Some three weeks ago, Ofgem decided to follow the lead of Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Caroline Flint MP, and save you money.
So far so good.
Ms Flint went down this road back last September when she was busy telling the Labour Party conference in her trademark âI shall be asking questions later, childrenâ style the promises she would be making (if elected, naturally) to stop your expensive heating from escaping your house. Itâs what we minions call âinsulationâ. Politicians can make the concept expand to several paragraphs.
They all amount to saving money.
It is not hard to visualise the wide eyed young chap in Ofgem thinking âwe could help hereâ – and coming up with some money saving tips. What could go wrong?
Ofgem arenât politicians – they donât understand the difference between keywords. You see Ms Flint was âsaving energyâ, and the dimmest (a crowded field admittedly) Labour Conference delegate knows that saving energy is a good thing, part of the fight against global warming in these snow shrouded shores.
Whereas âsaving moneyâ is to imply that the poor are somehow responsible for their plight; nay it is âvictim blamingâ, implying that those who canât pay their lecky bill are somehow responsible for their inability to pay, and suggesting that they take sandwiches to work instead of paying âPret a Calorieâ to make them is demeaningâ¦
Labourâs MP Caroline Flint was critical of the new Ofgem advice, telling the Daily Mirror: âThis is patronising rubbish. People donât need lecturing on taking a packed lunch to work, jogging or getting a second-hand mobile.
The three week old sandwich of âoffensive money saving tipsâ was dug out of the box today because Ofgem has failed to roundly condemn the energy companies for not passing on the full (allegedly) 20% cut in wholesale oil prices.
Could that be anything to do with Ms Flintâs other previous announcement? The one where she said that under a Labour government energy companies wouldnât be allowed to pass on increases in price, only cuts?
“The next Labour government is committed to making big changes in our energy market: freezing energy prices until 2017 so that bills can fall but not rise, and giving the regulator the power to force energy companies to cut their prices when wholesale costs fall to all of their customers.â
Thus insuring that any responsible energy company held back part of any cut in price as a bolster against future increases in price that they would be forbidden to pass on?
After Andrew Neil’s last devastating demolition of Ms Flint, I look forward to him tackling her on this one..