/ Ed Miliband

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estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
Good speech.

Are we ready to take him seriously?
toad - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: Actually, yes. I was favourably suprised. Won't be to everybodies taste, and I certainly didn't agree with every word, but the overall tone and the presentation were starting to sound like a potential prime minister rather than a PPE policy wonk who happens to lead the labour party.

FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal & toad: Can you not recognise electioneering when it's staring you in the face?
Darren Jackson - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

Don't make the mistake of taking politicians seriously; it only encourages the buggers.
estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal & toad) Can you not recognise electioneering when it's staring you in the face?

Yes. And........
andymac - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

He's come on a lot and is certainly electable.

The Lemming - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal & toad) Can you not recognise electioneering when it's staring you in the face?

And the Blue Team would never do this, would they?
FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: So, Miliband has promised that IF elected Labour will freeze energy prices. How exactly will he achieve that without drastic reduction in the amount available for future investment in the industries. Like anybody I am in favour of reducing costs to the consumer but there has to be a limit to ensure that capital is available for essential levels of investment.
estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to andymac:

Agree. It's been a painful process but I think he finally could be there.
FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to FesteringSore)
> [...]
>
> And the Blue Team would never do this, would they?

I am not actually differentiating on party political grounds. ALL parties indulge in electioneering. It's what persuades the gullible to vote for them.

balmybaldwin - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:

Yes, he's already under fire from the energy companies about this.

In answer to the OP. No, he and balls are still a pair of idiots that couldn't run a scout group let alone a country. Their numbers don't add up and their ideas aren't thought through.
FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: And do you honestly think that he'll do any better than the previous Labour government who got us into this mess in the first place?
estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:

So the non-gullible don't vote?
estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:

Probably, yes.
FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> (In reply to FesteringSore)
>
> So the non-gullible don't vote?

I didn't say that. All voters are gullible to some extent.

FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> (In reply to FesteringSore)
>
> Probably, yes.

If you look out of your window you'll see a pig flying past.

estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:

Seems like a pointless conversation.
estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

>
> In answer to the OP. No, he and balls are still a pair of idiots

Really? Why are they mentally deficient? Please explain.
FrankBooth - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
He's like a young John Major. Without the charisma.
tutbury - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:
And perhaps Wall Street, the City and one or two bankers....how easily we forget!!
balmybaldwin - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
>
> [...]
>
> Really? Why are they mentally deficient? Please explain.

Well, it's hard to pick from so many different examples, so how about this whole energy price cap promise.

There are 3 ways to achieve this (unless you can think of another?):

1. A cap on what the consumer pays, any difference being made up by either dropping the environmental taxes, vat and corporation tax. - This will work, but only until the tax bill for these companies = 0, after that see option 2

2. Capping what companies are allowed to charge consumers. This would result in drastic cost cutting while the companies try to maintain their legal obligation to do their best for shareholders interests, including stopping investment in new power stations (in case you missed it we are due to start getting brown-outs in about 7 years if we don't invest heavily in power generation - as reported earlier this year, and for several years previously), reducing staffing (impacting safety and service), reducing maintenance (how would you like to go for a month without power whilst the single repair man in your county goes about his rounds?) - this option probably is anti competitive, and likely breaks the rules of a free market

3. You only cap private householder's bills causing company bills to sky-rocket, and loads of companies to have to cut costs or go bust resulting in lots of redundancies.

If you really wanted to reduce the burden of power bills, the only real way to do it is to reduce demand (current method to do that is to add green taxes), or increase supply - i.e. invest money in cheaper supply - tidal power etc... of course the long term nature of this return means it isn't very politically attractive as the other lot will be in by then (Let's face it, they (politicians) were talking about investing in Tidal 20 years ago which is when it should have been done... by now we could have ironed out all the kinks and be getting a good return.
Eric9Points - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to tutbury:
> (In reply to FesteringSore)
> And perhaps Wall Street, the City and one or two bankers....how easily we forget!!

He hasn't forgotten at all. He's just another wee tory handjob like poopscoop who thinks that if he repeats a lie often enough folk will believe it.

Haven't seen the speech yet although I disagree with reducing the voting age to 16. In the poll in the Huffington Post 60% disagreed with the idea.
wintertree - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

This. It's hard to think of a better way of demonstrating your complete unsuitability for power than coming up with an energy policy of "price freeze."

We need someone telling us that bills are going up, and telling us to suck it up as the money is going to build the generating capacity we urgently need to avert rolling blackouts.

Last time round their energy policy consisted of adding a higher chunk to bills to kick start the windmill economy. A decade later and it's made Foxtrot Alpha difference to our energy security.

