviour …

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    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

      The Official Monster Raving Loony Party are campaigning to lower the voting age to 5, as that represents the behaviour of MPs in debates.

    2. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

      "Debate may be "coarsening" due to their own behaviour and examples."

      Wish I could upvote you more than once!

    3. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

      I could not agree more. Of course political debate is coarsening when the politicians themselves behave like toddlers fighting over the last biscuit, hurling insults at one another and all the public school boys desperate to keep the riff raff out of their old boys club at any cost.

      While I'm not saying that every, or indeed any, insult hurled online is justified, they can't pretend that it's the only problem. While insults hurled online are a problem, there is a simple way to avoid them as a minority MP - don't go on facebook / twitter / whatever. What you sadly can't avoid are the "civil" servants or career MP's from privilaged public school backgrounds in whitehall who still think that "poofter" is appropriate language, and all the rest that I won't list. Online abuse is relatively easy to avoid. Workplace abuse, sadly, is not.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

      So to summarise, the Prime Minister said today:

      "I'd like to celebrate this day, where we started to redress the imbalance in women's rights by using this event as a platform to argue why you should have your rights and internet freedoms removed".

      Well done there, Pry Minister - is there anything you can't use to push your own agenda? Why not consider the root cause of why people are so hacked off with politicians in the first place?

      Treat the cause of the disease, not the symptoms.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Unep Eurobats
          WTF?

          Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

          Er, we're talking about hate speech, not interrupting someone.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

            Er, we're talking about hate speech, not interrupting someone.

            I hate being interrupted, don't you?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

            "Er, we're talking about hate speech, not interrupting someone."

            Define hate speech?

            Is calling someone like Katie Hopkins "A nasty narcissistic piece of scum, who contribution to society would have been greatly improved if she had never be born" hate speech or the truth?

            Lets not even start on Murdoch.

            1. James 139

              Re: It would appear...

              Either way, it will be forbidden under the overly draconian and knee jerk changes that get made to appease the thin skinned.

              It is quite definitely one thing to be rude or even offensive towards something someone has done or said, but quite another to make death threats or harass someone just for who they are.

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

      @Shadmeister

      "and you just cannot determine what they are actually trying to say."

      A safe bet is just to assume they are lying or at best evading the question, that's usually the case.

    6. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

      Debate may be "coarsening" due to their own behaviour and examples.

      Rarely though do they say to their opponent "Bitch I'm going to rape you until you are dead."

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There

          Are the standards of behaviour of politicians really "declining", are they "coarsening"? The red lines on the floor between the Government and Opposition are two sword lengths apart to prevent over-exicited MPs whipping out their weapons in the pursuit of immediate satisfaction from other members.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How the fuck...

    ...did we end up with Mary Whitehouse for prime minister? And her cabinet of imbeciles and narcissistic buffoons are no better.

    Presumably that's the sort of comment the confused old dear wishes to see banned from the internet.

  3. Mr Dogshit

    Maybe she should focus on WHY people are angry, frustrated and downright livid.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      She did, and then realised she'd have to make a speech blaming the internet to try and deflect the blame away from her.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      There is a difference to being angry and livid and calling for people to rape or kill other people...

      1. Graham Dawson

        There's also a difference between a serious threat and an edgelord using anything that will get a reaction.

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          'edge' Lord,....

          .... indeed. It's quite easy to deal with death threats received via the Internet. Ignore them. The kid that made said threat won't pass their driving test for several years, so won't be able to come find you.

          I got some death threats in the early days of the Web. How I laughed.

          1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: 'edge' Lord,....

            "It's quite easy to deal with death threats received via the Internet. Ignore them."

            For most of us, that's true.

            However, for public figures (MPs, Royals, Celebs) these threats aren't always throwaway insults by "kids [who] won't pass their driving test for several years, so won't be able to come find you." It's not long since an MP was stabbed in the street by one of her constituents. If they do just ignore them and something happens....

            Also, MPs are supposed to be listening to the public*. They should be readin through comments made. If a fair number are abusive, they can't just abandon reading the comment thread as they may miss "important" information. They can't even just delete their online profiles, as most of us could if faced with large numbers of threats or abusive comments.

            Finally, it's very easy to say "just ignore it". However, unless you've been the victim of "bullying" you don't know how this affects you (and even then, you can't know how it will affect someone else). After a while you start to believe what's being said about you. It can have a massive effect on your mental health, with knock on effects to your physical wellbeing.

            * I say supposed to. I will not comment on how well they perform in this task...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 'edge' Lord,....

              My MP just made up her own 'death threats'...

            2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

              Re: 'edge' Lord,....

              "t's not long since an MP was stabbed in the street by one of her constituents."

              Did Thomas Mair threaten Joe Cox via social media before he murdered her? Nope, so death threats via social media and actual murders would not appear to have any relation. Can we think of any real life cases where social media threats have been carried out? Quite the opposite I think, only recently some far right numpty was prevented from carrying out an atrocity at an LGBT event because he blurted his intentions on social media.

              1. scrubber
                Joke

                Re: 'edge' Lord,....

                "Can we think of any real life cases where social media threats have been carried out?"

                Didn't that one guy blow up Robin Hood Airport?

            3. Tom 64

              Re: 'edge' Lord,....

