Corbyn and the Venezuela model

The leadership of the Labour party admired Chavez, the socialist ruler of Venezuela and have not rushed to condemn his successor, Maduro. Between Chavez and Maduro they have shown the world what a true socialist programme does. They have undertaken widespread nationalisation, boosted spending programmes, borrowed huge sums of money and regulated and taxed the remaining private sector.

The results have bene predictably dire. GDP per head and GDP  is down by around 40% from the peak in 2011. Oil output in the nationalised oil industry has more than halved. Inflation has turned to hyperinflation. More than 1 in 3 are out of work. There are shortages of basics in the shops.

The nationalisation of oil is an important  warning to a Labour party that seeks wide ranging nationalisation and see nationalising broadband and taxing digital companies as some kind of cornucopia they can wrestle away from the competitive sector. Venezuela saw the oil industry as a source of money for all they wanted to do. Instead they starved it of good management and of investment so today output has halved. Tankers are unable to transport more oil from Venezuela because they are not in seaworthy enough condition to pass modern maritime standards.

Labour seriously underestimates the costs of nationalising UK  broadband and grossly exaggerates how much  money it could get from new taxes on US technology companies operating here. There is not just the initial cost of partial compensation to the current owners of BT. There is also the need to pay an annual subsidy to replace the broadband charges that would be abolished, and the need to find huge sums of capital to complete the roll out of fibre optic cable to all parts of the UK to supply the capacity needed.

When we last had a monopoly nationalised industry running our phone service here in the UK you could experience a delay of six months or more in  trying to get a new phone line. You were not allowed to buy your own choice of phone to add to the network. The switching equipment was out of date and the UK was falling well  behind the USA in standards and capacity of phone system. Why would it be any different in the future if Labour had its way?  Any how much would they rob from savers who currently own BT through their Pension funds and their share based savings and insurance policies?

Under past Labour governments nationalised industries cost taxpayers a fortune in subsidies needed to keep them going. They overcharged customers from their monopoly position and they often sacked large numbers of employees. It was wisely said we did not own the nationalised industries but they owned us.

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  1. Emma Jay
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Sir John, This needs to be communicated more widely to the younger electorate who were not born, and can therefore can have no recollection of the damage of
    to the British Economy under the Labour administration in the 70s with the then Chancellor Denis Healy “Squeeze the Rich until the Pips Squeak”. Those of us who can recall the debacle of Healy running to the IMF for a Bail-out that and what ensued are fearful of a repetition of the Socialist Economic misadventure.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Indeed and Dennis Healy had a 98% income tax rate which must have done huge damage to the economy and the tax receipts. A double first (Greats/Balliol) and a member of the communist party.

      “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” -George Orwell

      But then we had to suffer under G Osborne & P Hammond who gave us tax rates well over 100% with the pension rules, landlord taxation of profits (not even made) and stamp duty up to 15% if you move house. All these idiocies still in place.

      • Dan R
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Indeed lifelogic, and we wait in hope that a new government will retract the deluded decisions. But like brexit we might be waiting a long time.

      • Charles Crane
        Posted November 19, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        I remember my father paying 98% income tax under Labour in the 70’s but there was, on top of that, the Investment Income Surcharge.
        This meant that his marginal rate of tax on investments top sliced at 113%

        As Monty Python so aptly put in one of their sketches “And if you told the youth of today that, they’d never believe you!…”


    • Mike Stallard
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Do not forget that we are approaching £2 Trillion worth of debt. The IMF is not what it used to be and Europe is on the brink. There are a lot of banks both here and on the Continent who still depend on worthless bonds. How many? Nobody knows.

      This is not the 1970s when Europe still was at the centre of the world economy.
      So if Labour does get in (the bookies do not think there is a chance of that) then things will really get interesting.

      • Mitchel
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Interesting that Germany isn’t falling for the “deficits don’t matter/debt is just money we owe to ourselves”shtick.Tweet from Die Zeit’s market watcher on the Business New Europe website this morning:

        “Good morning from Germany where govt sticks to debt free budget.Lawmakers look set to confirm balanced budget for 2020 with expenditures of 362 bn Euro,slight decrease from this year’s 370 bn Euro.Germany has completely different debt culture than US.”

        Followed by chart showing prospective German debt/GDP ratio falling from c60% to c45% by 2023 whilst US goes from c105% to approaching 120%

        • Anonymous
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

          People outside of our economies watch how we are doing things and will not be pleased in being paid with devalued currency.

          Wealth (debt clearance) cannot be created from nothing.

      • kevin Stanley
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Remember BJ needs 320 seats Corbyn doesn’t He has the keys to No10 if Bozza falls short….be afraid, very afraid!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Subsequent disclosures have revealed that Healey was given misleading information by supposedly impartial national authorities, such as the Treasury, and that in fact, it was not essential for his government to have gone to the IMF.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        “Not Essential”

        Whether this is true or not, “unnecessary” would have indicated that Labour had not made a complete pig’s ear of the economy through union driven socialism. “Not essential” does suggest that Labour and their union mates had screwed the economy to a large degree.

        It is a cliche but true that socialists eventually run out of other people’s money. The MMT doctrinal followers on here will say that doesn’t matter, but Messrs Corbyn and McDonnell look like running out of other people’s money faster than most.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          I’m not claiming that the then Labour government would have solved the undeniable economic problems at that time without the IMF, NS, just clarifying one point.

          Labour have not yet published a manifesto. I’d wait until you read their plans, rather than their aspirations, before making any assertions.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

            I shall @Martin

  2. agricola
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The current Labour front bench come from LaLa land. They are laughable but at the same time very dangerous because the young and diehard Labour vote will vote for them out of habit. After all the preamble their manifesto could be a suicide note, lets hope so.

    One aspect you have not raised is their threat to security and the defense of the nation. It must be a worst nightmare for our security and military forces.

  3. Shirley
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Labour has politicians. Politicians who think they know what is best for the electorate. How much more proof do we need that politicians are NOT good at judging what is best for our country? That applies to all parties (and the EU), but some politicians are ‘better’ than others. Unfortunately, the good politicians who put the country first are in the minority.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink


      Labour has politicians.

      Is that what they are? Slap my thigh would never thought of that.

      • Hope
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Johnson told us Mayhab’s servitude plan was a polished turd. Just because he is better at polishing does not make his shit sandwich any better.

        Zero carbon economics not mentioned by JR, I notice. Tell us JR if this Tory govt policy will bring us into line with the Venezuela economics you are comparing Labour with?

        Also how about why your govt ismadding to the debt and paying more in interest than some public services put together? Tory govt promised in 2010 and 2015 to be cutting the debt by now instead of adding to it? Please explain why this was promised for the three previous elections and now dropped?

    • libertarian
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink


      You are absolutely 100% correct

      Politicians are the problem and NEVER the solution

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Indeed if politicians are ever the answer then the question must be reframed.

