back to article If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

While fraudsters traditionally prey on the gullible and feeble-minded, their wicked ways have ensnared British Labour MP Diane Abbott. The UK Shadow Home Secretary admitted to handing over control of her computer to a stranger after a random caller asked her to install Remote PC. It's a common scam. Once the miscreant has …

  1. fnusnu

    Eh?

    She's thick as mince and an Arts grad to boot. Why should she be any better at spotting a phishing call than 99% of the population?

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Eh?

      thatsthejoke.png

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Eh?

        "thatsthejoke.png"

        r/woosh

    2. Joe Harrison Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      Failing to spot an IT security problem does not make you "thick as mince." Unless maybe you are an IT security pro, and then only maybe.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Failing to spot an IT security problem does not make you "thick as mince." Unless maybe you are an IT security pro, and then only maybe.

        My eighty year old parents, with no IT training whatsoever know these things are scams. Anybody that pays any attention to the news knows they are scams. If you think that you need to be an IT Pro to spot this particular scam, then maybe this is the wrong forum for you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh?

          Thanks you.

          Mind you my eighty year old Parents also still have their wits about them. For those that don't though caring pros should fine tune their experience so as to minimize their possible exposure.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eh?

          @Ledswinder

          "My eighty year old parents, with no IT training whatsoever know these things are scams."

          So do my 80-ish year old parents. But my 48 year old little brother - the one who's an nuclear engineer with plenty of IT training - very nearly fell for one of these rotters. He's honest and straightforward and tends to assume other people are too. He's rather more trusting than the rest of his immediate family, including his children.

          As for myself: I tell them I know that they're crooks. Some of them get very cross. I've been known to laugh at their raging.

          1. Standing_Behind_You

            Re: Eh?

            I lead them on for a bit then pretend I'm getting excited and fapping. Confuses the hell out of them.

            Sometimes if I'm already on the laptop I will play farmyard sounds down the phone ... especially cows mooing. If I can figure out religious leanings then the odd oink works a treat.

            For UK based cold call waste of time bastards, Getting a good Hitler speech playing in the background is a comedy bonus.

            Sadly I don't get so many calls now.

      2. Craigie

        Re: Eh?

        'Failing to spot an IT security problem does not make you "thick as mince."'

        Maybe not but she has already proven herself to be thick as mince in many other ways.

        1. sed gawk

          Re: Eh?

          Sure, she has.

          Care to name any, or just going to throw shade at one of the few decent MP's..

          1. The Specialist

            Re: Eh?

            She might be a decent person - no arguments but she is not an MP material. We "look up" to these people to protect our interests.

            1. Mycho Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              You get the government you deserve.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Eh?

                @ Mycho

                "You get the government you deserve."

                I am not sure how you got downvoted for that comment. It is the collective responsibility to elect the government. If we vote for jellyfish that is what we get, if we vote for incompetents thats what we get, if we vote for communists thats what we get.

                1. sed gawk

                  Re: Eh?

                  Rubbish - we have grade boundaries which determine who we elect in which seats.

                  https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/liam-anderson/voters-per-mp-why-first-past-post-failed

                  Bluntly it cheaper in terms of votes to elect a tory, next it's labour, then the others.

                  As an example in 2015, LibDems took 8 seats with 2.4 million votes while UKIP 3.8 mllion votes got one seat.

                  It's dodgy on both sides, and now the tories have taken it to its logical conclusion and abolished the oppostions strongholds, e.g. Corbyns seat. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/10/uk-parliamentary-boundary-changes-final-plans-unveiled

                  We get the govenment that the shire impose on us, until such time as the country is sufficently messed up that even the tory voters vote for change.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Re: Eh?

                  codejunky,

                  What did we do to get 'Rightwing Incompetent Jellyfish' ??? :)

                  [Excluding the Labour contingent as they are barely able to qualify as a Political Party with the amount of infighting & general abdication of their role as an opposition to the existing govt aka 'Rightwing Incompetent Jellyfish'.]

                  1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

                    Re:Re:Re: Eh?

                    @AC

                    to be fair both the major parties bareley qualify, as the only reasonfor all this brexit mess was trying to hold the Conservative Party together.

                    and this lot didnt win, in fact at the last GE no-body won, and Teresa had to make a deal with the uber right wing from NI just to get anything done.

                    @everyone else

                    Diane Abbot is a numpty, but so are most of the MPs, there are few exceptions, we need more MPs with some work/life experience outside of politics, but in this country its hard to get into in later life.

                    The political system in terms of FPP is broken, it leads to a two party system, and both of them are broken, on both sides of the pond.

                    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                      Re: Re:Re:Eh?

                      "The political system in terms of FPP is broken, it leads to a two party system"

                      And as such, the two parties DO NOT want it changed.

                      It took a lot of effort to get New Zealand switched over to MMP - and only because politicians from both main parties were silly enough to make noises in favour of it when opposition. This was used against them when they got to power and tried to sweep it under the carpet.

                      It's rather telling that when NZ switched, the establishment tried very hard to convince the public to vote to stay with FPTP or go to the least proportional system (the same one that was on the referendum here) - only to find out in a fairly overwhelming turnout (twice!) that the electorate wanted a change and they wanted MMP.

                      The extablishment also tried to convince the electorate that they should go back to FPTP after the 20 year trial period in a recent referendum (or change to another form of Proportional representation) - and found out yet again that the electorate LIKE this new form of representation very much thank you and would like to keep it.

                      1. sed gawk

                        Re: Re:Re:Eh?

                        Totally agree FPTP is a travesty and both sides should have fixed it.

                  2. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Eh?

                    @AC

                    "What did we do to get 'Rightwing Incompetent Jellyfish' ??? :)"

                    People voted for jellyfish who say whatever they want to hear. Blair had to lie constantly, Brown got caught on air, Clegg had to trade on the undeliverable, Cameron tied his position to something he desperately wouldnt deliver etc. Brown is the only one not elected (passed on from Blair) and the others were pretty boy (I think they should form a boy band) but jellyfish.

                    And I am not convinced by the right-wing aspect either. Blair was a massive spend big gov lefty but was less anti business than the communist/fascist parts of the party (apparently the nazi manifesto would pass as the labour one today if the Aryan stuff was removed). Under the current lot we are still spending more than Brown in the boom and the tories keep moving left into the 'new labour' territory (again just to collect votes).

                    We keep hearing about austerity which we dont have. We are still PC, perpetually offended and big gov. And of the voters we have the new generations who seem blind to socialist policies actually being applied in the world and the ruin of countries and lives because of it. 5th/6th richest country (not arguing about the position) and yet some of the claims of our poor country are shocking.

                    Sorry for the long reply and I too wonder how labour could dig itself out of its current situation but also wonder what will replace the tories if they dont shape up. Either someone with a spine needs to take over the various parties or people will surely move to new ones with actual leadership.

                    (btw upvote from me. Dunno who downvoted you)

                    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                      Re: Eh?

                      "Brown is the only one not elected"

                      Please tell me when the last popular vote for a Prime Minister took place.

                      Last time I checked, the party with the most votes (or members in the house) formed a committee and picked someone to be their Prime Minister, then that person trotted off to Buck Palace to be asked by Lizzie Windsor if he or she would like to be appointed as Prime Minister for a while.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Eh?

                        @ Alan Brown

                        "Please tell me when the last popular vote for a Prime Minister took place."

                        Blairs last term which he handed over to Brown. Another of his 'promises' where he would stay until the next election, then of course dropped out and handed over to Brown. Why did he say it? Because people voted for the smiling snake oil salesman. He wasnt Teflon Tony for nothing. probably not helped by Brown being 'taught' to smile.

