Dear God the Miliboy is an ignorant cunt, ain’t ‘ee?

One of his first acts in office would be to pass emergency legislation forbidding energy companies from increasing domestic prices, the leader told his party conference.

Price controls have always been so damn effective, haven’t they?

I’m entirely used to the idea that there are places in the world where they don’t have bog roll: there’s plenty of places poor enough that you have to make do with a handful of sand. I’m also used to the idea that there’s places rich enough to have wondrous phone networks with mobile internet and local developers creating apps. I’m just very surprised that there’s a part of the world that seems to have the apps and not the paper.

There are two conflicting stories here about why this shortage is happening. There’s the president, Nicolas Maduro, insisting that it’s all a result of the capitalists hoarding the stuff to make him look bad. Indeed, last week, the state media trumpeted the fact that specialist investigators had uncovered a cache of 2,500 rolls of the stuff.

Then there’s the economists, who are saying that because the State has fixed the price so low, no one is willing to either make or import the stuff at a loss. Believe who you will there, although I’m going with the idea that capitalist revolutionaries would be causing a bit more damage than just sticky arses.

As that froth-mouthed free marketeer, though, there’s an important underlying point. Even I don’t think that the free market unadorned always works in quite the way we’d want it to. I’m quite happy to agree that there are times when markets fail, when they’re absent, or where they’re very misleading indeed (say, over the incentives to pollute, externalities and all that). But on the flip side, I’d also insist that there are indeed times when those free markets, pure and unadorned, do indeed work just fine. Like in keeping the basics of modern life, the flour, cooking oil and loo roll that this app tracks through crowdsourced knowledge, on the shelves.

It might even be that some people in that country are too poor to pay the prices demanded for that available toilet paper. To which the answer is give them more money to purchase it, don’t screw up a functioning market by freezing the price so that no one can get it.

If your price controls lead to the price charged being below the free market price then there will be a shortage of whatever the good or service is having its price controlled. And if your price control is above the free market price then what’s the fucking point?

This is just arse dribble from the Miliboy. The only important question is whether he just thinks we’re stupid enough to fall for it or whether he’s actually stupid enough to have fallen for it.

24 comments on “Dear God the Miliboy is an ignorant cunt, ain’t ‘ee?

  1. Now let’s see,
    The government passed a “climate change act” designed to control the weather by pricing available energy off the market- Ed should know, he proposed it.
    The current government also puts every obstacle it can think of in the way of producing more and cheaper gas.
    And now they are so horrified that their plans are working as intended and forcing prices up that they propose to make it too expensive to produce useful energy at all.
    Should work, if the real objective was to have Britons unemployed and shivering in the dark.
    Especially so if the lack of sunspot activity presages a cold period, as it always has since records began.
    It should have a bright side for those worried about imigration- not only will the recent imigrants leave and go elsewhere, but many Britons will join them

  2. Considering that the Tories have been running the narrative (along with most parties, most newspapers and most of the big consumer groups) of the energy companies being excessively profiteering fat cats for a while (they’re really not), I doubt it will lose many votes and may even win some as “Ed is on the side of the people”.

  3. He is the son of a Marxist so he is stupid enough to believe it. On the R4 Today programme this morning he was asked what would happen if some unforseen major event raised wholesale fuel prices. His amazing answer was: “that won’t happen, we have looked back at the last ten years and past history is a good predictor of future events”.

    You couldn’t make it up

  4. This is just the first salvo in the disintegration of AGW. The politicians, cognitive dissonance being their middle names, cannot accept that a) they’ve been had by the water melon/science complex and b) that what they have done at the behest of the wmsc is causing what they now are trying to prevent – namely higher energy prices. The fact they are economic morons and think price controls are the way to go is by the by.

    In fact its this sort of thing that will kill the AGW scam stone dead quicker than anything else. As temperatures continue to flatline (at worst, most likely will start to dive as the Grand Solar Minimum takes effect) and energy demand begins to rise significantly these sort of controls will mean gas shortages and electricity blackouts as sure as eggs is eggs. And when the first Granny freezes to death because her heating was off due to a utility outage, the ‘Green’ agenda will be toast. I’ll give the whole renewables thing til about 2020 until its entirely repealed, and it’ll be ‘Drill baby drill’ thereafter.