If such blithering and short termism doesn't demonstrate stupidity, I don't know what does. But hey here's some free day care!
estivoautumnal - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

My original point was concerning the quality, not content of the speech. Never will everyone agree on the content, doesn't matter who speaks, some will disagree with the content.
FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to tutbury)
> [...]
>
> who thinks that if he repeats a lie often enough folk will believe it.
What, in the same way that Miliband is making rash promises that he knows damn well that if, God forbid, Labour is elected he will never be able to fulfil. All parties do it.

MJ - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

My original point was concerning the quality, not content of the speech. Never will everyone agree on the content, doesn't matter who speaks, some will disagree with the content.

I personally don't give a shit about the oratory skills of politicians and would much rather analyse the content before making a decision.
After all, Hitler gave a damned good speech...

Dax H - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: So far this week he has promised to raise the minimum wage, offer free child care, cap or reduce energy costs.
tomorrow I cant decided if he will part the red Sea or go for gold and feed the world with 5 loaves and 5 fishes.
FesteringSore - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal) So far this week he has promised to raise the minimum wage, offer free child care, cap or reduce energy costs.
> tomorrow I cant decided if he will part the red Sea or go for gold and feed the world with 5 loaves and 5 fishes.
He's probably already got his eyes on the papacy

andy.smythe - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> Good speech.
>
> Are we ready to take him seriously?

Can't do it, he just looks to much like a character from Wallace and Grommit.
Siward on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: He keeps wittering on about the 'cost of living crisis' as if that's something political parties can change at will. Its just not a serious debate. The 'crisis' is what is called a RECESSION although I'm sure someone once told us that the days of boom and bust were over...
wintertree - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

> My original point was concerning the quality, not content of the speech.

What's that got to do with the price of bread? I am struggling to think of anyone, at all, what so ever - other than an actor - who should be taken more seriously because they can give a high quality reading of a pre-prepared speech.

Dave Garnett - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to andy.smythe:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal)
> [...]
>
> Can't do it, he just looks to much like a character from Wallace and Grommit.


That's because he's from the planet Aardman and he's here for a bet. Sadly he loses; he's good, but not quite good enough to pass for human.
tutbury - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
Successive governments from Thatcher onward have all been committed to creation of a more competitive approach in several areas of the economy. Competition, we were told, would ensure a better deal for the consumer with more choice and a better service.
At least Miliband is recognising that these quasi markets and companies need more regulation and control.
Darron - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal) And do you honestly think that he'll do any better than the previous Labour government who got us into this mess in the first place?

Surely Lehman brothers would have collapsed no matter how many schools and hospitals Brown & Blair built?

armus on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
Well, it's hard to pick from so many different examples, so how about this whole energy price cap promise.

>> The answer is simple, nationalise the gas industry, (the oil industry would be too expensive) pay back the share holders in the gas industry gradually. With the profits going back to the industry itself this would become easier and quicker. e.g. The east coast mainline which has already handed back many millions to the government that previously went elsewhere.
armus on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal)

> After all, Hitler gave a damned good speech...

>> Especially the one when he said "it's all over" but few people heard that.

andrewmcleod - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal) So, Miliband has promised that IF elected Labour will freeze energy prices. How exactly will he achieve that without drastic reduction in the amount available for future investment in the industries. Like anybody I am in favour of reducing costs to the consumer but there has to be a limit to ensure that capital is available for essential levels of investment.

I would agree, if all energy companies were not-for-profit organizations like Dwr Cymru (also known as Welsh Water), working for the benefit of all. But most energy companies turn a tidy profit - in an ideal world this is the money you would want to redirect to the consumer.

Dwr Cymru does has the advantage of working in a monopoly; the free marketeers will tell you this lack of competition will mean higher prices and DOOM, which is odd as I remember them (admittedly many years ago) being the only water company to be charging less than the maximum permitted by government, presumably as they were not beholden to shareholders...

I'm not totally convinced one way or the other, but I'm not convinced that opening up the market to profit-making companies in regulated competition is better than a single not-for-profit body.

In any event, the future of large scale energy generation in this country is still largely shaped by, and arguably should be controlled by, government. And the energy companies that SELL you electricity/gas are not necessarily the ones who GENERATE it... any company can buy energy wholesale and sell it retail - what have they really added?
kevin stephens - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to armus:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
> The answer is simple, nationalise the gas industry, ......

For real? Which gas producing countries were you thinking of invading now that the UK is a net importer of gas?
Simon4 - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Siward:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal) He keeps wittering on about the 'cost of living crisis' as if that's something political parties can change at will.

This is the mindset of "economics by decree", so beloved of the Soviet Union. As if all you need to do for a real, intractable problem is to pass a law saying "everything will now be perfect" and it will really happen.

