There is a consensus that Energy profiteering is at the centre of the OECD’s inflation crisis. This is exacerbated in the UK due to privatisation and asset stripping of the gas and water companies. Brexit hasn’t helped.

Boris says he’ll do nothing and leave it for the next Prime Minister, Truss says she’ll do little except possibly bung the energy industry some wonga.

The silence has been deafening but even Gordon Brown felt safe enough to make a comment.

A friend/correspondent, Paul Cotterill,  proposes his 13 point plan, which seems well thought out. There’s some complexity in the regulatory regime which currently discriminates against those that have to prepay and renewable energy providers. Another friend correspondent, the “Forensic Socialist” writes about the energy extraction companies and their profitability as the centre of the problem.

After a week, Labour come out with a plan, which focuses on households leaving businesses inc. water and councils and other public services to continue to pay too much. It’s not going to be implemented so it doesn’t really matter and if his internal critics shut-up, it might at least skewer the Tories. Labour plan to cap energy prices and tax profits, encourage renewables and insulate the coldest homes. It’s extraordinarily expensive, even if fully funded; he plans to spend in 6 months, what he was previously planning to spend, £28bn, in 5 years on investment.

Richard Murphy criticises Labour’s debt mentality, well he would, but his calling out that businesses, schools and hospitals are not being protected is valid and important

The FT, where the bourgeoisie tell the truth to each other, in an article by Stephen Bush welcomes the proposals, although they question the funding plans and whether labour get the scale and likely duration of the problem. He says,

On the other hand, it seems to my eyes to be a major problem that Labour’s big announcement on energy prices has not convinced either the energy policy experts that they have their arms around the scale, depth and duration of the crisis, or economic experts that they can plausibly fund their policies.

Stephen bush – ft

The elephant in the room is whether to nationalise the BP and Shell, which have a market capitalisation of £250 bn or as Paul Mason suggests take a golden share, or as we assume the Tories will argue that it’s unnecessary because the hidden hand of the market will provide the best answer. Personally I wouldn’t bet on the Tories holding that line, they are ideologically flexible enough to do what they think they need to do to win the next election.

It seems that Labour is making its policy in a darkened cupboard again; its biggest problem in 2019 was that late additions to the manifesto had not been socialised either within the Party or the country, and while it seems they were based on an often deep expertise, this was not visible.

The Government can control prices through OFGEM and tax profits. Why won’t they? It seems that Good Law Project are going to give OFGEM a hand. Even City AM seems unimpressed.

But this is a Tory Govt problem, I have some sympathy with those who argue that we should be attacking the Tories; it’s just that when we join the Labour Party, we expect some say in the policy platform and Keir Starmer is not giving us that.

 (So vote for me, and my running mates for Labour’s NEC and MPF, where I am standing with others for the London NPF seats, I’ll stand up for progressive policies and internal democracy). 🙂

Energy Prices
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