I attempted to watch Question Time, for the first time in quite a while. I used to really enjoy the program, and was quite sad when I realised just how repetitive and pointless it was. Viewers are bombarded with an endless cascade of party politics, after which they have learnt nothing. Those who represent the three parties are so bogged down in each other’s mistakes that they fail to see obvious truths. The occasional brave man who says something interesting is either ignored, or says something that makes me want to reach through the TV and slap him.
Today was no different. Although it shames me, the only person on the panel defending Socialism was Diane Abbott, for whom I have a dislike stronger than any geographical divide. Her flustered, broken way of speaking leaves her unable to win any crowd without a solid helping of populism and lies, over simplifications and half-truths. Of course, any Conservatives in the room will spot her and swoop in for the kill like vultures.
The first and most important issue on the agenda was Ed Miliband’s promise to freeze energy bills. Initially, this news warmed my blackened communist heart, but after I’d thought about it, I realised the truth was quite different. I would be the last person to put blind-faith in free markets, that doesn’t, has never and will never work, and always results in ludicrous levels of exploitation and waste. But after watching fifteen minutes of Question Time, I dawned on me that the Tories were right, just this once.
Freezing energy bills would only make the ‘big six’ hike prices in the short-term, in anticipation of Miliband’s election. I know that energy prices are affected by the global economy, and that without substantial control of a market, there can be no control at all. Perhaps a blind faith in government intervention is just as infantile as blind faith in markets. In fact, that’s definitely true. Whilst I appreciate Ed Miliband’s good intentions, he hasn’t quite found the mark, (although as you can probably tell, I have).
My alternative is one I’ve written about, spoken about, shouted in frustration about for some time. ‘Nationalisation of the Railways and Utilities’ is a phrase often bounced around by left-wingers, particularly Greens and their ilk. The underlying problem here is that whilst we can temporarily meddle in markets, the effects of our work would soon be undone by cash-groping fingers, because at the end of the day, the ‘big six’ are in search of profit and profit only.
If we were to entirely take the ‘big six’ (that is the six largest energy providers in the UK) into the public fold, we could ensure that prices stayed low permanently, and we could also ensure that Green initiatives are given the right support. No matter what the ‘occasional brave man’ says, the cost of living is an important issue, one which will not be easily solved by blaming wind turbines. Osbourne’s shameful attempt to disguise his own failure by stripping the green subsidies, which add £112 to the average bill each year, was ludicrous and embarrassing. A large part of this is the Feed-in Tariff scheme, which replaced government grants in 2010 to reward households with micro-generators. Your energy provider gives you money, and passes on the bill to its other consumers, rather than the pay cheques of its top executives. It then blames ‘misguided green initiatives’ for the higher prices.
Man made climate change is recognised by 98% of scientific papers that are published on the matter. But still some people refuse to believe it, insisting that it’s an international hoax to revert our economies back to central planning. I propose that we nationalise the six largest energy providers in Britain, and enforce a pay structure which allows us to continue saving our environment, whilst refraining from off-loading our bills onto consumers.