back to article UK govt wants standalone 5G by 2030 but won't shell out to help hit target

The UK government's updated telecoms strategy wants standalone 5G coverage for all populated areas by 2030, blue-sky funding for 6G research, grants for satellite connections in remote areas, and faster rollout of high-speed broadband. Announced by the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Government by press release

    13 years of world-beating success!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Government by press release

      Only 13? By my reckoning it's more like 30!

      1. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

        Re: Government by press release

        "Only 13? By my reckoning it's more like 30"

        Indeed, with each successive government being less adept than their predecessors.

        Blair's government by focus group and spin was at least artfully done, albeit a ludicrous way to govern (not a bad way to keep themselves in power, though).

        Cameron couldn't keep it up and May's grasp of the concept was virtually non-existent. The more recent batch of revolving door PMs and ministers (and their shadows) can't grasp the idea of keeping their feet out of their mouths, let alone creating a favourable impression.

  2. Binraider Silver badge

    The idea of a loss-leader is utterly lost on the incumbent government.

    Long term speculation to accumulate? No, forgotten.

    Dodgy contracts to print money for your mates while delivering nothing? We're on it!

    1. m4r35n357

      I agree 100%. However . . .

      The real problem is that the British public themselves disagree with the idea of a "loss leader". Current British culture is to buy everything at lowest cost, regardless of quality. That is why the Tories keep getting away with this. Remember, quality is just another word for inefficiency ;)

  3. 45RPM Silver badge

    My three point plan for the UK

    * Get the Tories out of power

    * Implement PR to encourage government by consensus rather than division (long term thinking)

    * Ban any media organisation which isn’t headquartered in the UK and run by a board and senior management at least 80% resident in the UK. Organisations like NewsCorp, Facebook etc would need to operate through a local subsidiary. Laws on accuracy to be strictly enforced.

    And by the standards of our current government I’ve been at least as effective as they have. All the population has to do is shut their eyes and believe that I’ve achieved these aims.

    Incidentally, these three point aims don’t cover essential work which we require of our government - rejoining the EU, restoration of the NHS, social programmes, poverty reduction, solving environmental issues etc. But they’d make it a hell of a lot easier to achieve these aims.

    In the first case, the conservatives (at least in their current iteration) won’t do anything that doesn’t make them personally richer.

    In the second case, these are long term problems to solve - and they can only be solved if the best minds work together, not in opposition to each other.

    And finally, it’ll be easier to do the right thing without FaceBook, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Telegraph, The Sun et al dripping lies and poison in the ears of the population.

    1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

      Would you ignore the referendum?

      -> rejoining the EU

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

        Don’t need to ignore the referendum. Just wait a few more years for the older generation to move on to the sunlit uplands in the sky then have another referendum.

        A referendum isn’t final, it’s just a snapshot in time. Times change.

        1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

          You have a pretty hideous approach to people. Your "solution" is wait until they die.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            Polls consistently put rejoin ahead so the referendum is already out of date. But what's your solution?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              They don't.

              1. 45RPM Silver badge

                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                “They don’t”

                Which is the brexity equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting lalalalala

                The Brexiter is so mind-bogglingly stupid that it thinks that if it just believes and shouts enough, the bad things won’t happen.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                  Well, they already thought that they could pick and choose whichever claims best suited their personal fantasy of what Brexit would be from countless contradictory (and usually false) claims spewed out by obvious charlatans.

                  Hence, "this wasn't the Brexit I voted for".

                  No, this wasn't the Brexit *you wanted to think* you were voting for. But it's very definitely what you actually voted for- for the UK to leave the EU despite having absolutely no agreement or plan on *anything* beyond that.

                  A pig in a poke- you bought it.

            2. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              So what?

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                No solution, then.

                Also, the war generation were pro-EU. What makes the post-war to 70s generations views on being part of the EU untouchable and set in stone for all time even when many aren't even around any more and the rest who are still working are changing their minds as they are finding out the hard way about what leaving the EU means?

                You couldn't even say that that these generations fought in the Second World War, that was something done by the pro-EU generation which came before them. All they had was a potent mix a) delusions of having had something to do with the Second World War, b) loss of empire, and c) a willingness to believe a press peddling utter nonsense.

                1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

                  Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                  We've heard all the arguments. It does seem there are a lot of antidemocratic people in the UK, who want to disregard a majority vote. You do not speak for everyone. The majority voted the way they did. Accept the result or admit that you do not like democracy.

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                    It’s not about ignoring a majority vote. FFS, its about respecting a majority vote and not denying the opportunity to vote indefinitely. So it’s a more democratic stance than yours.

                  2. ScottishYorkshireMan

                    Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                    If the UK had a democracy Scotland, Wales and NI would be independent.

                  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                    So you're going for Rees-Mogg's 50 year wait before judging the result, or perhaps longer?

                    The only thing is nobody said before this advisory referendum in 2016 that everyone would have to wait 50 years or anything like that before judging Brexit. These kinds of things were only said after the referendum by one minister. Is the entire country being forced to do something because of something said by one minister really democratic? I would disagree. Which is my right, as this is a democracy, isn't it?

            3. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              @Dan 55

              "Polls consistently put rejoin ahead so the referendum is already out of date. But what's your solution?"

              Such certainty put remain ahead in the referendum. Support for a referendum was so high during labours time that they even promised to offer one (and went back on their promise) as did Cameron and his case iron guarantee. There was no referendum for even joining the EU, the UK was just sold out.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Terminator

                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                There are a few errors in the statement you provided:

                1. "Such certainty put remain ahead in the referendum." - This sentence is incomplete and doesn't make sense on its own.

                2. "Support for a referendum was so high during labours time that they even promised to offer one (and went back on their promise) as did Cameron and his case iron guarantee." - While it's true that support for a referendum on EU membership was high during Labour's time in government, it's not accurate to say that they promised to offer one and then went back on their promise. In fact, the Labour Party was divided on the issue of EU membership and did not commit to a referendum in their 2015 election manifesto.

                3. "There was no referendum for even joining the EU, the UK was just sold out." - This is also not accurate. The UK did hold a referendum on whether to remain in the European Community (which later became the EU) in 1975, and the majority of voters chose to remain.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                  @AC

                  1. "This sentence is incomplete and doesn't make sense on its own."- It is complete as a response, that is why I quoted what I responded to. Remain was assumed to win the referendum due to the polls.

                  2. "it's not accurate to say that they promised to offer one and then went back on their promise"- An entire fact that Blair promised a referendum. Now you can say it was only the PM lying to the electorate but it is an entire fact that Blair said he would put it to the electorate.

                  3. "The UK did hold a referendum on whether to remain in the European Community (which later became the EU) in 1975, and the majority of voters chose to remain."- Aka I was 100% accurate that the 2016 referendum is the only referendum the UK has had on the EU. The EC being very different to the EU. The EU not existing in 1975.

          2. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            All those people voting down approve of people dying when it suits their political desires. How horrible.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              You, sitting at your keyboard, pretending you give a toss and exploiting the deaths of those people as little more as an excuse for the contrived outrage you're feigning in a clumsy attempt to manipulate and smear those who downvoted you above.

              How horrible.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              The death rate and reduction in Tory vote share are synonymous. The millennial generation are also the first generation in about a hundred years to NOT become more Tory as they get older.

