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Emrys's Journal
Emrys's Journal
August 28, 2022

Why UK energy prices are rising much faster than in Europe

London (CNN Business) - Millions of people in the United Kingdom are steeling themselves for colossal rises to their energy bills over the next few months, a coda to a year already marked by record price increases.

The crisis is not unique to the country. Prices have shot up across Europe since last fall, driven by a spike in demand as countries lifted pandemic lockdowns. Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February, and the subsequent drop in Moscow's oil and natural gas exports to Europe, have pushed prices even higher.

But UK energy prices are now higher than in comparable economies like France and Italy, analysts told CNN Business. And Brits have suffered much bigger price increases than in most European countries, including Germany, where decades of energy policy has been turned on its head by the Ukraine war.


I thought this was a very well balanced article, and a useful antidote to the shameless gaslighting on the subject from the likes of Nadhim Zahawi.

It breaks down the problems under the headings "A broken market", "Lack of storage", and "Minimal government support".
August 24, 2022

Emily Maitlis says 'active Tory party agent' shaping BBC news output

Former Newsnight presenter says former No 10 communications chief Sir Robbie Gibb on board acting as ‘arbiter of impartiality’
The former Newsnight presenter highlighted the role of Sir Robbie Gibb, who previously worked as Theresa May’s director of communications and helped to found the rightwing GB News channel.

Last year he was appointed to the BBC’s board by Boris Johnson’s government and has since influenced a series of ongoing reviews of the broadcaster’s editorial output.

Maitlis also raised concerns about the BBC’s relationship with the Conservative government, saying the broadcaster went out of its way to “pacify” Downing Street after she criticised Dominic Cummings for his breach of lockdown rules during the pandemic.

The presenter said the corporation’s bosses panicked after Maitlis told Newsnight viewers in 2020 that Johnson’s former aide had “broken the rules” and “the country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot”.


The whole article's worth a read, if only to confirm what many of us already knew.
August 17, 2022

Ofgem director resigns over energy price cap hike

Christine Farnish ‘could not support’ decision to add hundreds of pounds to bills
Her resignation led to accusations that the government is “asleep at the wheel” on regulation of the energy market as families and businesses face surging costs.
Ms Farnish, who served on the Ofgem board for several years, told The Times: “I resigned from the Ofgem board because I could not support a key decision to recover additional supplier costs from consumer bills this winter.”

She believes the move will “add several hundred pounds to everyone’s bill in order to support a number of suppliers in the coming months”.

It is understood her resignation is linked to Ofgem’s decision to change the methodology of the price cap to allow suppliers to recover some of the high energy “backwardation” costs sooner rather than later.

Energy bills for the average UK household are on course to hit a devastating £4,266 a year in January as wholesale gas prices surge.


Much as I applaud Ms Farnish's stand, I don't understand how it can be said that the government is "asleep at the wheel".

Johnson's taken early retirement and is spending the dregs of his time in office on jolly hols abroad, his deputy, Dominic Raab, is notable only for his invisibility, and Truss and Sunak are touring the UK whipping up the haggard Tory hordes into voting for a leader who'll promise to undo some of the untold harm their party's done to the country in over a decade in power by doing much the same all over again, but with the prize bonus of extra fascism.

There's nobody at the wheel. Maybe that's better for us all, given the prospects.

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