    • tim
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Shirley- the problem is 1st past the post. This is not democracy. A system to keep power for the rich. At least the EU has proportional representation. “May” be as we will remain in EU for ever, The EUs next targets might be? The HoLs?, Hof C? The Royal family? Who knows, the EU are and will be in total control of the UK, they might even change our countries name?

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Indeed monopolies almost always deliver appalling services and poor value and state monopolies are even worse. We should of course also be getting rid of the dire ones we currently the NHS and education (using top up education vouchers) and the hugely unfairly subsidised competition from the lefty, alarmist dopes at the BBC. Also unfair competition in subsidised council/social housing and the damaging market distortions in energy and transport.

    Ruth Leigh on the BBC Paper Review recently suggested that Labour will give us a trip to a Venezuelan economy only to be told by the BBC presenter that this was “such a lazy comment”. No it is an entirely sensible comparison. A Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP government would be an appalling disaster for the country rich and poor a like.

    Boris has surely made a big mistake in not doing a deal with Farage and it seems now actively trying to “encourage” some candidate to stand down with back door methods. A deal would have been a far safer way to go and mutually beneficial. Let us hope this mistake does not give us Corbyn or another Tory government with a such a small majority that it can be undermined again by the many “Conservative” Brexit traitors that will still be in Parliament. Grieg Clark for example.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Sorry – Ruth Lea

      • Hope
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Ruth Lea appears to be sound and correct in most of her predictions.

        However, Johnson’s zero carbon promise is well within the Venezuela economics JR is smearing Labour with. JR, should now tell us how this policy is costed, when taxation will rise to pay for it, how business will manage to remain competitive with the world- particularly as Johnson is giving away hundreds of millions to China and India to help reduce smoking and alcohol use in overseas aid while they build coal fired power stations!- and how the public will keep their homes lit and heated at a reasonable cost. After all the majority do not agreee with the green looney tunes. His next squeeze might not be a greenie. National policy ought to be considered and decided on better terms than this.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          I hope he will drop it like a stone after the election, along with HS2 and all the renewable subsidies.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink


      You are correct in identifying the NHS as being dire and that is the perception of a lot of the population. Politicians believe quite wrongly that throwing money that it is the panacea to all that ails the organisation.

      The NHS could be run a lot more efficiently and it just has to be turned on its head from having top down organisation to one that is bottom up. The strength of any company is ultimately the staff, industry and commence has shown over many years that change, real change is the most cost effective way forward by training and allowing staff to be empowered to make decisions. The NHS does not need the swathes of senior management high salaried positions.

      The next Health Minister all he has to do is take one hospital and trial running it from within with all the departments as their own internal business unit run by the people who know their part of the operation best. The staff. Encourage and implement Self Directed Work Teams and all that process entails. Things will change and the staff will have the most important part of the working process. Ownership, no longer a number that comes to work, leaves their brains on the gate and picks them up on the end of the shift working on auto pilot. With SDWT staff one thing that will happen is that staff are a much closer unit, times are flexible and if staff do leave , the reason for that decision is always in the open. SDWT require less management as the teams incorporate some of the old managers but not all of them. Too many in the NHS get themselves into a position because of age and length of service are just working their ticket to retirement and their pension.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        There are of course some excellent and very devoted staff working within the NHS but the system, structures and management is generally dire. Half the doctors, expensively trained in at UK universities, do not want to work for it. Many junior doctors who do are totally disillusioned, not supported properly, treated appallingly and want to leave.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      I utterly resent my right to vote TBXP being removed.

      We are already a Sth American republic.

  5. sm
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Re the privatisation of BT, my late husband was a consultant to that company as it was being implemented. I recall him commenting that many BT employees he dealt with at their HQ were breathing huge sighs of relief at the prospect of bringing the whole operation up to date and removing utterly inefficient and harmful practices.

    Quite obviously, not all privately-owned businesses are perfectly managed, but here in S Africa, we live every day with the outcome of grossly inefficient and appallingly corrupt state enterprises that are run (down) simply for the benefit of political and state individuals.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      “not all privately-owned businesses are perfectly managed”

      No, but the bad ones in the private sector do go bust or get taken over. In the state sector they just go on and on, inconveniencing and ripping off people, costing a fortune in taxes and even killing thousands of people in some cases.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Exactly. In fact they position themselves as sacred cows and resist any chance of reform. They exist purely for themselves. This is something that cannot happen in the Private Sector.

        • Hope
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          LL, you forget the banks. They are as you describe and no substantive changes from the Tory govt since 2008!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

            The banks are in many ways already part of government so much government regulation red tape, restrictions/government obstacles to any new competition coming, slotting rules, Basel I, II, III rules and the poorly structured deposit protection schemes and interface with the BoE and other national banks.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    “Brexit has its logic. Not even Nigel Farage has the right to get in its way, Elections are the moment to choose. At last voters have a real choice between the political parties”

    The generally sound Charles Moore today in the Telegraph.

    But not a very good choice is it? A trip to Venezuela or Boris/Javid (a party still with several blatant traitors allowed to stand). A party brandishing a fake Brexit hand cuff (worse than no deal) Treaty while pushing yet more tax, borrow and piss down the drain big government socialism.

    Vote for us – we are slightly less dire than Conbyn/Mc Donnall seem to be the Boris offer. More vision than the dire Theresa May but not by much. Even Mrs “I took the party to 9% support and 5th place” Theresa May has been allowed to stand again (after her appalling dishonesty). Why? Not a Conservative bone in her body – an identity politics pushing vision less, daft socialist?

    • Simeon
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Charles Moore, like the rest of the Telegraph hacks, and indeed the rest of the ‘right wing’ press, is toeing the party line. This is that BJ inherited inherited an almost irretrievably catastrophic situation but, by his brilliance, has in fact retrieved it. Yes, a better deal would have been achieved had BJ been in from the start, but what he has secured now is the best possible outcome. All that is required now is for BJ to be handed a good majority in Parliament, and his brilliance and the essential goodness of the Tory party will deliver a golden future for the greatest nation on earth. Trust in democracy will be restored in full, and there will be prosperity (or at least the chance of it) for all.

      I don’t need to tell you it is all drivel, though some may benefit from this insight.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is quite clear that a far better deal can be done if there is a decent post election majority and once released from the treachury of the Benn surender bill. But it seems that Boris will just go ahead with his ovenready, £billions, handcuff, split up the UK, treaty.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      This is our “democracy”.
      Bound to end this way when all parties/politicians follow an alien agenda.
      And what of us?
      Stitched up like kippers!!!
      Ribbon development for people of nowhere.
      Our future…concrete and 5G ( which prob won’t work but WILL harm us?).

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Look up the definition of a “Conservative”.

      It is basically someone who wishes to preserve the institutions of society and of the nation.