                3. Mycho Silver badge

                  Re: Eh?

                  I am not sure how you got downvoted for that comment.

                  I knew it would happen, because I interrupted people's casual smart-signalling.

                  There's a lot of arguing about virtue signalling, but what all these things boil down to is the primary school tradition of insulting someone for being X to imply you're the opposite of X.

                  Whether X is immoral, thick, bad dress sense, poor taste in music, people need to be accused of it so you can imply you're the opposite. You're moral, smart, look like sex on a stick and know all the latest tunes. But you're also kinda lame if you have to do that. Just saying.

              2. IsJustabloke Silver badge
                Stop

                Re: Eh?

                "You get the government you deserve."

                I don't necessarily disagree however... until we have a "none of the above, please think about your offer again" box to tick; we simply get the government we have to vote for.

                Since I take my franchise quite seriously my vote is more often than not a "least objectionable" rather than an "actively like" because to not vote leaves me without any kind of voice or right to complain.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Eh?

                We don’t deserve this government, or the ‘opposition’.... but in our two party state there is no escape from this hell.

                1. Mycho Silver badge

                  Re: Eh?

                  We don’t deserve this government, or the ‘opposition’.... but in our two party state there is no escape from this hell.

                  I escaped. There are literally tens of marginally-less-shit countries out there.

                  1. fedoraman

                    Re: Eh?

                    Where to? What's the weather like?

                    1. Mycho Silver badge

                      Re: Eh?

                      Where to? What's the weather like?

                      Weather's pretty shit, politicians would probably be as bad if they could work out how to consolidate power like the British lot did. Nobody's trying to sacrifice any demographic containing me in order to shore up their political status so I consider it a win.

                      Your situation is different to mine so which country is marginally less shit for me may be different to which country is marginally less shit for you. Feel free to do some research, the world is big.

              4. The Specialist
                Go

                Re: Eh?

                > You get the government you deserve.

                Perhaps the reason behind it is that political parties target the population to the left of the IQ bell curve ( I dare say they are more pliable ) and telling them what to hear regardless if it is in the best interest of the country in general.

            2. Unep Eurobats
              Facepalm

              At least she uses a PC

              Whoever the current home secretary is (they will likely have changed by the time I Google it) probably has someone to do it for them.

              1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                Re: At least she uses a PC

                The last two home secretaries (I can't even remember who the current one is) have hardly shone in the IT department.

                Do you think they'd even admit to it, though ?

                It would be nice to have both, but if forced to choose, I prefer honesty to ability.

            3. sed gawk

              Re: Eh?

              Your first mistake was looking up at these people. (Hint wrong direction)

              Your second mistake was expecting that weak line of argument to carry any weight.

              Hint, we elect MP's as that is the *only* say we get, not for whatever nonsense you have larded that bald fact with.

              She's been a consistuency mp for a long time, she's very well regarded.

              Interesting venn diagram showing the overlap between people who don't like her and their other political view points..

          2. Mr Sceptical
            Trollface

            Re: Eh?

            I assume you're trolling, but off the top of my head;

            The fact she's a Labour MP 100% behind state education, but sent her kid to a private school.

            What, hypocrite, moi?!

            1. sed gawk

              Re: Eh?

              No - Total respect for not pretending the public schooling system is not shite.

              Total respect for putting her kid above her reputation.

              And if you think I wouldn't fuck you and everyone you know over to help my child, you are sadly mistaken.

              She is trying to make stuff better for all of us, but unwilling to throw her kid under the bus to avoid the likes of you, trying to make cheap points.

              Good for her, and good that she has the backbone to defend her choices.

              "I had to choose between my reputation, whatever reputation I have for consistency, and my son - and I chose my son.

              "Obviously, inevitably, I have been very damaged by this. But as I say, I had to choose, in a way, between my own interests and my son's interests.

              "All I can do is continue to campaign on issues around education and on issues of gun crime for the benefit of a whole generation of young men in our inner cities."

              https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/nov/05/labour.uk

              1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                Re: Eh?

                had to choose, in a way, between my own interests and my son's interests.

                She had to choose between privilege of rank and position and upholding and living by the values of her political party and it's socialist position and she chose privilege.

                This is why there's no choice between the parties any more.

                People should be aware this is why there is little earnest drive to improve public education, out leader have no stake in the outcome beyond ensuring the buck doesn't pause outside their door and hinder their career prospects.

                1. sed gawk

                  Re: Eh?

                  She had to choose between privilege of rank and position and upholding and living by the values of her political party and it's socialist position and she chose privilege.

                  No she had a choice between giving her kid the best she could or the schools in hackney at the time, which were dreadful and are now much better, I want principled politicians but the person who puts their political future ahead of their child's future is not a good parent. And conversely she was as good as her word, those schools are hugely better now.

                  She worked her arse off to get where she is, why should she not help her kid.. Do you seriously expect people to disadvantage their children in the hope of appealing to some random, less interested in "why the schools were allowed to fall into such a state", than claiming a scalp for inconsistency.

                  I don't quite see the issue, unless you'd like to insist that a market in providing educational services should be the exclusive preserve of the public sector. That's never been labour policy to my knowledge, so it's seems consistent to say "School is too shit for my kid, tough that you can't exercise that choice, but I'll do my best to make sure that your kids school is fixed ASAP".

                  This is why there's no choice between the parties any more.

                  Bullshit. flat out bullshit. Voting tory = "renting the house to a crackhead".

                  Voting Green = "Homoeopathic levels of belief in my vote mattering to someone"

                  Voting Labour = "Roulette", You could get a Liability (Kinnock), a Tory(Blair), a Wet(Miliband) a Democrat(Corbyn), Opportunistic sleazeball(Chukka)"

                  How can you not be thankful for such an embarrassment of riches.

                  People should be aware this is why there is little earnest drive to improve public education, out leader have no stake in the outcome beyond ensuring the buck doesn't pause outside their door and hinder their career prospects.

                  Flagrantly untrue, the drop in standards is due to Blair's target of increasing participation at university level without addressing the route cause, e.g. childcare provision. Resulting in pressure to assemble course in ways that are easier to assess without having to assume a larger body of pre-existing knowledge, at each level of schooling post-nursery. The quality of after school care and the chances to passive learn something fun are also not evenly distributed.

                  You cannot slate him for doing something, while also saying noone has any interest in doing something.

                  Lots of people are trying, it's a really hard problem, and so far all our efforts are just keeping level, much less impovement.

              2. Severus

                Re: Eh?

                Nurse, nurse Sed Gawk is out of bed again!

                1. sed gawk

                  Re: Eh?

                  Nurse, Sed is out of bed again

                  Pass the dried frog pills Bursar. ;)

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Eh?

                  Nurse, nurse Sed Gawk is out of bed again!

                  Just pipe him to /dev/null, it'll be fine.

            2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              The fact she's a Labour MP 100% behind state education, but sent her kid to a private school.

              What, hypocrite, moi?!

              I'm no Dianne Abbott fanboy, or private school advocate, but I can't see why that makes her a hypocrite.

              Labour aren't in power. She could easily say "I'm 100% for supporting state schools, but the current government has left them in such a mess that they are not up to scratch. We all want the best for our children, and as I'm in a fortunate position to be able to do so, I've had to send them to private schools"

              Now, if she was the minister in charge or education, then she'd be a hypocrite, much like the moron "Betsy de Vos" in charge of the American system (who was well placed, because Republicans are determined to screw up state education)

              CNN: DeVos struggles to answer questions about schools in home state (YOUTUBE)

            3. Brent Beach

              Re: Eh?

              Given that the Conservatives have been doing their best to destroy public education at all levels since Thatcher, it is amazing that there are any public schools left.

