back to article Labour wins race to lead UK, but few would envy the load in its tech in-tray

The United Kingdom woke up to the prospect of a new government this morning, but it faces old problems in tech projects, policy, and investment. In policy, there are the challenges following Brexit including how to adapt data protection law, while there are new problems in how – indeed, whether – to create laws addressing the …

Page:

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wouldn't envy the load in its economic in-tray either. We have two self-inflicted wounds - the long legacy of Brownomics that stopped productivity growth dead and Brexit. Trussonomics can be discounted as a short-lived blip. Covid and Ukraine are a problem shared with other governments but those two are our own.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      " the long legacy of Brownomics"

      The Tories had 14 years to undo that, and didn't, you say? So I doubt that's even real.

      1. Helcat

        You can't undo some things, like Brown selling our gold reserves or raiding the pension pot. Sure, you can start rebuilding our gold reserves, and you can strive to regrow the pension pot, but that'll take money, and Brown left the country rather short on that, thanks.

        So yes, it is real. The effects of the Boom-boom-boom-CRASH of Brownomics is also something that takes a long time to recover from.

        Same way that Labour have the challenge of sorting out the mess the Tories have made. The question is: Are they going to do a better job, make an equal mess of it, ignore it, or make it worse. That's the problem with politics: We don't know until they've tried.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Brown selling our gold reserves or raiding the pension pot. Sure, you can start rebuilding our gold reserves, and you can strive to regrow the pension pot, but that'll take money, and Brown left the country rather short on that, thanks."

          Not that old trope again! Fuckwit Brown sold ~$3B of gold reserves. Which is about 0.1% of GDP. That barely counts as a rounding error in the public finances. It's roughly the amount of money the government spends in a few hours. When the last Liebour government got kicked out, the national debt was around $1.3T. That included the bank bail-outs. Today, it's almost doubled: $2.3T.

          1. GioCiampa
            FAIL

            Is it cliché o'clock?

            "Not that old trope again" - followed up by your own tired cliché that is "Liebour"...

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              Yes. He was right about the gold - Brown's decision was correct, and though the timing was unfortunate, the fact it could be unfortunate illustrates that Brown was spot on to sell it. The rest is childish.

        2. unimaginative

          More importantly running up off-balance sheet debt through PFI

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            A long and well established Tory policy…

            1. Like a badger

              "A long and well established Tory policy…"

              Rubbish. Invented by the Tories, but then seized on by Gordo, who used it to ladle circa £60bn of really expensive debt on the NHS. Which just goes to show that in policy terms, you couldn't slide a credit card into the gap between Conservative and Labour.

              1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                But you are only looking at the spending side. Not what ordinary people are getting out of it.

                A pretty vast difference there.

    2. tmTM

      They've got the majority in Parliament to do something about the problems arising from Brexit.

      I'm not talking about re-joining the EU, but being some part of the single market to boost trade would bring real results.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        I'm not talking about re-joining the EU, but being some part of the single market to boost trade would bring real results.

        I doubt that would be offered, and any attempt to rejoin the EU would be unpopular and probably punitive. It would probably be better to work on boosting trade with Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries instead. But that's also part of our wider economic and industrial policy, ie if we want to boost trade, we need things to trade. Services only get us so far. But like the article says-

        On data policy, Labour will be tempted to gently align with the EU. Despite the passions surrounding Brexit, it's difficult to see the detail of UK data protection law swinging votes one way or another.

        I think last night's results show the votes have thoroughly swung, and they have whips for Commoners. I also think they won't need much temptation. After all, one of the benefits of Brexit was an ability to simply copy parts of EU legislation, and add any opt-outs or carve-outs we want. So as a minimum, we'll need to comply with EU data policy given trade and data sharing, but could also strengthen (or more likely weaken) parts we don't like. And it'll be 5yrs before we can do anything about that.

        I also think incoming cabinet ministers and HoDs have more than enough on their plates sorting out all that IT mess. Plus some other potential EU fun. So re-constituting British Rail by nationalising rail franchises as those expire. Given the number owned by EU entities, that'll probably raise state aid complaints as gravy trains get derailed. Shame Labour isn't talking about going further and renationalising other utilities, but it's potentially got Thames Water as a starter.

        1. wallyhall

          I'm not saying this based on my view of whether the EU is a good thing or not: I will be interested to see if the EU survives the next 10 years.

          Presently, given what's happening across the EU politically, I wouldn't be surprised if there is no EU for the UK to rejoin/align/trade with, by the end of the next (2029->) government term.

