So here’s a damned idiot then

Alexander Stafford, Tory MP for Rother Valley, and a member of the parliamentary select committee for business, energy and industrial strategy, said it was “disappointing” that BP was “making such profits on the back for people who are finding it hard to make ends meet and pay their bills.”

Energy companies have a “moral duty” to help tackle the cost of living, he added, pushing for more of the profits to be re-invested in renewable energy.

Given up even hoping for an actually classical liberal party, or even a right wing one. But even a few Tories would be a nice surprise these days.

29 thoughts on “So here’s a damned idiot then”

  1. Energy companies have a “moral duty” to help tackle the cost of living,

    No they bloody don’t. They’re not the sodding Savation Army, thepurpose of their business is to maximise profits and grind the opposition into the dust.

    Berk.

  2. Just what do these idiots expect the oil companies to do?

    “Yes, the world price is $100 per barrel but it would be immoral for us to accept more than $50”?

  3. Utterly agree with Wat Dabney. We’d be better off ending the Secret ballot and forcing anyone who voted for a party in favour of Net Zero to pay an additional surcharge of 5% of their income. Any parent whose children joined that goblin Greta Thunberg on various demonstrations could also pay a fine as well. Could probably extend that to anyone opposed to an immediate ceasefire in the Ukraine as well. I think you can count the number of real ‘Conservatives’ in Parliament on one hand!

  4. Someone start a party and I’ll donate. I’m not going to start it, I don’t have those leadership skills.

    The regional pay announcement by Truss was a huge disappointment. Apart from her bottling it, there were lots of Tories complaining about it, like overpaid NHS managers and teachers in Yorkshire are ever going to vote anything but Labour.

  5. What a tosser. Get rid of net zero, repeal the Climat Change Act, remove renewable energy subsidies, and let the energy companies decide which fuel they want.

    You’d think that the people with a moral duty to combat the rising cost of living would be the morons in government and Whitehall who created the problem in the first place.

  6. The Meissen Bison

    The increasingly irritating and strident Julia H-B was banging on in a similar vein on her Talk Radio breakfast show.

    It’s alarming how many ill-informed and unthinking people pontificate in a spudular vein.

  7. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Overheard conversation in German airport, management consultant types. Could be equally applicable to politics:

    “Do you have to be a complete economic idiot to work for company X?”
    “No. Being a complete idiot is enough”.

  8. Oil prices are back to where they were in 2014. And are oil companies really the villains? A quick google shows BP’s gross profits were greater in 7 out of the past 12 years than they are (so far) in 2022.

  9. ‘What a tosser. Get rid of net zero, repeal the Climate Change Act, remove renewable energy subsidies, and let the energy companies decide which fuel they want.’

    A pleasure to see some good sense, DocBud!!

  10. I have mentioned before that if all those who believe in net zero actually demonstrated the point by not using any fossil fuels there would be more than enough* for the rest of us.

    *I know there is already more than enough – for all 7.5 billion of us, they just won’t let us have it.

  11. Idiot?

    Tory MP for Rother Valley

    Rother Valley was Labour for a hundred fucking years before this guy was elected. You’re not going to stay MP there if you give your constituents economics lessons from the Tim Worstall School of Tact and Diplomacy.

  12. Given up even hoping for an actually classical liberal party, or even a right wing one.
    But in reality, neither of these things can exist, can they? There are only individual people. And individuals seek to maximise what they perceive as their own personal advantage. The people you’re talking about usually get the perception bit correct, which is why they’ve risen in the greasy pole world of politics. So there are no ‘Tories’ because no one perceives it to be in their personal interest to be Tory.
    So if you want to change politics, you have to change the incentives. Carrot or stick. Personally I’m very much in favour of the method of that under-regarded hero of out times, Anders Breivik. We’re well past carrot time.

  13. PJF,

    “Rother Valley was Labour for a hundred fucking years before this guy was elected. You’re not going to stay MP there if you give your constituents economics lessons from the Tim Worstall School of Tact and Diplomacy.”

    Actually you might.

    A lot of these places have changed over the years. Sure, they were once Labour heartlands back when they were full of sweaty men doing industrial labour but that’s gone. And Labour shifted to where the union members were, which is public sector.

