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Labour leadership: Owen Smith wants 'new industrial revolution' Watch

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    (Original post by Aceadria)
    You're implying in your response that outsourcing a task results in defense being privatised. My response stated that this is not the case.
    I did no such thing. I was pointing out that outsourcing defence services need not mean outsourcing the decision-making. Also, your claim that there is no money to be made in defence (that the private sector wouldn't get involved because there is no profit to be had) is very odd indeed.

    The defence sector can be massively profitable, and core defence services can be outsourced profitably; the Voyager air refuelling / transport contract is a prime example of outsourcing core defence functions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirTanker_Services

    There's no theoretical obstacle (other than common sense, logic and an understanding that the profit motive is whoily incompatible with such core state functions) to complete privatisation of defence.

    It seems to me that, like most right-wingers, you will ordinarily be all in favour of privatisation and outsourcing, except that when it comes to defence, traditional (and correct) instincts take over.

    You then have to offer up spurious excuses about why it could not be done, rather than accepting that the example of defence is an excellent case study for why you only the state can be trusted to do certain things (and the corollary, that the private sector is not always benign and beneficial, or trustworthy)
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    You really are upset, aren't you? Glass jaw seems to be the most appropriate description for you
    What I got to do to make you love me?
    What I got to do to make you care?
    What do I do when lightning strikes me?
    And I wake to find that you're not there?

    What I got to do to make you want me?
    What I got to do to be heard?
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    I did no such thing. I was pointing out that outsourcing defence services need not mean outsourcing the decision-making. Also, your claim that there is no money to be made in defence (that the private sector wouldn't get involved because there is no profit to be had) is very odd indeed.

    The defence sector can be massively profitable, and core defence services can be outsourced profitably; the Voyager air refuelling / transport contract is a prime example of outsourcing core defence functions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirTanker_Services

    There's no theoretical obstacle (other than common sense, logic and an understanding that the profit motive is whoily incompatible with such core state functions) to complete privatisation of defence.

    It seems to me that, like most right-wingers, you will ordinarily be all in favour of privatisation and outsourcing, except that when it comes to defence, traditional (and correct) instincts take over.

    You then have to offer up spurious excuses about why it could not be done, rather than accepting that the example of defence is an excellent case study for why you only the state can be trusted to do certain things (and the corollary, that the private sector is not always benign and beneficial, or trustworthy)
    I've not been commenting on this debate, but you have got closest to seeing what the other contributers have not.

    The participants have been referring to two different things when referring to private enterprise and its successes (or failures).

    One is essentially internal. Are private sector bodies better than public sector bodies at managing themselves or to put it another way are they better at deploying their internal resources than public sector ones. The answer to this is almost certainly "yes" in virtually all fields including defence.

    Academy schools are generally better at managing the money government gives them than local authorities. The railways have improved out of all recognition under privatisation. Defence contractors make better army boots than a state boot-making factory.

    The classic demonstration of this in the military context was the two airships R100 and R101. R100 was privately built, R101 was built by a state enterprise. R101 was underpowered and over-heavy because the government was publicly committed to an engine technology that did not work. R100 quietly abandoned the failing technology. R101 crashed and R100 was dismantled on government orders because the private sector solution could not been seen to have succeeded where the state enterprise had failed.

    However the other is the argument that the private sector is better at allocating where the economy as a whole allocates its resources. Government shouldn't interfere and the market will sort out the economy in the most rationally way.

    It is this description of the free market that cannot be extended to defence. The state must provide defence because it is impossible to marketise. You can't have a system where you can opt to be defended against ISIS by G4S or alternatively by British Gas.

    The point with globalisation is that it destroys this model of the free market. Effectively no market is free because because all international trade is managed by national governments.

    To give an example. Fish landed at British ports (who has done the fishing is irrelevant to this) is shipped to China to be processed and then returned to the UK for sale. In a free market, it would be nonsense to ship this fish half way round the world. In a free market, it would be far more efficient to ship Chinese labour to Grimsby. The British government doesn't allow this.

    Governmental action worldwide is not only limited to the laws governments make but how those laws are enforced and the efforts made by diplomacy in persuading foreign governments to do what your government wants them to do. Government isn't even-handed in its actions. It is more likely to protect the steel industry than the rag trade.

    It is the government rather than the market which decides that the UK's resources should be devoted to making steel rather than more science fiction television in south Wales.