          I always wondered how the Roman Empire, and all the other empires which "ruled the world" came to be nothing but memories - perhaps I'm witnessing one such means.

          1. Helcat

            There's a habit of them getting complacent, then decadent, and then they start to crumble.

            It's the adage of Bad times make strong people. Strong people make times good. Good times make weak people. Weak people make bad times. Basically it's a cycle.

          2. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Are you talking about the UK or have you started to believe the EU is an Empire.

            Or are you just a bit funny.

            1. wallyhall

              <blockquote> Are you talking about the UK or have you started to believe the EU is an Empire.

              Or are you just a bit funny.</blockquote>

              “Yes.”

              I won’t bother expanding on that.

            2. Justthefacts Silver badge

              Of course the EU is an empire. Empires come in all types. The Napoleonic empire was colonial, fought and won by military adventure. The colonial British empire was a mixture between military and commercial adventurism. The Austro-Hungarian empire? The Holy Roman Empire? Qing dynasty China “all under heaven”? Ottoman Empire was not the same type of empire as the Roman Empire. The “how” (republic / monarchy / religion / military / trade) is much less important than the power relation between edge and centre; the Ts and Cs between local peasantry & local administrators, and between administrators to royal court.

              The central features of an empire are: central control; law-making, standards-setting, control of money supply; flow of money and goods from the periphery to a wealthy centre; methods of enforcement; appointment of local governors by central authority; a royal court (whatever they call it) where all the actual decision-making and negotiation is done; ambitions to expand its territory.

              By *every* measure above, the EU is an empire.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Starmer won't renationalise anything. He will just set up some complex scam to redirect public money to his mates. It is easy to see how they lost over 3 million votes compared to 2017 with populist claptrap like GB Energy.

          1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            On behalf of Michelle Mone, Lord Ashcroft and Matt Hancocks's publican, I would like to suggest: right conclusion, wrong party.

          2. Justthefacts Silver badge

            What about populist claptrap like *EDF Energy* then? Are you against that too? Wholly owned by the French state. Or are you only against it when the U.K. government does it?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Électricité de France is an actual state owned energy company which actually generates electricity using infrastructure they own. GB Energy is a private public investment company that will funnel taxpayer money to private companies and will have no actual assets.

              1. Justthefacts Silver badge

                That’s not the policy the Labour Party actually announced:

                “although it will not be an energy retail company, it will generate power in its own right, as well as owning, managing and operating clean power projects alongside private firms.”

                I think you’ve been playing the old game of “Tories and Lib Dems announce Labour’s policies”

                A bit like when Sunak announced that Starmer was going to raise taxes by £5k, live on national TV, Starmer being confused by what the f* he’s talking about, somehow that’s Starmers fault.

                https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c9xxpypr8d0o.amp

              2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

                I've heard this one before. The next line is 'and did you know Starmer is actually married to a Jew? Point proven!'

                It's such a thin veil over an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Who do you expect to fool?

          3. Binraider Silver badge

            If you knew the GB energy market, you would understand that GB Energy is a really, really good idea to bring down energy prices, while not scaring off half the country with renationalisation. Or the cost of it.

            That the latter would actually be a good thing is not lost on me, but small steps.

            The TOCs are going to be gradually reabsorbed too. Considering 7 are already state owned it really won't be that much of a shock to take the others off.

            But such is the fear mongering that anonymous folks like yourself cower in fear of changing things in areas that are so obviously in need of change.

          4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            That's pure projection. It's what you would do if you could.

        3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          "if we want to boost trade, we need things to trade. Services only get us so far."

          That isn't true. Some of the world's richest (and/or fastest growing) economies rely almost entirely on exporting services.

          As far as Brexit goes, the one trade benefit of leaving the EU is the ability to drop tariffs - so of course we haven't done that. It's a no-brainer in terms of economic growth to unilaterally abolish all tariffs, but unfortunately politicians have managed to hoodwink voters into supporting what are nothing more than harmful domestic taxes, and would have trouble raising the same revenue any other way.

          1. unimaginative

            > As far as Brexit goes, the one trade benefit of leaving the EU is the ability to drop tariffs - so of course we haven't done that.

            We have lowered some though. I think some of the ones of foods might be quite important in cost of living terms.

          2. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            "the ability to drop tariffs ".

            It's a bit more complicated than you seem to understand, if you want to save your industry and food production and such.

            The EU has dropped taxes to zero for the worlds poorest countries to help them knowing it cannot harm the EU much.

