How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.
Thursday, 18 October 2012
When Is A Policy Not A Policy?
The answer to this question appears to be twofold - when David Cameron announces one on the spur of the moment and when it impacts on the Tories best pals. The PM's announcement yesterday, after coming under pressure over energy profiteering from Labour, was a case in point. "We are preparing legislation," he grandly announced, "to force energy companies to offer their customers the best tariffs." If the Tories were preparing such legislation then it seems to be news to them and, as the opposition has rightly pointed out, Cameron's statement actually makes no sense whatsoever. If true then its begs the first of many questions such as "What about the Tories much-vaunted faith in competition?" If all energy companies are forced to offer their customers the best possible price doesn't that mean that they must all charge the same tariff? Then there's the question of how the Tory-led government, not noted for either their intelligence or competence, will know what "the best price" actually is. The energy companies were left bemused since they seem to have no idea how such a policy could work while no discussions with the government seem to have taken place. The Department of Energy were quick to distance itself from the so-called policy denying suggestions that companies would be forced to move customers onto cheaper tariffs. They were left having to lamely explain that customers should "shop around" for the best deals. The government was left, in turn, with only one argument and that centred on the jungle of misleading information and hundreds of different tariffs that the energy companies use to baffle their customers. This, however, is not popular in the Tory party since it means that some of their best and most wealthy donators will no longer be able to steal money from a bewildered public and then pass some of the proceeds on to them.