Seriously, do try and get this right you idiot, foolish, pinhead

In today’s troubled Britain, it is commonplace to say that the political parties need to come up with some fresh ideas to transform the country. But what happens if one of the big parties starts announcing radical new policies and yet most people don’t seem to be listening?

That sobering question hangs over Labour’s hugely ambitious but so far only moderately successful election campaign, judging by the slow improvement in its poll ratings.

Yet the answer could be less bleak for the party, and for the country, than you think. Whether Labour loses or wins, in this campaign it has begun to set out a new, potent notion about how politics should be done and what elected politicians can achieve.

It’s not changed what politicians can achieve in the slightest. They’ve not achieved anything yet, have they?

It’s changed what politicians are willing to promise but that’s something rather different.

But then that’s rather one of the problems with politics as a societal management system, isn’t it? People do so confuse promises with outcomes.

12 comments on “Seriously, do try and get this right you idiot, foolish, pinhead

  1. What are these radical Labour policies? Aren’t they the same old tax & spend and nationalisation they always had?

  2. “Radicalism” = uncritically clinging to the daft, and often wicked, ideas of a mid-19th century neurotic scrounger and fantasist.

    Eeh bah goom, there’s nowt so conservative as radicals.

  3. I think the real reason Godfrey Elfwick (pbuh) got banned was because at some point you just can’t parody these people anymore, and end up pointing out they’re cunts:

    All those were immediately on show this week after Labour’s surprise announcement that it would nationalise and modernise Britain’s rickety broadband network.

    Rickety, eh? Well… compared to what? Demographically hypercondensed Asian states? Venezuela?

    Everyone hates BT, mainly because its scale makes good customer service difficult, but candidly it’s a minor technological and project management miracle that you can get Ethernet-speed broadband nearly everywhere in the country, for a relatively modest price, when just 20 years ago none of that incredibly expensive infrastructure even existed. (No, Prestel doesn’t count)

    And it’s not rickety at all – it’s robust, which is why people complain like hell on the rare occasion there’s an outage. They’ve very quickly become accustomed to internet as a utility.

    We’ll know what rickety means if Labour gets into power and brings back Post Office Telecoms. I assume they also won’t be able to resist cutting off your internet if you use it to engage in realtalk, though it may become difficult to differentiate targeted censorship from general public sector incompetence.

  4. When I moved over ten years ago I wanted to keep my landline number. BT said “no problem”, the line was working on the new place. Six weeks later they still hadn’t done it and they clearly lied every time I rang them, as the ‘reason’ changed every time.

    I eventually told them to fuck off and Virgin put a line, broadband and TV in a few days later.

    Wait until Momentum are running it.

  5. “Everyone hates BT, mainly because its scale makes good customer service difficult, but candidly it’s a minor technological and project management miracle that you can get Ethernet-speed broadband nearly everywhere in the country, for a relatively modest price, when just 20 years ago none of that incredibly expensive infrastructure even existed. (No, Prestel doesn’t count)”

    The problem with Labour under Corbyn is that all they care about is more power. McDonnell or Diane Abbott or one of their pals want to be running the shit.

    But the public don’t care. If something works and is at a reasonable price, you don’t have a sales pitch. I’m sure there’s people for whom £19/month is a lot of money, but that isn’t that many people. And many of those people don’t have PCs. They have phones.

    A few years ago I did a load of styling work for a local authority because tablets and smartphones brought a ton of old people to the internet.That’s all they want. They don’t want Netflix or YouTube. They like to be able to book a holiday somewhere, or buy things on Amazon or look up things, and a smartphone is pretty good for that now.

  6. Steve,

    Also, a few years from now, Openreach are going to be running around like headless chickens, desperate to roll out fibre as the mobile phone companies take over super fast internet. I can’t get fibre. Not exactly a first world problem, but when Vodafone 5G comes here, I’ll be very tempted to get their wireless box and bin ADSL.

  7. BoM4 “tablets and smartphones brought a ton of old people to the internet.That’s all they want. They don’t want Netflix or YouTube. They like to be able to book a holiday somewhere, or buy things on Amazon or look up things, and a smartphone is pretty good for that now.”

    Exactly. I said it elsewhere, I have not found 3G mobile broadband limiting. Even in this rural ‘not spot’ there are no more drop outs than there were when in central London. I have lately discovered a lot worth watching on youTube, my 10Gb a month started to look a little limited, so I enquired about an upgrade, the price dropped a £1 to £14/month and I currently consume 16Gb out of 40. Now why should I, poor pensioner that I am, be paying taxes to subsidise someone Netflix?

  8. BoM4 – Yarp. It’s quite possible 5G will supplant fixed line for last mile telco services. We’ll still need Openreach for the backhaul, but not necer-celery to wire up individual homes.

  9. I’ve been getting my Intartubes over 4G for the last 3-odd years. Out in the sticks here there’s a 4G mast at 2km distance, line-of-sight, for CHF 20 a month I’ve got the fastest connection I’ve ever had, 20-40 Mbps, symmetrical. For about CHF 90 a month, including line rental, I could have had “1.2 M download, 750 kbps upload, no guarantees” over Swisscom. Apparently it’s better now, but it’s still 4x as expensive…

  10. BoM4

    I could never get my old mum interested in teh interwebs because she didn’t have the hand-eye coordination to use a PC mouse and keyboard. I bought her a tablet and now can’t get her off of the damned thing.

    As much as I also hate BT and its general uselessness (Openreach wired up my landline in the cabinet wrong), they actually provide the best broadband service and I can use their metropolitan wifi service to give my Mum free access. Also they have now moved their call centres back to the UK.

  11. ‘Transform the country’ is Obamaese for going socialist.

    BTW, Marxism is not ‘fresh ideas.’ It is Lefty happy-talk to get people to accept it.

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