Analysis comment

‘Use less, wear jumpers’ – ‘centrist’ councillor’s reply to woman facing fuel bill ruin causes outrage

Was Lynne Troughton angling for a place in Rachel Reeves’s treasury team with now-deleted ‘let them eat cake’-style comment?

Hackney councillor Lynne Troughton – one of the Labour party’s misnamed ‘centrists’ – has caused outrage by responding to the desperate fuel poverty of a woman and her three young children by publicly telling her she should use less fuel and wear jumpers.

Courtney Wilding tweeted about the shocking profiteering of yet another privatised energy company – British Gas’s parent company Centrica has just reported a 44% increase in profits – that had told his daughter her bill was about to more than double, an increase of over £300 a month, and is likely to almost double again in the autumn.

And Cllr Troughton’s response? ‘Start using less’ and ‘wear jumpers’:

The callous comment saw a large, immediate and heartfelt response, asking whether Troughton had bothered to read the original tweet, given the daughter was already using less than Troughton’s boast of ‘only’ £275. Other asked in shock whether Troughton was really spending almost £300 a month and having to wear sweaters. Just a few examples are below:

Troughton has since deleted her comment, no doubt because of the roasting she was receiving.

But Troughton’s comments are entirely in line with the prevailing thinking in the Labour party under its current politically-bankrupt regime. The leadership’s initial response to the mushrooming fuel crisis was to say it would offer a paltry cut in VAT that would barely scratch the surface and Keir Starmer has repeatedly refused to say Labour would renationalise the energy industry to solve the problem – despite promising to do so in his leadership election campaign.

And his sidekick Rachel Reeves – she of the infamous promise to be tougher on poor benefit claimants than the Tories – said that renationalising, which would instantly slash bills by removing the profit layer, is ‘not a priority’ for Labour, because it wouldn’t be ‘value for money’:

In fact, according to reports late last year, Reeves finds the very idea funny enough to laugh at:

Perhaps Cllr Troughton was somehow pitching for a job in Reeves’s Shadow Treasury team.

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  1. Even a lowly so-called labour councillor showing the cavalier attitude of the ‘rags.

    And then there’s the wee gobshite on here, never a mention of the poorest, rather always sneering at them for (rightfully) fucking that shower o’ shite right off.

    No wonder people are doing so, when that’s what they’re getting.

    And still he won’t tell us why we should vote keef. Just that if we don’t we allow the rags to prosper…

    …But just WHO are the rags these days?

  2. New New Labour says, “HEAT AS YOU SWEEP AS YOU CLEAN … Send your children up the chimney stack and sweep your way to maximum energy efficiency…”

    1. £275 is more than double my current bill. I wish I could be in a position where I’d consider £275 a “small” bill, to be honest.

      Disconnected is the word.

      1. She did say that was between 4 adults, ie about £70 each. I’d call that a small bill. How many adults live in your house?

        Yes, I wear jumpers in lieu of using the (electric) heating unless I’ve got company (I don’t have a gas supply)…

    2. I’m sure the UBER have an ‘add-on’ for us on that score Paul. It can “authorise” your kids to put-together some trainers for PRIMARK in their virtual sweatshop (UK Division). The options are truly endless. You’ll be opening the windows to cool down before you know it.

  3. Building on a joke by Frankie Boyle from a few years back:

    “Get yourself a nice big box, fill it with straw and hibernate like a tortoise” advises Labour councillor.

    Incidentally, putting on a jumper does not affect the temperature of the air that you breathe.

  4. This comment by a Labour Councillor shows just how far removed from real life and real hardship the entitled right wing of the party is. Neither the callous Ms Troughton nor the careerist Ms Reeves will struggle to pay their rent or to put food on the table, they will never know what it is like to have no money to get you through to pay/ benefit day, to be cold and sick and not able to afford to heat your home ( if you are lucky enough to have one – some people are cold and sick on the streets).
    These two people are typical of Starmers Labour . They have nothing in common with the working class whose votes they depend on to maintain their elected positions.
    Starmers Labour is just not interested in improving conditions for working class communities (the sooner working class communities realise this the better). They are too busy trawling through social media to find out if a Labour member ever liked a tweet in support of Palestinians so they can brand him an “antisemite” and expel him from the party.
    This seems to be main function of the party nowadays along with unconditional support for Israel/ Zionism . Ordinary people struggling to pay their bills, keep a roof over their heads and food on the table and just don’t count.

  5. The longer Starmer and people like Troughton and Reeves epitomise Labour, the surer its electoral death will be.

    FPTP and MSM aside, a new party makes more sense every day.