It also has Soviet and Stalinist overtones of demonic Kulaks (power companies) and heroic nobility (parents, who are to be supplied with every sweetie going for free - or rather paid for by somebody else). Yet the so-called "kulaks" were actually the most productive and energetic part of the Russian peasantry, those exalted by Soviet propaganda were the wasters, the drunks and the no-goods. So now, power companies produce, unsurprisingly, much needed power, while many parents produce entirely superfluous children - and then expect, or have been lead to expect, every one else to pay for them. Vilify the producers and flatter and bribe the consumers of wealth.

It was also a striking feature of the Soviet period that there was hysterical demonisation of any economic group when the terms of trade shifted somewhat against the Soviet government, then further demonisation when draconian and punitive bureaucratic action was taken, normally extra-judicially, to penalise that group leading to them, entirely predictably, stopping their economic activity that no longer gave them any return. In fact a large part of the rise in energy bills in recent years is due to the Climate Change Act with its expensive and largely ineffectual green subsidies, passed when the Energy Secretary (by all accounts an incompetent and ignorant one), was one E Milliband. The past history of energy freezes has in any case been one of control by price being replaced by control by availability, i.e. blackouts.

Milliband alternates between long periods of ineffectual dithering and short bursts of ill-considered and reckless action.

All his other recent "policies" such as the challenge to union funding of the Labour party, with automatic enrollment in a political party sometimes without even the member knowing they were enrolled, or "British apprentices for British workers" have vanished in puffs of smoke when they had even the slightest contact with reality, this one is likely to go the same way.

He has of course, while producing all these foolish and largely open-ended spending commitments, completely ignored the fact that the UK still has a massive deficit that has at best only been partly reduced and the nascent economic recovery is still fragile and can very easily be destroyed by cheap political knee-jerks. If you send thuggish grain-procurement squads going round stealing all the grain, then peasants stop planting it, the result is famine as it was in the Ukraine.



teflonpete - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
>
> My original point was concerning the quality, not content of the speech. Never will everyone agree on the content, doesn't matter who speaks, some will disagree with the content.

Ed Miliband, I'm afraid, doesn't deliver a speech with quality or content. His only saving grace is that he isn't Ed Balls.
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Giles Davis - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete:

agreed :-)
Rob Naylor - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> Good speech.
>
> Are we ready to take him seriously?

Speech might have been good but in the subsequent Radio 4 interview he still came across as a bumbling fool!
RyanOsborne - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:

Just out of interest, how can you justify saying that the last Labour government 'got us into' the financial crisis? Do you honestly think that the conservatives would have prevented the global financial crisis? If so, how would they have done this... Tighter regulation on the banks??? Hardly a right wing strong point. More investment into the economy when the banks were failing? Given that they favoured two years of austerity over economic investment it hardly seems likely... And if I remember correctly, they objected to quantitative easing at the time!
wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to RyanOsborne:

> Just out of interest, how can you justify saying that the last Labour government 'got us into' the financial crisis?

It's more how they ensured we were screwed over by it. Those with the biggest debt are hit hardest at the base levels in a recession, and they pulled us way deeper into debt just in time to make sure we got the sucker punch.
GrahamD - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to RyanOsborne:

Because they were spending hand over fist more than we earned ?
RyanOsborne - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree:

How do you mean 'they pulled us way deeper into debt'. Public debt as a proportion of GDP was lower in 2007 than it was in 1995 when Labour took over.
tutbury - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Simon4:
Rather like the deputy Prime Minister's announcement on free school meals for all Primary School kids.....we wait with interest to see what Cameron promises at the Tory Conference...at least Miliband 's proposals are designed the help the less well off....and as usual you are branded a communist if you criticise the deregulated free markets that caused the deep recession we are in...
GrahamD - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

I find it really depressing that something as strategically important as energy security and sustainability is treated on the level of short term cost to consumer. Its not just Red Ed, the other lot seem as bad. Maybe that just reflects how short termist we as voters really are since this is apparently what we want to hear ?
tutbury - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
We are engaged in open debate about an issue that affects us all individually and as a nation...I'm not sure why that is seen as short termist...??
wbo - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: He has history for making pronouncements on energy supplty without any strategy or plan whatsoever on how to achieve them from when he was a minister.

All I can see this doing is adding to the political uncertainty around future energy supply and adding to the delay on any planning or new infrastructure, the last thing Britain really needs.

mockerkin on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to kevin stephens:
> (In reply to armus)
> [...]
>
> For real? Which gas producing countries were you thinking of invading now that the UK is a net importer of gas?

I think armus meant the storage and distribution systems, not foreign gas fields.

wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to RyanOsborne:
> (In reply to wintertree)
>
> How do you mean 'they pulled us way deeper into debt'. Public debt as a proportion of GDP was lower in 2007 than it was in 1995 when Labour took over.