              There are 5 years of kids that have entered the voting populace since the Brexit referendum. Have you considered their opinion too, or are you just going to tell them they don't get a say? You're so keen to say fuck off to us, so fuck off to you too.

              We are all very bored with your form of perpetual BS in politics.

              As a very well paid electrical engineer I should be the first person the Tories appeal to. And they are more abhorrent than ever, mostly because of the ERG's lies and incompetence.

              Considering the current state of the NHS is also at the hands of the Tories; one could say that the (former) voting populace got what they voted for.

              Plenty of living people have changed their mind on the Brexit outcome, particularly in light of the hard evidence that it was and still is a load of bollocks that cannot be defended as being good for the vast majority of citizens.

              If you want to ignore that, that's fine. The rest of us will vote with our feet at the next general election. We'd also rather be rid of FPTP to actually vote for what we want as opposed to voting for whoever can boot the Tories out. But one step at a time.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                Thought as much. You have no retort to the fact that the voting populace and opinion have changed much more quickly than your precious snapshot referendum result. Nor do you acknowledge the opinions of people that the people MOST affected by the result (by having to live with it for more years than you) did not get a say in the matter.

                That you would deny them a say, speaks volumes about where they will be casting their future votes.

                Keep on deluding yourself VoiceOfTruth.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

          > Times change.

          So do people. As they get older they tend to get more conservative (small C). Anti-EU feeling hasn't changed much in 20 years, and probably won't in the next 20. The current older generation will die, and their place and viewpoint will be taken by aging younger folk.

          1. ICL1900-G3

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            I'm 73. In '78, I lost a rather lovely girlfriend when I said I could only think of two reasons for voting Tory, because you're stupid or because you're nasty. I probably wouldn't say that now - but it remains largely what I think. Not all geriatrics are right wing!

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

          "Just wait a few more years for the older generation to move on to the sunlit uplands in the sky then have another referendum."

          While I agree with your general point that a referendum is a snapshot in time I do object to the casual ageism and, in particular, the idea that it was the "older generation" as some sort of homogenous group who voted leave. I'm one of that older generation and most certainly did not vote leave.

          I doubt very much that rejoining will be that feasible. I remember the long drawn-out process of negotiating membership in the first place and can't believe that, having left, it wouldn't be even more difficult the second time around nor that any deal which could be achieved would be as advantageous as what we had.

          It was unbelievably stupid to take a slim majority on an advisory referendum as being a fiat. And AFAIK all those who did so are younger than me.

          1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            -> I do object to the casual ageism

            Sort of the point I made. There is a huge amount of it about, as though "old people" do not matter and their views should not count. It really is a dreadful conceit when I hear and read very inexperienced and unworldly "young people" thinking they are so much more clever and knowledgeable than older people. Some of these young people are the sort who think not having the internet for a couple of hours is a big thing.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              The twats with their sanctimonious crap about ageism need to get real. It’s not about people dying for a political aim, it’s just life as it has always been. Nature. We are all going the same way.

              And it is well known that the leave vote was very weighted to the older generation. The ones that are not going to have to live long and with the consequences and felt economically insulated not having to worry about working. They actually didn’t give a shit about their own families or the wishes of the young - who are going to have to live with it. And if you ask for their reasoning, the best they can come up with is it was an emotional decision. Because anything else is admitting being a gullible mug. Their grandchildren say thanks for nothing.

              If you are old and did vote remain, great. You are a minority and this is not all about you. I did feel the young were more important in this decision because they are the ones who are going to have to live with it the longest. Personally I am not elderly but I am economically safe, I don’t really have to worry about the economy. But my kids do, my vote was for them and reflected their wishes.

              Surprised CodeJunky isn’t here having another conniption.

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              Why are you talking about "young people" and "old people" if the data proves the eldest are about as pro-EU as young people?

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              Fuck off.

              Complains about casual agism and then you do it yourself against a different age group.

          2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            I doubt very much that rejoining will be that feasible

            There will be very high prices to pay. Obviously it will mean dropping the pound: when I woke up on the morning of the referendum result the first thing I said was "well, that is the death of the pound then" as it was obvious that we would apply to rejoin within 20 years and that during that time one of the non-negotiable terms would certainly be switching to the Euro.

            Experience since then has shown that, in fact, we will be even more desperate. I did assume that Brexit would be made to work for a while, just at great financial cost. But in fact the impact has been much harder than even I, a remainer, predicted. As we can see from the number of people already admitting that they voted to leave but it was a disastrous mistake.

            So, what else is doomed when we are desperate to rejoin? I think, probably, Scotland. Not sure what else.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              The EU in it's present from will be dead and gone long before the UK would vote to rejoin. We can only hope it goes quietly, and not in another European war.

        4. katrinab Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

          Otherwise the 1975 referendum would have been considered the final say in the matter.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            That was about Common Market membership. Th EU is a very different animal.

            I'd have been happy to remain in the Common Market, but was very happy to leave the eu.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            @katrinab

            "Otherwise the 1975 referendum would have been considered the final say in the matter."

            Unfortunately some wish the referendum to join the common market to be the final say and we be trapped in whatever the political construct became in the EU. Thankfully after significant pressure from the electorate we were finally allowed the referendum promised since Blair.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              I would recommend Steve Analyst on Twitter whose timeline is full of newspaper scans and TV interviews with government figures who are on the record time and time again stating that the ECC/EC was a political project, and then people voted in favour of that in 1975.

              The "Common Market" was just one element of ECC/EC membership, not the be all and end all. It was just as much a political project as the EU is now.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                @Dan 55

                "and then people voted in favour of that in 1975."

                The EU did not exist in 1975

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                  EEC/EC/EU has always been a political project as well as an economic project. The cry of "we were tricked, it was only supposed to be a common market" is a false one, the UK joined knowing it was a political project.

                  All you're doing is complaining about the sign above the shop door, where you believe European Community was a perfectly acceptable name but European Union isn't.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                    @Dan 55

                    "EEC/EC/EU has always been a political project as well as an economic project."

                    Doesnt matter how many twists and turns you take the fact is solid. The EU did not exist then at all, we never had a referendum on our membership of the EU, not once not ever until the brexit referendum.

                    "All you're doing is complaining about the sign above the shop door, where you believe European Community was a perfectly acceptable name but European Union isn't."

                    This is a new claim. So are you claiming that the only thing that changed was the name? No massive transfer of sovereignty placing a whole new government on top of our own government? Which of course brings us back to the UK has only had 1 referendum ever on our membership of the EU and that resulted in brexit.

                    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                      Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                      The European Union name appeared around 1992 but only actually got a legal personality in 2009 so the kippers are wrong by two decades about the key date that the European Union actually meant something.

                      Which of course brings us back to the UK has only had 1 referendum ever on our membership of the EU and that resulted in brexit.

                      And of course the UK ended up doing the most wrong-headed version of Brexit which lead to the mess we see at customs controls today (no capacity to carry out proper checks and no legal recourse and everyone knows they can dump substandard stuff UK) and the scenes we see in Dover every time it's peak holiday season.

                      It also led to the UK's exit from Euratom, which is a separate legal entity from the EU. That was a stupid thing to do as well.