  5. Arthur Dent, I think that was the same logic used by S&P and Moodys to rate subprime debt: “the housing market has never collapsed across the entire USA”.

    Of course the data used to justify that didn’t go back the great depression. Ed probably doesn’t remember the actions of OPEC in the early 1970s.

  6. if I was a profit oriented energy supplier and I thought there was a risk of prices being frozen tomorrow, I’d raise them today.

    how’s Ed going to avoid that?

  7. The only important question is whether he just thinks we’re stupid enough to fall for it or whether he’s actually stupid enough to have fallen for it.

    Not “we” – just his “clients” (or variation of the payroll vote), that’s all he needs, and that’s actually quite reasonable. Children do tend to gravitate to the one who offers the most smarties.

  8. “The bankers” had lost their lustre as a hate group, and Ed needed fresh meet for the wolves, so energy was the next target.

    When people get bored with that it will be food and the supermarkets, though I am looking forward to Ed justifying policies of supermarkets rigging food prices AND there being apparently an “obesity crisis”.

  9. That Sun headline: if Labour wins “could the last person to leave please turn the lights out”, that was wrong. We won’t need to turn the lights out; Ed Milliband will do it for us.

  10. “if I was a profit oriented energy supplier and I thought there was a risk of prices being frozen tomorrow, I’d raise them today.

    how’s Ed going to avoid that?”

    He won’t give a shit as long as it happens *before* he’s PM… indeed, it will give him another stick to beat the Tories with..

  11. I suspect that Ed Millipede will do what all collectivists do in such circumstances and instigate a maximum price per therm / KWh regardless of the pricing by individual companies.

    The companies will put up with it for a short period so they aren’t locked out of the market, but expect Enron-style disruptive activities from wholesale suppliers such as taking power stations off-the-grid during peak hours for “safety reasons”.

    Nothing like a few brown-outs to put the fear of being ousted by the electorate, especially during the winter months.

    Some of us still remember the power strikes of the 1970′s.

    Buying a portable gas heater, a 1-KW generator and a 50-litre drum of petrol might be a good long-term investment.

  12. I found quite wonderful how he could say “the market are broken” and “lets freeze prices” in the same sentence without self combusting.

  13. Our energy production is not a free market but a group of privatised, govt-arsekissing scum who have the state’s green-slimed hand up them like a glove puppet. Piss on Millibrand and the energy companies both.

  14. “Even I don’t think that the free market unadorned always works in quite the way we’d want it to. ”

    What’s this “we” shit?

    The market works for the participants. Third-parties be damned.

  15. It’s such a brilliant idea that it will even have the effect of monopolising the market even further. Nobody will join the market and a couple of those “big six” might choose to leave.

    Staggering brilliance.

  16. My wife likes to keep a camping stove and a couple of bottles of gas “just in case” even though the last time we went camping was in 1985. She’s more prescient than I thought.

    On a more serious note, this also does a lot of damage to long term investment. The political risk for energy companies borrowings has just increased a couple of notches, just for saying it whether of not he follows through, which no doubt will appear in their WACC, requiring an increase in price to consumers.

  17. @gamecock

    “The market works for the participants. Third-parties be damned.”

    So it works for those who sell energy and those who buy it. Hermits, not so much. Cry me a river.

  18. I suspect that gamecocks argument is that the energy companies are in an effective cartel gaming price rises in sequence to drive profits at the detriment of consumers.

    I’m suspicious of the major players, but I’ve seen no evidence to confirm my suspicions.

  19. I wonder what his private polling says? The bottom line should be that the Labour Party is set for returning to power. This LibDem coalition with the Tory-lites is a disaster. Cameron is out of his depth, but he is head and shoulders above his alleged Treasurer.

    They do not deserve re-election.

    All Miliband has to do is keep his mouth shut and his head down and he will be in Number Ten soon enough. The one thing he mustn’t do is startle the horses. So what does he think he is doing?

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