Yes, and there is a big lag in the size of the debt as policies don't change instantly. You need to look at the trajectory of the debt and consider how long it takes to push changes through. The pre-labour trajectory was downwards, they inherited a budget that was decreasing the debt. Now go and look at the trajectory they left us with. At the end we had senior civil servants practically revolting at the spending instructions they were being given.

There is more than a little coupling between the time it takes for a politically motivated shift to the economic policy to come to fruition (or to decompose into a stinking mess) and the average life of a government.

pebbles - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wbo:
I think Pete Sinclair's tweet this morning had a very succinct answer to the energy industry yelping:
"Just remember this - the big six energy firms made profits of £3.74 BILLION in 2012. Stop whingeing, you greedy, greedy bastards."
Al Evans on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: Thankfully it at last sounded more like a 'proper' Labour leaders speech than we've had in the years of 'New Labour'.
FesteringSore - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Al Evans: Ha ha.
wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to tutbury:

> I'm not sure why that is seen as short termist...??

He's bribing his way with the electorate via a temporary price freeze on a relatively minor bill by cutting the money going in to a sector that needs more short-, medium- and long-term investment to stave of rolling blackouts.

That's pretty short termist.

My electricity bill is much less than my council tax bill. I'd rather pay more towards the construction of several more GW of generation capability than continue to fund a lot of what my local council does. Without that generation capacity coming on line, we're heading for a 2nd world lifestyle.
puppythedog on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Al Evans: I've caught a little bit of conference this morning due to being unwell and at home. It's nice to see nationalisation and protection of nationally owned institutions being discussed comfortably. It would be brilliant if we could see a labour party behaving like a left of centre party rather than a right of centre party.
FesteringSore - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to tutbury)
>
> [...]
>
> He's bribing his way with the electorate
Which is pretty obvious to all but the blindfolded left wingers, Guardianistas and Daily Mirror readers. In the same way as Cameron will be soon trying to bribe us.
wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:
> (In reply to wintertree)
> [...]
> Which is pretty obvious to all but the blindfolded left wingers, Guardianistas and Daily Mirror readers. In the same way as Cameron will be soon trying to bribe us.

Yes, but it's unlikely that he is going to meddle with one of the most important, and currently most fragile, parts of our national infrastructure to do it. That Ed chooses to do so shows either a lack of either understanding or concern over the state of our energy infrastructure that borders on the criminal.
pebbles - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore: yay! use of Guardianista in a thread - poster is automatically deemed to lose the argument under the expanded Godwins Law rule
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Sir Chasm - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Al Evans: Did you hear Caroline Flint being interviewed on r4 afterwards?
Interviewer - "What if the energy companies decide to put up prices beforehand to allow for the freeze?"
Flint - "Well if they do that prior to the election in 2015 then Cameron will be in power and he'll have to deal with that."
GrahamD - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to tutbury:
> (In reply to GrahamD)
> We are engaged in open debate about an issue that affects us all individually and as a nation...I'm not sure why that is seen as short termist...??

This has been pretty well covered up thread. Basically all it does is add a little bribe into peoples bank. It does nothing to ensure security of resource and our exposure to wholesale energy costs. Hell, even in the short term what will he do if there is crisis that doubles wholesale gas prices ?
In reply to estivoautumnal: A speech fitting of a party that consistently spends on the credit card and then pays the minimum.
In reply to estivoautumnal: The speech suggests that Ed doesn't want to be a consultant for the energy firms once he has his golden pension.

Both Cameron and Orborne should have safe jobs in banks when they leave.
myserable old git - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: looking at the hysteria on the front page of the Mail today he must be doing something right!
tutbury - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree:
He's responding to public concern over a number of years about their energy bills and the difficulty of unravelling their pricing arrangements...even the Prime Minister waded in recently to try and ensure they were more transparent...I don't really see there is a trade off between what we pay for our Council Tax and whether we have an adequate energy infrastructure.
Eric9Points - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to pebbles:
> (In reply to wbo)
> I think Pete Sinclair's tweet this morning had a very succinct answer to the energy industry yelping:
> "Just remember this - the big six energy firms made profits of £3.74 BILLION in 2012. Stop whingeing, you greedy, greedy bastards."

..and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the profits are hidden in subsidiaries who sell energy on to them at a healthy profit.

Let's face it we've got a dreadful set up in the energy business where multinationals have the country by the short and curlies. It needs addressed.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to myserable old git: Whilst most of us a correctly lambasting Milliband for his "price controls" idea brought about by asking focus groups if they would like cheaper energy prices "you would? ok...that's fascinating...this could be a vote winner Ed!"

He could have made a much better job of promising to reverse the policy of not subsidising the building of gas storage facilities which the incumbents have decided to maintain (and a huge mistake IMO)

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9bc03bb6-2421-11e3-8905-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz2fu2wi...
Darron - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:
> (In reply to wintertree)
> [...]
> Which is pretty obvious to all but the blindfolded left wingers, Guardianistas and Daily Mirror readers. In the same way as Cameron will be soon trying to bribe us.