              Ordinarily the Conservatives would not actually be able to do anything, but when it comes to austerity - cutting public services to reduce taxes for their plutocrat backers - they are masters.

            4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

              Re: Eh?

              > The fact she's a Labour MP 100% behind state education, but sent her kid to a private school.

              They all do this. It's a constantly recurring theme. Yes, it sounds hypocritical, but I suspect the real reason is down to the secret police, who find it much easier to protect $politician's child in a private school than a state school. Not to mention some control of bullying (yes, I know private schools are noted for it. But it's WITH the staff's knowledge and tacit support, not beyond it).

      3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        @Joe Harrison. "Failing to spot an IT security problem does not make you "thick as mince." "

        Failing to spot that a cold caller telling you have a problem and not doing your ABC makes her thick as mince. (ABC: Assume Nothing, Believe No one, Challenge Everything).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ABC: Assume Nothing, Believe No one, Challenge Everything

          Wear tin foil?

          1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: ABC: Assume Nothing, Believe No one, Challenge Everything

            "Wear tin foil?"

            There's a world of difference between a bit of due diligence and wearing a tin foil hat

          2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: ABC: Assume Nothing, Believe No one, Challenge Everything

            @AC: "Wear tin foil?"

            Nope, ABC is the mantra for Forensic examination. It applies elsewhere however, like when people speak.

          3. TacticalTimbo

            Re: ABC: Assume Nothing, Believe No one, Challenge Everything

            Surely it's more tinfoil to believe someone has magical powers, and can sense your PC issues from India, call you at random, offering a fix?!

        2. fedoraman
          Joke

          Re: Eh?

          I make that - ANBNOCE.

          Shome mishtake, shurely?

      4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Failing to spot an IT security problem does not make you "thick as mince."

        That's not what was implied. It was the other way around, i.e. that "if you're as thick as mince, you're not likely to spot an IT security problem"

    3. dave 81

      Re: Eh?

      It's worse than that, as all the elected id10t's are utterly ignorant of modern technology.

      1. Handlebars

        Re: Eh?

        That's a bit unfair as health secretary Matt Hancock has his very own app.

    4. John McCallum

      Re: Eh?

      You are being a bit insulting there I think most of the populace can tell a scam, and just tell them to fuck off at least that is what I do been phoned many times given the same response.

    5. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      [casual racism intensifies]

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      @fnusnu

      "[Diane Abbott]'s as thick as mince and an Arts grad to boot"

      I can't say I'm a great fan of Diane Abbott, but considering that she passed her 11 plus, got to grammar school, then earned a place at Cambridge University, she can't be thick.

      Arts graduate? - she got a desmond[1] in history. Well, okay, that translates to "not technically minded". She's also clearly not as suspicious, cynical, and mistrustful as the average El Reg reader; but is that a character flaw on her part or on ours?

      [1] 2:2. Not the best, but nothing to be ashamed of.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gullible and feeble minded?

    Sounds about right.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: AC

      The Twitter replies are gold too! Take this one from Keith Gilpin:

      "Dear @HackneyAbbott , it has come to our attention that you are completely thick. We are a company that helps thick people manage their affairs. Please DM us your bank details, credit card numbers. Any strange actions on your bank accounts is normal & part of the healing process"

      1. sed gawk

        Re: AC

        Fools gold perhaps.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Gullible and feeble minded?

      She is ready to take over the home office then.

      It will take her less than 30 minutes of briefing by the mandarins and she will be emitting laws and orders which would have made Beria and Mueller(*) green with envy if they were alive.

      (*)The Gestapo one, not the currently trending one

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Gullible and feeble minded?

        Godwin!

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Gullible and feeble minded?

        @Voland's right hand

        It will take her less than 30 minutes of briefing by the mandarins and she will be emitting laws

        and orders which would have made Beria and Mueller(*) green with envy if they were alive.

        Even after over 20 years, "Yes Minister" never seems very topical...

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jnk7

        "A victim of phone tapping, Jim Hacker rebuts state surveillance - until his own life comes under threat.

  3. 0laf Silver badge
    Meh

    Surely it's not important to have a home secretary who can spot phishing emails, it is important to have one who understands it can be bloody hard to spot phishing emails.

    Saying that I think she'd be a bloody disasters as a minister of any variety.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge
      Devil

      Surely it's not important to have a home secretary who can spot phishing emails, it is important to have one who understands it can be bloody hard to spot phishing emails.

      It may or may not be "bloody hard", but to balance that an email is an email and the recipient can take the time to study it and look for the clues before deciding whether to respond to it or simply delete it.

      I would argue that it is the scam phone calls that are the greater risk; the recipient has to think and respond in real time, which is a rather greater challenge. My own solution is to assume that if I don't know the caller then there is a very real chance of it being a scam, and I have a few ways of dealing with them to prove their legitimacy or (more likely) lack of it.

      And just in case the scammers are reading this I am not going to reveal what they are, but I doubt if the differ all that much from other El Reg readers' methods.

      1. Alien8n Silver badge

        The one I used when called by the scammers was "if you know there's a virus on my PC then you can tell me the name of it". There actually used to be a virus on my PC, in an encrypted zip file. Sophos were kind enough to name it after me after I sent it to them along with the instructions on how to remove it from an infected PC.

  4. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Say what you want about thicko's

    At least she's careful with the budget. Paying coppers 3 grand a year really brings the objective of millions of state minions policing Twitter for wrongthink that much closer!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Say what you want about thicko's

      She had to reduce the copper's pay to fund that Nigerian Prince who got in touch the other week :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Say what you want about thicko's

        Yayyyyy! phantom thumbs-down-for-no-reason guy, you found me! I thought I'd gotten away with it this time ;)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ms Abbott would be responsible for cybersecurity, as well as crime and policing

    I'm not sure "responsible" is the word you want here. She might be in charge of it, and my God won't that make Amber Rudd look competent.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge
      Happy

      Is Amber Rudd an Orange phishing scam? Already got my coat on ...

    2. sed gawk

      Amber "Stop techies laughing at me, when I say stupid things" Rudd.

      She's her own parody in real time, another over promoted chinless wonder, who's prime qualification for political office, being, "Rudd helped to find extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), for which she was credited as the "aristocracy co-ordinator", and appeared briefly in one of the church scenes in the film" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amber_Rudd

      I'm sure, that this incompent one looks more appealing to you..

  6. Rich 11 Silver badge

    I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

    ...better to have learned the hard way than never learn at all. Of course we'll have to wait and see if she has learned from it.

    1. h3nb45h3r
      Pint

      Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

      I'd be more concerned about any of the files that the attacker may have got control off and if they get released to the public.

      I'm not too concerned about anything to do with National Security being released, it's the prospect of pictures of her and/or Jeremy Corbyn in various states of undress from when they were knocking boots..... 'Shudders'

    2. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

      I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary

      Given the complete pig's ear the Conservatives are making of all aspects of governing the country, I wouldn't be so sure.

      There's also a worrying proportion of the electorate with no recollection or knowledge of the debilitating damage that previous "proper socialist" Labour governments did to this country, and who will be thinking that Corbyn is a nice principled man, surely his ideas are worth a try.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

        "[...] knowledge of the debilitating damage that previous "proper socialist" Labour governments did to this country, [...]"

        You mean things like the NHS, free Education, State pensions?

        Can't think of a Labour government after Clement Atlee's (1945) that one would really call "socialist" - more left-of-centre. Some of Tony Blair's ministers could even be considered far right-of-centre.

