Reactions vary, but that looked to me like slaughter.
“A total demolition,” Ed Miliband said, and it was surely that.
His “energy price freeze” collapsed on itself like a factory chimney.
This morning, a power company announced it was holding its prices for 20 months.
That’s good news, they thought on Planet Ed. There wasn’t time to go through the consequences.
Ed led on it. Here it is, he cried, the very price freeze Labour has proposed.
His features took on a life of their own. He started to look like Tory Rory Stewart, who looks like a pre-op Miliband. It’s really not what prime ministers look like.
Did the Cameron still think it was “unworkable, impossible to achieve and probably a communist plot?” (Laughter)
Tories held their breath. It felt like a moment.
The counter-argument came and kept on coming. Cameron read the “fine print”. The company said they were able to reduce prices because of the Government scrapping green levies. That is was a company decision, not a state decree. That is was competition starting to work. That prices were being cut, not just held.
On Ed went, COLCing on into the Valley of Death.
The Tory election promise is now in place. Against Ed’s price controls – something that was discredited fifty years ago – Tories offer economic growth to raise real wages, corporate competition to reduce prices and tax cuts to raise disposable incomes.
That the real-world economy should be behaving in practice as theory said it should do – that must be amazing economists.
It’s certainly astonishing the Tories.