Rising gas prices were a slow burner and yet the Government are wrong-footed by events yet again and they never saw the crisis coming, says Paul Routledge
They never saw it coming. They never do, this lot.
Always on the back foot: with Covid lockdowns, the retreat from Kabul, jabs for children and the rest.
They are the proverbial man with a bucket and shovel following the carthorse.
The price of gas on the world market has been climbing since January, up 250% by August.
But Tory politicians stood by and did nothing, and now we, the consumers, are reaping the whirlwind of their complacency.
Energy companies to which customers have been urged to switch are going bust.
Supermarkets are running out of supplies. Industry is being hit.
All this could, and should, have been foreseen. Food manufacturers and energy analysts have warned of the dangers for months.
Only now, when inaction could cost them votes, have Tory ministers woken up to the scale of the “Watt Crisis,” with a quick fix for vital carbon dioxide production and a promise that the lights will stay on this winter. Believe that?
This isn’t really a government. It’s a haphazard gang of amateurs faffing about in Whitehall while the country slides into chaos.
Their energy policy is windmills in the mind.
They phased out coal, and put nothing in its place.
They failed to build nuclear generation for the future.
They put turbines in the sea, but the wind doesn’t obey ministerial orders.
A new energy minister has been appointed: Greg “Not A Safe Pair Of” Hands. Heard of him? Me neither. His silence is louder than a shot fired down the pit.
It’s taken ages for the most basic election issue – the cost of living – to rise back up the political agenda.
But with the combination of Universal Credit cuts, soaring gas and electricity prices, rising inflation and looming NI hikes, it’s here to stay.