        Up until Margaret Thatcher the Labour and Tory parties were both concerned with a progressive approach to improving the lot of everyone. IIRC Harold MacMillan's government saw building new schools and social housing at an unprecedented rate.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          Some of Tony Blair's ministers could even be considered far right-of-centre

          Blair and almost all of his ministers were "wherever sort of centre-ish will get me re-lelected". We haven't had politicians with any kind of principled beliefs since the Thatcher/Benn era.

          1. sed gawk

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            Not true sir.

            Robin Cook - Principled MP.

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              Robin Cook - Principled MP.

              True enough, but he was a shadow minister during the Thatcher era, and died almost 15 years ago, so I'd still consider him part of the Thatcher/Benn era.

              1. sed gawk

                Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                He served under the Blair government but yes I'd agree he's of that political tradition.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              Re: principled MP - Tracy Crouch. She tried at least.

              1. sed gawk

                Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                She voted through every punishing measure with the government.

                She tried to block the enquriy into the IRAQ war.

                She's not a principled mp by any stretch of the imagination.

                https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24871/tracey_crouch/

                Her voting record speaks for itself.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              "Robin Cook - Principled MP."

              Robin Cook - slept with his parliamentary secretary.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                what's that got to do with his job?

              2. sed gawk

                Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                I don't care about who consenting adults choose to spend adult time with.

                That's a matter for the people invoiced and their partners, not my business.

                I do think a prurient interest in other peoples sex lives is a poor trait for a democracy.

        2. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          "[...] knowledge of the debilitating damage that previous "proper socialist" Labour governments did to this country, [...]" You mean things like the NHS, free Education, State pensions?

          Actually I was thinking of things like the complete destruction of a world class industrial and commercial base through muddle headed nationalisation, that begot such champions as British Leyland, British Aircraft Corporation, British Railways, British Steel etc.

          I was thinking of messing up the public finances in the 1970s to the point that the Bank of England had to suspend sterling from foreign exchange markets, and this country had to be bailed out by the IMF like any other third world socialist banana republic. ANd worth thinking that the clowns of the Labour Party had repeated financial crises all through the late 1950s, 60s and 70s that led to repeated devaluations of sterling.

          I was thinking of criminal, traitorous stupidity like selling Rolls Royce jet engines to the Soviet Union.

          I was thinking of Labour Party pacifism during the 1930s and their opposition to rearmament that encouraged He Who Must Not Be Named.

          I was thinking of marginal tax rates so punitive that the UK suffered an appalling brain drain during the 1970s.

          I was thinking of the Labour Party's rank incompetence at managing industrial relations, leading to repeated crippling strikes, culminating in the Winter of Discontent.

          I was thinking of incompetently handling Northern Ireland during Wilson's first two governments and to all intents kicking off thirty years of domestic terrorism.

          And for a party that's made such cheap political capital over the Windrush scandal, you might want to look up the Commonwealth Immigration Act of 1968.

          Every time we get a Labour government (and this was true of the post-socialism Blair/Brown comedy act), they go and fuck up the economy and government finances. That is sadly a matter of historical fact. Its all very well having these grand spending plans on social welfare, they do have some merit. But the Left have never, and apparently will never, understand that as a longer term plan you can't spend money you haven't got, and seizing other people's money through taxation or expropriation is not a long term plan either.

          1. sed gawk

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            Tories are far more profligate with the public finances - https://fullfact.org/economy/labour-and-conservative-records-national-debt/

            What happens is the Tories make providing services more expensive by introducing a "market", which has only approved suppliers, so that products and services now are more expensive for the same outcome.

            This lets the tories funnel public money to their cronies why claiming record levels of investment in our public services.

            As an example of tanking the public finances, and screwing sterling, Brexit should loom large.

            1. Alien8n Silver badge

              Re: Northern Ireland

              Before you go blaming anyone for The Troubles you should do some research first. The Troubles would have happened either way regardless of who was in power. Northern Ireland was effectively running a form of Apartheid, with the government gerrymandering the electoral boundaries to ensure a Unionist majority, as well as electoral laws that ensured the majority of Catholics were ineligible to vote. This all came to a head in August 1969. If Wilson hadn't sent in the troops to protect the Catholics in 1969 you could very well have seen Ireland and the UK at war with each other instead. The Irish had troops ready to cross the border at the time but in the end it was British troops that went in. However, it became clear that in order to maintain peace between the 2 sides and prevent Northern Ireland sliding into all out civil war the troops had to stay, and it wasn't long until the troops were seen as an occupying force by the Catholics and became their target. You cannot blame Wilson for 400 years of history finally coming to a head. You can however blame Thatcher for repeatedly blocking any dialogue with Sinn Fein during the 80s which saw Catholics continue to be oppressed in Northern Ireland, which in turn fuelled the IRA's recruitment process.

              1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                Re: Northern Ireland

                You're jumbling all sorts of things there.

                electoral laws that ensured the majority of Catholics were ineligible to vote

                Catholics had the same rights to vote in parliamentary elections as anglicans since the 1830s. There was, however, a "property qualification" for everyone (lifted in 1918 after WWI) so that only property owners could vote. Although there was no legal bar to catholics owning property, they had to find someone willing to sell it to them, which was almost impossible in NI. As a result there was effective disenfranchisement, but it was due to local persecution, not legal rights.

                A similar situation applied to local elections until much later, where only ratepayers (owners or tenants) had a vote. Since local authorities controlled council housing allocations it was that latter issue that caused the main civil rights issues in the 50s and 60s.

                it wasn't long until the troops were seen as an occupying force by the Catholics and became their target.

                Not quite. The troops were sent in very reluctantly (the home secretary at the time made the prophetic comment "It's easy to send them in, it'll be the devil's own job to get them out again") and they were welcomed by the catholic community as neutral peacekeepers, which the RUC & Special reserves were not.

                It was rather the IRA that were horrified to see ordinary catholics turning to the hated British army for protection. The IRA attacked the army, and since the resulting clampdown was much more severe in the catholic areas where the IRA hid out, that turned many ordinary people against the troops. That was carefully orchestrated by the IRA.

                You can however blame Thatcher for repeatedly blocking any dialogue with Sinn Fein during the 80s

                The blame lies much more with SF themselves. Danny Morrison's notorious Ard Fheis speech in 1981 "But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?" was hardly an encouragement to democratic dialogue.

                It was only after Adams signed up to the Good Friday agreement, a process kicked off by John Major despite Tony Blair's attempts to take all the credit, that some democratic discussions could really start.

                1. Alien8n Silver badge

                  Re: Northern Ireland

                  @Phil you have a good understanding of the issues, I was trying to prece to just the relevant bit regarding Harold Wilson. As you say the reason many Catholics couldn't vote was down to the electoral law stipulating land ownership. As for the troops, while many Catholics did see them in a good light to start with it wasn't long before the troops were seen negatively, especially after Bloody Sunday. The issue was that the British government still saw the Unionists as the legitimate power, the troops were quickly doing the bidding of the Unionist government even as far as assisting the Unionist paramilitary groups.

                  As for SF, it was no surprise their stance was so hardened given an equally opposed standpoint from the UK government at the time. It's hard to see beyond the terrorism to the root causes, but it's something that became very clear during the 90s. It probably helped that Apartheid in South Africa ended when it did. Thatcher (and all her predecessors) have a lot to answer for for their undying support of a regime built on oppression. While not on quite a scale there were many parallels with Northern Ireland.

                2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

                  Re: Northern Ireland

                  I think you'll find the Bloody Sunday massacre was what caused the civil war in NI.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Northern Ireland

                    I think you'll find the Bloody Sunday massacre was what caused the civil war in NI.

                    I think you'll find you don't know what you're talking about.