              > "After a while you start to believe what's being said about you."

              I hope so. Hopefully Mrs. May will eventually get the hint that she is in fact a useless PM and should go.

              Sadly she has been doing rather well at ignoring this kind of comment.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Joke

            Re: 'edge' Lord,....

            "I got some death threats in the early days of the Web. How I laughed."

            Keep laughing...one day, I will have my revenge! Ma wah ha ha ha haaaa

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          a difference between a serious threat and an edgelord [getting] a reaction.

          Maybe the putuative "edgelord" thinks there is a difference, but it's essentially only in /their/ head. There is rarely any way for the target to be sure which is which.

          I'm pretty much of the "just ignore all the nutters and trolls on the internet" school of thought, but if I were a target of multiple death threats, even ones delivered by internet, I might find it difficult just to think "oh, those crazy hedgelords are at it again, ha ha..."

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      She did. The idea is not to mention the suffragettes and to starve the organisations and cebrations of funding so people don't realise they can make a difference.

      As she's that much of a one trick pony, when she doesn't want to mention something, she fills the silence with her pet hate, the Internet.

    4. veti Silver badge

      There are 40 million different reasons for that.

  4. Adam Jarvis

    Theresa May has the classic symptoms...

    Of someone who is shit scared of what technology can do, without understanding how any of it works and no intention of bothering to find out. She simply wants it put back in its box, do as I say, attitude.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Theresa May has the classic symptoms...

      Pandora's box or nasty things hiding in their Cupboard yearning to see the Light of Day ?

    2. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Theresa May has the classic symptoms...

      Of someone who is shit scared of what technology can do

      people who use that technology will be able to say about her.

      FTFY

  5. Ronome

    The false belief in authority she has none only other people play the game, which is all it is.. Till the people grow up and stop trying to get others to rule there life, the madness will keep going...

  6. wolfetone Silver badge

    This woman has done more to foster a population of hatred than any other PM since Thatcher, and she has the pure audacity to stand there and say that other people/tech companies should be doing more to combat it?

    I notice she's not mentioning her friend Paul Dacre's cesspit The Daily Fail as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This woman has done more to foster a population of hatred than any other PM since Thatcher,"

      I beg to differ. David Cameron has got an awful lot to answer for. Theresa May being in power being one example...

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Andrea Leadsome has more to do with that then Pig Botherer Dave.

        Comments she made during the leadership election along the lines of "women who have never had children don't know what compassion and empathy are" lead to her withdrawing from the "contest". Which then meant Frau May-Bot won by default.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          I think Tony Blair wins the 'worst PM since Thatcher' award, and by a comfortable margin.

          1. handleoclast Silver badge

            I think Tony Blair wins the 'worst PM since Thatcher' award, and by a comfortable margin.

            They were the two worst prime ministers in my memory. And for the same reason. They behaved like dictators, over-riding cabinet with the threat that if they showed disagreement with the PM the party would lose the next election.

            Thatcher was definitely the worst of the two. Blair was only in it for himself, wanting to gain stature and go down in history a great statesman (oh, and whatever money he could pocket while doing it). If Blair did something really unpopular he'd reverse course. Thatcher appears to have believed the shit she spouted, so even if what she did was unpopular she'd continue doing it for your own good.

            And if that hasn't earned me some downvotes, this probably will...

            It has been said of Tony Blair that if somebody managed to somehow convince him that it would enhance his political stature, he'd brutally rape his grandmother live on Breakfast TV. That scurrilous assertion is completely without foundation. Tony could never do such a thing. Both his grandmothers are dead.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Coat

              I'm not sure that would present an insurmountble obstacle for him.

      2. Anonymous Coward
  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile The Whiteshirts prefer inflicting Physical Abuse

    Video clip anyone ?

  8. smartypants

    Distraction technique

    No problems with slurring the civil service

    No problems with Davis lying to parliament about the biggest issue in modern times

    No problems with wrecking the good friday agreement.

    No problems with introducing friction filled trade to destroy manufacturing that relies on JIT flows with the continent.

    No problems with attacks on the judiciary and MPs by the editors who tell her what to say

    No problems with treating 3 million people like some sort of slave commodity to be bartered

    No problems with trying to increase the power of the executive so it can bypass Parliament.

    Yes. Let's talk about online abuse. FFS

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The outrage is caused by Theresa 'Stasi' May and her Tory scum cronies

    Don't blame the messengers or the communication channel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The outrage is caused by Theresa 'Stasi' May and her Tory scum cronies

      I think that comparision is being unfair [to the Stasi].

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The outrage is caused by Stupid Corbyn's Thug Army and his Tax and Waste Scum Scum

      Fixed that love letter for you

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The outrage is caused by Theresa 'Stasi' May and her Tory scum cronies

      I'd suggest that every politician should be made to visit the Stasi Museum in Berlin*. Except that they might assume that it was a blueprint.

      * Sadly, fair command of German desirable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The outrage is caused by Theresa 'Stasi' May and her Tory scum cronies

        Been there. The place looks like a late 1980's DHSS office.

        It's a Teddy Bears' Picnic compared with what we're faced with these days.

  10. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The last general election results ...

    ... are evidence of May's inability to engage politically with voters. (She only remained in power because the other lot are about as clueless.)

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: The last general election results ...