                      But anyway, the EEC -> EC -> EU is a progressive political project, it's even written in the first treaty in 1956 so nobody can say we weren't warned. Literally all international organisations founded after WW2 apart from the EEC had the UK taking the lead to found them, and as for the EEC some maintain its roots are based on the Entente Cordiale some 50 years earlier. And now suddenly all of this has become unacceptable for reasons which just don't stand up to scrutiny which are, summarising, name changes, wrong key dates, and a false narrative that the UK didn't know it was entering a political project.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                        @Dan 55

                        "The European Union name appeared around 1992 but only actually got a legal personality in 2009 so the kippers are wrong by two decades about the key date that the European Union actually meant something."

                        Eh? I am not sure I understand why you are responding because you seemed to take issue with the fact that the UK has had only one referendum on EU membership (the brexit referendum) as the EU did not exist when the UK had a referendum on the common market. You are now saying I am right.

                        "And of course the UK ended up doing the most wrong-headed version of Brexit which lead to the mess we see at customs controls today"

                        I dont disagree.

                        "It also led to the UK's exit from Euratom, which is a separate legal entity from the EU. That was a stupid thing to do as well."

                        I cant say I have an opinion on that to be honest.

                        "But anyway, the EEC -> EC -> EU is a progressive political project"

                        So an ever morphing entity going through serious changes which became something the UK electorate was not interested in being part of. And the UK electorate finally got a say over the matter. I dont see what the issue is here.

                        "And now suddenly all of this has become unacceptable for reasons which just don't stand up to scrutiny"

                        Eh what bull? Reading the tripe following this claim I have no idea what you are talking about. But of course back to the point, the UK had 1 referendum on its EU membership and voted brexit. That isnt opinion that is the fact. Opinions can be based on that fact for either side but the fact remains.

                        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                          Reading the tripe following this claim I have no idea what you are talking about.

                          No, I thought you wouldn't.

                          But of course back to the point, the UK had 1 referendum on its EU membership and voted brexit. That isnt opinion that is the fact. Opinions can be based on that fact for either side but the fact remains.

                          It got a say when the sign over the shop door said "EU", but it also got a say in 1975 when the sign said "EEC", and also parties made it an electoral issue before 1973, i.e. "vote for me to enter the EEC". The shop however was still selling the same thing all this time, it was a political and economic union, and the UK knew this before going in (refer to the previously mentioned link above, it's quite instructive).

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                            @Dan 55

                            "No, I thought you wouldn't."

                            Would you care to elaborate? None of it seemed to have anything to do with the fact you seemed to previously be trying to dispute (then agreed with) but none of it made much sense.

                            "It got a say when the sign over the shop door said "EU", but it also got a say in 1975 when the sign said "EEC","

                            So you are claiming it was just the name that changed? Are you lying or truly believe that? You think the trade bloc is the same as the political union? No real change from 1975 until the date you claim the EU became real in 2009?

      2. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

        52/48 is not sufficient mandate for cutting your own leg off. But okay, we can have another referendum if you like. Current polling shows 52% think we should have remained. 32% think we were right to leave (the rest don’t know).

        So would you ignore “the will of the people”?

        Since you don’t seem to have been able to work this out for yourself, let me spell it out for you. The UK is a tuppenny hapenny mess of a nation. The majority in Northern Ireland and Scotland would rather be in the EU (even at the time of the referendum). We have no clout in the world. The Special Relationship with America was predicated on our shared language, and the UKs influence in the EU - and is now transferring to Ireland. And those lovely trade agreements that we can have with the rest of the world have, so far, all been worse than what we had before we left. As for immigration - well that’s going up (except for for qualified immigrants from the EU, that’s down), and sovereignty apparently now means having to accept rules that other countries / blocs have made without having any say about them ourselves. Oh yes, and our economy is significantly underperforming not just that of our peers but, in terms of growth at least, most other economies in the world.

        1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

          -> 52/48 is not sufficient mandate for cutting your own leg off.

          Yes it is. It is called the majority. You would have chosen rule by the minority = undemocratic. What a surprise. Not.

          1. DaveLS

            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

            No, it isn't necessarily a majority. Correcting for turnout, the result was

            Leave: 37.5%

            Remain: 34.7%

            We cannot say very much about the views of the 28% that didn't vote, although, of those I know that didn't vote, most favoured remain but thought their vote wasn't needed because there would be a clear victory for remain. Others may have a different experience.

            All we can say is that the whole thing was ill-considered. Having a referendum on EU membership every year might arguably be more "democratic", but, even if the "majority" screamed to have their own way each time, the outcome wouldn't necessarily be good for many people.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

              @DaveLS

              "No, it isn't necessarily a majority. Correcting for turnout, the result was

              Leave: 37.5%

              Remain: 34.7%"

              37.5 > 34.7 = majority.

              "We cannot say very much about the views of the 28% that didn't vote"

              Yes we can. We can say they didnt vote, so expressed no opinion when they had the chance to have their opinion considered.

              "All we can say is that the whole thing was ill-considered. Having a referendum on EU membership every year might arguably be more "democratic", but, even if the "majority" screamed to have their own way each time, the outcome wouldn't necessarily be good for many people."

              Having a referendum every year would forget that membership is of the UK and the EU meaning the EU may not take nicely to such swinging changes of 'status'. But this is the first referendum we ever had on our membership after years of promises since Blair on a referendum over the EU.

              1. DaveLS

                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                "37.5 > 34.7 = majority."

                Funnily enough, you appear to be at odds with Nigel Farage; he didn't seem to be willing to accept a narrow remain majority, saying: "In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way." (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nigel-farage-wants-second-referendum-7985017)

                And while we can say "37.5 > 34.7 = true", inferring something like a "majority" from that is ill considered (and probably ill conditioned), which is why a referendum —or at least one held in such a casual manner— on something as major as continued membership of the EU, was a completely daft idea.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                  @DaveLS

                  "Funnily enough, you appear to be at odds with Nigel Farage; he didn't seem to be willing to accept a narrow remain majority"

                  What has this got to do with your post or my response. I dont disagree but you seem to have run away from the fact I corrected you with where the bigger number is the majority. It is a simple fact with no grey area as you tried to imply.

                  "inferring something like a "majority" from that is ill considered"

                  Inferring majority from mathematical factual majority is ill considered? Is this where feelings are more important than the facts? Reality doesnt matter? Sorry I disagree, the fact is the majority voted brexit.

                  "which is why a referendum —or at least one held in such a casual manner— on something as major as continued membership of the EU, was a completely daft idea."

                  Sure. So we shouldnt have joined without some sort of serious referendum. That way we wouldnt have had a casual one because the population was seriously voting for brexit parties. And maybe the politicians since Blair shouldnt have kept promising one because they knew what people wanted.

                  1. DaveLS

                    Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                    Farage's position as stated before the referendum appears to be more reasonable than yours; he seemed to recognise that a narrow majority would leave a margin of uncertainty —although after the event he seems happy to regard the result as closed for eternity.

                    You say: "Inferring majority from mathematical factual majority is ill considered? Is this where feelings are more important than the facts? Reality doesnt matter? Sorry I disagree, the fact is the majority voted brexit."

                    It's nothing to do with feelings vs facts and it IS about reality. Let me remind you of what I said: "And while we can say "37.5 > 34.7 = true", inferring something like a "majority" from that is ill considered (and probably ill conditioned),"

                    We don't usually use a single raw measurement datum to infer anything important or consequential, unless we have a high and reasonable degree of confidence in all the random and systematic errors that might come into play. So it's fine to say "I can't afford that £2 cup of coffee because I only have £1 in my pocket" (although, even then, I've later found that I actually had another few quid and kicked myself). But in any field of engineering or science we routinely collect a large plurality of measurements and then go through a process of inference that involves a very great deal more than elementary mathematical inequality. That's true even for something like a simple length, height or distance, when it matters.