                    1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

                      Re: Northern Ireland

                      "I think you'll find the Bloody Sunday massacre was what caused the civil war in NI.

                      I think you'll find you don't know what you're talking about."

                      I think you'll find I'm from Derry. I was there. A lot of people decided to sign up to the IRA in the days after the massacre. You know nothing.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Northern Ireland

                "You can however blame Thatcher for repeatedly blocking any dialogue with Sinn Fein during the 80s which saw Catholics continue to be oppressed in Northern Ireland, which in turn fuelled the IRA's recruitment process."

                I think you mean "You can however blame Thatcher for refusing to negotiate with a bunch of murdering thugs until they promised to stop killing and maiming their fellow countrymen as well as 'the enemy'". Or is kneecapping anyone who speaks out against that sort of thing acceptable to you?

                1. Alien8n Silver badge

                  Re: Northern Ireland

                  @AC

                  "I think you mean "You can however blame Thatcher for refusing to negotiate with a bunch of murdering thugs until they promised to stop killing and maiming their fellow countrymen as well as 'the enemy'". Or is kneecapping anyone who speaks out against that sort of thing acceptable to you?"

                  At no point have I said I supported the IRA. You seem to be inferring that here. Don't conflate support for human rights as support for terrorism. The IRA were (some would say still are) murderous thugs. But it was the oppression of Catholics by the predominantly Protestant government in Northern Ireland, backed up by the UK government's refusal to condemn this oppression that created the circumstances that led to them. The IRA started out fairly non-violent, mainly they blew up radio transmitters in protest. They became the Provisional IRA as a direct result of the violence enacted upon the Catholics at the hands of Unionist terrorists, primarily the UVF. The UVF was responsible for the rise in hate crimes against Catholics, including the bombing of schools, which would eventually lead to the RUC itself running a campaign of violence and terror against Catholics in Derry. It was this continuing violence from the Unionist factions and the RUC that eventually led to the split of the IRA that created the Provisional IRA. When faced with such horrendous levels of terrorism, both from the UVF and the very police that were supposed to protect them is it any wonder that the IRA became increasingly violent in response?

                  So again I say, unless you've actually studied the history of The Troubles, or actually lived through them in Northern Ireland itself, then don't comment about something you clearly don't understand. Northern Ireland history is a complicated mess and not the black and white IRA = bad, everyone else = good that was spoon fed to the British public by the media over 30 years. It was the culmination of 400 years of oppression in Ireland that saw millions die unnecessarily in the famines of the C19th. It was the realisation in the Good Friday Agreement that these grievances needed to be fixed that finally brought peace to Northern Ireland, that allowed both sides to disarm. We're still left with a few die hard thugs on both sides, but they're now little more than criminal gangs. If you're going to condemn the IRA, then you must also condemn the RUC and UVF at the same time, as it was their campaigns of terror that created the Provisional IRA.

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: Northern Ireland

                    The IRA started out fairly non-violent,

                    I doubt if people who lived through the civil war in the 20s would agree with you, the anti-treaty forces were in no way "fairly non-violent". The split to form the Provisionals in 1969 was driven more by what they saw as the failure of nationalist politicians to take a hard line and their willingness to see the Army as peacekeepers. To suggest that it was only because of the violence from the UVF et al is disingenuous, the PIRA had it's own agenda well planned. I suggest reading Tim Pat Coogan's "The I.R.A." for a detailed overview from that side of the fence.

                    is it any wonder that the IRA became increasingly violent in response

                    "he started it first" is hardly an excuse, even if it were true.

                    Northern Ireland history is a complicated mess and not the black and white IRA = bad, everyone else = good that was spoon fed to the British public by the media over 30 years.

                    It is indeed complicated, but the mainstream UK and Irish media did an excellent job of portraying the reality, although the same can't be said for US and some European media.

                    On that subject, did you see Fergal Keane's recent "Story of Ireland" series? I thought he did a reasonable job of giving a high-level balanced view.

                    t was the culmination of 400 years of oppression in Ireland that saw millions die unnecessarily in the famines of the C19th.

                    You're conflating two separate issues. The (lack of) reaction to the famine was mostly due to ignorance from absentee landlords rather than any deliberate oppression, and the real roots go back much further than 400 years. More like 900, when Derrmot invited the Normans in, or arguably before that to celtic/gaelic fighting. In any case it serves no useful purpose to keep going back in time until you find someone to blame for "your tribe" losing, and hence to justify present-day violence.

                    If you're going to condemn the IRA, then you must also condemn the RUC and UVF at the same time

                    I'll happily blame the UVF, UDA, LVF etc. along with the republican groups, but I will take great offence at you lumping the RUC in with them as terrorists. I wouldn't claim they're perfect, far from it (and especially the long-disbanded B Specials) but I have and had many friends in the RUC and PSNI who took great risks to protect everyone in NI. To group them in with IRA/UVF is an unjustified and offensive slur on their professionalism and courage.

                    1. Alien8n Silver badge

                      Re: Northern Ireland

                      @ Phil OS you seem to have a rather rose tinted view of the RUC, or are you deliberately ignoring the fact that the RUC in the 60s would regularly attack the homes of Catholics and were ruthless in attacking civil rights activists, even beating some to death? The British troops went in as a direct result of the RUC's actions in Bogside. And this is BEFORE the Troubles. Just because you happen to know some good people who happened to be in the RUC it doesn't excuse the ones who blatantly used their position of power to commit indiscriminate murder.

          2. sed gawk

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            As we are floating currency issuer, our spending is not determined by tax revenue.

            When we bailed out the banks to the tune of several trillion, no-body knocked on your door and asked for a contribution.

            What we spend our money on is a purely political choice, gated only the limit of real resources (bricks, skilled people, land) not sterling which is in itself a bet on the UK .gov honouring its issued gilts / bonds.

            A bet, the UK has not failed to honour in 300 years.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              "When we bailed out the banks to the tune of several trillion, no-body knocked on your door and asked for a contribution."

              Wot? Who is this "you" you are talking about. Almost everyone I know has been labouring under an austerity regime for the past decade as a "contribution" to the bail-out repayment fund.

              1. sed gawk
                Facepalm

                Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                @ken - you is you and me too, one was not forced to raise ones buttocks from the comfort of one's chair to answer the siren call of the donations bucket as we raised a few trillion from a whip round - was the point I was making.

                Austerity is a political choice, the "contribution" as you put it began during the 2010 con-dem regime, and was not needed, has damaged our economy and has been jettisoned every time it was useful to the .gov to do so. Austerity and the 2008 Fiscal Crash, are not related.

                Its a good story, and it's just seems nice and neat, we paid a lot of money, so we "have to balance the books", but We print our own money, bluntly the lies are not true.

                Hint "we paid the money already" so we clearly didn't need to raise it in tax *before* spending it.

                So balancing the books clearly not that precise an art, as in real life you'd need a creditor, but we don't have one, as we printed the <bob-geldof>f-gg money</bob-geldof>, hence paying it back by slash and burn = poltical con-trick - clue is the name "Con"...

                If you will accept my work and provide an exchangeable token for doing so, we have a fungible asset.

                If you add a nation state backing the issued token, and a central bank to authorising issuing these token, you can print as much as you like, that's really as barmy as that.

                It works provided you don't poke at it, because your happy with the work, I'm happy with the beer token, the publican is happy with the token, and so forth.

                You cannot cut your way out of a crisis, you pay people lots of money, so they spend lots of money, so you tax them lots of money. Cutting people's wages, support, or benefits is counter-productive.

                We have made a profit on the bank bailout, now The dividend is worth £240m and the Treasury will receive £149m as RBS is still 62%-owned by the government. "https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/03/rbs-to-pay-its-first-dividend-since-2008-bailout"

                We are paying the cost of voting Tory.

