How Jeremy Corbyn got it totally right

 

How Jeremy Corbyn got it totally right
In a desperate bid to win over voters before the 2019 election, Jeremy Corbyn unveiled an ambitious new policy: free full-fibre, publicly owned broadband. It didn’t go down well: “broadband ‘communism’”, critics called it – another pie-in-the-sky promise from Labour’s floundering leadership. Yet the idea doesn’t look so silly today, says Owen Jones. Even in normal times, Britain was held back by having only 14% full-fibre broadband coverage, compared with 99% in South Korea and Japan. Now that the pandemic has made us reliant on the internet, the penalty of inadequate coverage is clearer than ever. So too is the case for demanding the state intervene to put the situation right. This isn’t about handing out “freebies” to voters; it’s about modernising the country and ensuring citizens have access to a vital service. The former shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, rightly compared it to the opening of public libraries in the 19th century. So rather than abandon the policy “as an embarrassing reminder of a calamitous election campaign”, Labour should enthusiastically reembrace the commitment. Today, it’s “more relevant than ever”.

Comments