ThoughtStorms Wiki

UK LabourParty suffered serious defeat to BorisJohnson in 2019.

Official report analyzing it.

Blame split between left and right of party. Right blames left leader JeremyCorbyn who they accuse of allowing perception of LabourAntiSemitism

Others think it was more about Brexit

Role of the media :

Len McCluskey definitely thinks it was about Brexit. And has some very interesting analysis.

Led to accelerated UkGovernmentOutsourcingDisasters

Quora Answer : Do you agree that it is a risk "if the postmortem of Labour's defeat turns into a blame game focused on those outside the party such as the media, ex-Labour MPs who urged voters to turn their backs on the party, and anti-Semitism campaigners"?

Dec 13, 2019

To an extent.

Although it's an obvious absurdity to say "we should accept that it's all Corbyn's fault, and avoid playing the blame game by talking about Brexit, the media and smears against the leadership"

That's not "avoiding the blame game". That's just demanding a free pass in the blame game.

Inevitably it's going to be impossible to completely separate a "post-mortem" from a "blame game". Any analysis of what went wrong has to identify various causes. And this is a complicated election, and a big defeat with many causes. And some of those causes are going to be the actions of people both inside and outside the Labour party. And you won't understand the defeat without pointing them out.

But clearly this is a trauma for Labour which is going to have to change itself yet again. And there's obvious a huge risk that there's going to be a very ugly civil war and recriminations and blame and therefore resentment and increasing anger and hatred.

That is a risk. And we should do what we can to try to minimize the pain and damage. But I think it's unreasonable to expect that we can avoid that kind of blood-letting completely.

Remainers wouldn't accept an argument of "why can't we accept that people just wanted Brexit, and not play the blame game of enquiring into Vote Leave's rule-breaking and dark Facebook ads?"

It's right to take responsibility for your own failures. But sometimes the failure really is due to attacks from the outside. And it's equally irresponsible not to consider those too. We have to balance the twin truisms of "the buck stops here" with "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after you".

QuoraAnswers from the run-up to the election:

Quora Answer : Do you think that the Conservative Party’s election campaign is, so far, fairly poor compared to Labour’s?

Nov 8, 2019


Surprisingly so.

I'm not getting my hopes up yet. I'm almost suspicious.

What are they secretly preparing?

But, so far, it's not been particularly good.

Boris is undoubtedly a very charming and very convincing man. But he is also a big fat liar. And now the media is moving into interrogation mode, he doesn't handle intrusive questioning so well. He comes across as shifty and at a loss for words.

The Tories are clearly going negative on Jeremy Corbyn. We've seen the Jewish Chronicle do its bit by writing an editorial calling on everyone to ignore the rest of the policies and just focus on the anti-Semitism allegations.

And Boris has already pushed the nuclear button by comparing Corbyn to Stalin; something which got short shrift from Andrew Neil.

In other words, in the first week they've accused Corbyn of being both Hitler and Stalin. Where on Earth are they going to go from there?

Meanwhile, they're kind of in a catch-22 on the whole "economic competence" thing. While you'll find many people online (and on Quora) condemning Labour as irresponsible spendthrifts, the Tories are obviously ALSO trying to beat Labour by promising their own bonanza of borrowing and spending on public works. So much so that they've also been criticised by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The danger for the Tories is that they simultaneously fail to convince the electorate that they actually will end austerity, while managing to convince it that they aren't any more prudent in principle. Boris "Garden Bridge" Johnson who dines at the Bullingdon Club is hardly a poster-child for financial discipline when compared to the teetotal vegetarian who grows his own food in his allotment.

But like I say, I'm not getting my hopes up yet. The Tories have a lot of resources, including very smart campaign strategists, plenty of money, people versed in the dark arts of social media (for all we know, no one cares what Andrew Neil is saying because all the hearts and minds action is going on in secretive Facebook adverts)

Quora Answer : How workable is the Labour Party's election pledge of free broadband for every address in the UK? What would need to happen to fulfill this promise?

Nov 14, 2019


I see "free broadband to every address" as one of the more doable and least complicated promises Labour is making.

It's the kind of thing that Google and Facebook have been giving to small towns and cities for over a decade.

It involves buying commodity routers. And paying people to dig ditches and put in cables.


It involves rolling out some kind of 5G broadband wireless phone network.

Again, I don't see this as more difficult than building, say, high-speed rail or more roads. Certainly it requires hiring fewer expensive and specialized people than running the NHS or the school system.

It's a chunk of money. But it's not complicated.

Now ... there is a question as to how useful it is. Giving everyone internet connectivity and resolving the "digital divide" used to be seen as vital to upgrade the skills and knowledge and capacity of the country.

Today, I think we have to be a lot more sceptical. Most of this bandwidth is just going to be used for streaming Netflix videos and posting memes on social media. In 2019, sadly, you can't equate being online and connected to the firehose of information as being "better informed" because for a lot of people it equates with being better disinformed. Better connected to slurry of fake news, dodgy memes and conspiracy theories.

However, with a few tweaks this could be made to be a lot more interesting. And I think it's incumbent on tech-savvy Labour supporters and members to educate the party on this. And make sure the policy if implemented does have good effects.

For example, it can be a cover and justification for slapping a big tax bill on tech. firms, commensurate with the value they're currently extracting from UK clients. This would be popular with the public. And the money would be useful. And possibly more than the cost of the broadband provision. So Labour would make a "profit" on it that can be spent on other things.

Another possibility is that it could be put to use helping to construct a new peer-to-peer social media platform. Right now people are getting locked in to Facebook etc. Who are then sucking their privacy dry.

This happens partly because only FB and a couple of others can afford to build the huge data-centres to run the massive social graphs that we expect these days.

But a distributed P2P rival to FB (without needing those big, expensive server farms) is technically possible. Except it does rely on a lot of guaranteed bandwidth. Similarly, blockchains, and blockchain based cryptocurrencies, blockchain based distributed secure storage, and other DAPPs. All need a tonne of fast connectivity. A shiny new broadband network in the UK could make these tractable.

Or it can be part of a revamp of Labour's commitment to free, life-time learning, with a revamped Open University providing online courses on demand to the whole population.


What Labour needs to do, though, is have a strategic vision for all this. Not just assume that broadband by itself is going to magically be its own reward and justification.