                1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                  Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                  "Austerity is a political choice, the "contribution" as you put it began during the 2010 con-dem regime, and was not needed, has damaged our economy and has been jettisoned every time it was useful to the .gov to do so. Austerity and the 2008 Fiscal Crash, are not related."

                  I call bollocks on that one. The reason we didn't *start* paying back until 2010 was because Gordon didn't want to. He was, in fact, the first example of a politician jettisoning austerity because it was politically useful to do so. It didn't mean the money wasn't due.

                  On the so-called profit, I would ask what was the opportunity cost of investing umpteen squillion in a bank, only to get umpteen squillion and one back a decade later. I would also ask whether the UK banking sector has had a good decade. Yes, they've bought back their shares (at the government's chosen price) but they've clearly not invested a dime in their IT systems in the last decade and one or two of them might now fail simply because they don't appear to be able to function 24/7.

                  On the wider point of printing your own money, this *might* be true if we were the only country in the whole world. We aren't. The amount you can buy with a fiat currency depends just as much on how much other nations value it, unless you are 90+% self-sufficient in everything. Hardly any countries can make that claim nowadays, and the ones that can (Hello, Mr Kim) aren't worth living in.

                  1. sed gawk

                    @ken, Re: Austertity is a choice

                    I call bollocks on that one. The reason we didn't *start* paying back until 2010 was because Gordon didn't want to. He was, in fact, the first example of a politician jettisoning austerity because it was politically useful to do so. It didn't mean the money wasn't due.

                    It's not a loan, it's an investment which is now starting to return some of the costs, so in the longer term this will be a very good deal for the taxpayer.

                    On the so-called profit, I would ask what was the opportunity cost of investing umpteen squillion in a bank, only to get umpteen squillion and one back a decade later.

                    We were rather forced into the position, and the dire truth was that it was marginally cheaper to recapitalise the banks on the expectation of a future return, than to compensate all the individual account holders under the government backing of deposits in bank accounts.

                    On the wider point of printing your own money, this *might* be true if we were the only country in the whole world. The point about issuing your own money is that you can inflate away your debts. It also allows you to lend yourself unlimited sums of money with only inflation as a penalty - obviously http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/content.asp?Bnum=735 (TANSTAFL) applies here.

                    In practise, the whole money system is rather baroque and illogical, but despite that it has been rubbing along with occasional crashes for quite some time now.

                    The amount you can buy with a fiat currency depends just as much on how much other nations value it, unless you are 90+% self-sufficient in everything.

                    This is not quite the point, that is an exchange rate and not the point of "floating" currency, the idea is that inflation is controllable by manipulation of interest rates. The only other lever to control inflation is taxation, (removing money, dampens the growth of inflation).

                    The central point of issuing your own money is that taxation is not required to fund spending, but rather to control inflation as TANSTAFL indeed will start to effect the pricing of your securitized debt (guilts/bonds) meaning the .gov would need to offer really high interest rates to price in the depreciation in the value of the currency relative to something else, e.g. euro clearing rate on day of purchase.

          3. sed gawk

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            There was this little thing called the good friday agreement, which tory-lite (labour) brought about.

            There the funding of headchoppers in saudi - both sides.

            Buntly the tories are the parties of apartheid from S.A. to Israel.

            Thatcher herself enthusistic suppoter of the https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bantustan policies and coup in Guinea https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Equatorial_Guinea_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat_attempt

            So all the current cabinet "lightwieghts" joined at the time when this was party policy, a pox on all their houses.

          4. sed gawk

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            How dare the (tory-lite) labour govenment of Gordon Brown be in power when the parcelling out of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Securitization debt blew up across the globe.

            We came out of it rather well as we had an economist at the helm, hence we returned a profit on our stake in the banks.

            Jesus wept, take a look at the country *now* and understand that these people are not on your side.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              "We came out of it rather well as we had an economist at the helm, hence we returned a profit on our stake in the banks."

              Gordon Brown was the arrogant money-grubber who stole vast amounts of money from private pensions and pissed it away like every other Labour chancellor. Or have you forgotten how his "one-off, never to be repeated" smash-and-grab on our money became a feature of every one of his budgets? I didn't pay into MY pension for him to steal it to cover the deficit in the state pension scheme - which, lest you forget, still cannot give the people who have paid into it a decent living.

              And the only reason "our" stake in the banks returned a profit is because he fixed the rules so it would be impossible not to.

              1. sed gawk

                Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                And the only reason "our" stake in the banks returned a profit is because he fixed the rules so it would be impossible not to.

                Explain why making sure we made a profit on a huge loan is a bad thing, I'm not seeing it.

                He's a politco, they lie, but he was quite good with the money on balance. It went tits up all over and we were doing nicely far quicker than anyone else, till we voted the con-dems in.

                Maggie broke the pension link in 1980 - Blair - then Brown carried on a Tory-Lite policy tempered with some moderate social policies and a good dose of sleaze.

                I personally have a bigger bone over PFI then the pension scheme, as basically the issue with the pension is as much cost of living as the actual number.

                So, winter fuel allowance, free bus pass, discounted council tax, etc and other means would be the Brown way of tackling that, and indeed the roughly 5Billion a year in tax credits went unclaimed, completely by accident I'm sure. But again, we can make sure that people can have a decent retirement and are allowed and encouraged to save both privately and collectively.

                Its collectively saving if we have for example nationalised energy generation such that you could then make it cheaper. But I agree, changing the rules out from under you is unfair.

        3. sed gawk

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          Well said, at least someone has a grasp of political history not drawn from the pages of the beano.

        4. dak

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          Free education - 1871 (at least here in Scotland)

          State pension - 1908

          First Labour (minority) government - 1924

          NHS - 1948

          I suppose one out of three isn't bad. Same grasp of numbers as Ms Abbott...

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

        debilitating damage that previous "proper socialist" Labour governments

        That would be back in the 70's. The governments of Tory Blur and Gordon Broon don't count..

      3. sed gawk

        Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

        You're spot on, the last "socialist" .gov we had, gave us the NHS.

        The last 39 years of Maggie's policies have been an abject failure by her own measure.

        1) Property owning - down

        2) Share owning - down

        3) Privatizing rail - too extreme for thatcher.

        4) Top rate of tax 60%

        1930 - 1995 - people leaving this country in droves - 1997 tory-lite (labour) start to reverse the trend in homelessness, which falls drastically until 2010.

        8 years of true blue, tory and the country is a basketcase, led by a clown, but sure "Corbyn" and moderate policies to help the worst off in society are going to damage us. We are already damaged and but keep on stepping over the homeless and ignoring the foodbanks.

        1. Andy 97

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          It was actually Winston Churchill who came up with the idea for the NHS.

          https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/31/without-winston-churchill-nhs-would-not-exist

      4. FlamingDeath Bronze badge
        Mushroom

        Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

        I don't really care if my comment is going against the grain, but I'm willing to allow that principled man a chance at the helm. The last 17 years have been utterly reprehensible, with Tory mole Bliar, endless illegal wars, false flag terrorism, funding terrorists (sorry, moderate rebels), supporting proxy wars, fake state news, illegal mass spying. George Orwell must be spinning in his grave

        If i'm willing to take the risk that your apparent wisdom is not recommending, then what does this tell you about the current state of affairs?

        It's a fucking crock of shit, and we need to get radical.

        If I may offer some wisdom too, get used to the radical nature of the present, it's not going away, if anything it will increase.

        But I do agree, Diane Abbott is a walking disaster waiting to happen

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

      Just because she's the shadow doesn't automatically mean she'd become Home Sec after a Labour win. That's in the gift of the PM.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

        That's in the gift of the PM.