    There’s this myth that goes around about “traditional values” but the truth is that what’s happened in a lot of these places is that they’ve shifted from public sector to non-unionised private sector. Once that happens people stop caring so much about filling the boots of the public sector because it’s them that’s going to be paying for it. You can only convince them to vote Labour if you can sell to people that you’re going to deliver better services.

  14. BIS,

    “Given up even hoping for an actually classical liberal party, or even a right wing one.
    But in reality, neither of these things can exist, can they? There are only individual people. And individuals seek to maximise what they perceive as their own personal advantage. The people you’re talking about usually get the perception bit correct, which is why they’ve risen in the greasy pole world of politics. So there are no ‘Tories’ because no one perceives it to be in their personal interest to be Tory.”

    But it is in their personal interest if the voters decide to fire them for not being so. Like the whole UKIP success was collecting enough scalps by splitting the vote of the right that the Tories got scared.

    The biggest problem in politics, and I don’t know how generally fixable it is, is getting enough of the public to distrust government as a system. Not voting Starmer because they don’t like Boris, but realising that they are both assclowns and they should vote to not give either of them more of their earnings. Once you solve that you can get a right wing party.

  15. Wot PJF said.

    BoM4 might be a tad overly optimistic, in timing at least.

    As for Stafford himself; he’s 35. He’s previously been a local councillor in Ealing (that Ealing, London – nowhere near fucking Rotherham) for five years beginning 2014. Looks like he left Oxford with a history degree in 2007 or so, and in the intervening years worked for Shell, the World Wildlife Fund and the MP Owen Patterson.

    That’s it.

    A prime candidate for the loving strokes of the Clue Bat, if ever there was one.

  16. @snag

    I’m amused that you believe that a ceasefire in Ukraine is in the hands of British voters.

    I think if we stopped supplying weapons and training it might end it all a bit quicker.

    No, I’m not a Russian bot, no I don’t love Putin, yes, I do think the war is wrong, yes I’d like to have seen it end with Russia back behind its own borders licking its wounds.

    It’s just that it’s none of our business, and it’s entirely possible that prolonging it – which seems to me to be being driven by US interests – will end up costing more lives.

    I still can’t quite believe that Germany is going to be mostly without gas this winter, and quicker if it’s a hard one, but if it is a lot of Germans will die of cold, and the people who emerge from the wreckage of the German and wider western economies are unlikely to have their lives enhaced or lengthened by the consequences.

    It is fucking utterly insane to shut down almost all your other energy sources and then start effectively shelling the bloke with his hand on the tap of your main remaining one. The German leadership are cunts, like ours, but they’re not completely stupid – are they??

    Either there’s going to be a deal and the gas will flow, or there isn’t and it won’t, and currently we in the west seem to be doing our best to ensure the second of those. It must be deliberate.

    See also plans to cut Dutch agri by 30%, and by extension to remove 30% of food from their supermarkets and probably more from other European supermarkets. They know that people at the margins will die, and that many others will be immisearted.

    These are the people we (in this case the Dutch, but) elect to represent us and our interests and they are doing this to us openly and deliberately.

  17. All of these cunts demanding energy firms face windfall taxes round the world and I’ve not heard a single one of them demand windfall taxes on Big Pharma.

    Weird.

  18. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    “The German leadership are cunts, like ours, but they’re not completely stupid – are they??”

    I trust this is a rhetorical question.

  19. I still can’t quite believe that Germany is going to be mostly without gas this winter, and quicker if it’s a hard one, but if it is a lot of Germans will die of cold, and the people who emerge from the wreckage of the German and wider western economies are unlikely to have their lives enhaced or lengthened by the consequences.
    Not sure if that isn’t the optimum outcome.
    It’s European electorates have put these idiots in governments to make these stupid decisions. Part of the reason’s the growth of the belief that it’s possible to get consequence free “good stuff” without ever paying the price. Because that’s how the above idiots have got themselves elected.
    Except they’re not actually idiots. Quite the opposite. They’ve been cleverly seeking what they perceive as their own personal advantages. They didn’t give a fuck about the consequences to anyone else. So the above scenario might produce some Europeans angry enough to give these c**ts some consequences. Good hard & hopefully terminal. Might get us back to where politicians act for the benefit of the electorate not themselves. Education time all round.

