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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Blog 56 Cheapest Energy Supplier & the Great British Rake Off

According to Cameron – the answer to the scandalous rise in energy prices by the big six suppliers is to switch to a smaller cheaper provider. So that’s alright then.
Cheaper or cheapest not cheap. That is the choice. One private firm or another. If you have the time and energy (excuse the pun) you could set aside a few hours each month searching for a supplier slightly less expensive than the one currently holding you to ransom and switch. That’s if your current provider doesn’t impose a penalty for leaving whatever current tariff they have you on.
Another tremendous idea from Cams is that the Chinese will build nuclear power stations for us. Fab. A foreign power whose ethos and work practices are so different from ours in charge of nuclear power here. Shame it wasn’t Russia or Japan because Chernobyl and Fukushima were such great parties.
According to today's BBC Radio 4 breakfast ‘news’, 8 million Brits will be watching people make buns tonight. The ‘news’ presenter rushed through an interview with Jeremy Hunt, skimming over NHS charges and how people are going to keep warm when they can’t afford to heat their homes, so that we could get onto a ridiculously extended piece about cup cakes. In reality, the only things being thoroughly creamed off in the UK are the profits from utilities that used to belong to us.
I’ve just been endeavouring to book a train to Manchester - there is a connection – (another pun apology). Because I was attempting to use a free voucher - compo for a previous crap journey - I saw that my travel would involve three, possibly four different train companies on the four leg marathon. All more expensive than they used to be despite the competition that was supposed to work in favour of the customer.
I no longer have a land line with BT - there is a connection – (same pun – sorry!) though I am still in dispute with them over charges they’ve tried to levy on what was an unreliable line. Just having the line – even if I rarely used it – became a notable expense to add to all the others that hang over you with almost tangible weight. I’m sure I recall (!) a time when landlines were cheap and reliable and if something went wrong a nice man came round and fixed it.
My water charges – like yours - have gone up exponentially over the years and still – all I actually get out of the tap is H2O.
Buses, at least where I live, are a nightmare of irregularity, unreliability and complex and inflated charges since deregulation in the 80s.
Watch out for the same nonsense with the Post Office.
Somehow – everything in Britain that we used to own is now run for the benefit of shareholders. It’s costing us more and as the prices go up the standard of service seems to decline with equal but opposite momentum.
If you think the NHS is safe, take a real look at what has already happened and just how much private involvement has slimed in courtesy of such schemes as PFI. How many scandals seem to find their roots in poorly paid, under-trained workers and general low staffing levels?
If you really look closely you will see that a lot of council services, even ones you hadn’t imagined, are out to tender. This is privatisation once-removed. Meanwhile many councils continue to make decisions that seem to have no bearing on the desires of their council tax payers – i.e. closing libraries, while giving planning permissions to schemes that local people dislike, making them seem no more accountable to local people than national government.
Unless it’s going to buck the trend of every other piece of national family silver that’s been flogged off - watch the postal service for increased charges and poorer service.
We’ve been legally burgled in our own homes, mugged on our own streets... several times. With increasing frequency the bandits come back for more, sometimes much more, and we have to hand it over. It’s called privatisation.
On a lighter note, I’ll be taking part in the First
UK Women in Comedy Festival - Manchester 
Kings Arms - Salford

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