By the weekend I expect we’ll have more details about the consequences of Labour’s proposed
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>. EDF will announce that once its profits are curtailed slightly, it’ll have to sack the man who checks for bare sparking wires at the National Grid, so Devon will burn down, and the smoke from a flaming Torquay will cause planes full of especially furry puppies to crash into the Atlantic causing a tsunami that puts out the sun, making us turn the heating up even more than usual.
With no gas we’ll have to live on tinned food, but with no light we’ll cut ourselves on the jagged lids, and the smell of an entire nation bleeding will attract sharks that will evolve legs and the ability to live in dark and cold and will rule the world. So think about that before you vote Labour.
Some newspapers and politicians are suggesting this collapse into a post-electric wasteland will be inevitable. The Daily Mail listed seven steps toward “blackouts, pensions hit and years of uncertainty”. Tomorrow it’ll explain the next seven, starting: “Step 1 – with no gas fires, Britain will turn into a glacier, and Ranulph Fiennes will be appointed Prime Minister as he’ll be the only person who can travel to work.” And: “Step 2 – as our blood turns to ice some of us will be drained and used as a venue in the Winter Olympics.”
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> is “insane”, it says, and an assortment of experts have made comments such as: “Not putting up gas all the time is clearly PSYCHOTIC and DERANGED. It’s also emerged that Harold Shipman started out by not wanting to put up the price of gas, and only when he got away with that did he take it one stage further and murder everyone.”
Neil Woodford, the largest shareholder in the energy company Centrica, has already said: “If Centrica can’t make money supplying electricity then they won’t supply it. The lights will go off, the economy will shut down.”
That sounds a little like a threat, the sort of thing The Joker’s spokesperson might say, having rephrased the original statement of “everyone must pay me what I demand or I will plunge the city into darkness and steal their economy mwaaaaa ha ha haaaaa”. Still, at least he’s not holding the country to ransom, like teachers who vote for a half-day strike.
A spokesman for Centrica said the catastrophe would happen because “it would not be economically viable to continue supplying energy if prices were capped”. And you can sympathise, because last year the six main energy companies were only able to pay dividends of £7bn. So if they’re asked for one year to get by on only £6bn, they might as well not bother and plunge the country into an apocalyptic arena of death instead.