        True, but ms Abbott is now a Labour grandee, and part of their intellectual talent pool. If he wins, Corbyn will be accused of misogyny and racism is she doesn't get one of the top three Cabinet jobs, which are the Treasury, Home Office, Foreign Office. Even Corbyn's not going to let her be chancellor, and with her renowned brains and diplomacy he can't afford to let her loose abroad.

        And looking at the rest of the Labour front bench, who else is there?

        1. Commswonk Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          ms Abbott is now a Labour grandee, and part of their intellectual talent pool

          Their what?

          1. Ken 16 Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            They have to out think the current government's front bench...

          2. sed gawk
            Thumb Down

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            She has spoken on Leveson, terrorism, education, poverty, welfare, illness, disability, refugees, child sexual abuse, pro-choice abortion. Her campaigns include legal aid, civil liberties, fighting crime, sickle cell thallasemia, public transport, improving education.

            2008, her speech on civil liberties in the counterterrorism debate won Parliamentary Speech Of The Year in the Spectator awards.

            That speech is here. Watch it, and then come back. https://t.co/qNMvtilMa1

            Report when you've got something of note to say, we'll wait.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              That speech is here. Watch it, and then come back. https://t.co/qNMvtilMa1

              So, we know that if gifted with a really good speechwriter that somebody trained in public speaking can look very competent when reading off of a script? Great, let's make the press secretary PM on that basis.

              Oh, wait. Different set of skills required.

              Her demonstrated ability to think for and articulate for herself has been amply demonstrated, and she stands as a lasting monument to the Peter Principle. She's simply been promoted a level beyond her level of competence and reached her point of incompetence.

              If she drops down a level then she could regain and no doubt retain a reputation for being competent, useful and respected. As it is, the general public are observing somebody operating far beyond their point of competence and she will remain an object of mockery and derision until she returns to a job she is competent at. Frankly, I think keeping her in the position she is in is outright cruel.

              1. sed gawk

                Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                Sure, Diane worked for the Home Office in 1976. She was so smart they put her on a course to fast-track her career.

                Diane was Race Relations Officer at the National Council for Civil Liberties from 1978 to 1980.

                Diane was a TV researcher and reporter from 1978 to 1985. I know a lot of those. They’re fast thinkers, avid fact hounds, brilliant minds.

                Diane’s political career began in 1982, on Westminster City Council. Then in 1987, I’ll say it again, she became the first black female MP.

                Peter principle my arse.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

                  Then in 1987, I’ll say it again, she became the first black female MP.

                  1979 Maggie Thatcher became the first female PM. Do you see that as a positive?

                  1. sed gawk

                    Re: Is it positive that maggie was the first female pm

                    Yes.

                    Don't get me wrong. I disagree with Thatcher politically. But its no small thing what she did. She was smart, ruthless, and a really effective political thinker. She got to the top in a sexist society without having to shake her arse, or get her kit off.

                    Yes, I don't think the country came out of thatchers policies well but, for example when she got in she made a massive difference to the economic model of the country, for example joining EEC, transition away from heavy industry etc.

                    I don't like how she did stuff, that doesn't mean she was wrong. Her personal views, and the outcomes, I have issues with, but its a positive that Britain had its first Female PM. Yes, I'd rather it wasn't maggie but she actually is quite a two-headed beast. On the one hand, you have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Bodies_(Admission_to_Meetings)_Act_1960 and on the other you have a clear wooing of the national front voters "the British character has done so much for democracy, for law and done so much throughout the world that if there is any fear that it might be swamped people are going to react and be rather hostile to those coming in" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher#CITEREFJohnson1991

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              >2008, her speech on civil liberties in the counterterrorism debate won Parliamentary Speech Of The Year in the Spectator awards.

              Yep, she's a talented writer and speaker - evident early on too as she from state school to Cambridge - this was back in the days when entry was through examination which still included a Latin paper.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          "Even Corbyn's not going to let her be chancellor, and with her renowned brains and diplomacy he can't afford to let her loose abroad."

          Bojo as Foreign Secretary has dropped that threshold to level with the floor.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

            Bojo as Foreign Secretary has dropped that threshold to level with the floor.

            I wouldn't be so sure. You don't run a city like London for two terms without being tolerably competent.

            Can you imagine the state it would be in after 8 years of Diane Abbot as mayor? Worse even than the current nonentity whatshisname.

            1. sed gawk

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              Is that you Boris?

              Johnson got elected based on "he looks like he'll be a laugh".

              And he was, largely at our expense.

              The man is a stain on the skidmark that is our political system

            2. Nick Kew Silver badge

              Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

              I wouldn't be so sure. You don't run a city like London for two terms without being tolerably competent.

              It's a job in which loonies get to shine. Hence both Boris and his predecessor - who also got two terms. Actually more, given his time as leader of the old GLC.

        3. Ken 16 Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          "he can't afford to let her loose abroad"

          Because Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab have set the diplomacy bar too high?

        4. sed gawk

          Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

          So N.I. Sec. who knows sweet fa about N.I. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/07/karen-bradley-admits-not-understanding-northern-irish-politics

          Brexit Sec. Raab - sweet fa about the border issues at dover - https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/nov/08/brexit-cabinet-david-davis-urges-mps-to-vote-down-mays-brexit-deal-so-eu-makes-better-offer-politics-live?page=with:block-5be41aaee4b00d0bde3d8223

          Racist mayor for the tories - not Johnson - Bailey https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/03/tories-london-mayor-pick-shaun-bailey-multiculturalism-robs-britain-of-its-community

          Oh and "She's a Journo, oops" Watermellon Letterbox Piccanny Johnson.

          Yeah "Competence" is *really* your issue here.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I doubt she'll ever be Home Secretary, but...

      Whyever not? Jacqui Smith was. Egregious, blithering incompetence is no bar.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sneering...I thought techs only did that to "mouthpiece of utter conjecture" #hashtags Amber Rudd?

    #hashtags Amber Rudd is like a bull in a china shop regards technology, give her a delicate harp to play, (metaphorically speaking) she'd put her fist through it.

    Bluntly, Rudd hasn't a clue either and worse, she pretends she does. Not a fan, as you can guess.

  8. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The breeding grounds

    Given that all home Secretaries shadow or not in my lifetime have been barely human swivel-eyed loons can we attempt to triangulate the source and turn it into a glass crater for the good of all humanity?

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: The breeding grounds

      The source appears to be a small nation off the coast of Europe. Targetting now.

      1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: The source appears to be a small nation off the coast of Europe. Targetting now.

        Dammit, there goes Cyprus now where am I going to go on holiday.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The breeding grounds

        "The source appears to be a small nation off the coast of Europe."

        It seems to be a pandemic across pretty much of the world. Occasional hotspots now seem to have become joined together.

  9. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    She can't do basic maths - check!

    She knows fuck all about security - check!

    She has a victim mentality - check!

    Perfect for the job of Shadow Home Secretary!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      But does she hate/fear black people ?

    2. sed gawk

      “What I say to people calling for a second referendum now is you should be careful what you wish for, because my suspicion is that if we had a second referendum now, the same people that voted Leave – who are not largely speaking in London – would vote Leave again, saying ‘didn’t you hear us the first time?'” On QT last night - sounds like the kind of wise head we need.

  10. h4rm0ny

    "While fraudsters traditionally prey on the gullible and feeble-minded, their wicked ways have ensnared British Labour MP Diane Abbott."

    What you did there, I see it! :D :D

    But really, where do we rank this? Worse than her "Chaiman Mao did more good than bad" idiocy, her inability to perform a <= operation on numbers greater than a thousand? Honestly, she is not fit to be in charge of anything.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Pint

      RE: h4rm0ny

      "Honestly, she is not fit to be in charge of anything."