      She remained in power because 85% of the media in the UK do not like Labour. So they set about repeatedly beating Dianne Abbot about forgetting/fudging figures over police, yet didn't mention Phil Hammond admitting he had no idea how much HS2 was going to cost, or even had cost at that time. (He was being "interviewed" by Andrew Marr).

      One isn't in Government, and the other is in Government and sets the agenda. Tell me which figure recollection faux pas was worse?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: The last general election results ...

        @ wolfetone

        "85% of the media in the UK do not like Labour"

        Hopefully the voters are smart enough not to like them too right now. Add that to the government we have and we are thin on the ground for good choices. What concerns me is there are plenty of authoritarian choices but few more libertarian alternatives.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: The last general election results ...

          "Hopefully the voters are smart enough not to like them too right now."

          Can you expand on that?

          Remember, some* of the 52% who voted to leave the EU believed the writing on the big red bus. Don't think for a second they can see through propaganda.

          *no hard evidence, but it's certain a percentage did

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: The last general election results ...

            Remember, some* of the 52% who voted to leave the EU believed the writing on the big red bus. Don't think for a second they can see through propaganda.

            *no hard evidence, but it's certain a percentage did

            And you can say exactly the same for some of the 48% who have been told that the world will end come March 2019. There's plenty of propaganda to blame both sides for.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: The last general election results ...

            @ wolfetone

            "Remember, some* of the 52% who voted to leave the EU believed the writing on the big red bus. Don't think for a second they can see through propaganda."

            I can accept that. Just as some people still think we should remain in the EU because end of western civilisation. But it really does seem to take a special kind of person to believe Corbyns labour wouldnt trash the country. Corbyn pretty much seems to rely on students so thats about 50% of the young adults, most excluded until they reach 18, some of which can think so deduct them and since he supports brexit he doesnt even get that protest group.

            Although you could be right and I might hold the UK electorate in higher estimation than deserved.

            1. wolfetone Silver badge

              Re: The last general election results ...

              "I can accept that. Just as some people still think we should remain in the EU because end of western civilisation. But it really does seem to take a special kind of person to believe Corbyns labour wouldnt trash the country. Corbyn pretty much seems to rely on students so thats about 50% of the young adults, most excluded until they reach 18, some of which can think so deduct them and since he supports brexit he doesnt even get that protest group.

              Although you could be right and I might hold the UK electorate in higher estimation than deserved."

              How can you trash a country that's already burning?

              Employment levels are low, yes, but that's because of zero hour contracts. When you're on one of these you go off the unemployment books, even though you could work 16 hours over 4 weeks with 3 weeks of no work. Although massaging of unemployment figures is something every government has done.

              Education is on it's arse. How those in Government can tell the rest of us (who are younger) that we have to pay for an education they received for free?

              Society is on it's arse. Today there's a story about a DPD delivery man (on said zero hour contract) dying of diabetes because of the workplace practices they used, which they're allowed to use under this government.

              Social housing is on it's arse and has been since Thatcher. Stocks were never replaced, meaning councils end up paying more money to private landlords to use their properties to house the electorate.

              In my honest view, the country's already fucked and I don't know anyone who can say it isn't. So is the alternative all that bad? I like Corbyn, more than any other politician that's gone before him since Tony Benn. At least he's honest and hasn't sold himself out for a sniff of power.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: The last general election results ...

                @ wolfetone

                I feel I made a mistake of stepping on a Corbyn supporter, oops. You mention a country that is burning but that doesnt seem to match what I see of the UK. From the worst recession in a long time this country has done rather well and could be in an actually bad situation which is available to see in the world. As one of the richest countries in the world to describe us as a country that is burning is pretty ignorant of a large portion of the world, some of which Corbyn is/was a fan of which led them to being in a terrible position.

                The second issue with that comment is you mention government problems, but Corbyn is for more government and more government run. Education and Social housing is the purview of the gov and Corbyn wants more gov, which if you think it is badly managed is to ask for more bad management. The gov cannot create employment but they can destroy it which again means if you dont like the zero hour contracts you are either for putting those people out of work or less government, in both cases against Corbyn.

                You say society is on its arse and then seem to say the gov should be running the private company (do something about it). Which again is more government. Except government requires non-government to actually fund it which brings us back to less government. Pointing to an outlier as an example of a broken system is to argue against such a system or for the elimination of outliers. One is less gov, the other is North Korea/USSR.

                "In my honest view, the country's already fucked and I don't know anyone who can say it isn't"

                Thats your opinion and your welcome to it. But you now know someone who does disagree with you. Can we do better? Yes. But the country is not fucked and electing someone who would fuck it doesnt seem like a good idea.

                "At least he's honest and hasn't sold himself out for a sniff of power."

                So your all for him wanting out of the EU? I ask as I know you want us to remain and it seems important to you, but he doesnt. Also he is against nukes so trident is out, except he needs the unions so he is for making the subs but not arming them with anything. That sounds like an expensive welfare project. And of course peoples quantitative easing with an aim for the GBP to be like the Zimbabwe dollar or as Corbyn is more recently fond of the Venezuelan bolívar. He might actually believe his ideas would help people but history is not on his side at all. In fact it is very much conclusively against him.

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

                  1. acid andy
                    Stop

                    Re: The last general election results ...

