Who could have seen this coming?
Looks like some our bold Commitments are coming home to roost!
It turns out that our Robustness may have come at a cost. It was fun while it lasted. We’ll need more than paracetamol to nurse this sore head!
Listen. We can’t increase the supply of energy. Offshore wind might spoil my view of the coast (heaven forfend). Fracking? Fracking would reduce the towns and cities of This Sceptred Isle to rubble, in a series of mighty earthquakes. And the moon shall become as blood.
And Nuclear? That won’t start working for another ten years at least. What’s the point? The Cost of Living Crisis will be way in the past by 2032. Populism, a distant memory. The ship; steadied, sailing smoothly on a trajectory of rising living standards and ever greater equality, the Social Democratic consensus of the 20th century vindicated once more.
No. Supply can’t change. Sorry! So the only thing we can do is use the taxpayers, especially the young, as a kind of human shield to protect the Vulnerable and the elderly from the poor decision making of the government. Yet again.
Just add it to the bill.
Subsidise demand. Increase taxes. Crush the lower middle and underclass in to one, amorphous, tasteless blob. The more money the government gives to the Vulnerable, the more energy will appear, meaning we can keep consuming as much as we like, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the price signals concomitant to a drop in supply.
How do I know this will work? Because men I recognise from the telly are saying it in a sanctimonious tone. Gordon Brown. The Giant of Giffnock. A political, and physical colossus. Fed mostly on sheep’s livers, eaten six at a time, raw. Hectoring the government. DO MORE. MAKE IT CHEAPER. NOW DO IT NOW.
I didn’t like him when he was Prime Minister. I thought he was totally useless actually. I despised him. But now that time has passed and the media is no longer scrutinising him, I think he’s brilliant. Same writ Theresa May and John Major.
If there’s one thing we can conclude from our current Crisis, it’s that more government intervention will solve our problems.
Making it illegal to frack: Sensible. Squandering our fiscal headroom on an extremely expensive Lockdown: Pragmatic. Sanctioning the world’s second largest gas exporter and then procrastinating for five months: Lawful.
What we need now, as ever, is Bold Action. We must Do More. Just push through this one last little crisis with a massive, panicked spending spree.
Turn the taps on. Support the Pressures. Then, after a few Winters, when the Crisis has worked itself out somehow, we’ll find Commitments anew. The levelling up agenda; saying, right, you can’t have the mines back, how about some more lovely Public Sector jobs instead?
£45,000 PA to Engage with Young People in the Community. Newcastle. Imagine the mobility scooter you could finance on that. Platinum rims. Proper job that. Caramel chocolate digestives in a cup of Yorkshire tea. Class.
Tackling Climate. Head on. Without using renewables. Mostly by destroying our industrial base by switching to imports from countries who use fossil fuels to provide cheap energy for manufacturing. Whatever it takes for our representatives to hold those heads high at COP.
And who could forget…China. We’ve already sent one Tyrant packing this decade. Let’s lead from the front with Taiwan. Take the fight to Mr Den Xiaoping. Pre-emptive sanctions, supply chains be damned. Delete Tok Tik from my daughter’s phone. Arbitrary detention of Chinese foreign nationals. Get after the women and children especially. They’ll never see that coming.
Look. History is complex. Matthew Syed did an excellent piece on ‘Black Swan’ events a few years back. It’s terribly clever. It means that we have no idea where the next Commitment is going to come from, and indeed, how Robust it will have to be.
One thing we can be sure of, in fact, the only thing we can be sure of, is that your living standards will have to decline to pay for it all.
How slowly this happens; that’s all politics. But in terms of the direction of travel;
the die is cast.