  6. Picked up this BTL comment here from someone going by the name of Gordon posted at 08:11 this morning:

    “This morning the BBC’s flagship morning news and current affairs programme, ‘Today’ had a short interview with Alan Duncan, oil trader and senior Conservative MP (see Wikipedia). (Interview starts just after 2hrs 39mins).

    Asked about the oil markets he responded that gas is what matters. Oil is fairly flexible; it can be moved about. But when he woke up this morning the price of natural gas on futures markets was about 450 pence/therm. In the course of three hours it touched 800 pence/therm before falling back. He went on to say that this means the companies that supply gas throughout Europe won’t be able to pay their margin calls in the futures market, they risk going bankrupt in a matter of days and the whole process of distributing natural gas across Europe is now a matter of logistics. The danger is that, although the volume may still be there, the corporate mechanisms, the companies that keep it moving, will have folded. We are on the edge of a dystopian collapse. We are looking at gas which is the equivalent of $600 oil.

    “We have to be careful not to sanction ourselves.”

    Weirdly, I’ve seen next to nothing on the BBC on the impact of higher energy prices on industry with the exception of this item on fertilisers and food.”

    Could well be, despite Starmer’s reluctance to nationalise the industry, that johnson has no other choice but to nationalise the industry to keep the gas flowing at whatever the price is.

    Of course, that does presuppose this government, or any of its loyal alternatives, is capable of doing anything of a practical nature beyond what it is told to do by the Washington neo-con/neo-liberal/neo-feudelist Cabal.

  7. Dave, you mention 2 words that encapsulate how “commodities” (i.e. stuff that we need) have been turned into a giant casino – “futures market”. The fact that this degree of gambling was ever allowed to appear is an indictment of all governments since the scam was invented. Like a Ponzi scheme, “futures” is bound to go pear-shaped at some point – but of course those who were gambling will still walk away smelling of money even as the companies go bust along with many of their customers.

    1. Food – things like beef and carrots prices – are set by the futures market too goldbach

      End-stage capitalism is trying its darnedest to make sure markets only work when they enable obscene levels of capital accumulation – whatever the cost.

  8. Shocked but not surprised. Blairites never let go of the party and are now in glorious champagne, we’re in control, arrogance mode.
    If nothing major is done to curb the price rip off and we get a hard autumn/ winter, people will die by the tens of thousands of cold and even more with related illnesses. A long cold spring would be the forerunner with millions with anxiety levels causing massive rises in mental illness. They just don’t understand ordinary people. Unless they see they’re going to lose the next GE they’ll do fuck all as they care fuck all

  9. I cannot believe that anyone could be so stupid!
    She not only does not have the empathy to
    understand her voters problems ….she also
    thinks her “advice” will be both useful
    and welcome. Deluded ..

    Many of the Tories have at least affected concern
    about the poor and the devastating impact of the price
    of fuel .. Whether they mean it or not is anyone”s guess.
    but some do to be sure ..

  10. Although the woman’s choice of words betrayed her prejudices, this episode has much to tell us about our pampered lifestyles over recent decades, lifestyles that we’re going to have to, er, recalibrate in the very near future, whether we like it or not. The fact that many people regard having to wear jumpers as some kind of degradation says it all. Jumpers weren’t invented just as a lame novelty item for Xmas!

    1. Where does it say that the young family are not already wearing jumpers? In reply to your earlier comment, do you think that 4 adults need more heat than 5 people, 3 of whom are young children? The point was that already the councillor is spending more on heating (£275)than the family are (£196). The councillor’s bill was going to rise to a lot more – likely to well over £800 – the family expects to have to pay £700 by October – more than 3 times as much as now! She appears to have failed to properly read the tweet she was replying to, as well as failing to find out what their circumstances are before giving her “words of wisdom” – perhaps that’s why she’s deleted it!

  11. 1. Cut VAT on bills (save citizens £100-£200).
    2. An immediate £500 Winter Fuel Payment (and annual) for All!
    3. Stop the cruel practice of companies over charging on pre-payment meters and consult on getting rid of these plus no disconnections!
    4. The democratic public ownership of the utilities with citizens having a say (and we could have energy consumer councils).
    5. Large scale investment in retro fitting schemes to cut down energy use.

  12. I remember when ‘the Green Party’ (yes those who are in gov’t with the Nationalists in Scotland), advocated a dramatic rise in fuel prices to prevent ‘the people’ using so much energy. A well thought out strategy that could kill people, especially the poor; the sick & the elderly. Looks like they have their wish.