You are Popshot and I claim my £5

wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to tutbury:

> He's responding to public concern over a number of years about their energy bills and the difficulty of unravelling their pricing arrangements...even the Prime Minister waded in recently to try and ensure they were more transparent...

If he was responding then he would be looking into why they keep rising and tackling that, not throwing in a joke-shop gimmick of an 18-month price freeze.

> I don't really see there is a trade off between what we pay for our Council Tax and whether we have an adequate energy infrastructure.

Directly there is none and I don't claim otherwise. My point that the council tax is a lot more expensive than our energy bills, yet it is our energy infrastructure that is fast approaching breaking point. So if Ed wanted to save "hard working families" some dosh, he might be better off looking elsewhere than energy...

Most of the rising prices in energy are a combination of overall inflation devaluing currency and an increase in the costs of the underlying energy sources. Yes, there is profit, but much like the railways if you eliminated all profit, the prices would continue to rise much as they have after a year or two's respite, and that rise would be inexorable.

GrahamD - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Let's face it we've got a dreadful set up in the energy business where multinationals have the country by the short and curlies. It needs addressed.

Indeed. however this isn't going to change with this sort of popularist gesture. What it needs is a) a coherent sustainable energy strategy(20 years at a minimimum) b) the ability to enforce that strategy with appriately directed reinvestment.

Only then, c) ensure that someone isn't unduly lining their pockets in the process.

puppythedog on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree: Energy bills are about the same as council tax aren't they?
neilh - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
Its nice to see a so called left wing politician at the top advocating somthing, as its good for debate.

But it's a disaster for energy supply/prices. I can just imagine all those energy companys seeking £ for investing n new power plants seeing the cost rise as the money people factor in the cost of this new political risk.What a nightmare .For this reason I cannot take him seriously.

If he said something like we are going to renationalise it , then fine. But this is just an utter cop pot.

pebbles - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog: depends on the property value of your house. I guess if you lived in a big upmarket house in an expensive area its plausible your energy bills could be a lot smaller than your council tax bills. But the less well off you are, the less likely this is to be the case, and the bigger the proportion of your outgoings taken up by energy bills.
wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

> Energy bills are about the same as council tax aren't they?

Well our council tax is over £1k, and our energy bills average less than 60% of the council tax over a 12 month period. I'm not trying very hard to reduce the energy bills but could do so. There is bugger all we can do to reduce our council tax bill.

Then again I am happy with 17oC in winter and recognise that energy usage rises as a power law with increased temperature difference over the outside.

More generally, people can control their energy usage to a degree, but they can't their council tax. There is one exception - t's about time the scandalous cost of pre-pay meters was outlawed, there's a nasty example of baselessly charging more to those who can least afford it.
pebbles - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree: In reply to wintertree: Yes, there is profit, but much like the railways if >you eliminated all profit, the prices would continue to rise much as they >have after a year or two's respite, and that rise would be inexorable.

"Profits at the big six energy companies have shot up 74 per cent since 2009 – dwarfing inflation’s rise of 13 per cent.
British Gas, E.On, EDF, npower, ScottishPower and SSE have enjoyed a £3.3billion surge in profits as households have been hit by a 29 per cent rise in bills. Profits from the groups – which provide energy to 98 per cent of homes – rose from £2.15billion in 2009 to £2.22billion in 2010, £3.87billion in 2011 and £3.74billion in 2012."

http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/09/energy-company-profits-rise-74-per-cent-in-48-months-3917579/

methinks they protest too much
puppythedog on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree: Very unscientifically and with a lot of googling and looking at money saving forums etc it seems that a three bed house uses about the same per month as my three bed house is in council tax. I've just moved so i don't know what it is here for energy. I know that in my old falt with crap windows in a listed building with only electricity heating that my electricity bill was significantly higher than my council tax.
puppythedog on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: Nationalise energy supply.
wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to pebbles:

> "Profits at the big six energy companies have shot up 74 per cent since 2009 – dwarfing inflation’s rise of 13 per cent.

74 per cent OF WHAT?
13 per cent OF WHAT?

Not of the same thing, that is for sure. So you can't say A dwarfs B because they are not the same thing. The first is a fractional rise in the profit which is << the market turnover/cost, the second is a rise in the market turnover/cost.

There is an argument to be made that energy companies are pulling excessive profit out of the system and I would agree with that. However offensive their profitering is, it is not the base problem.

The total profit represents a few per-cent of the total value of the energy market. Let's say that the companies profit as a whole by £4.5Bn and that the total value of the market was £100Bn. Now, they raise profit 74% by charging more, this gives a profit of 1.74*4.5Bn = 7.83Bn, or an additional 4.43Bn total cost, raising the total cost to 104.43Bn, or an increase of 4.43%, much less than inflation over the 2009-2013 period. I have tried to pick representative numbers here - albeit without including the effect of tax etc.