                    Tens of millions of samples might be enough to beat down the random factors to a level of better than ~0.05%, but the systematics sometimes get you long before that, and in something like a political referendum they're utterly outrageous —and that's before we consider anything criminal (allegedly).

                    So please forgive me if I don't appear to share your binary confidence in a crude mathematical inequality —at one moment— as the basis for a major policy like continued membership of the EU.

                    The path (AND THE MATH) from measurement to insight, understanding and decision is a great deal more complicated and hazardous than you seem to appreciate. That's why I think a referendum is a very bad idea —for leaving or joining.

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                      @DaveLS

                      "Farage's position as stated before the referendum appears to be more reasonable than yours"

                      We aint discussing an opinion we are discussing a fact. The bigger number is the majority. That is not for dispute. All I did was state a simple fact and you keep replying as though this isnt some mathematical fact. Bigger number = majority. Period. Now you may wish to discuss your opinions based on that fact but you are not disproving the fact. So majority voted brexit.

                      "he seemed to recognise that a narrow majority would leave a margin of uncertainty —although after the event he seems happy to regard the result as closed for eternity."

                      The complaint of narrow majority was due to the severe abuse by government to literally threaten the UK electorate against voting the wrong way. And it was absolutely shameless abuse of government power.

                      "It's nothing to do with feelings vs facts and it IS about reality"

                      Ok so end of discussion. The absolute fact is the larger number is the majority.

                      "We don't usually use a single raw measurement datum to infer anything important or consequential"

                      Elections.

                      "So please forgive me if I don't appear to share your binary confidence in a crude mathematical inequality —at one moment— as the basis for a major policy like continued membership of the EU."

                      Sounds like you would prefer to keep voting until you got the result you wanted then we would magically stop voting. Are you a Scot Nat by any chance?

                      1. DaveLS

                        Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                        @codejunky

                        Loosely speaking, it is a fact that nA>nB=true for all nA>nB; you should be careful about drawing any conclusions beyond that — or anything else for that matter. For example:

                        I am not a "Scot Nat" (or a Scot), although —while I think the UK is better-off as a union— I understand some Scots' lack of enthusiasm for the union, especially given that in their independence referendum, continued membership of the EU for Scotland was paraded by the No campaign as an obstacle to Scottish independence.

                        I don't want another referendum on EU membership. After more than forty years of almost constant renegotiation, I think we had a pretty good deal as a member, but that's broken irreparably now. I don't see us rejoining in my lifetime and I suspect the terms imposed —particularly adoption of the Euro— might be worse than trying to make a better job of the situation we're in now.

                        I opposed UK membership of the EEC/EU for decades before I'd ever heard of Farage and co. I gave careful consideration to voting leave in 2016, but the existence of people like Farage, Rees-Mogg and many others backing them helped me to decide to vote remain. While I consider that the EU is highly flawed, it has acted increasingly as a counterweight to the more problematic political environment that has developed in the UK over the last forty years or so. Unfortunately this hasn't been enough to arrest the UK's descent into an age of unreason.

                        I'll give you one thing: I agree that Cameron's government should not have taken a position but instead should have remained neutral, as the Wilson government did for the referendum in 1975, leaving individuals to campaign in their own way. I think Cameron's support for remain was a systematic factor that contributed to the leave vote. For many people it simply became a referendum on Cameron's austerity government, and they didn't care that some jobs or infrastructure in their neighbourhood were only there because of EU funding.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                          @DaveLS

                          "Loosely speaking, it is a fact that nA>nB=true for all nA>nB;"

                          That alone is enough of a response to accept that the referendum had a majority. My original reply to you was to just make clear this fact as your comment seemed to say it was ambiguous.

                          "continued membership of the EU for Scotland was paraded by the No campaign as an obstacle to Scottish independence."

                          And that is correct. If Scotland left the UK they wouldnt be eligible to join the EU. But the UK isnt to be held hostage by Scotland.

                          "I gave careful consideration to voting leave in 2016, but the existence of people like Farage, Rees-Mogg and many others backing them helped me to decide to vote remain"

                          Xfactor voting is not a good way of doing it. There were distasteful people on both sides which is why the vote for the future of the country should be based on that.

                          1. DaveLS

                            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                            @codejunky

                            Your response illustrates my point: you argue that a single numerical inequality provides some kind of absolute truth as a basis for a major long-term policy — but without any understanding of the relationship between a single raw measurement and the question at issue. In any field of measurement we frequently find different numerical values for different measurements of the same thing, due to random and systematic factors. If we’re comparing two things, this can lead us, for a trivial example, to believe that one distance is greater than another when in fact the opposite is true. This is really very basic measurement theory of the kind that I encountered in school science classes over half a century ago.

                            The 2016 referendum was advertised as a non-binding referendum on whether the UK should remain a member state of the EU, or leave. That might sound simple enough, but —as amply demonstrated over the last seven years— there is considerable disagreement over the meaning of the question and the consequences of the answer, particularly for leaving. Prominent leave campaigners argued that we would remain part of the single market; there were repeated claims that we would have most or all of the benefits of membership at a greatly reduced cost and with the benefit of some poorly-defined “freedoms”.

                            These amount to systematic factors influencing the response to the question. As if this isn’t enough, I’ve already pointed-out that some people probably answered a different question about whether they supported David Cameron’s austerity government. And I’m not even considering the possibility of a campaign of external influence via social media. Arguably there were systematic factors in the other direction, but from a poorly-articulated remain campaign I recall little more than shroud waving. We cannot assume that these balance each other in any way; instead, they merely render any belief in the result to be risible. And that would apply if it was 52-48 in favour of remain.

                            You can argue that this is the same as any election (and those are bad enough), but this was not just any election: it is a long term change in our relationship with our nearest neighbours and most significant suppliers and trading partners that has consequences for generations.

                            Given that we had a referendum, I made my decision not, as you suggest, “Xfactor”-style, but on listening to the arguments and examining the motives, including trying to determine who stood to gain from an apparently miraculous opportunity that few of its supporters understood —particularly the ones least likely to benefit. Every encounter I've had with a leave supporter since then has only reinforced my view that only a very vocal few of them stood to gain, while the rest merely believed them.

                            1. codejunky Silver badge

                              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                              @DaveLS

                              "Your response illustrates my point: you argue that a single numerical inequality provides some kind of absolute truth as a basis for a major long-term policy"

                              Not at all. I just made the point that you were absolutely wrong by the absolute standard that maths does not care about your opinion. You claimed "No, it isn't necessarily a majority." which is factually incorrect and you just admitted you were factually incorrect as there was a larger number which was the majority. Thats the end of the factual discussion regardless of your opinions. You keep then moving the goal posts complaining about policy based on that one vote but that is a different discussion. Your incorrect statement was incorrect factually. No matter how you wish otherwise.

                              Now for the sting- we didnt leave based on 1 referendum. We also subsequently had general elections and an MEP election where leave won consistently. Even against parties offering to abandon the referendum result completely and instantly the electorate supported leave.

                              "In any field of measurement we frequently find different numerical values for different measurements of the same thing, due to random and systematic factors."