      People like you apparently want to destroy almost everything, from the supremacy of Parliament, to the judicial system, to the very rule of law itself.

      There are various names for you, but “Conservative” is not one of them that I have heard.

      The Tories will, I think, pay a heavy price in due course, for pretending to you and your kind that they offered a means to your ends.

      • steve
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


        “People like you apparently want to destroy almost everything,”

        No, that’s your’s and Labour’s agenda.

        “People like you..”

        People like who ? If you have ‘something’ to say to us…just get on with it. frankly this ‘People like you’ business is sounding like a worn record.

        “There are various names for you”

        You insult one of us you insult all of us. Furthermore you might stop to think we actually have a name for you and your left wing idols, but of courtesy and respect to our host who takes all the risks in running this site, we exercise restraint.

        “The Tories will, I think, pay a heavy price in due course, ”

        That much is certainly true, but I think you will be surprised at the backlash against the left.

        Did you really think the British people would let the left wing get away with wrecking the country and selling us out to foreign powers ?
        This isn’t over and it’s going to get serious mate. History repeats, just not necessarily in the same place.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Steve, you’ve saved me the bother of responding to your requests, by elaborating yourself on what I implied.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            You post provocative factless generalisations martin then you are surprised when others respond in kind.

          • steve
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            You’re welcome.

            Though please distinguish between requests and what are invitations for you to explain yourself, which you always run away from, as in this latest example where you obviously have a craving to say something derogatory against people of your neighbouring country, but can’t quite summon the courage to do so.

            That said, backbone is not usually found under a rock, so maybe we’re expecting too much.

  7. Annette
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    You seem to miss out on the most pertinent point, Sir John. One that our partisan remainstream media continually fail to ask.
    Just HOW do they intend to nationalise everything whilst REMAINING as members of the EU?

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      As if they would remain in the eu if that prevented their take over ambitions. Watch this space if they do get their hands on our economy and our society .. there would be no referendum to get the peoples views .. they would just be off out if it suited them.

      • Hope
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Once nationalised they will not be able to helped by the EU state aid rules. Not mentioned last week.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      I think some “legal eagle” has worked out that the effect of membership on Lab’s plans would be extremely small.
      Anyway the EU just does what suits …never mind rules!

    • tim
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Annette- very good point- in EU nationalisation is illegal, but is is OK for EU nationalised companies to take over our water, electricity, gas!

    • steve
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink


      “Just HOW do they intend to nationalise everything whilst REMAINING as members of the EU?”

      My guess would be they’d put everything under EU control, and call it nationalisation. Which it would be, just not British nationalisation.

      It would figure, since their agenda would be well served by having all essential utilities and security services under Brussels control. They can then keep their bums on green leather without actually having to do any work whatsoever. The ultimate gravy train.

  8. steve
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir !

    An interesting article, with which I agree.

    I have to say Corbyn’s nationalisation plans seem to reek of sheer hatred of anything that works and prospers.

    He has a scatter gun approach rather than selectivity to nationalise those industries which should be nationalised for reasons of national security. I don’t see one iota of common sense in anything that man says. It’s all bash the rich from him – sheer stupidity.

    Still, the coming election election will either put the jealous marxist in power, or we’ll be out of the EU in name only under the conservatives. Farage has finished the brexit party – but then he’s true to his form of giving people hope and then dropping them flat on their faces. I’ve no time for (him ed).

    • steve
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink


      “I’ve no time for (him ed).”

      Chuckle….I just knew you would do that.

      Have a nice Sunday JR, I suggest a good roast, a couple of beers and put your feet up.

      Kind regards to you Sir.

      • Simeon
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        I feel sorry for Farage both because of and yet in spite of his utter stupidity in standing down for the Tories. I have no idea what Rupert Lowe will be doing in the future, and I think the timing of the withdrawal of his candidacy was terrible. But when he said that Farage’s decision had undermined his candidacy, one couldn’t disagree. Shambolic doesn’t do it justice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Nick Robinson – this morning on radio 4 discussing the philanthropy of Bill Gates billionaire types questions someone – Would it not be better to have much higher taxes and then have elected politicians spending this money?

      No way – politicians would certainly do it far, far less efficiently – even the rather few good and bright politicians. The Corbyn/Mc Donnall types would be a total disaster.

      • Me
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Bill Gates is always the prime target of many people who are not content that he gives away billions when he does not have to and speak nastily to him advising “Why don’t you spend in on….” this that the and the other “charitable causes instead?”
        In the leftie-liberal socialist mindset a rich person can never do right.
        But they all gamble on the national lottery. I hope they lose.

  9. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Venezuela was, for a time, exemplary under Chavez, and an inspiration to other South American countries.

    However, under the Monroe Doctrine, that was precisely why the US had to act, as it has done for many years against Cuba, Chile and other people’s movements in the region.

    It was not difficult to enlist the help of Opec countries to depress oil prices, and this has helped in US-Russian rivalry too.

    What has happened since is a tragedy, as generally happens when a smaller country is beset by intentionally-created problems by a mighty one.

    I don’t think that many in Labour take a markedly different view.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      This kind of socialism works well for some…ask Chavez’s daughter!
      Re-read “Cancer Ward” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn recently, an outstanding piece of fiction.
      As for free broadband (aka sweeties for the kiddies): prior to privatization you had to wait months to get a phone, probably had to share a line and rent the handset.How we loved our nationalised industries!

    • Iain Moore
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Really? It was the Americans who did them in is the other excuse to the claim that it failed because the Socialism there wasn’t tried in its purest form. Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world , unless it is a Socialist try to come up with an excuse for the failure their project , again, it would normally mean they would have the market leverage.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      “I don’t think that many in Labour take a markedly different view” well they are totally deluded then!

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The oil industry brings in a lot of money. Some people do really well, but not everyone. Venezuela was linked to American Oil.
      Hugo Chavez nationalised the oil and took the profits, as Sir John outlines above, to give to the poor in the form of schools, hospitals and hand-outs. He neglected to spend money on the industry which meant that it slowly went into decline as the machinery, the shipping, the oil rigs grew older and older.
      Then the economy crashed. Middle class people were in the streets going through dustbins. Oil was being moved across borders in plastic containers. Carolina, nee Portuguese, and her husband, Raoul came to Britain very angry and they told me.

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Ah, the trump card again. Its the same argument all the time with Marxists… its not our fault that socialism doesn’t work it’s them big bully boys with all the money. As if the OPEC companies would get together with America to “depress oil prices”. Its market forces that depress prices … too much oil and gas and its government incompetence that allows the infrastructure to collapse due to self serving power crazed leadership.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Oh, “as if” anything eh?

        Like, “as if” the US would conspire to impose Pinochet on Chile, or “as if” it would blockade Cuba, long after it was any military or other threat to the US, or “as if” Reagan would have funded the murderous Contras in Central America?

        Some people need to do some serious reading.