Whilst the companies should not be ramping up profits without good reason (and there isn't one given how things are!) - can you see how, currently, doing so is a minor effect compared to other inflationary costs? If they had gone the other way and eliminated all proffit since 2009 and run purely altruistically the price would still have gone up and probably by more than overall inflation.

Now if Milliballs had said "I am going to make the Energy market fairer for the consumer by fixing the profit energy companies are allowed to extract as a function of the wholesale cost of the energy delivered, and this fraction will be defined by their investment in new plant" then I would fully support it.

(I say as a function of wholesale cost and not final cost, as otherwise there is incentive to drive up final cost to increase profit, not that the railways - who are governed thusly - could be accused of such tricks, oh no sir.)


wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

> crap windows in a listed building

That is a problem that needs fixing at the national level, it's appalling and effectively a tax on people living in old houses.

More generally, it costs what you use. People don't actually need to use all that much energy at home to have a fun and healthy time, and the ever rising costs are the world's way of reminding them of this. People need to start listening more.
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teflonpete - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree:
> (In reply to pebbles)

> Now if Milliballs had said "I am going to make the Energy market fairer for the consumer by fixing the profit energy companies are allowed to extract as a function of the wholesale cost of the energy delivered, and this fraction will be defined by their investment in new plant" then I would fully support it.

Which is probably what he'll change his pledge to if he gets into power and a civil servant explains it to him. By then of course he'll be in power and will blame the Russians or Arabs for the wholesale price of gas and will say that fixing the profit was what he said while in opposition and anyway, it was worse when the Tories were in power.

Skyfall - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

> Are we ready to take him seriously?

I'm afraid you need to face up to the fact that Ed is virtually unelectable and a big problem for Labour.

The vast majority of the country think he's a nerd, not in touch with real people (any more than Dave), insincere, unfortunate looking/sounding and don't want him representing "us". Oh, and his policies, or rather the lack of any sensible ones, suck.
mav - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to RyanOsborne:
> (In reply to wintertree)
>
> How do you mean 'they pulled us way deeper into debt'. Public debt as a proportion of GDP was lower in 2007 than it was in 1995 when Labour took over.

Er ? Labour took over in 1997. They left office in 2010. Your 95/07 comparison is correct, but 95 was when Britain's debt was at peak under Major - by 97 the ppictue had improved. Whereas if you compare 2007 with 2010, or indeed 1997 with 2010...
tutbury - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree:
Nothing to worry about then...?...leave them and the rail companies, the banks and the whole of the highly efficient private sector to it's own devices.....?.....that sort of right wing complacency led us into the present deep recession we are in now...
tutbury - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to tutbury:
And I include New Labour in that complacency
mav - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog:
> Energy bills are about the same as council tax aren't they?

Depends on the house, the area etc. I put solar panels in 6 years ago (for hot water, not feed-in electricity). Also got cavity wall insulation. Energy bills are 60% of council tax.
Skyfall - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> That's because he's from the planet Aardman

I might take issue with you there. I would say Ferengi, but you're still right about him not being human.

Donnie - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to FesteringSore:

> (In reply to estivoautumnal) So, Miliband has promised that IF elected Labour will freeze energy prices. How exactly will he achieve that without drastic reduction in the amount available for future investment in the industries. Like anybody I am in favour of reducing costs to the consumer but there has to be a limit to ensure that capital is available for essential levels of investment.

Basically, shareholders will get smaller dividends for a bit.

wintertree - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to tutbury:

> In reply to wintertree:
> Nothing to worry about then...?...leave them and the rail companies, the banks and the whole of the highly efficient private sector to it's own devices.....?.....that sort of right wing complacency led us into the present deep recession we are in now...

Are you just not reading 50% of what I wrote?

Let me repeat myself, perhaps you can misinterpret it again for my amusement.

In my view the companies are profiting more than is justifiable. However, that fact has little to no causal relationship with the long term trend of prices rising more than average inflation.

Also, I would love to know you you interpret my suggestion of a mechanism for limiting corporate proffits in the energy sector as "Right Wing Complacency".

Let me have a go at this misinterpretation game.

Re your post: That sort of reducing every complex subject down to soundbites and moronically simplistic categorisation of people as left/right wing is the sort of public driven complacency that has led to the degeneration of the political system into a farcical joke that is unable to deal with mid- to long- term train wrecks approaching in broad daylight.
wbo - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal: If, as quoted above, profits are 4 and a bit billion , but the total market is 100 then the profit margin isn't very good, and if it gets any lower there won't be any capital investment as noone will lend them any money.

