Alistair Carmichael in blistering form on Any Questions

Alistair Carmichael turned up in 37 degree London in a tweed jacket yesterday morning. He had needed it at the airport in Orkney.

He was on his way to Swindon to record Any Questions. He was on fine form.

I won’t spoil too much for you but he absolutely eviscerated the Tories on education, the environment, their pitiful efforts to help people with rising costs and dentistry.

He even managed to poke a wee bit of fun in Diane Abbott’s direction.

At one point, he talked about water companies getting away with so much while paying their managing directors millions in bonuses. He made the point that if you are going to privatise a natural monopoly, you need to regulate it within an inch of its life. He was speaking from the heart given that he is kicking the backsides of both energy companies and the regulator for their abject failure in installing electricity meters in new builds in the Northern Isles.

The extent to which the audience turned on Liz Truss supporting Tory MP Rachel Maclean was telling. They did not believe that the Tories cared or were doing enough to help people.

You can listen to the whole thing here. You will be glad you dd.

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  • The Friday edition of Radio 4 Any Questions is also broadcast again at 1.10 pm today (Saturday). Members might even want to phone into Any Answers afterwards.

  • Libdem policy is for intervention on energy prices (winfall tax etc ), but what happens if energy prices continue their high levels, more intervention ?

  • Tristan Ward 14th Aug '22 - 1:03pm

    @ Spidermite

    LIB dem policy includes significant investment in renewable energy, both to increase supply of energy, reduce CO2 emmissions and also to decrease Britain’s energy dependence on unfriendly (Russia) and unreliable (Iran) powers.

  • Spidermite 14th Aug ’22 – 12:53pm:
    Libdem policy is for intervention on energy prices (winfall tax etc ), but what happens if energy prices continue their high levels, more intervention ?

    Which they are more likely to do if investment in developing new fields is discouraged by imposing a windfall tax on oil and gas companies. Prices and profits have risen because demand exceeds supply. Better for a windfall tax to fall on wind…

    ‘Wind farms earn hundreds of millions more from energy crisis after delaying Government subsidy contract’ [May 2022]:

    ‘Windfall Profits For ROC Generators Running At £1 Billion A Month’ [April 2022]:

  • Your problem, @Jeff, is that you live in the real world. At a time of high energy prices the obvious thing to do would be to increase supply and try to move towards national self sufficiency where that is possible, but that conflicts with the Zero Co2 policy. By all means invest in renewables, but that won’t help anyone this winter or next. Something has to give. Or more likely we just carry on and throw up our hands in mock horror when it all goes horribly wrong, personal debt spirals and the lights go off.
    As for the windfall tax, oil companies are price takers, the market sets the income they receive. In 2020 BP made a significant loss of over $20bn, and a profit of just $4.2 bn in 2019 (which represents a return on capital employed of less than 1.6%). Current year profits sound big but these are massive, massive international businesses. Windfall tax maybe popular with the public, but then how many of the public know that Oil and gas companies already pay an elevated rate of 30% Corporation tax on upstream profits ? The government is already due a very big increase in tax revenues from oil and gas companies this year. Another inconvenient truth that the politicians like to keep to themselves.

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