                    @ Shadmeister "It depends on your viewpoint, but Corbyn is a welcome change from the he-hawing of the usual politics, but then, the policies of the far left have been shown to be suboptimal."

                    Despite what the mainstream media want everyone to think, Corbyn's not really far left. He's closer to what not too many years ago used to be called the centre ground. It's just Blair, Brown, Cameron and May's policies have pushed the country ever further to the right, dragging others like the Lib Dems with them, so that what's currently labelled Centrism is now right wing. Evidence? Well there are jobless and disabled people now starving that previously wouldn't have, an NHS being slowly dismantled, a ridiculous property asset bubble artificially propped up by government meddling, students that will be in debt well into middle age... This isn't just right wing. It's extreme. That's not even mentioning all the dystopian crap that's being rapidly introduced.

                    "Personally, i think the politicians on both sides have completely neglected the working class, and we now see the frustrations online, and the surge of momentum."

                    And increasingly the middle class, especially those that weren't already home owners in 2000.

                    @ codejunky "But it really does seem to take a special kind of person to believe Corbyns labour wouldnt trash the country. "

                    Corbyn is sensible enough to implement only incremental change. It won't trash the economy or the country. He only wants to raise corporation tax very slightly for example back to what it was just a few years ago. Their manifesto has been fully costed. The nationalization thing can work too. British Rail had its faults but our trains can't get much worse than they are now. Extremely overpriced, dirty, cramped and unreliable.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: The last general election results ...

                      @ acid andy

                      "Corbyn is sensible enough to implement only incremental change. It won't trash the economy or the country."

                      That sounds like a lot of hope. So he wont try to make the changes within the 5 years he is in power if he was to be elected? As for trash the economy- Venezuela.

                      "He only wants to raise corporation tax very slightly for example back to what it was just a few years ago."

                      That all? No peoples quantitative easing? No rent controls? No building trident to please the unions but not arm it to please his followers? No nationalising?

                      "Their manifesto has been fully costed"

                      Their 'ideas' have also been tried and failed. The outcome being fairly well known.

                      "British Rail had its faults but our trains can't get much worse than they are now. Extremely overpriced, dirty, cramped and unreliable."

                      Yes they can, they could be in government hands. Why do they cost so much for dirty, cramped and unreliable? Because people will pay for it. There is a fixed amount of track and the state of the track is not in private hands so why is the gov not adding more track and maintaining it better? Why do public services tend to be accused of underinvestment when it is run by the utopia of big gov? Because the gov wants voters which means big and shiny (think of any of those projects?), things that can be seen. Maintenance is low on that list.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: The last general election results ...

                        >Their 'ideas' have also been tried and failed. The outcome being fairly well known.

                        Seeing as most of the manifesto pledges in the last Labour manifesto were taken from Scandinavia where they have been successfully implemented, then perhaps "failed" is not quite the right word.

                        As opposed to the Tory manifesto that was effectively ripped up the day after the election.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: The last general election results ...

                          @AC

                          "Seeing as most of the manifesto pledges in the last Labour manifesto were taken from Scandinavia where they have been successfully implemented, then perhaps "failed" is not quite the right word."

                          Nope failed was the right word. Homogeneous populations, smaller governments with taxation and services being more local and privatised healthcare (and so on). Does that sound like Corbyn? The places that have tried Corbyns way dont turn out very well.

                          "As opposed to the Tory manifesto that was effectively ripped up the day after the election."

                          Yup. Knowing Corbyn is a terrible idea doesnt mean thinking the Tories are good. And as my point was originally that there are plenty authoritarian choices but few going the other way

                      2. acid andy

                        Re: The last general election results ...

                        @ codejunky "That sounds like a lot of hope. So he wont try to make the changes within the 5 years he is in power if he was to be elected?"

                        Of course he'll try to make changes but everything has to get through parliament and he won't want a vote of no confidence. I think he's canny enough to know he's got to strike a balance. He's been in politics for a long time now. Very big changes take years to fully implement anyway. A case in point is all these internet controls the current government (and civil service) seem so desperate to rush through. Yes, they're getting them, but they're taking many years. So when you say he'll "trash the country", it just sounds like scaremongering to me.

                        Even if I'm wrong, if we have a recession, to many that would still be a price worth paying in the short term to restore our public services and support network back to their former glory for the longer term. In the last recession no such improvements took place. I sense that you perhaps don't care about that and would be happier with the status quo. The problem I have is that there really is no status quo. The current right won't ever stop squeezing the working and middle classes and cutting back public services so long as they can keep getting away with it. That's why we need a few years of the opposite to restore some level of sanity and balance to this system.

                        "As for trash the economy- Venezuela."

                        Ah yes the standard mainstream media one word comeback. From what I understand their policies were arguably too extreme, poorly implemented and they were too reliant on oil wealth with the subsequent consequences when that crashed. Apparently they were also dealing with a lack of housing supply - something our government are actively perpetuating and Corbyn aims to reverse.

                        "That all? No peoples quantitative easing? No rent controls? No building trident to please the unions but not arm it to please his followers? No nationalising?"