I don't know onshore costs that well, but for offshore infrastructure 4 and a bit billion doesn't buy you a single large facility.

It's one of the best reasons for not renationalising these industries as the government would be left to stump up the case. But it does mean that rebuilding the UKs infratructure will be way more expensive than most people can imagine, and gets pricier the longer it goes on, and this will have just added another 5 years to getting going.
tutbury - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree:
Hahahaha....I understand now......you're in the pub
jonathan shepherd - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wintertree: "That sort of reducing every complex subject down to soundbites and moronically simplistic categorisation of people as left/right wing is the sort of public driven complacency that has led to the degeneration of the political system into a farcical joke that is unable to deal with mid- to long- term train wrecks approaching in broad daylight. "

Spot on.
Al Evans on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to pebbles)
> [...]
>
> ..and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the profits are hidden in subsidiaries who sell energy on to them at a healthy profit.
>
> Let's face it we've got a dreadful set up in the energy business where multinationals have the country by the short and curlies. It needs addressed.

It's called nationalisation.
seankenny - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to wbo:
>
> It's one of the best reasons for not renationalising these industries as the government would be left to stump up the case.

The irony being of course that our private energy companies are often owned by foreign nationalised energy companies.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n17/james-meek/how-we-happened-to-sell-off-our-electricity

neilh - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
I see Centrica's share price has fallen by 5% so far....nice one Ed..that is reaaly going to help everybody
MonkeyPuzzle - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to neilh:

Not really sure Centrica's share price should be a politician's first concern.
mkean - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
Not really sure Centrica's share price should be a politician's first concern.

Is the pension funding gap a concern for politicians? I'd guess a few funds have cash in Centrica.

seankenny - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to neilh:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal)
> I see Centrica's share price has fallen by 5% so far....nice one Ed..that is reaaly going to help everybody

Nice to see some long-term thinking.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to seankenny: Are you suggesting that Milliband has thought about the long term result of his populist soundbite pledge?

Wasn't he energy secretary under Brown? What did he do about it then? Why stop at energy? how about water? Can you trust this guy? Didn't he stab his brother in the back?

It's all a bit bonkers, he is clearly relying on UKIP to fck up the tories because by lurching left he will lose a lot of voters in the centre ground.
seankenny - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to seankenny) Are you suggesting that Milliband has thought about the long term result of his populist soundbite pledge?

Merely suggesting that overnight share prices aren't really the best way to judge a policy.



> Didn't he stab his brother in the back?

Not sure how this is relevant, unless you want evidence that he isn't a "wimpy nerd".


> It's all a bit bonkers, he is clearly relying on UKIP to fck up the tories because by lurching left he will lose a lot of voters in the centre ground.

Incidentally, I did read a piece in the FT suggesting a similar idea to Miliband's re developers using land. It was written by a Tory MP.

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Bjartur i Sumarhus on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to seankenny: Well he didn't do much about it whilst he was energy secretary, he stabbed his brother in the back to get where he wants, and now he is coming out with populist soundbites in opposition.

Do you trust him? I don't, and that's why it was relevant to a thread about Ed Milliband.

If you are promising to build 200,000 homes a year, they will need power. They will need energy companies that are incentivised to invest in the UK. We have a pensions crisis looming, Centrica amongst others will make up a significant percentage of most peoples pension pots. If the price moves that much on a soundbite from an opposition leader 2 years before an election.....?

Anyway. Re the Tory MP who advocates land confiscation. Plenty of plonkers in that party. Do you have a link, sounds interesting?
puppythedog on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús: He may also gain the voters that deserted the party after the Iraq war and the lurch towards rightwing economic thinking. Maybe they'll cancel out.
colina - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> Good speech.
>
> Are we ready to take him seriously?

how can you take this guy seriously,he looks like he'll blow over in the wind.the guy needs a major make over to man himself up ,he looks like tony blairs love child.
cant see him ever throwing a couple of punches at an egg thrower,
"two jabs" prescot certainly went up in my estimation after that episode.
nah I don't take him seriously.
,



seankenny - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to seankenny) Well he didn't do much about it whilst he was energy secretary, he stabbed his brother in the back to get where he wants, and now he is coming out with populist soundbites in opposition.
>
Surely politics is about doing what you can, when you can. Not everything can be done at the same time. Or perhaps he just changed his mind, is that not something that marks a mature thinker?


> Anyway. Re the Tory MP who advocates land confiscation. Plenty of plonkers in that party. Do you have a link, sounds interesting?

Actually a land tax: "the tax bears down on vacant land, holiday homes, investment properties and commercial properties... Thus targeted, the tax would deter speculative land banks..." which iirc is roughly what Miliband is suggesting, tho be good to hear someone who knows what they're talking about discuss this.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/29bf998e-e61c-11e0-960c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2fvOUeBGi
toad - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to colina: It comes down to looks for you? Really? You vote for the prettiest politician?
Eric9Points - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Eric9Points)
> [...]
>
> It's called nationalisation.

