When Turkeys Vote For Christmas

September 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I’ve not been able to catch a great deal of the Labour Conference this weekend, mostly because I don’t really have any affection for these events whatsoever. It’s an annual get together for people of more or less the same political persuasion, where the leader or key ministers make faux-impassioned speeches written by somebody else. I did however manage to catch just a bit of Ed Miliband’s ‘Britain Can Do Better Than This’ speech, and I have to agree with him. Britain can do better than this. Whilst I agree with his new tagline, I probably won’t really agree with everything beneath it.

Having said that, I think Ed is actually heading in the right direction. Even if I don’t like his style, there does seem to be at least a bit of substance to his words. He has made some promising promises if you will, about defending the NHS, repealing the bedroom tax and now freezing energy prices. I don’t think he goes far enough if I’m being brutal, but I can understand why he doesn’t. If he goes too ‘radical’ too soon, he’ll be obliterated in the press and we’ll end up with a Balls vs Cameron election. So yes, he doesn’t go as far as I’d like but does seem to be showing that he is far more in touch with common people than Cameron. In recent polls energy prices haven’t been considered as a key factor at all, but that’s probably because it’s still summer-ish and the big energy companies have largely been out of the news for a while.

But as winter draws ever nearer, Miliband’s promise to freeze energy prices will suddenly seem far more appealing. Perhaps I’m in a minority here, but I’d rather Ed campaigned on issues that actually make a positive difference to individuals and the nation as a whole like stopping NHS privatisation, repealing a crippling ‘tax’ and making energy just a little less unaffordable than for him to campaign on an anti-immigration ticket. If he wants to show strength, he’ll tackle the real issues and confront the false issues that Cameron’s (admittedly capable) spin-machine has created. If he wants to be a genuine alternative to this draconian government full of privileged multi-millionaires instead of tackling issues that might make the people angry (rightly or wrongly) he’ll tackle the issues that cause people to struggle. The jury is still out on that one, but he appears to be headed in the right direction. I still feel that May 2015 will be about the lesser of two evils, I’m not even considering the Lib Dems as a potential candidate, and I actually feel that Cameron may win. It’s like the Mark Twain quote:

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

If Ed decides that tackling Cameron’s false issues is the best strategy for victory, he will be soundly beaten. Why? Because Cameron’s cronies invented them.

So going back just a little bit then to the energy price freeze, I noticed on the BBC website they had ‘Miliband Promises Energy Price Freeze’ as the heading for their story with the ever-so-comical sub-heading: ‘But Energy Firms Criticise the Plan’. If ever there was a ‘No Shit Sherlock’ moment, that was it. Can you imagine the conversation between the Journalist and the Spokesman?

Journalist: So Ed Miliband is promising to freeze energy prices for 20 months if he wins the election, what do you think about that?

Spokesman: Oh yes it’s great news. I mean, it will hit our profits, our shareholders will be unhappy and actually our share prices will also drop but apart from that it sounds great.

What the energy firms have actually said is a whole load of guff that shows that privatisation of such a basic need as gas and electricity was a truly awful idea. The retaliation was: ‘the policy could lead to power shortages, and jeopardise investment and jobs.’ Three things that Britons don’t really want to hear at the moment. Power shortages?? Job Losses?? No investment (ok well probably not immediately bothered by that) but the energy firms have indulged in a little bit of fear-mongering in an attempt to derail Ed’s plan. It will be interesting to monitor Ed’s stance on this leading up to the election, particularly as you can almost cast-iron guarantee that these energy firms will donate funds to the Conservatives in return for a promise of no such freeze.

Politicking and corruptive practices aside, the big firms that play host to profiteering exercises in Britain can donate to whoever the hell they like. At the end of the day, it is the general public who turn up at the ballot boxes and place their votes. It is our responsibility to ask ourselves two questions:

  1. Which party will make my life better?
  2. Will others need to suffer in order for that to happen?

If you genuinely think that having less people of colour in Britain (which is what Immigration is really about) is far more important than affordable gas, electricity, free healthcare, free schools and a fair society for all then I think you might need to evaluate your life. And if you think that privatisation of the NHS is a good idea, have a look at how much you pay for Gas, Water and Electricity currently. Have a look at the profits these companies make, and the amount of money they invest into greener, more sustainable energy sources. You may point to fracking potentially bringing in £billions into Britain, but realistically that isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference to you or I. We’ll see no savings, no investment and another surge in Energy firms’ profits.

So the Energy Firms quite obviously don’t like Ed’s policy, just as Turkeys quite obviously don’t like Christmas. Though you can at least have a little bit of sympathy for the Turkeys.