                        If rent controls can deflate the monstrous housing bubble then I say bring it on! And many, many people in this country would agree with me. Yes it will be painful for some but others have been enduring pain for the best part of 20 years. There's no way JC would implement full disarmament. He speaks openly about his pacifistic ideals but he's also pragmatic. He understands the need to compromise. Nationalizing I've already covered. Regarding people's QE, I'm not even sure what you're talking about but if it's something that would get just a bit of the wealth back to the middle and working classes then maybe it's something worth considering.

                        "Their 'ideas' have also been tried and failed. The outcome being fairly well known."

                        I've pretty much covered this. Your assumption is they will implement far left socialism and you look to other attempts at that for your examples of failure. My own expectation and hope is rather that they will restore the climate in this country back a bit more to how it was towards the end of the last century before the madness of the housing and credit bubbles, zero hours contracts and social benefits being cut off. I'm willing to accept that a lot of what happened was global but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be repaired here.

                        "Yes they can, they could be in government hands. Why do they cost so much for dirty, cramped and unreliable? Because people will pay for it."

                        I would argue train prices must be pretty inelastic because there's something of a captive market. When you travel by train in this country you typically do it because you can't find another viable option. When someone can't drive to a destination, for many places in this country the train's all they've got and it's not like they can choose a competitor to get a cheaper price. It's a monopoly. Yes I know a nationalized service would be a monopoly too but it wouldn't be motivated by profit to the extent the private sector is.

                        "There is a fixed amount of track and the state of the track is not in private hands so why is the gov not adding more track and maintaining it better?"

                        Perhaps because the current government are not interested in investing wealth in improving public services? There's HS2 but that whole project just seems totally irrational to me (when you consider cutting edge rail technology it's not even such a great improvement in speed). You've just yourself suggested a better use for the money.

                        "Why do public services tend to be accused of underinvestment when it is run by the utopia of big gov? Because the gov wants voters which means big and shiny (think of any of those projects?), things that can be seen. Maintenance is low on that list."

                        Sadly, yes. In a way that's symptomatic of the dishonesty that the public now perceive in many politicians. Corbyn on the other hand comes across as genuinely saying what he believes and wanting to actually help people. And that in itself is a refreshing change from those that are hellbent only on concentrating power with themselves and only the very largest multinational businesses.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: The last general election results ...

                          @ acid andy

                          "Yes, they're getting them, but they're taking many years."

                          Part of this is trying to get it past the EU rules. If it takes so long to make changes then people cant be blaming the tories and instead blame the coalition, the coalition cant be blamed it was labour etc.

                          "Even if I'm wrong, if we have a recession, to many that would still be a price worth paying in the short term to restore our public services and support network back to their former glory for the longer term."

                          What former glory? Blackouts and British rail? Underinvestment in water and sewage, BT. Unions on strike. The NHS nearly went under when it was created due to its expense. Begging to the IMF.

                          "In the last recession no such improvements took place"

                          In what way? The last recession is compared to the 1930's recession which we didnt repeat in this country nor did the US and the EU nearly did which is why Greece had to rely on private companies freely giving drugs for cancer patients to have any healthcare at all. Saying a recession is worth it to "restore our public services" (I assume you mean spending even more, a failed concept even under the last labour gov) is poor management. The services are there for those on hard times, pushing more into hard times to spend more on that support network is chicken and egg to misery.

                          "The problem I have is that there really is no status quo"

                          Very true. We have seen under 13 yrs of labour what more money into the public sector and expanding it rapidly has done. Here we are complaining about those services. Reducing the state reduces the burden on the economy and it is the private economy that pays for the state. I want more money for the public services but I think it should come from slimming the public sector and having a large enough private sector to pay for it.

                          "From what I understand their policies were arguably too extreme, poorly implemented and they were too reliant on oil wealth"

                          Socialism will work this time, all the other times they did it wrong. Thats a lot of failures and almost no successes in that tally. The only successful socialist country is N Korea. Against all odds they have survived this long. Granted the rest of the world has to provide aid or their people die but the gov controlled economy exists unopposed by its people. I dont like that model if I am honest.

                          "Apparently they were also dealing with a lack of housing supply"

                          Amusingly they had a lack of toilet paper supply! This was achieved by setting the price of toilet paper to below manufacturing costs! And people have been arrested for making cakes because bread is price controlled and deemed necessary while cakes are not and so can be sold to cover the costs.

                          "If rent controls can deflate the monstrous housing bubble then I say bring it on!"

                          It cant. History is not on his side again.

                          "Regarding people's QE, I'm not even sure what you're talking about but if it's something that would get just a bit of the wealth back to the middle and working classes then maybe it's something worth considering."

                          Literally printing money to push into the economy at governments whim without any bond backing. Again no it wont work, it will not give you more value (paper yes not value) see Venezuela.

                          "Your assumption is they will implement far left socialism and you look to other attempts at that for your examples of failure."

                          Yes I look at the implementation of the proposed solutions and base my belief on their failure on the fact that they have failed consistently wherever applied.

                          "My own expectation and hope is rather that they will restore the climate in this country back a bit more to how it was towards the end of the last century before the madness of the housing and credit bubbles"

                          So heading towards the 1930's crash. You cannot stop boom and bust, it is part of the business cycle. In fact the more you restrain it the harder life becomes for all and less money for those lovely social services you want.