            There is no way to make Brexit a success for Britain.

            PS. Try to name "Some of the world's richest (and/or fastest growing) economies rely almost entirely on exporting services.". Countries comparable at least slightly to Britain. Drop Monaco for instance, and similar.

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              I wrote that quite badly. I should have said 'rely on services', not 'exporting services' - though the same is broadly true in terms of what is being exported, but larger countries usually have large domestic economies.

              https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NV.SRV.TOTL.ZS?most_recent_value_desc=true

              https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/share-of-services-in-total-exports?country=OWID_WRL~GBR~JPN~IND~DEU~Upper-middle-income+countries~Middle-income+countries~Lower-middle-income+countries~Low-income+countries~High-income+countries~SGP~USA

              "There is no way to make Brexit a success for Britain."

              No, but there are more and less harmful ways to do it. If it's going to be done at all, then it's simple common sense to maximise the upsides while minimising the downsides. That means unilateral free trade, liberal immigration policies, and so-on.

          3. Roland6 Silver badge

            > “Some of the world's richest (and/or fastest growing) economies rely almost entirely on exporting services.

            As far as Brexit goes, the one trade benefit of leaving the EU is the ability to drop tariffs”

            The trouble is the tariffs than be dropped are those that raise the prices of foreign goods being purchased in the UK; Brexit had the effect of raising barriers and tariffs on the services we sell to others, such as financial services - the mainstay of the UK economy, and any in-person services such as operating a European centre of excellence in say AI from the UK…

            1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

              That's the bullshit the politicians use to sell tariffs to voters - once again, they're a domestic tax. We have no reason to care what taxes other countries impose on their citizens. Despite the claims, they don't actually affect us.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                I suggest you try and run a UK based IT consultancy/systems integration company that sells into the EU…

                By leaving the EEA, the UK chose to permit the EU to impose WTO tariffs on UK sales to the EU, rather than the more favourable EEA/EU tariffs…

                1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

                  Your personal interests are irrelevant to a discussion of macroeconomic effects. If you won't sell elsewhere instead, someone else will. The EU is the economy that suffers, not the UK.

                  1. Roland6 Silver badge

                    Leaving the EU hasn’t made it any easier selling UK IT services (ie. uk nationals paying UK taxes etc.) into other countries…

                    Remember Thatcher’s whole point of forming the common market/EEA was to make it easier for UK businesses to trade with its immediate neighbours…

                    1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

                      I don't know why you think leaving the EU should make selling into other countries any easier. It's entirely irrelevant. You said something about your personal business, and I explained why that doesn't affect the macroeconomics I taught you.

                      1. Roland6 Silver badge

                        “ That isn't true. Some of the world's richest (and/or fastest growing) economies rely almost entirely on exporting services.”

                        Clearly the UK doesn’t intend being one of these, otherwise it would be have and be taking actions to make it easier to export services, which does impact the macroeconomic effects you are going on about…

                        >” As far as Brexit goes, the one trade benefit of leaving the EU is the ability to drop tariffs”

                        Tariff aren’t the only barrier, we’ve seen this with the massive increase in paperwork needed to trade with the EEA (that is both EEA businesses selling to the Uk and UK businesses selling to the EEA).

                        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

                          I have no idea what point you're trying to make, or why you're banging on about stuff I never mentioned.

            2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              When beings know what realities need to be done and how IT and AI simply do them ......

              operating a European centres of excellence in say AI from the UK… .... Roland6

              ...... that’s one almighty prime heavenly extra-terrestrial body and diabological celestial soul gig able to be operated from anywhere imaginable, Roland6, extraordinarily rendering Futures Markets and AIdVenturing Derivatives temporally and virtually and practically and physically untouchable and intangible and relatively anonymous and autonomous ‽ .

              And shared as a question there should you be in denial and wish to disagree whilst IT and AI plans collapse and reprogram everything and everyone around you in Greater IntelAIgent Game Plays heralding Brave New More Orderly Ordered World to Populate and Provision/Colonise and Administer/Mentor and Monitor once your madness accepts utter defeat in the face over the overwhelming evidence of increasingly wwwidespread, publicly available intelligence and both novel and noble and sensitive secret type NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive information confirming the contrary .... Real Sp00key at a Distance Quantum Communications Shit.

              1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Re: When beings know what realities need to be done and how IT and AI simply do them ......

