Around 6 million British Gas customers are reeling today after Centrica, the owner of British Gas, announced that the utility would be increasing its electricity prices by a staggering 12.5%. Centrica CEO Iain Conn told Sky News:
The mainstream media has covered the understandable outcry over the scale of the increase at a time when the real-terms income and living standards of many people are going backwards, especially when the organisation imposing the price increase made around £2.2 billion in profits last year.
One thing that has been absent from media coverage, however, is any semblance of outrage at the government’s abandonment of its election promise to cap energy prices.
Compare this with the faux-furore that plastered almost every newspaper front page and news broadcast, as well as the social media feeds of Conservative HQ and MPs, with regard to Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed u-turn – on a student debt promise that he had never made – and the difference is extremely illuminating.
Corbyn’s interview with NME covered a number of possible solutions including extended repayments and partial reductions and cannot be construed as any kind of ‘pledge’ by anyone with any integrity – which of course, hasn’t prevented many ‘journalists’ and politicians from claiming otherwise with gusto.
Theresa May, on the other hand, made an unequivocal promise to cap energy prices:
She even defended the promise against allegations that it was un-Conservative:
Not only that, but DWP Secretary Damian Green jumped in to underline the promise:
Of course, the Tories being the Tories, they then u-turned on their original promise to include a ‘hard cap’ on energy prices when they actually issued their ‘pages are the only thing with numbers’ manifesto – but were absolutely insistent that this did not mean they were diluting their commitment to do it in any way:
It doesn’t get much clearer – the Tories were promising to cap energy prices.
Theresa May got many of her u-turns out of the way early, of course – the Tories were the first party ever to u-turn on a manifesto commitment before an election and then did it again and again. But the commitment on energy prices was undeniably made – and now we have an eye-watering price hike by British Gas, with other suppliers highly likely to follow suit.
So where is the media outrage? Where are the Tory MPs pointing fingers and crowing?
Where, for that matter, is Alan Sugar’s diatribe demanding that May and all the rest should resign for misleading voters?
Or is it only non-existent u-turns that the mainstream media, more-of-the-same politicians and overblown tycoons get angry about?
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