                              Aka something other than the blatant and factually mistaken comment you made that I responded to. Thats all it was that spurred this entire conversation. And I am willing to discuss this too if you like. If we should have multiple measurements for such a major policy decision such as our membership of a foreign project then leaving corrects for that lack of measuring from the common market referendum (not even a choice concerning our EU membership). While leave took a number of votes due to anti-democratic groups trying to subvert brexit. So we meet your measurement criteria?

                              "there is considerable disagreement over the meaning of the question and the consequences of the answer, particularly for leaving"

                              Or even remain. And the lack of apocalypse after the FUD about brexit and immediate benefit (such as vaccine supply) is important to consider.

                              "Prominent leave campaigners argued that we would remain part of the single market; there were repeated claims that we would have most or all of the benefits of membership at a greatly reduced cost and with the benefit of some poorly-defined “freedoms”."

                              Vs the end of western civilisation if we vote leave? Etc.

                              "As if this isn’t enough, I’ve already pointed-out that some people probably answered a different question about whether they supported David Cameron’s austerity government"

                              So you say idiots answered a different question than the one posed? Unfortunately not much we can do about that when asking opinions.

                              "but from a poorly-articulated remain campaign I recall little more than shroud waving"

                              Funny you say that. I assumed the official leave campaign was chosen by the remain government as a trojan horse, until I saw the quality of the remain campaign and both were embarrassing.

                              "You can argue that this is the same as any election (and those are bad enough), but this was not just any election: it is a long term change in our relationship with our nearest neighbours and most significant suppliers and trading partners that has consequences for generations."

                              And yet how was joining the EU considered? Without the population and without a choice. Good job we had a referendum and subsequent elections focussing on this issue so people could be sure? And every time remainers demanded the electorate be asked again or flat out ignored!

                              "Given that we had a referendum, I made my decision not, as you suggest, “Xfactor”-style, but on listening to the arguments and examining the motives"

                              Sorry its just you explicitly stated in your comment- "I gave careful consideration to voting leave in 2016, but the existence of people like Farage, Rees-Mogg and many others backing them helped me to decide to vote remain". You explicitly stated that the personalities supporting a view helped sway your vote, which sounds XFactor style over substance decision making. Sorry if I misunderstood you but it sounded clear.

                              "Every encounter I've had with a leave supporter since then has only reinforced my view that only a very vocal few of them stood to gain, while the rest merely believed them."

                              Good for you in your small circle. I thought we were talking about an issue affecting the UK.

                              1. DaveLS

                                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                @codejunky

                                "I just made the point that you were absolutely wrong...factually incorrect and you just admitted you were factually incorrect as there was a larger number which was the majority. Thats the end of the factual discussion regardless of your opinions"

                                I merely referred to a mathematical inequality in the set of Natural numbers whereas you are talking about a belief based on that inequality.

                                “Now for the sting- we didnt leave based on 1 referendum...So we meet your measurement criteria?”

                                No. You can beat down random errors with more measurements, but the systematics remain. Furthermore, the additional ballots that you talk about weren't confined exclusively to the narrow question of EU membership, and so other confounding effects (such as Corbyn's leadership to name but one) were added.

                                “immediate benefit (such as vaccine supply) is important to consider.”

                                The claim about Covid vaccines —that they were available more quickly in the UK because it was no longer an EU member state— was debunked long ago. The UK’s action on vaccines in 2020 would have been permissible if it had still been an EU member state; the UK placed orders early —as it would have been entitled to do within the EU— and the right of approval for use in a public health emergency was granted under regulation 174 of the Human Medicines Regulations of 2012. The UK was still an EU member in 2012. The vaccine claim was simply a piece of propaganda thrown to gullible leave supporters for them to lap-up and disseminate; clearly, that has worked.

                                “So you say idiots answered a different question than the one posed? Unfortunately not much we can do about that when asking opinions.”

                                This is one of those systematic factors I’ve been talking about; you admit it’s there and neither of us can quantify its effect on the outcome. This illustrates why a narrow numerical inequality cannot be relied upon to infer what a majority of people actually wanted in respect of EU membership. You seem to have arrived at an understanding of one of the fundamental flaws in the referendum.

                                “You explicitly stated that the personalities supporting a view helped sway your vote, which sounds XFactor style over substance decision making. Sorry if I misunderstood you but it sounded clear.”

                                I made no such explicit statement about “personalities”; I referred to persons not personalities. I considered only their attributes that were pertinent to a decision about EU membership, not the "style" of those persons — whatever you mean by that.

                                1. codejunky Silver badge

                                  Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                  @DaveLS

                                  "I merely referred to a mathematical inequality in the set of Natural numbers whereas you are talking about a belief based on that inequality."

                                  Justify how you wish the comments are there to be read.

                                  "You can beat down random errors with more measurements, but the systematics remain"

                                  So how would we meet your criteria of asking if people wanted to be in or out of the EU? The system we used in a democracy is asking the electorate.

                                  "Furthermore, the additional ballots that you talk about weren't confined exclusively to the narrow question of EU membership, and so other confounding effects (such as Corbyn's leadership to name but one) were added."

                                  So our membership of the EU wasnt so important on peoples minds? Not only did people willingly vote a majority to leave in a directly asked referendum, but then we has the MEP elections of participation in the EU system where people overwhelmingly supported leave while rejecting the directly opposing remain party. Then in the General Elections the parties (not just the Corbyn repulsion effect) offering remain were rejected and the party offering brexit supported strongly.

                                  "The claim about Covid vaccines —that they were available more quickly in the UK because it was no longer an EU member state— was debunked long ago."

                                  Erm, no it hasnt. In fact even the priests of the EU publicly stated the shame that brexit britain was better organised than the EU. The only ones who believe it debunked are delusional fools who have never managed to explain how.

                                  "This is one of those systematic factors I’ve been talking about; you admit it’s there and neither of us can quantify its effect on the outcome. This illustrates why a narrow numerical inequality cannot be relied upon to infer what a majority of people actually wanted in respect of EU membership. You seem to have arrived at an understanding of one of the fundamental flaws in the referendum."

                                  The referendum, General elections and MEP elections. Aka if we should ignore the people then we should just brexit or we listen to the people and we brexit. The flaw of not letting the people a choice was to cause great support for a referendum and back the governments into a corner.

                                  "I made no such explicit statement about “personalities”; I referred to persons not personalities. I considered only their attributes that were pertinent to a decision about EU membership, not the "style" of those persons — whatever you mean by that."

                                  I am not sure why the persons would matter if not for their personalities in public, what attributes do you mean? I am sure you dont mean height, age, etc? Maybe their views and methods? Aka personality?

                                  And again if its the person not the argument that pushes you over then you are basing it on image instead of the substance of the argument, and you ignored the distasteful people supporting remain. As I said there are people on both sides we can dislike, that is why its the policy action that matters and that is all I based my views on, not the people.

                                  1. DaveLS

                                    Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                    @codejunky

                                    I said "The claim about Covid vaccines ... was debunked long ago." You said:

                                    "Erm, no it hasnt. In fact even the priests of the EU publicly stated the shame that brexit britain was better organised than the EU. The only ones who believe it debunked are delusional fools who have never managed to explain how."

                                    Perhaps you'd care to explain: what was it about membership of the EU that would have prevented the UK from doing what it did in 2020? But my point still stands: the claim was debunked; nothing was done by the UK that could not have been done while the UK was an EU member state.