      Hence, why she's so high up in Labour. She's absolutely incompetent, and that makes her perfectly qualified to be at the top.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: RE: h4rm0ny

        The question isn't whether $minister is competent.

        It's whether they're cunning enough ever to thwart Sir Humphrey. Abbott isn't, so she'll be irrelevant.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on

    From the article - she initially fell for the call but refused to let anyone remote control her PC. Well done!

    I know everyone likes a good politician-bashing story but come on!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hold on

      Hi Diane, wondered when you'd show up

    2. Natalie Gritpants Jr

      Re: Hold on

      You should reread the twitlet more carefully

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...what about the extra BILLION that Spreadsheet Phil gave GCHQ last year.....

    ......to help out with privacy and security?

    At the time it was clear that the BILLION would be going to more spying on citizens!

    It's pretty clear that the "help" didn't get as far as Westminster!

    Maybe Diane was hacked from Cheltenham? Just saying!

  13. Luke 11
    FAIL

    Spot the dog

    I think we're safe in the knowledge that the only things she'll have on her computer are 'Spot the Dog' books and a broken calculator.

    1. Rusty 1

      Re: Spot the dog

      Don't forget the 50 tool bars in her web browser.

  14. Mr Dogshit

    Stop dissing Jeremy's girlfriend!

  15. Wolfclaw Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Look in the dictionary for obnoxious, incompetant, ignorant, muppet and you will see a reference link back to Diane Abbott. Jeez can you image her and Corbyn doing the bare back beast, shudder and pass the puke bucket !

    1. Dr. G. Freeman

      Ugh, Thanks for the mental image

      Didn't need my lunch....

  16. msknight Silver badge

    Diane Abbott

    This is a very good article/piece about Diane Abbott and her lengthy commitment to politics and the causes that she holds...

    https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2017/06/07/we-need-to-talk-about-diane-abbott-now-explicit-content/

    However, to hold a cabinet position, I'm looking for different qualities. Management. Qualifications, experience and and understanding of the relevant area that the minister is responsible for. Sadly, that seems to have been the case for many ministers, of many parties, over recent years.

    Perhaps that's why we're in the situation we're in today.

  17. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    What am I missing?

    She said she was initially taken in. She doesn’t say she let somebody remotely control her computer. A lot of people could be very easily initially taken in when the phone call starts and then within 10 seconds realise that it’s a scam. This is a non-story about Diane Abbott and the usual tropes about her not being able to think clearly. I may not agree with a lot of her policies (or indeed most of them), but this really is bashing her for no reason.

  18. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Laugh at Abbot all you want

    but I think almost everyone on here works for people who have minimal computing experience and only escape this sort of embarrassment because people like you work for them,

    The government seems happy to pay massive consultancy fees to get worse than a good hack, Social engineering on a much higher level than this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Laugh at Abbot all you want

      @Tom_7

      Perhaps you are not paranoid enough! In the last ten years or so, there have been repeated rumours in the USA that the NSA has obtained compromising materials on politicians -- material subsequently used to "influence" voting in Congress. Why do you think that this could not happen here? Just saying!

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Laugh at Abbot all you want

        has obtained compromising materials on politicians -- material subsequently used to "influence" voting in Congress.

        NSA? Good grief, they do make a mountain of a molehill.

        Here that's the longstanding job of the Whips in Parliament. And in modern times[1] it's not just the whips, it's the political advisors too.

        [1] Going back at least to the 1960s - and Crossman's diaries as used in "Yes, Minister".

  19. adam payne Silver badge

    As Home Secretary – note that Ladbrokes offers 4-1 on Labour being the next government – Ms Abbott would be responsible for cybersecurity, as well as crime and policing.

    Someone might want to rethink that.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The face of the state of our political elite, this person demonstrates time and time again how low someone's IQ can actually go.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    did she double click on cor.bin?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      mounted it more like

      1. Flywheel Silver badge

        Only to eject safely right at the last minute...

  22. CrispyD
    Alert

    Did I just log onto the wrong forum?

    Ha ha, very funny. Diane Abbott (nearly) got scammed and (nearly) didn't spot it. Oh the hilarity.

    Only I don't think it's very funny. These scams may be 'obvious' from the outside, but given that organised crime (which this must be) is extremely profit-focused, they must work.

    The more we, as IT professionals, blame the victims for being 'thick', the more culpable we become. So, if you want a ranty political brouhaha, go head over to the Daily Mail. Otherwise how about a little advice, even if you can't manage any actual sympathy?

    Starting with: Don't Panic. Find somebody you trust to take a look. Change your passwords (from a different device if possible). Talk about it - but not in a shouty, alarmist "oh gosh, we're all going to die" way.

    1. Allonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Did I just log onto the wrong forum?

      I'm no particular fan of Diane Abbott but she does at least appear to have 'fessed up to the fact she screwed up. Which is more than Amber "Hashtags" Rudd ever did when it came to technology.

      We can't all be experts in everything.

  23. jamesdagger

    4-1 odds

    Which, according to Dianne Abbot will yield a return of eleven and twelvety pounds per £1 stake.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So it's not brains that Corbyn saw in her then ?

  25. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Press Any key.

    How do you measure someone who's is good on computers, which discipline, what standard. Is it a secret, might be, or is it public experience and money in the bank. Can you abstract the irreversible. Just yesterday's chip paper after all. Yes, B.O.S.S. I saw that one coming, could've been worse. #gammabitflipspacetimeoverflow

  26. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Ms Abbott would be responsible for cybersecurity, as well as crime and policing

    The important thing for being in charge of anything is to understand your own limitations. The philosophy I adopt for anything that I find I have been made responsible for is...

    Is this thing something which lies in my defined skill-set?

    If yes, then I should be able to cope

    If no, then assess how important it is, risks, impacts, etc. If it is in any way serious, then I find someone for who this thing is their bread & butter, and utilise their expertise.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      The important thing for being in charge of anything is to understand your own limitations.

      We're talking about politicians here. They firmly believe that they have no limitations, so the question of understanding doesn't apply.

  27. Ken Mitchell

    Politicians are Stupid

    Most politicians in EVERY nation are ultimately stupid about most technical and security issues. She seems to be another tech-illiterate.

  28. smudge Silver badge
    Windows

    Mike from Microsoft phoned us yesterday

    My wife answered.

    Mike: "This PC is not working correctly."

    Mrs S, angry manager voice: "Which one? I have 500 here!"

    Mike: "Ohhh..."

    <end of call>

    Alternatives would have been

    "This isn't a PC, it's a phone!"

    and "Couldn't you think of a better name than that?" (Mike from Microsoft had a very strong Indian accent.)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, though, it is amazing how easy it is to socially engineer your way past any security.

    My job involves going to a supermarket checkout and asking "hi, where's the staff entrance?", and being directed to it, then saying "hi, I'm here to replace your routers" whereupon I sign the visitors book and am left to my own devices with racks 'n' racks of server and networking equipment. Often after the staff say "oh, we had no idea you were coming". Today I even left my tool trolley next to the racks and asked "is there a loo I can use?" and was directed where to go.

    1. Allonymous Coward

      So you're saying you pen test the bogs?

  30. grrrrrrrr

    marcus 'chown'?

    Is the chown a Linux joke? Owned etc...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is, sadly, absolutely NO requirement for politicians or judges making law to actually know WTF they are talking.

  32. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Waiting

    Actually, I've thought of a good routine to use with these scammers, and have actually been *waiting* for one to call so I can give them my Redneck Billy-Bob routine.

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