        • Iain Moore
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Impose Pinochet on Chile? More likely the Chileans were pleased to see the back of Allende. Allende had his MIR thugs appropriating land, I suppose you would call them Xxxxx with hob nailed boots and clubs, an armed militia. The result of land seizures was food shortage, a specialisation of Socialists. The nationalisation of much of the rest of the economy was resulting in the inevitable shortages. When the copper price rose the nationalised chilean copper mines couldn’t take advantage of it due to them being so chronically badly run. Bit like Venezuela and oil. Hyperinflation , 500% ( another Socialist speciality) had destroyed people’s savings, teachers and doctors were on strike, even Allende had to admit there was only three days of flour left in the country. President Frie said ‘ inflation has reached intolerable limits’ ….’an organised process of hate and violence divides the country’ …’neither laws or institutions are respected’ . The Supreme Court complained about Allende’s interference in judicial matters.

          The only saving grace for Allende was that Pinochet beat him to the coup, for apart from the thousands of Cuban mercenaries brought into Chile by Allende, they also found loads of arms and piles of money. If Pinochet hadn’t beaten Allende to the coup we would know him as just another Marxist thug who had destroyed his country.

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          As if socialism has ever worked to the benefit of the many.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            Ask the Scandinavians.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            They are democratic mixed economies based on capitalism.
            The Scandinavian model is not socialism.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink


            Why would you ask the Scandinavians ? Even their mild form of social democracy has failed. Sweden is a basket case, Denmark has major problems and Norway has its highest unemployment for 1o years . Sweden and Denmark have had austerity programmes for a decade . Denmark has reinstituted birder controls between Sweden and Denmark because of the high levels of crime .


            Sweden still faces turmoil. The government encouraged Sweden’s open-border immigration policies also transformed the country by pushing through extensive tax cuts, reductions in the generosity of welfare programs, and a widened role for private enterprises in public service provision.

            Trouble with socialists is they think in memes and cliches and have no knowledge of the real world

          • libertarian
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

            Typo alert

            *border controls* not birder

      • Iain Moore
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        His argument has a little hole in it in that Venezuela is a member of Opec. Oooops but never mind we can’t allow facts to get in the way of an attempt to excuse the disastrous effects of Socialism.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink


      Give your head a wobble son and stop spouting total drivel

      Always everywhere communism/socialism has resulted in the deaths of the people on a large scale and eating your pets. Nowhere , anywhere no matter how much power and control ( see Soviet Union & Mao’s China for details) has socialism ever worked . Its a fantasy

      I suggest you grow up and start thinking for yourself

    • sm
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Ah, I did wonder how long it would take for the Chavez/Maduro fans to blame the US, and along comes Martin.

      • Dennis
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        ‘Always everywhere communism/socialism has resulted in the deaths of the people on a large scale and eating your pets. ‘

        Venezuela’s industries were run down etc., etc.

        Can you give me any links in any writings of Marx /Engels etc. stating these are the policies of socialism?

        As to deaths of people on a large scale would you say this is the policy of capitalism? There seemed to be a lot of it about since WWll

        • Pud
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          Marx etc. probably thought that if their ideas were implemented mankind would benefit. How many more times do they have to fail before people finally admit they don’t work in practice?

        • sm
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          I suspect you have responded to the wrong person, but thinking about massacres, would you allege the slaughter in African States and the Middle East over the past 50 years is down to capitalism? And of course you won’t need reminding of the Communist policies in the Soviet Union, China and N Korea that resulted in the death of millions.

          • Dennis
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t say that deaths etc. was the policy of capitalism nor ask if it were only applied to capitalism.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink


          Read a history book theres a good chap

          Capitalism doesn’t have policies its not a system or set of procedures . Capitalism is just the freedom to trade with anyone who wants to trade with you

          Socialism & Communism are the creeds of control and oppression

          From the communist manifesto

          “The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.”

          This of course included the overthrow , imprisonment and murder of Kulaks

          • Dennis
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

            ‘This of course included the overthrow , imprisonment and murder of Kulaks’

            You didn’t say if that was in the manifesto.

            I thought socialism was supposed to follow communism but you didn’t say if the manifesto would be the same.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 19, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink


            I quoted from the communist manifesto

            Dont care what they put in their manifesto , as they never stick to it. The only thing worth noting is communism and socialism always fails in reality as its a fantasy system that ignores human behaviour .

  10. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Amazing isn’t it, that people who have never run a business or anything else other than a bath before. Who have never employed anyone other than perhaps their wives or husbands at the taxpayers expense, really believe they can run a complex international multibillion pound business, in an economic and sensible manner.

    Truly amazing !

    • steve
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      “…..other than a bath….”

      Even that’s questionable.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      A bit harsh on poor old Corbyn. (He) did achieve two A-Levels, at grade E and started a course in Trade Union Studies at North London Polytechnic before dropping out. He sounds perfectly qualified to run a complex international multibillion pound business, in an economic and sensible manner. Just as John ERM Major was ideal to be Chancellor with his three O-levels (History, English Language and English Literature). That went very well.

      Ideal indeed to run the UK into the ground!

      Reply I’m not sure JOhn Majors O levels were ever confirmed.There is also the press comment that he gained 3 more after leaving school.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        True it was not just Major who idiotically supported the ERM. Politicians (like the BBC) do alas suffer badly from group think and it is nearly always totally wrong too, The ERM, Millennium Dome, the EURO, the dire EU treaties, the counterproductive wars (some on blatant lies), the zero Carbon/climate alarmism, the Climate Change Act, Millennium bug, the renewable subsidies, the non existant gender pay gap, identity politics and PC drvel in general, the anti-free speech agenda, the dire NHS, the BBC licence fee, virtual monopoly state education system, the massive over taxation and regulation of everything, abolition of grammar schools, the no deterrent criminal justice system, the £50K per person loans for largely worthless degrees, the open door immigration system, the litigation culture, the barmy employment laws …….

    • oldwulf
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      @Alan Jutson. Maybe there should be an exam and qualification system for prospective MPs 🙂

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Indeed they should at least have grade A* at three A levels in Physics, Maths & Further Maths – not suffer from politicians “group think” or virtue signally, not have any strong religious views, expecially not the mad climate alarmist ones nor have any desire to endlessly waste taxpayers money on lunacies.

        But every MP, other than a tiny handful voted for Milibands Climate Change Act – so we are miles away from this. Choosing people at random subject to a simple IQ test would give us rather better MPs than we have. Anyone seeking to be an MP is clearly a bit suspect.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          I recently realised watching Uni Challenge, that whenever a contestant says ‘reading PPE’ I smile and think ‘a future MP / Minister?’ Thats what contributors here have done to my brain. 😊

  11. BJC
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    You omitted to mention the delights of the all-powerful unions, their collective bargaining tactics and endless strikes. Oh, the joy……..