    The free market as Adam Smith understood it is a consequence of (1) the development of nation states and (2) the improvement of inland transport to create nationwide markets. Frankly that era is passing and what we are getting is an era of regulated markets. That is how trade between the UK/US and China can be at one and the same time compatible with both capitalism and communism.
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    To be a troublemaker, Britain has privatised the military in the past and this hasn't led to either operational failure or collapse in society.

    At home, for many centuries between the end of the Civil War and perhaps the time of the Boer War, the militia outnumbered the regular army, and it cost more to be an officer in the regular army than the salary of an officer in the regular army, which shows that the regular army was at least officered by volunteer militamen too.

    Abroad, the East India Company conquered India and the British government lost India.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    To be a troublemaker, Britain has privatised the military in the past and this hasn't led to either operational failure or collapse in society.

    At home, for many centuries between the end of the Civil War and perhaps the time of the Boer War, the militia outnumbered the regular army, and it cost more to be an officer in the regular army than the salary of an officer in the regular army, which shows that the regular army was at least officered by volunteer militamen too.

    Abroad, the East India Company conquered India and the British government lost India.
    The point you are making is sound although one can question your examples. Perhaps the best land-based example would be Hessian mercenaries in the British Army.

    However, this is still outsourcing. The taxpayer is the paymaster. Militiamen are paid conscripts in the British system. Volunteers and Yeomanry are paid when embodied. The East India Company is the government of much of India and their troops are paid out of the revenues of the government which it serves.

    The British South Africa Company Police might be closer to the idea in that they engaged in wars of conquest for the benefit of their employer but their employer was still seeking governmental power.


    If you are looking for truly private British military activity, the only post-medieval examples I can think of are:-

    privateers operating under letters of marque. Within the confines of having to fight the king's enemies and not his allies, they choose their opponents, decide on their engagements and live solely on the fruits of their victories;

    Rajah Brooke in Borneo who was in no-one's service when he outfitted his expedition

    Early war correspondents who did not consider themselves non-combatants but who were either paid by the newspapers for which they wrote or who hoped to write books of their adventures
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The point you are making is sound although one can question your examples. Perhaps the best land-based example would be Hessian mercenaries in the British Army.

    However, this is still outsourcing. The taxpayer is the paymaster. Militiamen are paid conscripts in the British system. Volunteers and Yeomanry are paid when embodied. The East India Company is the government of much of India and their troops are paid out of the revenues of the government which it serves.

    The British South Africa Company Police might be closer to the idea in that they engaged in wars of conquest for the benefit of their employer but their employer was still seeking governmental power.


    If you are looking for truly private British military activity, the only post-medieval examples I can think of are:-

    privateers operating under letters of marque. Within the confines of having to fight the king's enemies and not his allies, they choose their opponents, decide on their engagements and live solely on the fruits of their victories;

    Rajah Brooke in Borneo who was in no-one's service when he outfitted his expedition

    Early war correspondents who did not consider themselves non-combatants but who were either paid by the newspapers for which they wrote or who hoped to write books of their adventures
    I don't disagree with the facts but you are taking a very purist definition of privatisation.

    People say that the power companies are privatised, even though the government fixes prices. People say the railways are privatised even though the government fixes prices and owns the track. People say that PFI projects are privatised or semi-privatised, even though PFI is just a way for the government to borrow money. Owen Smith might become leader of the Labour Party and he says he wants to re-nationalise the NHS.

    The East India Company was at least as privatised as the railways. I would argue that the army in 1700 was considerably more privatised than the railways.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I don't disagree with the facts but you are taking a very purist definition of privatisation.

    People say that the power companies are privatised, even though the government fixes prices. People say the railways are privatised even though the government fixes prices and owns the track. People say that PFI projects are privatised or semi-privatised, even though PFI is just a way for the government to borrow money. Owen Smith might become leader of the Labour Party and he says he wants to re-nationalise the NHS.

    The East India Company was at least as privatised as the railways. I would argue that the army in 1700 was considerably more privatised than the railways.
    It goes back to my earlier long posting about people referring to two different things when they refer to free market forces.


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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    However, this is still outsourcing. The taxpayer is the paymaster. Militiamen are paid conscripts in the British system. Volunteers and Yeomanry are paid when embodied. The East India Company is the government of much of India and their troops are paid out of the revenues of the government which it serves.
    These are good points. Also, the British East India Company was always considered quasi-governmental such that parliament considered it was able to (and should) closely regulate the company as of right. At various points parliament appointed members of its board and also had select committees to directly oversee its operations.

