THERESA MAY’S half-baked proposal for a cap on energy prices won’t prevent prices from going up “year on year,” she admits, but it was never intended to do so.
It was always a desperate ploy to pretend that the Tories are concerned about working people’s living standards in light of Labour’s constant refrain that her government cares only about the rich and powerful.
Opinion polls may show May on course for victory on June 8, but the Tories are worried that four more weeks of campaigning will dent their complacency.
The Tory spin machine insists that May’s “price cap” is different from Ed Miliband’s “price freeze,” which her predecessor David Cameron likened to living in a “Marxist universe.”
Cameron and George Osborne insisted that market forces could solve all economic problems, but May has had to accept that the energy market isn’t working.
How could it? Electricity, gas, water, Royal Mail and railways are natural monopolies that should be publicly owned and run as public services rather than being fragmented and milked by privateers who talk competition but operate a cartel.
Privatisation of natural monopolies is symptomatic of the rampant unfairness in the economy that Jeremy Corbyn describes as a system rigged in favour of the wealthy and against ordinary workers.
His clarion cry at yesterday’s official launch of Labour’s general election campaign to “take our wealth back” from tax cheats, rip-off bosses and greedy bankers is precisely the kind of campaign call to generate a positive response.
Four weeks is long enough for voters to tire of May intoning “strong and stable government” and to look for meat in her policies and Labour’s.
Corbyn gave every indication in Manchester of having been released from a gag, free to speak out without restraint. The Labour leader knows that the media, with the exception of the Morning Star, will never give him or his party the benefit of the doubt. He might as well speak from the heart and tell it like it is. It’s what he does best.
Trouble in Kiev
UKRAINIAN police priorities during yesterday’s Immortal Regiment marches to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the defeat of nazi Germany illustrate the government’s political degeneracy.
Far-right gangs in Kiev were allowed to attempt to block the passage of peaceful marchers carrying photographs of their relatives who fought against the nazi invasion rather than be arrested, as they would have been in any country that appreciated the sacrifices made to end nazi occupation of their homeland.
Arrests were only made after marchers defended themselves against physical attack as they laid flowers in the Park of Eternal Glory.
Police earlier detained a man for simply holding a banner decorated in the colours of a St George’s ribbon that symbolises Victory Day in Russia.
Kharkov too witnessed fascist violence against marchers honouring the wartime resistance.
The regime propelled to power in Kiev three years ago by the Maidan coup, backed by the European Union and the US, chooses not to celebrate victory over fascism. Its priority is rehabilitating the reputation of far-right nationalist Stepan Bandera who instigated massacres of Jews and Poles during the war and fought against the Soviet Red Army that spearheaded the struggle to derail the nazi war machine.
Bandera is officially designated a Hero of Ukraine and has statues to his memory erected across the country.
The country’s real heroes, however, distinguish themselves by venerating fascism’s wartime adversaries and bravely resisting the far-right today.