    It’s clear that Labour’s re-nationalisation programme is being driven by the unions attempting to re-establish a reason for their existence and prolong the comfortable lives of their “representatives”. They could do so much good in areas where workers are truly exploited, but their raison d’etre is to cause widespread disruption so it’s easier and more cost-effective to concentrate their efforts on the cosseted world of the public sector.

    • steve
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink


      “They could do so much good in areas where workers are truly exploited”

      But then you’d be talking of the old Labour movement, which was a force for good. Sadly those days are over. What we have now in Labour is unadulterated marxism.

      There’s a bad moon on the rise, of that you can be sure.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Apart from the very few people motivated by public service, most workers in nationalised industries discover there is very little reason to do a good job. The only way they see to improve their lot is by industrial action. Win for the unions and labour movement.
      “You don’t get me I’m part of the union”.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Dave – -for a nanosecond I thought nonsense – then it sunk in and I thought you are right, only the best will motivate their workers.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who tries to make the state sector more efficient finds they become rather unpopular so they tend to give up or leave.

  12. Nigel
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    With 5G coming on stream, I suspect that the fixed line communications may well be defunct by the time a Labour Government got around to doing this.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Landlines ( fixed line communications) are becoming dead as a result of the younger end of our population uses only mobiles. The older generation still sees comfort in a ‘free’ hour chat to friends and relatives using the landline. Broadband provision is moving over to radio transmission so Labour’s ‘gift’ to provide fibre (and the annual charge?) will be backing a dead horse apart from some smaller business users currently unable to have fibre installed. There are thousands of homes (farms etc) even miles from the green cabinets – so laying fibre would be a totally ridiculous exercise.

    • Andy
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Here in my part of deepest darkest Buckinghamshire – a whole three miles beyond the M25 – the ‘market’ has so far failed to deliver us a 4G signal, let alone 5G. Actually it has failed to deliver large parts of my town 3G. In fact, it has failed to deliver any sort of G. We literally have a huge patch with no mobile signal at all on any of the providers.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        it all comes down to the 2 physical network providers needing to make a profit. Mobile phone companies already share either of the 2 available. Installation of really good coverage costs money putting up the masts etc. Additionally planning to install them is often refused! Then the residents complain about poor coverage. Presumably with BT wanting back into the market – Labour plans to throw serious money at recompeting.

      • steve
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


        I can sympathise with you on that. A few years ago I lived down south in a rural area, 8 miles from Reading.

        I was quarter of a mile from the exchange a whole 440 yards. BT wouldn’t give us broadband, but were quick to elbow their way in soon as the community found their own alternative. Suddenly, it was viable.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink


        Where I live in certain parts I cant get a state provided DAB signal

        Its called geographic topology limitations. The government cant deliver it either . Is there no subject of which you aren’t totally ignorant?

        • steve
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink


          “Is there no subject of which you aren’t totally ignorant?”

          That seems a bit of an unfair thing to say, Libertarian. What’s he done to deserve that ?

          • Fred H
            Posted November 17, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            pretty much all his posts!

          • libertarian
            Posted November 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


            You might try reading his posts , they are always fact free , wrong and abusive

    • hefner
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Yes and no. Among my “network” of friends the number of those with a fixed line is rapidly getting to epsilon. However we are all relying on a network of
      “phone masts”, and somebody, some company, nationalised or not, has to provide it. The only positive I would see for nationalisation would be the unification of all networks. How comes that when I’m on the continent, my Three mobile can access any network around, but not in England. Talk of the beauties of the private sector … Most of the time “they” make sure to produce a captive market.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink


        Thats funny because here in England I use a small private mobile phone provider that allows my phone to lock onto the strongest signal from any network provider , it works well too. Maybe you should research the market a bit more .

        By the way because of the huge need for large numbers on new 5G masts the big four mobile companies are actually talking of mast sharing which is about time.

        • hefner
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, I didn’t know. My fault but could it be
          that the future will be bright.

          • libertarian
            Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink


            No worries, glad to help

            I also read now that there is an advanced plan by the 4 to start sharing existing masts

  13. Arnie from Newington
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    For balance you should do an analysis of the socialist Scandinavian countries who are doing better than the UK in most fields.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Arnie from Newington

      Oh dear , oh dear oh dear . Rather than spout regurgitated political sound bites try doing some analysis . All the Scandinavian countries deny they are socialist , all of them have reduced taxes and cut public spending in the last decade . Sweden is a basket case, 17 bombings in the last month alone, rampant crime , their largest bank is under investigation for money laundering and Denmark has reinstituted border controls because of the amount of crime and illegal activity from Sweden .

      Analysis from the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), says that Denmark is ill equipped to cope with the crisis . The Danish Social Democratic Party are campaigning to end 10 years of austerity . Food costs are through the roof and Danish Education is marked as sub standard by PISA

      In Norway they are totally and utterly dependent on oil , there has been a 70% fall in the price of crude over the last decade and as countries move away from fossil fuels this will get worse. Unemployment in Norway has reached a 10 year high

      The production of electricity, gas and steam dropped by nine percent [quarter on quarter] in Q1, and contributed substantially to the weak GDP-growth,” Kyrre Aamdal, Senior Economist at DNB Bank, told European CEO

      So no none of the Scandinavian countries are doing better than UK in any field

      • Arnie from Newington
        Posted November 19, 2019 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        When the UKs oil runs out we will have nothing to show for it apart from a big pile of debt. Norway will have a trillion dollar fund as they chose to invest their oil money instead of spending it. Sweden has a much better work life balance with paternity for men and women free childcare. Finland has the best education system in the world. In the UK we are stuck in a rat race competing against each other and it is making us all poorer.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      They are not socialist they are democratic capitalist mixed economies.

      • Dennis
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        ”They are not socialist they are democratic capitalist mixed economies.’

        Isn’t/wasn’t that the case in Venezuela it having more that 50% in the private sector? I read that France is more socialist than Venezuela but I have no idea if that can be substantiated. Well probably true now as socialist policies cannot be implemented.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 16, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink


          Communism/socialism always has to return to the “capitalist” system in order to try to save itself

          Its a fantasy system, it doesn’t work , will never work and has never worked no matter how often its been tried

          Socialism is just feudalism in a new frock and a fresh coat of lipstick

    • Dennisa
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  14. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    If BT were nationalised, guess who wold control it? It would be done democratically, of course, with democratic (aka Momentum) managers in charge. Woe betide anyone who said anything about the Dear Leader. Woe betide anyone who made (comments the regime did not like ed) And Woe betide this very blog!

    As to South America: Dan Hannan was brought up there and he explained on Conservative Home how the Socialist Government under Evo Morales caused widespread riots. The Police were ordered in. They refused to use force. Then the Army who mutinied rather than go in. On The Canary (Momentum) this was presented as a military coup!

    Please don’t let Labour get in! Please!