                Did anyone disagreeing with the above, and venturing an anonymous cowardly silent downvote, not get the recent elite memo on such as be the strangest of postmodern things ........ Klaus Schwab Says Humanity Must Be "Forced Into Collaboration" With Globalist Elites ...... although I do wonder what Klaus Schwab has been toking to get that simple statement so wrong and reversed? A Senior Biden Presidential Type Moment, Klaus?

                How long do you imagine it took AI, or will it take AI if you are prone to the delusional denial of the bleeding leading edge obvious, to understand and construct and deploy the answers which exploit reward and enjoy the pleasures continually provided and remotely delivered via the persistent failings and inherent weaknesses of humankind, and do you think Labour winning the race to lead UKGBNI will result in anything being any different and significantly better for you?

                Methinks you can file those questions in the Holy Grail folder, should you have such a one.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Foundations of Geopolitics

          > Jellied Eel: "I doubt that would be offered, and any attempt to rejoin the EU would be unpopular and probably punitive. It would probably be better to work on boosting trade with Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries instead."

          Far be it for me to accuse you of being biased, but having achieved one of its primary goals- the division of the EU and separation of the UK from it- it would indeed be undesirable for Russia (and for someone best-known for posting their consistently pro-Russian point of view) to see that relationship rebuilt and all their progress undone, wouldn't it?

          Far better to push the Brexiteer fantasy that the UK should- and, more importantly, could- pick up with the Commonwealth countries just as if nothing had changed since the final days of the empire.

          Not that, I suspect, it matters whether that's true or not so much as whether it's sufficient to distract from the idea that the UK should repair its ties with the EU.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

            You really give Russia a lot of credit that it doesn't deserve. The UK is still in NATO and still one of the few nuclear powers on this side of the pond. Being in or out of the EU has little bearing on what Russia gets up to as we didn't use the Euro and were not big importers of their gas.

            What Russia HAS done is fund the green movement in Europe and the UK which is how we ended up in this mess.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

              I never said I was giving them all the credit. But that's certainly something they wanted, and no doubt put effort towards, however much- or little- of the final outcome was actually a result of that. And I've no doubt they wouldn't want to see it reversed.

            2. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

              > The UK is still in NATO

              And Trump is threatening to withdraw from NATO, without the US standing behind the UK and France, there is no NATO worth talking about; a state of affairs that would suit Putin…

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

                Maybe, just maybe, Europe should not have been so keen to suckle up to the US and outsource its defence to the US? Trump was quite correct when saying that some of the other NATO nations were not pulling their weight.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

                  The perverse irony is that Trump's threats to cut off countries supposedly not pulling their weight - and numerous other comments- *do* show that Europe must invest more in its own defences regardless.

                  Not to placate what he demands, but because such threats alone make clear that the US can no longer be reliably trusted to deliver when we need it.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

                    The perverse irony is that Trump's threats to cut off countries supposedly not pulling their weight - and numerous other comments- *do* show that Europe must invest more in its own defences regardless.

                    Yep, and this could be a good thing. A lot depend on what Trump means by 'pulling their weight'. If that means blindly following along with US misadventures, not getting involved could be a good thing. Downside is those misadventures tend to impact the EU anyway. So Libya being a classic example, or Syria, Afghanistan etc. The US started a pivot towards the Pacific under Obama though, which isn't really NATO's domain. If the US wants to leave NATO though, that's up to the US. If the EU seriously considers Russia as a military threat, the EU can build up it's military to counter it.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

                      Trump is a Russian shill though, and (as the AC who made the comment you were replying to) while I stand by what I said, that doesn't mean it was the scenario I wanted to see, and I'm damn sure that outcome would be to the satisfaction of Russia (and pro-Russians like yourself) whose modus operandi under Putin has always been divide-and-conquer.

                    2. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

                      A lot depend on what Trump means by 'pulling their weight'

                      Buying a lot of US military hardware, expending it in conflicts, then buying more to replace it.

                      "Come guys, join us firing your stock of $4m each Tomahawks at these important targets. Raytheon are happy to sell you some more.

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

                        "Come guys, join us firing your stock of $4m each Tomahawks at these important targets. Raytheon are happy to sell you some more.

                        Patriots are much better. Around $4-5m a pop, and it's recommended to fire 2 at each incoming target to improve hit probability. Current production is around 550 missiles a year, with plans to increase production to 600. Russia's launching around 400 missiles & drones a month into Ukraine. That math ain't great for Ukraine, but is absolutely wonderful for Raytheon's shareholders.

                        1. Casca Silver badge

                          Re: Foundations of Geopolitics

                          Yea, because Ukraine only have Patriots...sure..

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like