                                    "And again if its the person not the argument that pushes you over then you are basing it on image instead of the substance of the argument, and you ignored the distasteful people supporting remain. As I said there are people on both sides we can dislike, that is why it's the policy action that matters and that is all I based my views on, not the people."

                                    I consider the professional lives (outside of politics but undoubtedly entangled) of the persons I mentioned to be substantial and pertinent. I considered that there was a common thread that motivated them to oppose the regulatory regime of the EU in relation to taxation and other financial matters. Arguably, their pecuniary interests in leaving the EU were not beneficial to the rest of the country. That's not an "Xfactor" style consideration. You can put your Aunt Sally back in the cupboard.

                                    Returning to that all-important subject of votes and majorities, you said:

                                    "The system we used in a democracy is asking the electorate."

                                    And on the subject of the 2019 General Election:

                                    "Then in the General Elections the parties (not just the Corbyn repulsion effect) offering remain were rejected and the party offering brexit supported strongly."

                                    OK, perhaps you'd like to consider what you said more carefully about that most recent ballot in 2019 —one that you appear to value greatly to backup the 2016 referendum. Go away and add-up the votes for the parties that committed to leave versus those that committed to remain and/or offer a second referendum. You might be unpleasantly surprised.

                                    Spoiler alert: In the 2019 General election the vote split was about 48% for leave versus 52% for remain/2nd-referendum.

                                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                                      Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                      @DaveLS

                                      "Perhaps you'd care to explain: what was it about membership of the EU that would have prevented the UK from doing what it did in 2020? But my point still stands: the claim was debunked; nothing was done by the UK that could not have been done while the UK was an EU member state."

                                      This is a discussion I have had many times. Feel free to go through my post history if you wish but at no point has it ever been debunked. Unless you believe the UK is better run that every member of the EU and the EU gov then there is no conceivable belief that the UK would do the absolute opposite of every member. Even Germany abandoned their ready made plan to show solidarity. Then assuming you are right that the UK is better run the EU and all its members, with how the EU acted in panic and desperation raiding manufacturing plants, stealing vaccine and trying to make a hard border in Ireland to stop the UK getting its contracted orders why do you think the EU would behave any better if we were a member?

                                      "I consider the professional lives (outside of politics but undoubtedly entangled) of the persons I mentioned to be substantial and pertinent."

                                      But not those of the remain side? You cannot complain about the persons on one side without considering those on the other side. So XFactor voting on the people isnt a good way for policy decisions.

                                      "OK, perhaps you'd like to consider what you said more carefully about that most recent ballot in 2019 —one that you appear to value greatly to backup the 2016 referendum"

                                      Why do you say I value greatly? I point out that leave has won the referendum, GE's and MEP election. Its you who still wont accept reality.

                                      "Go away and add-up the votes for the parties that committed to leave versus those that committed to remain and/or offer a second referendum. You might be unpleasantly surprised."

                                      Erm, so you need to add together parties committed to remain AND those who wanted a second referendum? Why not just say you compare leave vs 'everyone else'? And yet the leave party had the majority and made the government.

                                      1. DaveLS

                                        Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                        @codejunky

                                        "This is a discussion I have had many times..."

                                        You can discuss all you like, but my point still stands: there was nothing about the UK's EU membership that prevented it doing what it did with vaccines in 2020. You are unable to cite anything about EU law or regulation from which the UK was "freed". On the matter of fast access to vaccines, the UK —or rather the UK Vaccine Taskforce led by Kate Bingham— played a blinder. On other related issues —like access to PPE— the UK did much worse.

                                        "there is no conceivable belief that the UK would do the absolute opposite of every member"

                                        So now you have a feeling that, as a member, the UK would simply go along with the rest. You refuse to consider the possibility that Britain, as an EU member, might have brought the others on side with the UK plan. This possibility was a reality in the past and Britain was valued across the EU because of its sometimes apparently contrary views.

                                        "But not those of the remain side? You cannot complain about the persons on one side without considering those on the other side. So XFactor voting on the people isnt a good way for policy decisions."

                                        Who said I didn't consider the motives and potential pecuniary benefits for anyone on the remain side? You really are desperate to use this "XFactor" straw man thing; perhaps you gain comfort from thinking that your views are based on "substance" and "absolute fact", while those of others who differ can be dismissed because they are merely based on "style", "feelings" or some other wooly-minded air-headedness.

                                        "Why do you say I value greatly?"

                                        Because you said:

                                        "Now for the sting- we didnt leave based on 1 referendum. We also subsequently had general elections and an MEP election where leave won consistently. Even against parties offering to abandon the referendum result completely and instantly the electorate supported leave."

                                        and:

                                        "Not only did people willingly vote a majority to leave in a directly asked referendum, but then we has the MEP elections of participation in the EU system where people overwhelmingly supported leave while rejecting the directly opposing remain party. Then in the General Elections the parties (not just the Corbyn repulsion effect) offering remain were rejected and the party offering brexit supported strongly."

                                        You tried to used these additional votes to demonstrate that I'm wrong. I've merely done due diligence and checked the numbers. On the basis of those numbers and your own criterion of simple numerical majority, you are wrong. You might also like to know that the result for the 2019 EU parliamentary election (the one you call the "MEP election") was similar, with a small majority of the vote for remain/2nd-referendum parties.

                                        But remember, I'm here because I don't believe we can infer that small numerical majorities necessarily tell us very much about the wishes of the electorate in respect of EU membership, whereas you seem to cling to them with the zealous belief that they represent "absolute fact" for deciding on EU membership.

                                        "I point out that leave has won the referendum, GE's and MEP election. It's you who still wont accept reality."

                                        So here you've backed away from "majority" and used "won". We all know that leave "won" —and I've certainly never denied it— but this thread of discussion started because I effectively questioned whether a majority of the UK electorate in 2016 really wanted to leave the EU. You responded with the assertion that the numerical majority (ignoring the 28% that didn't vote) was enough to close the matter.

                                        "Erm, so you need to add together parties committed to remain AND those who wanted a second referendum?

                                        What's wrong with that? Some remainers were happy to simply ignore the referendum —after all, it was advertised as non-binding— while others thought that the only way to stop Brexit was to hold another referendum, and both were vehemently opposed by the leavers.

                                        Why not just say you compare leave vs 'everyone else'?

                                        That's effectively what I did, and the numbers add up to 48% for the leave parties, 52% for the rest.

                                        "And yet the leave party had the majority and made the government."

                                        Now you've switched back to "majority", but that's in parliamentary seats. The Conservatives took about 43.6% of the vote in 2019; adding the votes for Brexit/UKIP plus various Ulster Unionists takes the total to about 48%. The leave parties took a minority of the votes but won a majority of parliamentary seats —and, with that, the power to govern. Including their "oven-ready" Brexit deal.

                                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                                          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                          @DaveLS

                                          "You can discuss all you like, but my point still stands"

                                          Then takes a step, then falls over. Your theoretical dream which ignores the entirety of reality and what publicly happened puts your point on its ass.

                                          "So now you have a feeling that, as a member, the UK would simply go along with the rest."

                                          So you are a UK supremacist? The UK is better run than the EU and EU members and so wouldnt show solidarity with the EU? Even after pressure is applied? I notice you missed out the whole of reality that if the UK is better run that the EU's actions show it would have stolen vaccines from us if we were a member under the supreme rule of the EU.

