Which has been worrying about ‘leccie companies going bust

There is always moaning about the functioning of a market economy. The latest fuss comes from Which?, concerning the operation of the energy market. The complaint is that companies arrive, charge unsustainably low prices, go bust and customers — 283,000 households this year — get transferred to companies that charge more. That last being what keeps the lights on, as they don’t go bust.

This isn’t a problem, nor something to be regulated away. Which? seems not to realise that suppliers going bankrupt isn’t an error of the system, it’s the designed function of a market economy.

Sadly, the editor changed my use of “mither” to moaning in that first sentence.

Pity, I like the world mither…..

14 thoughts on “Which has been worrying about ‘leccie companies going bust”

  1. Bloke in Germany

    I don’t know if this has made it to the UK, but there was a great scam going on in Germany a decade or so ago – since been banned:

    Buy your leccie up front. Pay now consume later. At unsustainably low price.

    I trust I don’t need to spell out the rest.

  2. There have been complaints (in the press) that people with failed suppliers have been moved to the ‘most expensive’ contracts. I wonder how the regulator does this? I assume that all the customers of failed company Z aren’t moved en masse to company A. And you can’t easily identify the ‘best’ supplier without a ‘know your customer’ process.

    So if I were responsible for it, I’d just distribute them at random and in proportion among existing suppliers. Some would end up with good deals and some with bad, but they’d probably mostly have to pay more, because undercharging is the main reason companies in this sector go bust.

  3. So the Thunderer is supposed to be a place for distinctive new voices who are going to give Times’ readers something a bit different. And subs edit them to make them sound more like the usual boilerplate Times journalist…

  4. Interesting detail – for writers at least.

    The comment page editor gives it a change so that it’s as he would like it. The subs come later – and one of those Times subs is an occasional commenter here – and make sure that the comment page editor has got it right. Sorta, but not exactly, the first level is to edit to taste, the second to sub for being correct.

  5. are a little different in meaning. Moan being more passive, mither more outspoken. Mither is transitive in some contexts, isn’t it? You mither people. A kid in a supermarket trolley mithers mums at the checkout (or did, before that practice was deprecated by Cameron).

    Do I have it wrong? Is the distinction not really there?

  6. Mither surely derives from mother and is therefore sexist and potentially ageist, perhaps why the Thunderer binned it. It might also be trans-phobic these days.

    As white middle-aged middle-class men are the root of all evil in this country and about the only category of human which is incapable of suffering discrimination, could I suggest an (almost) appropriate substitute? (With suitable hat tip to our Vile Novelist).


    There is always hectoring about the functioning of a market economy.

  7. When I moved into my current home, way back in 2002, it took me a while to realise that I wasn’t being sent gas bills. Seemed the property had somehow slipped through the net while suppliers were changed. A couple of years later I got a letter about it, signed up to someone or other and they only asked for my then current meter reading.

    Two years free gas. Can’t be on a better tariff than that.

  8. Mither – North England dialect for whining and making a fuss over nothing, or pestering somebody about something.

    Mither – North England & Scotland, short ‘i’ can also mean ‘mother’.

  9. Andrew C

    I never understood how they convinced themselves that the name was a good idea.

    Somebody at the agency must have been having a laugh.

  10. The creation of a market for the supply of electricity is another scam like all the other privatisations. The fantasists who believe in tooth fairies believe in ‘ free markets ‘ . I’ve been called by three ‘ electricity brokers ‘ in the space of a few weeks all wanting to put my company into a contract at the best price . Every one is a scammer and easily rebuffed , but had I accepted their ‘ free ‘ service I would have been paying their fee in a higher price for my electricity . Water, gas they’re all the same.

  11. The only other instance I can recall of the use of ‘mither’ was The Fall’s song “Stop Mithering”.

  12. On the theme of Gerbil Worming, one of the odder bits of virtue signalling came up on TV today – a Smart Meter Garden… This is at a garden festival at Hampton Court. Of course it got a gold medal.

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