                          "I would argue train prices must be pretty inelastic because there's something of a captive market. When you travel by train in this country you typically do it because you can't find another viable option"

                          Totally agree. So where are the additional tracks to cope with the increased demand? That is not in private hands, that can be resolved right now by the gov planning and placing new tracks. Where is it? Why is the gov (not private companies) not dealing with it? You say the private sector is motivated by profit... yes. So place more tracks and there will be more capacity and the prices will fall. If the gov takes over the trains it will still not have more track to deal with capacity.

                          "Perhaps because the current government are not interested in investing wealth in improving public services?"

                          Yes yes yes and yes but remove current. HS2 is a shiny toy they can offer like the millennium dome, garden bridge and other ideas they can flash. HS2 is a huge cost to the tax payer for something that doesnt even sound like it will work. And you want more government? Government is doing this.

                          "Corbyn on the other hand comes across as genuinely saying what he believes and wanting to actually help people"

                          I wouldnt be shocked if he believes he is trying to do good. I am sure many a mad man have the same beliefs. But believing exorcism helps mental patients or prayer heals cancer or that this brand of socialism will succeed where all others have failed is belief. When we look at facts, experimentation, history we should be able to learn from our mistakes. So why repeat what we know doesnt work?

                          1. acid andy

                            Re: The last general election results ...

                            @ codejunky "Part of this is trying to get it past the EU rules. If it takes so long to make changes then people cant be blaming the tories and instead blame the coalition, the coalition cant be blamed it was labour etc."

                            Good points and I actually *want* it to be difficult for governments to change things. There's just about enough good aspects left to western civilization that stopping a rogue government from quickly and easily screwing everything up is highly desirable. I'm against Lords reform for that reason. Any entity (including for example the ECJ as well) that can slow up big government changes and add scrutiny is a good thing in my book.

                            "What former glory? Blackouts and British rail? Underinvestment in water and sewage, BT. Unions on strike. The NHS nearly went under when it was created due to its expense. Begging to the IMF."

                            There are increasing electricity and water shortages under the current regime. I heard that private companies have been selling off lots of our water reserves. I agree that beyond a certain point union action can be troublesome but the opposite situation where worker compensation and welfare is utterly neglected for years is just as bad.

                            "Very true. We have seen under 13 yrs of labour what more money into the public sector and expanding it rapidly has done. Here we are complaining about those services."

                            I disliked almost all the initiatives that Blair and Brown's governments poured their money into. Many of them just seemed to erode civil liberties and others created work for busybody pen pushers. That doesn't mean that all public sector investment is bad. It's about the true aims behind it and who really stands to benefit. Just remember that Corbyn is a world away from those two chaps.

                            "Socialism will work this time, all the other times they did it wrong. Thats a lot of failures and almost no successes in that tally."

                            I've already been very clear that I don't support extreme Socialism. I'm advocating a centrist social democracy. This is what Corbyn offers. Free market capitalism with some small checks and balances to discourage monopolies and encourage investment in employees and smaller businesses rather than sitting on assets and concentrating wealth at the very top. And a decent support network of social benefits and services. What we have now is not a free market. It's crony capitalism where any risk involved in reckless speculation for the largest businesses is covered by near zero interest rates, government bailouts and funding and legislation for their own pet private projects.

                            "If rent controls can deflate the monstrous housing bubble then I say bring it on!"

                            "It cant. History is not on his side again."

                            All the previous housing bubbles in the 70s, 80s and 90s corrected naturally within a few years. This time successive governments have thrown everything at artificially propping the market up. The whole thing is so fragile it wouldn't take much to get it to correct back to a real fair market value. Especially if you're content with living outside of the South East.

                            "You cannot stop boom and bust, it is part of the business cycle. In fact the more you restrain it the harder life becomes for all and less money for those lovely social services you want."

                            And yet stopping a housing bust is something Nu Labour and the Tories have been desperately trying to do for years - with exactly the consequences you have just stated above.

                            "HS2 is a huge cost to the tax payer for something that doesnt even sound like it will work. And you want more government? Government is doing this."

                            Look, generally speaking I prefer smaller government to big government. But it's an oversimplification to just consider small versus big. It's a question of what part of government is being expanded, whether it is overseen and regulated by a truly independent external organisation, and precisely what purpose it is going to serve. I want increased civil liberties for the individual and ideally a good environment for small businesses. A big authoritarian government can be very bad for that but a small government can be bad for it also if it is just replaced by hugely powerful, monopolistic big businesses. In the current situation big business has almost become its own wing of the government, such is their lobbying power and financial clout.

                            "When we look at facts, experimentation, history we should be able to learn from our mistakes. So why repeat what we know doesnt work?"

                            Good question. Blair, Brown, Cameron and May's extreme brands of Neo-Liberalism aren't working. So let's not repeat that. Let's learn from our mistakes and give JC a chance to fix this mess.

                            1. codejunky Silver badge

                              Re: The last general election results ...

                              @ acid andy

                              "Good points and I actually *want* it to be difficult for governments to change things."

                              I fear labour would have enough freedom to turn around the fortunes of the country (that would be to drag us down).

                              "There are increasing electricity and water shortages under the current regime"

                              Well said, lets look. Labour decimated our energy supply. Prices have risen and our reserve is short and it is all (100%) the govs fault. The gov caused the shutdown of powerplants by regulation, gave priority to expensive and failing technologies and none of that has been the private sector. Water was so badly under-invested until it was privatised. How can these private companies solve the problems if the gov wont let them, but actually creates them?