                                          "Who said I didn't consider the motives and potential pecuniary benefits for anyone on the remain side?"

                                          You only mentioned a couple of leave politicians as though they were so bad that it would sway your opinion. If you were so balanced over motives you would also be repulsed by remainer politicians.

                                          "You tried to used these additional votes to demonstrate that I'm wrong"

                                          So you took my comment about all the various votes which confirm the support for brexit, pick one you think you can refute, claim I place a great importance on it and then subsequently demonstrate you were wrong.

                                          "On the basis of those numbers and your own criterion of simple numerical majority, you are wrong"

                                          Nope. As my response made clear, you just proved I was right again.

                                          "but this thread of discussion started because I effectively questioned whether a majority of the UK electorate in 2016 really wanted to leave the EU."

                                          It started because you said the greater number is not necessarily the majority (a>b= a is the majority) and tried and failed to abuse the non-voters as if they had voiced their opinion in the vote. Your actual factual mathematical error being this-

                                          No, it isn't necessarily a majority. Correcting for turnout, the result was

                                          Leave: 37.5%

                                          Remain: 34.7%

                                          The majority is there in your figures. The rest of this discussion is you trying to use mental gymnastics to support your error and move goalposts.

                                          "That's effectively what I did, and the numbers add up to 48% for the leave parties, 52% for the rest."

                                          Yes. So 52% which is split over the rest of varying options but not a majority.

                                          "Now you've switched back to "majority", but that's in parliamentary seats."

                                          You do understand that how the UK works? You seem confused.

                                          "The Conservatives took about 43.6% of the vote in 2019; adding the votes for Brexit/UKIP plus various Ulster Unionists takes the total to about 48%"

                                          Again you dislike the result so wish to mental gymnastics to a new result. You want to tell me that black is white because with enough changes you can make black into white. Just because you can perform all kinds of changes to the result to get a completely different result does not change that black is black not white.

                                          1. DaveLS

                                            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                            @codejunky

                                            Congratulations! You had me convinced all the way along until that last response —and even then I thought, for a few moments, that I was conversing with a bona fide swivel-eyed loon! I think the constant proof-by-assertion was starting to wear thin, and finally the accusations of "mental gymnastics" and "UK supremacist" broke the spell. But you have the chippy neoracist persona off to a tee! You should think about a stage show.

                                            1. codejunky Silver badge

                                              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                              @DaveLS

                                              "Congratulations! You had me convinced all the way along until that last response"

                                              I am not trying to convince you. You seem pretty well set in your beliefs and dislike that I pointed out factual errors in your posts. But if someone read your post and mistakenly thought it was correct then we end up with people parroting the same mistake.

                                              1. Casca Bronze badge

                                                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                                Same as you...

                                            2. Anonymous Coward
                                              Anonymous Coward

                                              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                              "UK supremacist"

                                              A term used by right-wingers to try and deflect from the fact they are spouting racist/nationalist dog whistles and actual white-supremacist talking points.

                          2. DaveLS

                            Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                            @codejunky

                            "If Scotland left the UK they wouldnt be eligible to join the EU. But the UK isnt to be held hostage by Scotland."

                            Your first sentence is a moot point. But you don't want to let them have another independence referendum; even given that the circumstances have changed —somewhat drastically— and they clearly want to be part of the EU.

                            Now I think I understand you.

                            1. codejunky Silver badge

                              Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                              @DaveLS

                              "But you don't want to let them have another independence referendum; even given that the circumstances have changed —somewhat drastically— and they clearly want to be part of the EU."

                              I dont? Thanks for claiming bull but I can speak for myself thanks. The scot indi referendum was garbage and I disagreed with it. Because it wasnt independence they wanted but for the UK to be on the hook for them to go screw around but demand all the benefits of the UK. As I point out that if they really want to leave they should also give the UK a vote as the whining nationalists would be sent packing with their portion of the debt and none of the benefits of the UK. But the scot indi referendum was all about leaving but with all the benefits of remain (sound familiar?) and on the amusing lie that they could remain in the EU.

                              I dont think they should be having a neverendum just as I dont want that for brexit.

                              1. DaveLS

                                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                I suspect that many of the "whining nationalists" (as you call them) would be happy to pay their share of the national debt while leaving — so long as they get their share of past oil revenues. That may also be true for other neglected regions of the UK whose natural resources have been exploited for the wider good. But I think we agree that it's possible for the regions of the UK to do better as part of a bigger union.

                                1. codejunky Silver badge

                                  Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                  @DaveLS

                                  "I suspect that many of the "whining nationalists" (as you call them) would be happy to pay their share of the national debt while leaving — so long as they get their share of past oil revenues."

                                  Ahh, so they would want to be bribed off with past revenue but have been running a deficit pretty much their existence. Didnt Scotland join England when it racked up huge debts England paid for? I expect the rosy picture of the UK owing Scotland is on shaky ground.

                                  "But I think we agree that it's possible for the regions of the UK to do better as part of a bigger union."

                                  Scotland being better off as part of the UK yes. This is one of the amusing delusions of Scotland joining the EU, the EU would be taking on another liability with the only benefit being to irritate the UK yet cause political problems internally. And considering the Scots like to complain so much about being run from a distant government they are over represented in they would probably cry quickly about the EU.

                              2. Casca Bronze badge

                                Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

                                I dont think they should be having a neverendum just as I dont want that for brexit.

                                Good that you dont decide then...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

          For those lucky countries that got a referendum on creating the EU the margin was even closer in some cases (50.6% yes in France, for example). If we'd had a 2/3 majority requirement for creating the EU in the first place it would never have happened and Brexit would never have been even a question.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Would you ignore the referendum?

        After all, it's working out so well: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-65240749 (What do we have that the rest don't?

    2. Catkin

      Re:Ban any media organisation which isn’t headquartered in the UK

      Do we achieve this with our own Great Firewall and do we make VPNs illegal or just drop the social credit score of anyone reading foreign media?

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Re:Ban any media organisation which isn’t headquartered in the UK

        An excellent question. But by the standards of this government I don’t need to implement or make things better, all I need to do is put out a press release.

        Practically speaking though, yes. It might be necessary to have a ‘great firewall’.

        1. Catkin

          Re: Re:Ban any media organisation which isn’t headquartered in the UK

          That's a shame. I have a simple criteria for censors: anyone who thinks they're capable of doing the job and/or is willing to do it is ineligible because they lack sufficient self awareness.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @45PRM

      Wow, a socialist utopia along the lines of Valenzuela then?

      But is that with or without the compulsory rationing of toilet paper?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @45PRM

        Venezuela? Sounded more like China or Iran to me.

    4. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

      "And finally, it’ll be easier to do the right thing without FaceBook, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Telegraph, The Sun et al dripping lies and poison in the ears of the population."

      Right is, of course, subjective.

      I love the express! It's soo funny - like alternative reality fiction. The comments section is amusing, too, though the commentards themselves take it very seriously.

  4. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

    Sounds like marketing speak, I wondered why...

    -> Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology

    Could they find a scientist or engineer for this role? Let's see...

    According to Wikipedia she worked in marketing "on Marie Claire magazine and for World Wrestling Entertainment". Donelan doesn't know 5G from LG. But I guess marketing is about presentation rather than knowledge. Of course, the UK is hampered in its 5G roll out by blocking one of the leaders, if not the leader, in the technology to appease its American bosses.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Could they find a scientist or engineer for this role?