  20. A few frozen Germans would be a small price to pay. Wouldn’t be the right Germans but you can’t have everything. The Mum of the guard on the palace gates being thoroughly pissed off will suffice.

  21. @BiFR

    Are you suggesting – with your admittedly far greater knowledge of the Boxheads – that the German authorities really are so stupid that they can’t see that if they don’t reach some sort of climbdown position on Russia they are going to completely fuck their country and its economy this winter? ie that it isn’t deliberate??

    (I leave open the entirely possible possibility that I have missed something, and there is a way Germany can get through a winter without Russian gas, and maybe lose only an small amount of GDP, jobs, food etc. Is it all being overplayed, in other words?)

    @BiS

    I don’t know. The footage from Holland yesterday of cops batoning unarmed people for daring to fly a banner advertising the fact that the food supply was being restricted is… concerning.

    I can see this ending one of two ways. The cops double down and the people submit, or the cops double down and the people start finding out where they live and petrol bombing their houses at night. I can’t see the dream scenario – the cops turning against their employers – as a realistic possibility. It’s quite possible that the mother of the guard on the palace gate prefers order in which her son wears the trousers than anarchy in which trousers appear randomly and disappear just as randomly.

  22. @Interested
    It may well be reaching a crisis point.
    The Mum analogy serves to point out both that there are an awful lot more of us than there are of them & that a good part of the them are actually us.
    From there, it’s that there are no other things than individuals. Any organisation is just a conglomeration of individuals. So it depends on what those individuals perceive to be in their own personal interests. (Altruism is very rarely spotted in the wild)
    As far as the UK’s concerned, the personal interests seem to centre around not missing the next Strictly. Mainland Europe, maybe not so much. Different histories. Societies depend on individuals perceiving that subjugating some of their own personal interests to the continuation of that society is in their interest. But there has to be a net benefit, doesn’t there? What happens if it’s a net loss? With the individuals tasked with maintaining order & preserving the structure of a society, they have to see doing so as a net benefit to themselves. Again what happens if they don’t?
    We take it for granted that the society we live in is a durable structure. Actually it isn’t. It’s very delicate. It’s largely held together by inertia & common consent. That shouldn’t be taken as a given.

  23. “Are you suggesting – with your admittedly far greater knowledge of the Boxheads – that the German authorities really are so stupid that they can’t see that if they don’t reach some sort of climbdown position on Russia they are going to completely fuck their country and its economy this winter? ie that it isn’t deliberate??”

    There is a third option between stupidity and malice, and that is the one posited by CS Lewis:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    That is to say the German rulers may consider the deaths of X% of Germans this winter to be a morally ‘good thing’, in the circumstances, something that is good for them in other words.

  24. a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims
    Sorry but no. Nobody ever does things for anyone else. If you look deep into people’s motivations, they do them for themselves. Maybe it’s preserving their genetic line through their children. Or just to feel good about themselves. People can be very complicated about justifications but a lot of them come down to that. What’s a sense of loyalty? Is it to something external to the person? Or to preserve a self image. The drive to do that can be very strong. Even to death. Especially with those think death is not a final end.

  25. Personally, I think a lot of people responsible for the current situation have found themselves riding a tiger. They’d like to get off but the personal consequences to themselves would be worse than staying aboard. Yeah they know somewhere down the road it’ll end in disaster. But like the bloke stepped off the Empire State as he passed the 25th floor. “So far so good”. And they’re probably convinced that whatever disaster happens, it won’t happen to them. So far it rarely has, has it?

  26. It’s like 2035, all electric cars. It’s probably undoable & they know it. But that’s 13 years away. Few of the current mob will still be around. They’ll be comfortably drawing their protected pensions. So they’re not going to risk the career & reputational damage of U-turning now. The politician who will do that is still half way up the greasy pole. Maybe he’ll see it as a career enhancing move. Even failing to achieve a successful U-turn because it’s too late. Important thing is he won’t get the blame.

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