Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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What is the test of a free energy market working?

You can forget power on Christmas Day, energy firms told "customers"

You can forget power on Christmas Day, energy firms told “customers”

UPDATE: Conservative Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has also voiced his concerns over the unacceptable delay in returning power to thousands of customers cut off by stormy weather just before Christmas with many left without power on Christmas Day and onwards.

Mr Paterson said power companies had “let their customers down badly” and UK Power Networks CEO Basil Scarsella said his company “could and should have done more” to restore power.

Perhaps I wasn’t being such a Red Gav after all?

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Hmm, perhaps it’s an ability to keep the lights on when there is a bit of a breeze?

My inner socialist has come out again this morning. Just been watching a Sky News report on those still without power since before Christmas.

Customers, yes customers, have been left on hold for three hours by the electricity firms when they have called to find out when they can expect to have the lights turned back on. And still, five days on, thousands of homes are without power. Why were there not representatives from Southern Electric on the ground with mobile canteens to feed people and give them hot drinks?

Impotent: David Cameron pretends he can actually do something about the continuing power cuts in Kent

Impotent: David Cameron pretends he can actually do something about the continuing power cuts in Kent

This is the problem with privatised utilities – they literally can do almost anything they like. David Cameron was in Kent yesterday listening to the woes of voters; he came across as completely impotent on the issue – because he is! The Prime Minister has no power (no pun intended) to tell the energy firms to pull their fingers out and get men on the ground.

For electricity companies to turn round to customers, yes customers again, and say if you don’t get your power back on by 23:59 on Christmas Eve then you will *not* have power on Christmas Day is a disgrace. They have just put our electricity bills up by over 100% in many cases and this is how they treat their so-called customers.

If they were nationalised, I suspect things will have been resolved by now or there would be a mutiny on the streets. At least David Cameron is visible unlike the faceless fat cats of Southern Electric who no doubt are tucked up warm in their mansion far away from the plebs they pretend to “serve”.


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Sir John Major calls time on the big six energy firms

Former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major

Former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major

The last Conservative prime minister to win a general election (and to win big, with the greatest number of popular votes ever recorded) has entered into the national debate on the energy market crisis by calling for a windfall tax on the big six firms.

Sir John ably describes the Conservatives are in favour of the private market (quite right!) but when it goes wrong real Conservatives will not stand-by and see people suffer as a result.

It’s a great pity David Cameron does not think the same, pithy saying in response to Sir John’s speech it was an “interesting contribution” but the government has no plans to impose a tax. Then again, Mr Cameron’s not really a Tory is he?

A combination of Labour-imposed green taxes (i.e. Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act of 2008) and Corporatism which centres around greed and profiteering has led to British people paying £1,500* a year to heat and light their homes.

I said at the time of the banking crisis, Northern Rock should have been sent to the wall just as President George W. Bush did to Lehman Brothers. It would have been a deterrent punishment used widely in the justice system to keep the masses in check. Some, mainly rich businessmen and equally rich politicians, said it would have destroyed the world. No it wouldn’t have! The Government would have protected savers at the cost of shareholders or there would have been a revolution.

Another winning Tory, Margaret Thatcher, believed in Capitalism for the many not Corporatism for the few. Now is the time for today’s Government to show some leadership: We’ve had enough. Send a signal to the failed energy market and punish the big six by imposing a windfall tax on them in the Autumn Statement in December.

 

*nPower yesterday put up their dual-fuel prices by 10.4% taking an average bill to £1,500