                              "I disliked almost all the initiatives that Blair and Brown's governments poured their money into. Many of them just seemed to erode civil liberties and others created work for busybody pen pushers."

                              That is government. They make those decisions because that gives them more power of a larger department to command more resources. That is what such an organisation does because those people will always join where that power is. Also any failure blamed on gov/public sector tends to result in more scrutiny and that means another body/department to push more paper. And they need managers.

                              "I've already been very clear that I don't support extreme Socialism."

                              All socialism is extreme except the new version which will work. That again is consistent. And as I mentioned, Corbyn is offering the same. It has been tried, it has never worked... but it will this time because the others were extreme. Honest.

                              "rather than sitting on assets and concentrating wealth at the very top"

                              Ah. The extreme socialism. Rob from the rich, give to the needy. Take a wee percentage but I'm not greedy (Shrek had that perfect). Venezuela is now far more equal. Oddly the poor countries are pretty much all that way. Not so much the rich. Greece became more equal after the EU crushed it. Not what I would want to live in however. We have checks and balances. To think we dont is also extreme.

                              "All the previous housing bubbles in the 70s, 80s and 90s corrected naturally within a few years."

                              Thats not much of a history. in the past 100 yrs there has been an equivalent crash in the 1930's but the way we handled it this time has been better than last time. By doing the things your arguing against.

                              "The whole thing is so fragile it wouldn't take much to get it to correct back to a real fair market value"

                              Now this is dangerous talk. Fair means nothing. Fair is a bad word because it can mean anything and so means nothing. The values currently are the actual real market value. If you want it lower you have to do the proven things to reduce it. 2 ways to achieve this- 1. the country is recovering (increased inflation) which means increased base rate which slows the housing market. 2. make building houses cheaper!

                              "And yet stopping a housing bust is something Nu Labour and the Tories have been desperately trying to do for years - with exactly the consequences you have just stated above."

                              Yup. Governments forget they are not the ultimate power. Boom and bust cannot be legislated away. Corbyn most certainly wont have that power also.

                              "I want increased civil liberties for the individual and ideally a good environment for small businesses"

                              Everyone wants more liberties. And they are a cost. That isnt a bad thing, we just need to understand it needs to be paid for and that cost is unavoidable. Otherwise everyone will be worse off because of ill thought out good intentions.

                              "In the current situation big business has almost become its own wing of the government, such is their lobbying power and financial clout."

                              Absolutely. A big government that is so large as to be unmanageable and then we are shocked that people with the resources have influence.

                              "Good question. Blair, Brown, Cameron and May's extreme brands of Neo-Liberalism aren't working."

                              Neo-Liberalism seems to be a fancy swear word which has come to mean 'things I dont like'. Not accusing you of using it that way but I would like a clarification on your meaning of it. As for Neo-Liberalism it has been the one time in history to have a serious impact on the reduction of absolute poverty with the possibility of actually eliminating it within our lifetime. It has brought wealth and prosperity to where poverty now means 'they have more than me' or shortened to 'inequality'. And the success is visible in how we got through this recession especially when compared to the previous comparable recession. The EU (eurozone) gave a good example of getting it wrong but not as devastating as the 1930's.

                              "Let's learn from our mistakes and give JC a chance to fix this mess."

                              What you seem to be classing as mistakes is success. We dont want that fixed. There is plenty wrong but Corbyn isnt offering solutions to real problems. JC may have good intentions, but lets not mistake that for wisdom. If you need surgery do you want someone with good intentions or someone who had learned from history (a surgeon)? When it comes to mental health should we go to well meaning exorcists or people who have learned from history? Anyone can offer something different, and most people are well meaning. That doesnt mean they have a good idea or even a clue as to why it is wrong. But they will be certain it will work this time (see religious believers selling everything and waiting up a hill to be saved).

  11. Patrician

    So says the person aiding and abetting those that are creating the hate and causing the fracturing of our society.

  12. Nick Kew Silver badge

    May will argue that such abuse is disproportionately targeted at political candidates who are female, black, minority ethnic or LGBT, which damages equal representation in politics.

    Might it be fairer to say that abuse disproportionately targets candidates who make a big thing of being [identity group] and make a huge sense of Entitlement of it, and are impervious to argument? And above all, implicitly attack the other?

    This is not a speech we ever heard from, say, Barack Obama or Angela Merkel. Nor Margaret Thatcher, though she herself was the focus of such massive abuse, not least from those who felt cheated out of a grievance by her achievements.

  13. Stuart Castle

    Not sure I agree with most of the comments here.

    While I would be the first to say that Theresa May is wrong for the job, and would also be the first to argue that she only got the job because she was the last man standing when DC left, She is totally inept at her job, at a time when I would argue we need a good, strong leader. She only "won" the election because the papers did such a good job of destroying Corbyn (he is far from perfect, but at least he doesn't seem ready to fling his beliefs out of the window for his career).

    But, she is right about the abuse. Disagree with the government, fine. Express it rudely, fine. Disagreeing with the government is a fundamental part of our democracy. Even doing it rudely isn't always abuse.