      The short answer in no, but at least they have a system to limit the damage. There are about a hundred of those job titles, all overlapping so that no-one can do anything with the cooperation of at least three others. As more than three people cannot agree on anything of importance nothing gets done. That is a big improvement on anything our politicians want to do.

      I see "we want but we won't pay" as a big step forward. In the past the government would provide tax payer's money to telcos to build infrastructure. The telcos would say thank you then do nothing so that there would still be a reason for another hand out a few years later.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like marketing speak, I wondered why...

      "Could they find a scientist or engineer for this role?"

      Or just someone who's even heard of the Iron Triangle?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like marketing speak, I wondered why...

        She might have heard of the Conjoined Triangles of Success.

        1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

          Re: Sounds like marketing speak, I wondered why...

          Good reference. It's about right.

    3. ScottishYorkshireMan

      Re: Sounds like marketing speak, I wondered why...

      Think yourselves lucky, it could have been Dorries. Remember Dorries and her 'algorithms'?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like marketing speak, I wondered why...

        Before the reshuffle it was Dorries.

  5. Michael Strorm Silver badge

    I bet they "want" a pony too

    > UK govt wants standalone 5G by 2030 but won't shell out to help hit target

    And by "wants" they mean "wants the public to think they care about it, while not being willing to spend any money on it".

    Along with flogging off any public investment that manages to escape cancellation or starvation of funding long enough to look like it might actually be delivering results, typically to some foreign interest.

    The Thatcherite/post-Thatcherite policies of the Tory-dominated UK of the past forty years in a nutshell.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I bet they "want" a pony too

      Let's just remember that without the privatisation of BT we'd probably still be talking about the waiting list for black telephones.

  6. SundogUK Silver badge

    It is not governments role to fund any of this. If there is demand and it is profitable, it will get built. If not, why should we waste our tax money on it?

    1. ScottishYorkshireMan

      Seems we wasted a shed load of tax money on PPE and still are doing. Government had no problem funding that pish.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        We shouldn't have done that either.

        Maybe we should have a long, hard look at what we are spending our money on? I'm guessing the socialists among us won't be too happy about that.

  7. Roj Blake Silver badge

    The Government Wants standalone 5G Coverage for all Populated Areas by 2030?

    And I want a date with Margot Robbie.

    Neither of these things is likely to happen, though.

  8. John Sager

    A few more 4G fill-ins would be more useful

    I would even be happy to have a useful 3G signal where I live - Oh, I did have until Voda canned their Sure Signal service. No chance of a 4G equivalent either.

  9. Roland6 Silver badge

    The US government is investing $9 billion to deliver and improve 5G-based connectivity...

    Well working simply on land area

    The US is 3.797 million sq miles and the UK is 93,630 sq miles giving a factor of 0.0.246.

    So it would seem to broadly equal the US investment the UK government merely needs to invest 216M USD/173M GBP...

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The issue is there are no killer apps / reasons why people feel they need 5G right now, especially if its going to cost them more on their bills.

    Even the ad from EE which show setting up a air traffic control centre in someones house to land a plane, means no one has any good real world applications that they can show to end users as a compelling reason to get 5G.

    Even the claims of downing a 4K movie in under 3 mins are not real world usages, as most people stream content rather than download these days, and 4G is usually adequate for that.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Maybe with a less than perfect signal, which is what most people get, you will still actually be able to stream at 1080p?

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      That’s because 5G benefits are for the network operator.

    3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      SA 5G > LTE > NSA 5G

      Non-Stand-Alone 5G might have have sped up deployment but it killed adoption. It's an excuse to put the 5G logo on a phone that stumbles from band to band without any efficiency gains.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "The issue is there are no killer apps / reasons why people feel they need 5G right now, especially if its going to cost them more on their bills."

      I agree that a speed increase is driven by want rather than anything close to 'need'. There are a few people that could honestly benefit from faster wireless speeds but so few since the much greater majority spend their phone time digitally playing with themselves. Even when they are using their mobile for work, most of what they are doing could be done in other ways far more efficiently. The welfare mob around where I live are always on their phones sharing their conversations with the wider world by also having the phone on speaker. In the US, they get free phones, free service and are likely the biggest users of the networks.

      A big problem with governments these days is they don't know the difference between the sorts of issues they should be addressing vs those issue that are the provenance of private business. If somebody contacts their local councilman, MP, alderman, etc to whinge that they didn't have any coverage while out in a lonely section of parkland, they should be told that maybe they'd be better off putting the phone on silent and enjoying nature since that's why most people will venture off into the countryside. I find not having 24/7 phone coverage better than cell masts all over the place with a line of poles to provide power to each one continuously. While I'd like to get a selfie of myself on the top of a mountain, I don't need to post it online from that mountain top seconds after taking it.

  11. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Definition

    "Standalone 5G refers to a mobile network where the core infrastructure has been designed with support for 5G services in mind"

    By core infrastructure, do they mean the fiber or microwave backhaul connections between towers and the central office? Because on this side of the pond, such 'core infrastructure' will never get built. It'll just get hung on the side of the current wired broadband facilities. Whatever they are, because if we can't get more than a stinking DSL line out to customers, it's not likely they are going to put in anything better.

    1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: Definition

      SA is mostly about software - the various network subsystems running as software that can be moved between central servers, cloud servers, or near the end-user. It gives the network more flexibility in what services it deploys where, including the ability to provide service for different users in one place from different servers in different locations.

      It won't have much impact on consumers though. Possibly some improvement in download speed, reliability and, maybe, latency for some city-centre locations (yuppie gamers in their Docklands lofts). And maybe, one day, the fabled interactive phone features in sports stadia (although why you are watching your phone instead of the winger running down the pitch about to score beats me).

      SA mostly enables the business advantages. Industrial automation (if we had any factories left), maybe some transport and distribution services.

  12. Tron Silver badge

    4G 4ever.

    Killing 3G pointlessly creates e-waste. I would have happily stuck with it (and my Japanese flip phone, which was remotely bricked by agencies unknown). Thankfully, they haven't inked in any plans to turn 4G off, so I can stay with that. 5G? Not interested. I'm not buying any tech I don't need to unless the energy bills/inflation/interest rates go down. Happy to opt out of 5G, 6G, the metaverse, smart devices, solar panels, turbines, EVs and the IoT if they don't. Our idiot government killed our economy with Brexit. Embrace the ruin and enjoy a steampunk future of retro tech. The UK is now, economically, a dead end. Game over.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: 4G 4ever.

      I'm opting into solar panels this very day (ok, one solar panel I picked up cheap). While doing some cleaning last night I came across a power bill from 2015 when eceltricity was less than half per kWh than it is now and my latest bill came with yet another notice that the company is asking to raise the rates again. I'm rapidly running out of efficiency improvement projects that have any hope of a ROI before my death. Generating a good portion of my baseload requirements will start insulating me from escalating power costs.

      I don't have any needs for faster data speeds on my phone as I do all of my heavy internet lifting from my office where I have a nice fat connection. Paying more to get yet another phone to replace one that works just fine due to support being removed does nothing for me. Since I don't use what my basic level plan gives me now, there's no point to a more expensive service. If the killer app comes along that earns me more money or similar (less time to make the same amount), I'll run the numbers to see if faster service has any payback. To have the government tell me that I must upgrade and some of my taxes are going to pay for it (along with the higher monthly bill) is criminal.

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