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The Greens don’t seem to understand markets

No surprise there of course:

In a proposal that goes well beyond Labour’s idea for a freeze on energy bills for at least six months, the Greens said nationalising the main five energy firms was a necessary part of a plan sufficiently ambitious “to avoid a catastrophe this winter”.

The scheme would be based on one proposed by the TUC last month. This was based on a cost of about £2.85bn to nationalise the big five supply firms – British Gas, E.ON, EDF, Scottish Power and Ovo. As a comparison, the government spent £2.2bn bailing out another firm, Bulb.

The Green plan would also involve the energy price cap – the maximum households can pay – being put back to the level of last autumn, before this April’s increase of nearly £700 a year for the average household.

The retail companies are, well, they’re the retail companies. They’re not the folk producing the energy, nor are they the ones pricing it. Nationalising them therefore doesn;t do anything to change the price of energy.

It’s like nationalising Sainsburys to protest about the cost of filet steak. Just not the right part of the system to be complaining about.

20 thoughts on “The Greens don’t seem to understand markets”

  1. Why do they say that they want to “avoud a catastrophe” ?

    Shirley that is exactly what they want ?

  2. I sneeze in threes

    Did the government bail out Bulb or did they bail out the companies Bulb owed money to? If Bulb had gone under customers could have just transferred to other retail intermediaries.

  3. The whole idea behind all the Greens is that reality doesn’t matter.
    Can it really be the case that they didn’t understand that when you fight to remove energy, and succeed, energy costs and prices increase?

  4. BiTiN,

    “The whole idea behind all the Greens is that reality doesn’t matter.”

    They’re very much unserious people, with a wish fulfilment list, and no joined-up thinking or sense of trade offs.

    Like I know a local green candidate. And she organised a campaign against Stagecoach shortening a route. Stagecoach’s answer was that they generally picked up less than 1 person on the bus at that stop. So, it wasn’t worth it.

    I had to point out to her that, you know? This is also greener. Having a bloody great bus go out to pick up 1 person was worse than that person just driving. And she was like “oh, but we should have more buses”. How do people not grasp that a bus is a lot bigger than a car? So needs more fuel to move it? Works great when it’s half full or better, but when it’s a taxi for one person it’s not.

  5. So Labour want us to nationalise our energy suppliers: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Russia?

    Send a gunboat!
    It’s almost as if the Suez crisis never happened 🙂

  6. How can price caps ever work anyway? You can’t legislate how much something costs. If you could we could cap the price of an Aston Martin at £5,000 and then everyone could have one. If there are problems with the health service, why not just make it illegal to be ill?

  7. Dennis, Inconveniently Noting Reality

    The Greens don’t seem to understand markets

    What Hayek said about Socialists applies to Greens.

    Then again, Socialists and Greens are a distinction without a difference.

  8. BiTiN,

    “So why do their idiot ideas get traction?”

    Mostly because women love this bullshit, in the same way that women love crystal healing shops and homeopathy. And men don’t correct their girlfriends and wives, because who wants to go without for the sake of £7 of water?

  9. Invade France

    Take a leaf out of China’s playbook. We used to own most of what is now France, so rightfully it should still be ours. And the bit that we didn’t own, we’ll take as well, because…

  10. Surely if you’re a true believer in the eco-apocalypse, you should be cheering wildly every time energy (and other) prices rise, forcing people to consume less, just as you demand they must do? It’s that cognitive dissonance thing again, isn’t it?

  11. @stonyground

    But then Aston Martin wouldn’t make a profit.

    As I understand it, UK energy suppliers are making record profits and could accommodate price caps.

  12. Chris Miller

    Yes, of course.

    According to BoM4 (and I think he has a point), much of this BS is crystallized into reality by wimminz feelz.

    Feelz is feelz; connected to reality through a tortuous path involving initial mood etc.

    But this week, saying yes indeed that’s the obvious outcome and exactly what we wanted to do would -were they to say it – cause people to say nasty things about them. Which would be hurtful.

    Unless those saying hurtful things are evil.

    So the feelz change roots, from we’re green and virtuous to those bastard tories/capitalists/whatever.

    I fear BoM4 has it. It all hangs together.

    o fuck.

  13. Yes and no.

    The retailers buy the leccy and sell it on, hoping to make a buck or two, right? And the customer doesn’t give a shit what their retailer pays, only what it charges.

    If you nationalise them the the government can standardise tariffs and contracts, and supply at whatever price it chooses. It can make a loss if it so desires. So if the aim is to do that, the approach is a way of getting there.

    Which, obviously, doesn’t make it a good idea.

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