PMQs SKETCH: Ed Enters Valley of Death

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.




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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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