Lights going out?

Posted: September 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

I have been reading with interest the developments following Ed Miliband’s announcement that he will freeze energy prices for 20 months should a Labour government be governing in 2015. The right-wing media has predictably sent out its attack dogs to tear his argument to shreds, but the initial evidence is actually that the people are not falling for it.

It is simply staggering that the energy cartel’s major reaction to this policy has been to essentially threaten to leave the country with blackouts. We have come so far down the line of Neoliberal failure that this is all the intellectual arguments they have left when their extortion is decried and exposed: blackmail.

The problem with the tactic of treating your customer base like idiots is that eventually the formerly apathetic with brains will make you suffer, and when your greed consumes your wider perspective, you’re heading for disaster.

How often, when challenged, does the political Right in Britain mention the 1970s ‘Winter of Discontent’ as an example of where any remotely Left-wing government’s policies would take us? Those Unions going on strike; creating energy shortages and blackouts; holding the country to ransom! So what’s different with this ransom? Take a look at party donations and the glaringly hypocritical agenda becomes clear.

But the general public, though politically divided on many issues, will not take sides on this issue. They have a problem with energy shortages and blackouts, they don’t care how they happen. If energy giants are to blame, the people will demand change, and they will surely not blame an administration attempting to reduce their bills by legislating that way.

The other big picture that could emerge is an intriguing one, and again plays down the intellect of the electoral register. Imagine that Ed Miliband decides that his only course of action is nationalisation. Knowing the scorn heaped upon any suggestion of nationalisation by the media, Ed decides to play the long game. Pledge to fix bill prices, allow the cartel to tie their own noose with public declarations of blackmail, hold out until some either have the public turn against them or ‘go bust’ (yeah, right), then renationalise at a fraction of the price.

Seems to me that the Tories are essentially mistaking all of their potential voters as Neoliberal ideologues like them, who hold rampant Thatcherism as a cure for all economic ailments, and the Winter of Discontent as a spectre to pull out when anyone questions this. Even their media chums don’t appear to be able to turn the tide of public opinion, which most polls show is turning against privatisation and deregulation, and actually seems to yearn for the social democracy that gave most of us council housing and decent healthcare, with affordable railways and a reliable postal service. Are people finally waking up to the great Neoliberal fraud? The next couple of years will reveal all.

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