    • steve
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard

      “Please don’t let Labour get in! Please!”

      Boris and Nigel might have already ensured it.

      I predict a riot.

  15. Graham Robinson
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Labour Broadband Plan

    Less than 10% of UK households (27m) have optical fibre present directly in their homes, and those who have would have paid a capital charge or have a subscription to cover the cost. Now, according to labour, they are going to provide free full fibre broadband to every home, so;
    1) will those who have already paid be compensated financially to be fair with those getting it for free?
    2) what if a land-owner (a back garden?) does not want it dug up to make a trench for the cable? Will there be a compulsory purchase order?
    3) if the installers fail to deliver, since they have a monopoly, where do you go to put pressure on them – the courts?
    4) Scotland has some of the most remote and expensive-to-reach fibre destinations (and I assume the Scots are included in this plan to help keep them in the UK) so if the SNP have their way and win independence, will the SNP compensate the UK government for the costs incurred to date ? Yeh…
    5) we pay for gas, electricity, water, sewage so why should the internet be free? All essential to civilised living.

    Another totally mad Labour idea and indicative of the fantasy (desperate) proposals being made by Corbyn.


  16. Alec
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The only reason that the people tolerate socialism under Maduro is that the alternative of an American puppet is worse as we see in Bolivia. Here we have the alternatives of socialism “light” under the Conservatives or socialism “heavy” under Corbyn. We’d be better off with neither but Boris is somewhat better if he delivers on any promises (which would be unusual for a modern politician).

    • Iain Moore
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      They tolerate it because the massively expanded client state holds them captive, where if they kick up a fuss they no longer get the food coupons to feed their family.

  17. Mark B
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The Labour Party is reverting to type and that is to be expected. People will vote for them no matter what they propose and not all of them will be affect in the ways our kind host states.

    Many countries inside the EU have equally dire employment levels and, what were once state owned monopolies in the UK are now owned by EU state governments.

    The Conservative Party in more and more policy areas is no better than Labour. It is just less extreme.

    My voting card arrived yesterday. I know who will be voting for and it isn’t for policies designed to impoverish me and return this country back to the pre-industrial age.

    • Dominic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      It’s interesting that the ballot paper states ‘It is an offence to vote more than once”.

      I had to read this more than once to appreciate the inferences contained within

      Note it doesn’t say criminal offence, just a mere ‘offence’. If it isn’t a criminal offence what offence is it? Zero deterrent.

      Note also the inference that there’s nothing in place to stop you voting twice should you feel the need to commit an ‘offence’. Why is the opportunity to vote twice afforded to people?

      I believe changes are needed across the board but Labour refuse to back changes simply because they benefit from the current damaged voting model

      The Electoral Comm is very much pro-Labour. It needs abolishing or completely reforming and the removal of all political appointees or indeed anyone with party political relationships

      We need voter ID. Postal voting should be abolished except in extreme circumstances and intimidation in Labour controlled areas should be exposed

      • Fred H
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        answer = a national voting database. NI number + postcode of chosen constituency. Record a vote – once only. No postal voting.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Well if it isn’t “for policies designed to impoverish me and return this country back to the pre-industrial age” who it there to vote for? They all seem to be signed up to the bonkers, zero carbon lunacy. The Conservatives just are as daft on this as the rest of them.

      • Dennis
        Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        LL what are you worried about? -this is capitalism the same like definition applied to socialism here in this blog so don’t tell me this is not capitalism. We even have dictatorship if these crazy policies are thrust upon is. Well policies usually are, no?

  18. Kevin
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    After ten years of ultra-low interest rates, and no end to them in sight, I do not think the Conservative Party has a right to talk about “robbing from savers”. In fact, I recall it being commented that savers could have done better if they had owned property “in the right places”. Well, if it were all about being “in the right place”, then fairness would have no meaning at all under either of the two main parties. Meantime, as Annette asks: to what extent is the implementation of Labour’s campaign pledges constrained by continued membership of the EU? Are Labour voters facing the familiar prospect of voting for a government that promises “to implement what you decide” and then does not?

  19. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    There are very few good guys in Parliament. Corbyn’s elevation to leadership was facilitated by 36 MPs nominating him, the last being Margaret Becket, who endorsed his candidacy to “broaden the debate”. This is another classic of our political time with Ken Clarke’s “Lisbon is a tidying up exercise”. What is the difference? Political spin, making ludicrous election promises/bribes and the wilful ceding of our sovereignty to the EU has been unmasked by the ordinary people, the system is now widely seen as corrupt and in need of change, which will not happen for the same reason a clean EU exit was always a fantasy. Will BJ do any better that TM in removing Corbyn? I doubt it.

    For years the best young people shun politics and we are seeing the result

  20. Andy
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Comparing Labour’s policies to Venezuela when you advocate the Venezuela Brexit model is a bit rich. Still.

    I thought it was an interesting idea – worthy of serious consideration. And the trouble with our adversarial political system is that it doesn’t allow us to take ideas which may have some merit and properly stress test them to see if they will improve the country. Instead we just get people shouting at each other. This is one of the problems with Brexit. There may have been some merits in the 2016 – but now the idea has been stress tested we can see there are now. Yet our adversarial system does not allow the Brexiteers to backtrack gracefully.

    Broadband is an increasingly vital part of our national infrastructure – in that respect it is not unlike the road networks, or the railways or the power grid. Large parts of all of these were built by the government – even though the Tories later flogged most of it off to foreigners.

    So why shouldn’t government build the broadband network? It is a vital service. It is too lazy to say government always does things badly – that is not true. It is also too lazy to say private companies always do thing well – that is not true either. And vice versa.

    From what I have seen of Labour’s plan – and I have not read the full details – I think very much that the idea of government playing the key role in getting superfast broadband to everyone is a good one. I am not sure nationalising OpenReach is the way to do it. AndI don’t think broadband should ‘free’. But rather than just yelling at their opponents maybe our politicians could take each other’s ideas and improve on them to improve our country?

    • Fred H
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Thats an awful lot of words to say you are happy with it.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      So let the Government build a broadband network.
      They are free to enter the marketplace.
      Just don’t steal it off the commercial companies who have competed and risked and invested billions to date.

    • Eh?
      Posted November 17, 2019 at 12:22 am | Permalink

      Surely there cannot be any economist who is prepared to go on our media and support Labour’s plans? He would make himself a laughing stock and if he worked for a private company he would be such and embarrassment that they would have to ask for his resignation.
      Labour’s plans are childish. They sound like a class of 11 year olds playing at manifestos. Is any other political party prepared to actually have a debate on their silly ideas? Why?

  21. Bob
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    After the abysmal failure of the Hong Kong Joint Declaration signed by a previous Tory govt I hope that your govt will now do the right thing for BNO passport holders.

    But knowing the Tories, I’m not holding my breath.

