Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “gas”

More of the Family Silver Being Flogged

Remember Thatcher flogging the family silver? Water, electricity, gas, British Rail and more? Now Cameron and his renegade side kick Clegg have wasted no time in picking up the handbag and are now about to sell off our Postal service.

Using the same con trick of Thatcher the employees will be offered the carrot of getting some of the shares but inevitably they will be forced by the hardships about to descend on us to sell them off. The shares of course ending up with the rich and multi national corporations. What will be next on their agenda of party political theft? I suggest keeping a close eye on our National Health Service, not in one go of course but little by little by stealth.

Our only hope is the collapse of this disastrous coalition and another election to correct our mistake of last May.

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A Nation of Sheep

The energy Regulator Ofgem has called on the suppliers to reduce their charges to customers following recent lower costs. Unsurprisingly they have refused. All of them are using similar arguments about uncertainty and ‘other costs’ in an attempt to justify making an average extra profit this year from each customer of £60 per year, compared with the last three years. It sounds very much to me like an energy cartel.

This is what happens when government privatises what is a natural public resource. The companies obviously work together (if proven it would be illegal) to keep profits for shareholders up and customers become a poor second and with competition a myth. The old Water Boards were also sold off, water for Christ’s sake, the essential for life, sold off for profit. British Rail which wasn’t a bad service at all, sold off for profit. If BR had the same public funds put into it as the private companies receive now from the State, it would be better and more importantly perhaps, cheaper to use.

The gullible people just sat back and let it all happen, some tempted by the carrot of cheap share offers that soon ended up in the hands of the big investors. Still they sit on their hands while chunks of our health and education are handed over for profit.

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More Military Deaths For What?

Four young UK soldiers die in Afghanistan in one day and the total rises to 157. Speaking of one of the men, Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette said he  had made the “ultimate sacrifice to bring hope and peace to the people of Afghanistan”. It’s time the lying stopped!

This soldier didn’t die ‘to bring hope and peace to the people of Afghanistan’ he died because he was ordered there to fight by his officers who in turn obeyed the Government who are acting on behalf of the City of London. Not one politician has even tried to explain the nonsense they speak, about terrorism being rampant in the UK if we didn’t fight in Afghanistan because it’s obvious rubbish. Plans for terrorism in the UK are more likely to be made here not in Afghanistan and even if the impossible were to happen and that country was completely under the control of the West then plans would be made in Pakistan, Somalia, the USA, anywhere at all.

So why fight the unwinable war there? Energy! Plans exist to build huge pipelines for oil and gas right across Afghanistan but cannot be laid if the Taliban are going to blow them up on a regular basis.

Our politicians tell us these lies and treat us like fools and you know what, most of us swallow them while our young men die for them. Wake up UK, enough is enough.

The Caring Prince

We all know how caring is Prince Charles or at least so we are regularly told by his PR Team. He cares about the environment and about sustainable living and he is passionate about alternative  health care isn’t he? He even set up The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health Care.

The ‘charity’   submitted it’s report to the Charity Commission recently and this shows that investments were made to among others :-

  • £112,000 in Artemis UK Special Situations, which includes investments in BP, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and BAE systems
  • £92,000 in Investec Global Energy, 26% of which is invested in ‘Oil and Gas Exploration’
  • £65,000 in Jupiter Emerging European Opportunities Fund, whose top ten holdings include LUKOIL (Russia’s largest oil company) and Gazprom (the world’s largest gas company)

Need I say more? I don’t think so.

Energy Help

With a fanfare the Government today announces a wonderful ‘deal’ with the energy companies. They are going to provide home insulation for the very elderly and those on benefits and so assist in reducing their bills. Well freethinkeruk can’t speak for anyone else but I have been getting information from my supplier (EDF) for some time offering just such a deal. Cynic that I am I can’t help but think this latest announcement is just an old agreement dusted off and presented as a breakthrough.

The estimated cost to the suppliers is around £1billion and as I said in a previous post, the suppliers will get this, or a windfall tax back from their customers one way or another. When pressed in an interview Hillary Benn (I can’t believe Tony is his dad) admitted that we will all pay about an extra £35 per year to cover this expenditure. QED!

Energy Windfall Tax

Pressure from various quarters, seems to be building  on the Government to charge a ‘windfall tax’ on the energy suppliers. They have after all made enormous additional profits from the rising costs of oil and gas, even though when these costs have decreased, the price to customers has not been reduced.

The false argument is that this windfall tax would be used to reduce fuel costs in particular to the most vulnerable. The argument is a false one because (a) the Government would be unlikely to pass all this on to consumers (b) the suppliers would simply increase their prices to make up the shortfall in their balance sheets (c) any reductions passed on by Government would be a one off and we would be in the same position twelve months from now.

It was said at the time that when Margaret Thatcher privatised the energy industry that she was selling off the family silver and how right they were; the chickens are now coming home to roost. What has been done though, can be undone. Our Nation should not be dependant on private companies, many of them foreign owned, for it’s vital energy. The time is right to re-nationalise them. One wholly State owned energy  company would have enormous buying power and with no investors requiring an annual large dividend payout prices would fall dramatically and be under greater control by the end users, the voting public.

The cost in financial terms would of course be great but would represent an investment in the future of our Nation. It may well require that a fresh look is taken at other drains on the Exchequer such as do we actually need several billion Pounds worth of Aircraft carriers and do we really see a use for billions of Pounds worth of Trident submarines or billions spent on useless Identity Cards?

It could be done, it should be done, all it needs is a leader and a government with vision and bravery. Sadly therefore it is not likely to happen but here’s hoping.

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