    That's not what Theresa May is seeking to control though. We've had women threatened with rape online because they expressed the opinion that they'd like to be treated equally. We've also had Gamergate, where several journalists and developers got abuse because they dared suggest that woman could create games, and that there should be more female lead characters. I've also read instances of teenagers being driven to suicide because of what they read online. There are also millions of other examples of abuse, and I am talking about abuse that is a lot more serious than merely calling someone a name.

    However, she has already failed in one way. The newspapers have given anyone who dares suggest that Brexit might not be the best thing that ever happened to the UK a *lot* of abuse. Abuse that I would argue is actionable, yet Theresa May has failed to do a single thing about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All that hatred seems to have increased since the Brexit referendum. People have taken licence from the extremes of the Tory party to unsheathe their personal phobias. The Labour extremes are also showing a similar trend against people nominally on their side of the political fence.

      As has been observed in many comments these days - we seem to be setting up another Weimar Republic finale. It hasn't come to fighting in the streets yet between hard right and hard left - but the pressures are building.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        It hasn't come to fighting in the streets yet between hard right and hard left - but the pressures are building.

        More likely to burst in Barcelona or Rome, than in London, though.

  14. Mycho Silver badge

    The irony here is that the Suffragettes achieved what they did, in part at least, by being abusive and threatening.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It has been said that the peaceful tactics of the other group - the Suffragists - were more influential in the end.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        In reality it was Marx. The 1% looked at the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and went "Shit! That could happen here!" and worked out a way to give the plebs the right to vote. Then since it made no sense for the women of the 1% to be the only people without the vote they added them as well and called it Universal Suffrage.

        Unless you're a lord or something, universal suffrage got you the right to vote because parliament got afraid of the Bolsheviks.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        As for suffragists (rather than suffragettes) being the key reason for female vote (albeit initially v. limited ), always question how much that story suits the narrative that civil disobedience does not work, as those in power don't want the hoi polloi revolting).

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Could it also have been WWI?

      Communist takeovers did not, I think, scare the Powers that Be into giving women the vote. I think the slow hearts-and-minds changes during the long-drawn-out campaign for suffrage plus the clear evidence that women were able to take up traditional 'male' work during the War, from factory workers to drivers to bus conductors to you name it, made it difficult to deny women the vote because they couldn't step up and play roles in the 'real' world or needed to be sheltered.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: Could it also have been WWI?

        But the traditional male workers they replaced in World War 1 didn't have the right to vote either.

    3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      The irony here is that the Suffragettes achieved what they did, in part at least, by being abusive and threatening.

      There's some truth to that. The initial non-violent campaign gained little traction, while the more activist one kept the issue in the public eye. However the downside was that the government felt they could not support the cause, because it would look like they were kowtowing to violence, so stalemate.

      In truth it was the 1st world war, that allowed a suspension of activism and more women in the workforce that enabled women to get the vote. In hindsight it is pretty clear that it would of happened eventually due to the industrialization and universal education. Whether it would of happened sooner without the outbreak of war is another question.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        World war 1 played a part, but not because of women in the workforce. WW1 gave the vote to working class men because they came back en masse with experience of tearing people's heads off at a time where the oppressed masses had been doing just that to their own oligarchy in Russia.

        Once the decision was made to give working class men the vote, working class women suddenly had direct and easy access to people with a say in government policy. Very soon afterward they got the vote as well.

  15. Lotaresco

    Godfrey vs Demon Internet

    No, I'm not interested in re-hashing the rights and wrongs of that case. I'm interested in what happened next. The case resulted in ISPs assuming that they had to police their users to the most draconian extent possible. The trolls had a field day, or rather a field couple of years, as the ISPs struggled to keep up and their "crack legal teams" advised them to silence any user that a troll had complained about.

    Hence if a flat earth, Scientologist, troll chose to scream "libel" when someone pointed out that they were a troll / an idiot there was no consideration of fact; the user's account was suspended immediately.

    That's where this proposal will take us again.

  16. scrubber

    May channeling Trump

    We're gonna build a big, beautiful firewall, and Facebook are gonna pay for it.

  17. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Abusing people to get your needs through

    Essentially she's claiming that this is for surpressed minorities, and in fact in Germany when the same ideas came forward, the Neo-left came forward and even supported those plans.

    Now that we have those rules in effect, it's mostly been used against left leaning people. For example satire magazines got censored.

    What the Neo-left don't seem to understand is that any kind of censorship is bad. Just because you don't like a certain opinion it shouldn't be banned, because the next opinion to be banned will be yours.

  18. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    The joy of performing a review is that it has the look of doing something whilst actually doing nothing.

  19. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Be careful what you wish for

    Looks like this is heading toward a law to force social media to implement a reporting system and take down any posts complained about immediately. Great. It will then need just a few people to complain about every post made to social media by a politician, and we in he UK won't see any more tweets etc. from any MP - including the colonial president.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      "It will then need just a few people to complain about every post made to social media by a politician, [..]"

      Like a recent internet surveillance proposal - there will probably be a legal exemption for at least MPs if not others in politics.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again

    Same tack. Different topic. Grandstanding once again.

  21. RonWheeler

    So i won't be able to talk about

    Keith Vaz getting some prostitutes and coke in for a wasted night of rear end action?

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