  22. a-tracy
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    The younger generation aren’t as daft as some of these socialists think they are. They like their free choice in broadband suppliers, they like to compare the markets, secure deals, move providers if the broadband in their area is too slow.

    Who would really want to choose to pay for broadband through general taxation – get what you’re given and be grateful like we have to take in our A&E departments if we had a choice we’d never choose to go there (certainly not ones with 7 hour waits on a hard chair when you’re in serious pain). Everybody decries the civil liberties of the Chinese government and the surveillance and control over communications, they even limit what you can search for and have access too, they are total control freaks as are this Labour Party it is for their competitor parties to make this well known.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Your broadband speed is dependent on the infrastructure that brings the signal to your home. This infrastructure, if provided over the phone network, is all owned and operated by OpenReach. It does not matter who you buy your broadband package from, the speed is determined by the equipment in telephone exchanges and the cables between the exchange and your house. If you read the small print carefully, all the estimates from the various suppliers are the same.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I think Virgin have their own fibre cable broadband and phone system separate to BT’s Open Reach.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink

          If you read my post I said ‘This infrastructure, IF PROVIDED OVER THE PHONE NETWORK …’

          I am well aware that Virgin have their own cable.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            And it provides both home phones and mobile phones.
            If you have Virgin fibre cable you can have their home phone connection.
            No BT involved.
            I know this because I am a customer.
            Perhaps a bit of simple research before posting would benefit you Mike.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            And Virgin is much faster broadband than BT.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Virgin Media operates one of the largest and arguably most advanced cable broadband networks in the UK, after buying it from the NTL and Telewest group in 2006.

        Also Sky are talking about partnering with Liberty Global to extend their fibre network to areas outside the main conurbations but this has probably been put on the back burner now!

        No-one reduces prices and improves service in a monopoly things stagnate, more and more money is required to do less than we used to get, it gives too much power in the hands of too few people in charge of things we depend on.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted November 18, 2019 at 12:49 am | Permalink

          No-one reduces prices and improves service in a monopoly things stagnate

          Yet broadband prices have come down a lot – and speeds have gone up a lot – for services provided using the BT/OpenReach network. They have a monopoly on provision of broadband services over the phone network. Who you pay your bill to is academic – the service is run on BT/OpenReach infrastructure. You surely don’t think all the various broadband suppliers – who supply broadband via a phone line – have their own telephone exchanges, cables running to every house, switches, routers and all the gear you need to deliver broadband.

          ReplyThere is competition in providing these general services which keeps prices down

          • Edward2
            Posted November 18, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            Try an internet search on ” does Virgin use BT network” and have a read Mike.

  23. alastair harris
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    these are valid points but I would add one – and it applies equally to some of the thinking coming out of Boris’s cabinet.
    One of the key issue of a centrally planned economy is that it stifles innovation and rewards failure, and as a result we are all worse off. Take the example of the nationalised BT. It wasn’t just that you had to wait an age to get a line installed or a replacement phone. You only had the choices on offer which were limited. Even under the somewhat limited privatisation the quality of service improved, and the market innovated, to the benefit of us all. And all because of competition. Under the nationalised model, BT couldn’t fail, but under the privatised model it might, and we have seen alternative providers come to the market, and many innovations. Under nationalisation does anyone really believe we would have had the internet?

  24. BillM
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Ah but the Corbynistas will tell us that Venezuela got it wrong in the end because they were not complete Socialists. LOL – Much like Brussels tell us now that the cure for all the ills of Europe is even more EU domination!
    Taking the Corbyns at their word means that of all socialist Governments, since its beginnings with The French Revolution in 1789 on to Karl Marx and then Mao, none have been ‘complete’ socialists. They have all failed and for the simple reason that Governments are best at Governing and never good at creating new businesses, manufacturing, inventing and farming, et al. The people can never free or safe under such a regime.
    An clear example of the the failures of socialism can be seen in this country, post war.
    Britain, under the Attlee Labour Government, was heavily Nationalised and more burdens laid upon Private Industry. On the other hand, Herr Ludwig Erhard re-vitalised German industry by cutting the red-tape and other burdens imposed by the National Socialists Workers Party (Nazis).
    Germany boomed while sclerotic Britain crawled along. So much was the difference in growth that Germany ended their rationing programme some four years before Britain then under its socialist government.
    There are many examples of socialist failings – a glaring one being the difference between Capitalist South Korea and the socialist North today. Who is the better off there?
    So, I do wonder what it will take to awaken these die-hard Socialist extremists to the realities of the modern productive and advancing world.
    In the meantime its best for us to deny them a chance of power over the people. Unless you wish to return to those post-war days in Britain.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      ”So, I do wonder what it will take to awaken these die-hard Socialist extremists to the realities of the modern productive and advancing world.”
      There is nothing.
      I don’t think the ‘plebeians’ read this, or anything like it. In fact, I don’t think they’d read at all, unless they are at the top of the heap, those who have something to gain by being ‘a dear leader’. Why should the plebs exercise their brains if they have others to do it for them, and tell them what to think?

  25. Dennis
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    ‘The leadership of the Labour party admired Chavez, the socialist dictator of Venezuela and have not rushed to condemn his successor, Maduro. Between Chavez and Maduro they have shown the world what a true socialist programme does. ‘

    That is just such an absurd statement I can’t believe you wrote that. If you are right please give evidence that Chavez was a dictator (after much attested free & fair elections) and Venezuela had a ‘true socialist programme’.

    • Me
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Am I wrong? You like Corbyn don’t you!
      I can’t recall the exact sentence from Solzhenitsyn but I think he would have thought this would do “All ideas of socialism die at the first blow of the gulag camp workmaster’s cudgel”

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Yes and the NHS does own us, with no politicians prepared to admit many other countries do healthcare a whole lot better.

    • Our Courts
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      When the NHS does things right I know about it. When they don’t I have a tombstone and I am not a witness.

  27. Pete S
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The takeover of BT and broadband, shows the paucity of sensible plans from Liebore. But the public lack the skills to analyse the proposal for the complete idiocy it is.

  28. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    And as if the Socialists gain power (Labour & un-Dem Libs) their promises to gain power all automatically fail to come to fruition, by their own mouths.

    It is simple really, they both have accepted the rule of the UK must be by an un-elected, un-accountable foreign power, who’s fiscal rules and laws are supreme to the UK’s Parliament and its aspirations. The bulk of the spending promises made so far by these reckless numpties would not be permitted – as in against the laws and regulations of their masters.

    Surely, we have all had enough of Politicians making promises they can’t keep. Then add in their acceptance of outside rule even they must know they can’t keep to their word.