    As for the militia, as you rightly say, it's difficult to see how that is privatisation. It's more comparable to the territorial army; a reserve force

    Oh and I was wondering if you have any more info or perhaps could point me in the direction of some books viz. the info you provided about parliamentary subsidies, tenths and its proportion of GDP. I am really keen to find out more
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    So you are basically saying that there are simply some things the state can do better. That's what I'm getting at. It counters your idea that the 'free market' can always do things better. You are clearly saying that the state can run defense better.
    I am not saying that. My statement has been clear: there are a number of things the state should do simply because the free market will not. Defense is one of them. That does not necessarily mean the state is better at doing it.

    (Original post by Bornblue)
    You admit that the state can do some things better, so why can't it also run education, transport and health better than the 'free msrker'
    Re-read my posts and stop assuming.
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    (Original post by Aceadria)
    I am not saying that. My statement has been clear: there are a number of things the state should do simply because the free market will not. Defense is one of them. That does not necessarily mean the state is better at doing it.



    Re-read my posts and stop assuming.
    Yes the free market could do it. it's just that the state is better at it.
    You're really trying to avoid admitting that the state could be better at anything because it defeats your whole argument.



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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Yes the free market could do it. it's just that the state is better at it.
    You're really trying to avoid admitting that the state could be better at anything because it defeats your whole argument.
    It's rather odd, isn't it? There's now no area of defence that the large, full-service firms like BAE, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin won't enter, nothing they won't offer. They don't just build tanks and aircraft and missiles and ships, some of their biggest money spinners are in "services". They're not just providing the services that the military used to do but has let go of to focus on fighting (like who peels the potatoes and does the laundry), there are significant defence capabilities that are now provided by the private sector like (in this country) the air refuelling tankers. In what is now probably the most important part of the defence services (sigint/cyberwarfare), whole swathes of it are conducted in the private sector.

    I mean, the UK government even privatised the Defence Procurement Agency ffs. If you can privatise the arm of the government that makes buying decisions, you can privatise any part of it. You already have private military companies that provide ex-special forces guys for anyone who has the money. There's no conceptual or theoretical reason that any particular part of the defence force couldn't be provided by private industry.

    The reason we don't is because we know they would ****ing gouge us and we would pay through the nose by getting stuck in decades-long PFI contracts. We also don't because still, fundamentally, the parts of the military and intelligence community that are part of the state do their job better, more efficiently, with more security, and in a more trustworthy manner.
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    It's rather odd, isn't it? There's now no area of defence that the large, full-service firms like BAE, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin won't enter, nothing they won't offer. They don't just build tanks and aircraft and missiles and ships, some of their biggest money spinners are in "services". They're not just providing the services that the military used to do but has let go of to focus on fighting (like who peels the potatoes and does the laundry), there are significant defence capabilities that are now provided by the private sector like (in this country) the air refuelling tankers. In what is now probably the most important part of the defence services (sigint/cyberwarfare), whole swathes of it are conducted in the private sector.

    I mean, the UK government even privatised the Defence Procurement Agency ffs. If you can privatise the arm of the government that makes buying decisions, you can privatise any part of it. You already have private military companies that provide ex-special forces guys for anyone who has the money. There's no conceptual or theoretical reason that any particular part of the defence force couldn't be provided by private industry.

    The reason we don't is because we know they would ****ing gouge us and we would pay through the nose by getting stuck in decades-long PFI contracts. We also don't because still, fundamentally, the parts of the military and intelligence community that are part of the state do their job better, more efficiently, with more security, and in a more trustworthy manner.
    The Battle of Blenheim was won by regiments raised privately by their colonels on a for-profit basis.

    When the British military was substantially composed of privateers, pirates, and gentleman adventures we tended to win a lot.
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    (Original post by SaucissonSecCy)
    Not supporting anyone who pedals that second referendum BS. I will support someone else than Corbyn, but not him.
    Yet your glorious UKIP said if we had remained in the EU with less than 60% remain votes, that it would be unfinished business and that THEY would demand a second referendum. Pure hypocrites!

    Let's face it you only got a pathetically tiny 4% Brexit victory, yet the Brexiters think it was a landslide victory.

    Well if we don't get a second referendum then expect decades more BS as you call it and turmoil as we will NEVER accept Brexit.

    If on the other hand YOU'RE lot think Brexit is supported by a massive majority , then prove it by also asking for a second refrendum. But guess you won't because you're too scared of losing.

    Our future.... organised by people scared of loosing. Or losers basically.
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    (Original post by Ambitious1999)
    Yet your glorious UKIP said if we had remained in the EU with less than 60% remain votes, that it would be unfinished business and that THEY would demand a second referendum. Pure hypocrites!

