I’ll gloss over his cruel treatment by John Humphrys on Today, his 35-minute-late arrival at his own press conference and the hostile questioning by some journalists today.
On matters of substance, did Ed Miliband offer up any new policy?
There was a new idea; forcing energy companies to put elderly customers on their cheapest tariffs. This would apply to all over-75s, many of whom fail to shop around or don’t have internet access.
It’s quite a smart policy and wouldn’t cost the government anything. (Although energy companies are likely to complain that it could impact on their investment plans.) In practice it could also mean other people’s energy bills rising, but for now Miliband was able to deny that potential consequence.
The move follows on from plans, announced at conference, to limit the power of Britain’s “big six” energy companies by stopping them from producing gas and electricity and selling it themselves. (Instead, all their energy would go into a central pool, allowing supermarkets and others to enter the supply market.)
For those who thought that the keynote conference speech about “predators v producers” was too vague, this kind of detail should be welcomed. (We’ll ignore the point that Miliband did little to address these issues as energy secretary.)
There will be more “fleshing out” of the concept of responsible capitalism in the coming Read more