    1. Spot-on steve. Even when Green party policies make ecological sense, the Green party should not be supported by democratic socialists. WHY?

      i) only the Many (the working class) protect the interests of the Many. Green ecology needs to be combined with – and remain subordinate to – class interests, a la the wonderful JC’s 2 excellent “RedGreen” Manifestos (GE17,GE19).

      Unless GREEN party formally integrates itself with Labour Movement and (thereby) accepts the primacy of the ‘class struggle*’, it will be used by our enemies, the oligarchic (neoliberal) capitalists, who, as we all know, have already taken over much of the Labour Movement (i.e. the PLP and some trade unions).

      The current Scottish government is evidence of how unalligned Greens are – intentionally or unintentionally – unable to serve the ethical purpose of socialism/people-ism.

      *”Class Struggle” – accepting the political and economic antagonism of labour and capital.

      1. Too much of those who pass themselves off as ‘left’progressive’ – whether in the Greens, LP, SNP etc have totally refuted class politics in favour of the Randian and Thatcherite individualism of self-id and the cult of a hierarchy of oppression.

        In regards the attitude of this Councillor and what she represents its is reasonable to observe that this approach does not discriminate. Indeed, it holds all people who do not follow its warped Official Narratives in equal contempt and fit only for extermination by whatever convenient means.

        As, to reference a current hot topic, detailed here:

        “The government campaign to quell the civilian uprising in the Donbass region has been brutal, claiming over 10,000 lives according to UN estimates cited by the Wall Street Journal. The Ukrainian government has been rather frank regarding the intentions of this operation, stating that it specifically targets civilians in order “to clean the cities.”

        Clean the cities of what exactly? According to an interview aired by the U.S.-funded, pro-government Ukrainian news channel Hromadske TV, the Donbass is home to around 1.5 million people “who are superfluous” and “must be exterminated.” These “superfluous” Ukrainian citizens were called “subhumans” in 2016 by then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, also dubbed “Washington’s man in Ukraine.””

        Point being that it does not matter whether its the ‘undeserving poor/undeserving working class’, third world peoples, slavs or whatever. The disdainful attitude, approach, and objective is the same.

        It only differs in method and intensity. There is no one left to vote for right now across what passes for the entire political spectrum in the West, never mind the UK. Because all the experience and expertise has been systematically eradicated from the entire systemic spectrum.

        This Councillor is no different from anyone else at any and every level right up to the top of the hierarchical pyramid. Totally clueless and lacking in gorm. Not even a single atom of gumption exists.

        The nonsense she has come out with is not unique. Millions of people have experienced this approach in different ways in different spheres of their daily lives on a daily basis for near on four decades or more.

      2. The Ukraine government is stating (in writing) that some of its citizens i the Donbass region are “subhuman” and “must be exterminated”? This is pure nazism, totally fitting with Klaus Schwab’s New World Order!

        Thanks for mintpressnews link. It is horrendous.

      3. This Red/Green impasse regarding the class was played out, vicious civil war resulted in the liquidation of a once-influential Socialist party. Single issue, identitarianism, reap division and destruction. This is a truncated and simplistic account. I urge party members to check the books, check mortgages, paintings, land and building stock. It will be a time consuming and difficult project but I am certain that such knowledge would be very useful in your war against the extremists of the Centre.

  13. I was puzzled by the quotes from the
    Ukraine govt which are blatantly Nazi. Yet
    they are supported by

    The Ukrainian Catholic Church
    The Jewish and Islamist Communities
    The Independent Orthodox
    – surely not all Nazi?
    [This is from BBC Sunday 7.0am
    religious program, Feb 27th]

    However I see that the quotes are from
    the previous (2016) Prime Minister. The
    current president was apparently elected on
    promising to be fair to the Russian supporting
    regions but from mint press was bullied by
    the Far Right. Now given this was 2019 when
    he was new – his position is very different now
    – ie he is much stronger.

    1. HFMw (of a fascist-sounding Ukraine Govt) “Yet they are supported by The Ukrainian Catholic Church, The Jewish and Islamist Communities, The Independent Orthodox, – surely not all Nazi?”

      I doubt the are ‘supportd’ by listed bodies. Your news sourcs (MSM) is possibly the issue though. I find OpenDemocrac and Off-guardian to be two very tustworthy sources here.

      The far is that this conflict is showing the MSM to be untrustworthy, dangerously and systemically so.

    2. Don’t forget that the assessments by the BBC are often simplistic or are feeding into a narrative. It is, after all, our official state media outlet.

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