...the Brits must be simply thrilled to bits about 11 years of Labour government.
Now there are people predicting civil disorder. While that's probably an extreme occurrence the combination of so many negatives requires a Thatcher-like figure to take massively difficult decisions to yet again rescue the country from the consequences of left wing government.
Britain is “quite simply running out of power” and blackouts are almost inevitable within the next few years.The world needs a strong Britain.
This is the stark warning from the head of an energy think-tank who believes power cuts could be serious enough to spark civil disorder.
Campbell Dunford of the respected Renewable Energy Foundation said: “It’s almost too late to do anything about it. Nothing will stop us having to pay very high prices for power in future.
“If we pull our finger out now we can limit blackouts but it’s going to be pretty grim whatever happens.”
Gordon Brown pledged last week to end Britain’s reliance on the “dictatorship of oil” but Mr Dunford believes the Prime Minister’s new interest in the security of energy supplies may have come too late.
Only last Thursday, National Grid issued an urgent call for power after a series of power station breakdowns. Suppliers were asked to bring all their available generating capacity online, including costly oil-fired stations.
In May, hundreds of thousands of people in Cleveland, Cheshire, Lincolnshire and London suffered blackouts when seven power stations were closed.
The electricity industry estimates it needs to spend £100billion on new stations to ensure supplies.
The “retirement” of a string of nuclear and coal-fired power stations will see 37 per cent of the UK’s generation disappear by 2015, partly because of EU environmental directives.
An REF report predicts that the neglect of the power infrastructure will lead to a series of grim consequences, particularly electricity and gas price rises as Britain could be held to ransom by such foreign energy producers as Russia.
Blackouts could force the Government to impose electricity rationing, last seen in the Seventies. The REF report says the Government “should prepare itself to intervene with social policy to prevent hardship and maintain order”.
It criticises ministers for focusing too heavily on such untried renewable energy sources as wind and tide power, rather than making sure that secure new power generation was put in place.
The report concludes: “A near fatal preoccupation with politically attractive but marginal forms of renewables seems to have caused a blindness towards the weakening of the UK’s power stations and a dangerous and helpless vulnerability to natural gas.”
The REF warns that as many as nine million people could be plunged into fuel poverty, defined as spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy bills.
Ministers are already under massive pressure to do more to help people trapped in fuel poverty this winter because of soaring prices. Up to six million families are expected to face a stark choice between heating and eating following the series of massive energy price rises that have made a mockery of Labour’s target to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016.
Mr Dunford said worse was to come: “Certainly we’re going to be heading to eight or nine million in fuel poverty.
“The people who are vulnerable are old people and the single mums. They rely on power.
“If you are a single mum 14 storeys up in Hackney, you depend on electricity for everything in your life, even the water pumped to your flat, the lifts, the food and so on.
“There’s a very real chance that power, will not even be there when you need it. That’s when you start worrying about social disorder.”
Ministers have launched a belated plan to plug Britain’s energy gap, including the construction of a string of nuclear power stations. power stations take up to a decade to build though and many experts believe the Government’s move has come too late.
Let's hope that the current challenges bring strong, talented and committed people to the political arena to replace the party system hacks that have wrecked things for the next generation.