  29. John P McDonald
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    There is a constant debate between Left and right on the subject of Nationalization.
    The main point – is the industry run by experts or politicians, who is responsible for cost effective operation from the customer, supplier and tax payer view point. Is there a need to factor in some social responsibility. If it is not cost effective to supply water or electricity to a remote location, should the people there go without. And if the profits made by not supplying then go to another country is this a good thing for the customers with water and electricity and does it reduce their tax bill ? A very simplified example to bring out the left and right view of things. Privatization does not mean selling off the undertaking to a new private owner . It means braking up the undertaking into various parts with a tendency for government to sell of the profitable parts and keep the loss making(once split-up)parts or part. But the real issue is that Gas, Water, Railways, and Electricity are networked undertakings and setting up split responsibility is worst thing to do if you want effective management of a network for the consumer’s benefit. It’s cheap but when it brakes it takes a long time to restore service. But it is not cheap. Profits go aboard and do not reduce tax. And so why do we need OFFCOM , OFF this and OFF that. If Privatization, as we currently now it, is the answer ? Some new middle ground approach is needed to support our National Utilities and profits made should go to reduce user costs and taxes.
    Most people can agree higher tax lower bills but not both as would would be the case with the current Labour party. Socialism is not the responsibility just of the Labour party. Don’t spend tax payer’s money/savings to support political ideas, or indeed sell off National assets to get money which really never benefits the taxpayer for long.

    • David Magauran
      Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      John P McDonald.

      If I understand your post correctly I am of the same view as yourself. gas, railways, water and electricity are indeed networked undertakings. Many (many) years ago I was trained and worked in the electricity supply industry, both in the distribution, transmission and generation planning functions. All work was undertaken with the thoroughness and honesty of employees involved in a public service. I worked for (and trained with) Eastern Electricity and latterly Southern Electricity. Then I moved to the GEGB working in a transmission section then and on to System Planning and System Operations in London. All my and colleagues work was done with competent engineering knowledge and skills. It was to politicians who decided if the financial resources were to be made available or not. Following WWII the electricity demand rocketed and the industry had difficulty in ordering enough generation plant to cater for the demand. Then there was the inevitable demand growth reduction that lead to our heavy industry being starved of orders until the Government provided some relief. No doubt there was some inefficiency but not much. Today the electricity supply industry is a shambles with much of it foreign owned and profits being sucked from the electricity consumer. I suspect much applies to the gas, railways – especially the railways – and water utilities. Although I am a conservative and all for free markets I thought at the time that Mrs Thatcher was wrong to sell off our utilities with the idea that they would be more efficiently run. The railways are ‘off the books’ but the taxpayer is still paying billions to Network Rail. I am not sure what Mrs Thatcher’s view of her policies would be now.

      Private enterprise does not provide the panacea that today’s joke politicians espouse for our essential utilities. John Redwood should look more closely as to how our present utilities are run and whether a public service should be carved up and run by what are essentially profit making companies. And all to keep the accounts ‘off the books’. In the end it’s the taxpayer who pays!

      Reply When we had a nationalised phone service the technology was out of date, we lacked capacity and you couldn’t use modern appliances of your choice on the network. You had to rent from them with little choice. I had to wait 6 months to get a line installed.

      • David Magauran
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Yes, I remember that too. But today things are different. There is no reason why a nationalised utility cannot be run efficiently, certainly no worse than the present shambles we have today. I am a great believer in private enterprise but not for utilities that are provided for all.

      • John P McDonald
        Posted November 17, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Dear David Magauran
        My background is in telecommunications first with the GPO/BT and then the Gas and Electricty Industrys.
        What could be connected to the telephone network was governed by the Home Office. It was de-regulation which allowed more choice of phones, not privatization which followed later. Even when I started with the GPO electronic exchanges where being implemented. Can’t comment on you line installation delay, but like the Electricity Supply industry demand was increasing not match by the installation of exchange equipment and more cable in the ground.
        John McDonald

        • libertarian
          Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Dear John

          I was head of telecoms at a large multinational company in London in the 70’s

          The GPO service was antiquated , slow, unreliable , bureaucratic and expensive. Customer service was non existent and the technology was way way behind other advanced countries. Electronic exchanges were developed by Bell labs 15 years before the GPO got round to it.

          As for telephones the “deregulation” allowed just 3 types the 746, the smaller 776 Compact Telephone and the modern looking Trimphone. All of them had to be rented from GPO. On privatisation we were able to buy our own phones and choose from a range of different equipment .

          The Tory government completely botched the privatisation of BT and thats why we still have problems today

          Openreach ( BT broadband arm) own 90% of the pole and duct last mile cabling. Its that which needs to be replaced with FTTP . The role out of this has been painfully and deliberately slow. I live in a rural area but the PCP cabinet happens to be in the street opposite my house. It has been enabled for FTTC for over 2 years yet BT would not provide Fibre services to me saying it wasn’t available until 6 months ago. The last 50 meters to my house is on an above ground pole , has a junction box still from party line days and the cable itself is in a terrible state all of which means I get very slow speed despite being on an infinity tariff .

          BT are still a dreadful organisation ( slightly better than the nationalised service but not much) Its what happens when you have a virtual monopoly . We need REAL competition in the telecoms market.

  30. simon
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Assume broadband is nationalised. Next assume that a group of people is anti the socialist government. What happens when their broadband speed is reduced and maybe access denied completely.
    This is sinister.

  31. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    The pity of it is that so many of the electorate have no personal experience of the Socialist Governments that effectively ran from 1963 to 1979. The last year of the MacMillan government was spent slavishly copying Labour policies and Edward Heath’s government believed in a big meddling State except in its first year. It wasn’t a happy time. People who allow themselves to be bribed with their own money are in for a shock if Labour win.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    No-one votes to make themselves poorer, they say.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Yet again my boys at university have ballot slips both at university and here – the potential to vote twice.

    What assurances are there that these things are being checked and offenders prosecuted ?

  34. ukretired123
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    “Crisis? What crisis?” Words attributed to Labour PM Jim Callahan 1979.
    “Sorry no money left” Labour’s Liam Byrne Gordon (Bennet) Brown’s Treasury Secretary 2010.
    Whilst Venezuela has oil our North Sea oil funded the last Labour benefits and is insignificant now.
    Borrowing is easy for Labour.
    Paying back is for the Conservatives who would inherit the mess.

    Corbyn and friends don’t do decisions but run by committees.
    Anything they Nationalise would be open to much abuse as they have zero commercial experience.
    “Sorry Jeremy – You’re fired and tired” would apply.
    Can you imagine him on The Apprentice….

  35. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    What’s all this about bonds being issued to buy the utility. Who will buy them? What will the coupon be? When is the redemption date? How much will the shareholders get for their shares? What will it mean for people who hold shares in their pension?

  36. Katy Hibbert
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    “Any how much would they rob from savers who currently own BT through their Pension funds and their share based savings and insurance policies?”

    Much of Labour’s client state works for the Public Sector, with its gold-plated pensions, or is on benefits, or rich enough to move their money into a Swiss bank account.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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