Well yes, the trouble is finding the money to do it now.
colina - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to toad: no I don't go for looks ,If I was interested in politics which im not by the way .I would go for a person who had conviction in what they said ,someone who could walk the walk not just talk the talk ,someone that when they talk to you.you sit up and listen,and not someone who acts and sadly looks like a wet lettuce.
puppythedog on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to colina: does it have anything to do with content at all?
andrewmcleod - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

The thing which is of course somewhat overlooked is that there isn't really that much point, beyond the obvious political benefits, of Milliband deciding what do to - because currently he can't do diddly squat about it. This is of course true of any opposition leader - for all the importance we give to the opposition, they can always be beated by a majority government/coalition.

And when he does open his mouth, he will be criticised for it from left and right regardless of whatever it is he actually says, or if it is a good idea... if he goes left, 90% of the Murdoch and co right-wing media will criticize him, while if he goes right then there isn't really much point to him existing (since the Tories do crazy right wing a lot better, or at least more). The BBC, once fairly liberal (and still somewhat) has been seemingly defanged over the last couple of years, the Guardian deep down still wants the Liberal Democrats they thought they were going to get, leaving only the Mirror. 'Nuff said...
estivoautumnal - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to colina:
> (In reply to estivoautumnal)
> [...]
>
> how can you take this guy seriously,he looks like he'll blow over in the wind.

Can you explain the relationship between skinny-ness and quality as a politician? You seem to be saying pugilistic fat people are better?
wintertree - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:
> (In reply to colina)
> [...]
>
> Can you explain the relationship between skinny-ness and quality as a politician? You seem to be saying pugilistic fat people are better?

Metaphor?
teflonpete - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to colina) It comes down to looks for you? Really? You vote for the prettiest politician?

It's not necessarily about looks but I think we do expect a certain charisma from top level politicians and Ed has got the charisma of a plastic flower pot. Can you imagine him negotiating a tough deal with Argentina over the Falklands or the Russians over gas prices?
Simon4 - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete:

> Ed has got the charisma of a plastic flower pot.

Very unfair - to plastic flower pots! Some of them are both attractive and useful.

> Can you imagine him negotiating a tough deal with Argentina over the Falklands or the Russians over gas prices?

I can very easily imagine him doing anything he could to harm British interests, if he thought he could buy a few short term votes or produce a childish, ill-thought out soundbite by doing so, or just out of simple malevolence toward Britain and the British people. After all, he is the son of Ralph Milliband, who was so overwhelmed with gratitude to the country that saved him from the Nazis that he wrote :

"The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world...When you hear the English talk of this war you sometimes almost want them to lose it to show them how things are."
puppythedog on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete: All of our leaders now look naff in comparison since Hugh Grant told the American president to get lost in Love actually :-(
teflonpete - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

Funny that you should mention that film on a thread about Ed Miliband. I thought "Love Actually" was the most vomit inducing hotch potch of ill thought out, pseudo romantic piffle ever to (dis)grace UK cinema screens. Ed Miliband on the other hand...
puppythedog on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete: I love that film. Ed Milliband on the other hand :-)


I'm just hoping for a viable left. I'm happy for the main centrist parties like labour and conservatives (who are rightwing nutjobs in some respects as well as centrist) and liberals to eat each other so the Greens can increase their share of the vote.
teflonpete - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog:
> (In reply to teflonpete) I love that film. Ed Milliband on the other hand :-)
>
>
> I'm just hoping for a viable left. I'm happy for the main centrist parties like labour and conservatives (who are rightwing nutjobs in some respects as well as centrist) and liberals to eat each other so the Greens can increase their share of the vote.

I'd vote Green if they fielded a candidate at the next election. Unfortunately, in the last general election, only the 3 major parties and UKIP fielded candidates in our constituency. Not sure if the UKIP candidate got his deposit back but it was always going to be a safe Tory seat. I wouldn't vote Tory but I couldn't bring myself to vote Labour while they've got people like Miliband and Balls at the top of the party.
puppythedog on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete: Ditto, I've voted green or spoiled papers in the last few elections. Now I've moved to the south east I don't know what will be available and I'm loath to reward the 'dems aparantley our local one whom is in currently is a good egg.
teflonpete - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog:

I voted 'Dems at the last general as he was more likely to be in a position to oust Liddington. Look where that got us! :0(
puppythedog on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to teflonpete: Principles are obviously deposited in a safety deposit box upon entering government.
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andrewmcleod - on 26 Sep 2013
In reply to estivoautumnal:

Unwillingness to bend your principles guarantees you will never get power in our current system...

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