Thursday 1 September 2022

Five Most Popular Posts in August

Here's what did the business on the blog this last month.

1. Inflation and Political Paralysis
2. Is Enough is Enough Enough?
3. Does Liz Truss Have a Death Wish?
4. How Liz Truss Threatens Labour
5. On Don't Pay UK

Inflation helped inflate this blog's audience numbers as my piece on political paralysis made it top of the pops for the month. It is, however, half-obsolete. Half because Labour now have an energy price freeze plan whereas the Tories are still prevaricating all over the place. Second came my consideration of the new solidarity/cost of living crisis campaign umbrella, Enough is Enough. I can understand why some comrades are weary of A-to-B marches, rallies, and petitions but this has much more potential precisely because the conjuncture is different. Coming third was Liz Truss's tendency to put her foot in her mouth, something she demonstrated on Tuesday night's hustings as well. I suppose looking forward to her premiership of gaffes and shooting from the hip might provide light relief among the misery. Then it was another obsolete-ish post, suggesting Truss might outflank Labour by offering something more comprehensive on bills. With hindsight, this looks extremely doubtful. And lastly I had a butcher's at Don't Pay UK, who are pledged to stop their energy direct debits on 1st October unless something is done. As of this second, 131,866 are pledged not to pay.

Two posts can be found swigging ale in the second chance saloon this month. There's last night's on the final leadership hustings. Truss knows she has it in the bag, and her victory lap in the Wembley Arena demonstrated that she's destined to be an appalling Prime Minister. And the second were some reflections on Usdaw and an attempt to answer the question why a union representing some of the lowest paid and exploited workers in the country is so reliably right wing?

And that was August. Next month we can look forward to more Liz Truss content, and if you're going to The World Transformed in Liverpool yours truly is speaking on this very topic. Apart from that, there will be more matters Tory and Labour to discuss. And perhaps I'll squeeze out a video game blog post too. If you haven't already, don't forget to follow the free weekly newsletter, and if you like what I do (and you're not skint), you can help support the blog too! Following me on Twitter and on Facebook are cost-free ways of showing your backing for this corner of the internet.


Ken said...

I note that OVO has a concrete plan for fuel, in the absence of a functioning government.
I like this ad it’s a step towards energy rationing which should come sooner, gather than later.
The chief executive of UK’s third largest energy supplier, Ovo Energy, has called for the government to introduce a “progressive” scheme for energy bills that would give greater support for poor households but taper off for richer users, similar to the UK’s tax system.

The proposal for a banded energy subsidy is part of a 10-point plan put forward by Stephen Fitzpatrick, whose energy company serves 4.5 million customers.

It would involve reducing the price of energy, but only for a limited amount of use per household, meaning that energy consumption beyond that level would be charged at a higher price. This would aim to prioritise support for poorer customers, since higher-income households typically use more energy, he said

Blissex said...

«Labour now have an energy price freeze plan»

But New Labour don't have a plan for increasing physical energy supplies or for reducing consumption, so the question of how to solve the shortage that causes the higher prices remains unanswered. They are fortunate that they are not in government, so they can come up with wishful thinking solutions.

Also the plan applies only to, employers like pubs would be left hanging. No ponies for them :-).

And of course nobody is proposing to do anything (but rejoicing) about ballooning rents and house prices -- because they are earnings, not costs, for the "Middle England" consumers that all major parties represent.

«reducing the price of energy, but only for a limited amount of use per household, meaning that energy consumption beyond that level would be charged at a higher price»

That is rationing by another name: the government-defined ration is lower priced, any extra beyond the ration is priced to reduce consumption.
«Ben van Beurden said the situation could persist for several years. “It may well be that we will have a number of winters where we have to somehow find solutions,” he said. Van Beurden said solutions to the energy crisis would have to found through “efficiency savings, through rationing and a very, very quick buildout of alternatives”. [...] competition for scarce resources has pushed wholesale European gas prices up by a factor of 12 compared with a year ago. [...] The French prime minister, Elizabeth Borne, warned companies that energy could be rationed this winter, while Belgium’s energy minister said the next five to 10 years could be difficult.»