    Let's face it you only got a pathetically tiny 4% Brexit victory, yet the Brexiters think it was a landslide victory.

    Well if we don't get a second referendum then expect decades more BS as you call it and turmoil as we will NEVER accept Brexit.

    If on the other hand YOU'RE lot think Brexit is supported by a massive majority , then prove it by also asking for a second refrendum. But guess you won't because you're too scared of losing.

    Our future.... organised by people scared of loosing. Or losers basically.
    Rubbish. why would the result be different? If anything it would be further to Brexit. You people simply want to fix the vote, and get us in on an even m ore powerless, humiliated position, rather than try and make this a better country. That's what patriots you are.

    And what you say about UKIP is not comparable.. they meant they would keep campaigning, and exploit that situation to grow massively in elections, and try and get in in a coalition, or even eventually a full government on the ticket of leaving.

    It is an undemocratic farce. If you want a second, you have to accept that there can be a third after that. and so on, because there is no difference in the logic, and there is no counter argument to that. This position would be absurd.

    All of this while the EU model, the worst economic deal on earth, in order to force us to political union, is crumbling and, despite remainers protestations that this is just knuckle dragging little Englanders(because they fail so spectacularly to see both sides...not their fault given most media coverage frankly), there are hordes across Europe who rightly hate the EU.

    Are you born in 1999? I would have known absolutely nothing and hadn't thought about anything by the age of 17, I'm certainly glad I didn't vote while at Uni either. And what is your heritage? I'm not using that, I'm just genuinely curious, because I always want to know what makes remainers so sold on this
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    the parts of the military and intelligence community that are part of the state do their job better, more efficiently, with more security, and in a more trustworthy manner.
    Ho Ho. Dread to think what the other lot are like.
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    (Original post by richpanda)
    Is Jarvis the ex-forces bloke? Anyone who has served in the forces would get serious respect from all sides of the political spectrum, so if Labour want to win in 2020 he's their best bet.
    How about Clive Lewis?
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    How about Clive Lewis?
    Immigration from Narnia should be reduced. We should set up border posts inside the wardrobe.


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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The Battle of Blenheim was won by regiments raised privately by their colonels on a for-profit basis.

    When the British military was substantially composed of privateers, pirates, and gentleman adventures we tended to win a lot.
    The only time that was really the case was during the Elizabethan period. From the 17th century onwards the UK had a professional, standing navy and a militia that was raised for overseas service from time to time, along with standing professional core.

    If you'd like to know just how bad privatised military provision can be, read up on the condottiere in late medieval and renaissance Italy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condottieri

    They would often prolong wars knowing that this would ensure they would continue to get paid. Even when they were doing nothing they would demand payment in order not to go over to the other side. Numerous Italian city-states were taken over by condottieres they had engaged for service, only to find this condottiere became their despot.

    There would often be large battles between two condottiere forces where there would be no bloodshed, they were almost a choreographed joke.

    Anyone possessing a modicum of understanding of the history of Western civliisation would be aware just how unnecessary and counterproductive mercenaries are to a modern state.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    How about Clive Lewis?
    Ha! Clive Lewis is a flake, he is incredibly narcissistic and widely disliked even on the Corbynite left. The mere fact he was in the Territorial Army and did a short (what was it, three month?) deployment in Afghanistan doesn't put him in the same league as Dan Jarvis
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    (Original post by AlexanderHam)
    The only time that was really the case was during the Elizabethan period. From the 17th century onwards the UK had a professional, standing navy and a militia that was raised for overseas service from time to time, along with standing professional core.

    If you'd like to know just how bad privatised military provision can be, read up on the condottiere in late medieval and renaissance Italy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condottieri

    They would often prolong wars knowing that this would ensure they would continue to get paid. Even when they were doing nothing they would demand payment in order not to go over to the other side. Numerous Italian city-states were taken over by condottieres they had engaged for service, only to find this condottiere became their despot.

    There would often be large battles between two condottiere forces where there would be no bloodshed, they were almost a choreographed joke.

    Anyone possessing a modicum of understanding of the history of Western civliisation would be aware just how unnecessary and counterproductive mercenaries are to a modern state.
    The trick is to reward Condottieri for conquering your enemies with title to their lands. That is how we conquered India and it is how the Conqueror conquered England.

    If we rewarded Blackwater with title to Iraq then not only would we have won in Iraq but Iraq would have much better quality of government than the contemptible natives are capable of.
 
 
 
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