Price fixing. The kind of thing that only rotten lefty socialists get up to. Let’s face it, you can’t buck the market. I mean, look at what happened to Labour when they tried to promise that kind of thing in the energy market: the Mail drenched Mil The Younger and his pals with derision: “Labour's energy price freeze is a joke, says Cameron: Flagship policy is mocked as bills start to tumble” they hooted.
Kings Cross station, London
The hacks couldn’t get enough Labour kicking: “Labour’s flagship energy price freeze was branded ‘a joke’ last night, as senior figures in the party confirmed it has been reviewed in the light of falling prices. The price freeze, which Mr Miliband pledged would last until 2017, has been thrown into turmoil in recent weeks as a slump in the price of oil saw the prospect of falling energy prices. The Daily Mail revealed yesterday that Labour is conducting a U-turn on the policy, which was launched by Ed Miliband in 2013”.
Apocalyptic words followed the introduction of that policy, with political editor James Chapman getting his name on the byline which told “Shares in leading energy firms dropped by up to five per cent today as the markets reacted to Labour’s 1970s-style plan to freeze power bills. Energy firms said capping prices would halt the investment needed to avoid blackouts and lead to gas and electricity shortages”.
Mail readers were told that “Mr Miliband’s plan comes in a week when he has lived up to his Red Ed nickname by telling Labour activists he is ‘bringing back socialism’ … The speech delighted the left”. So freezing, fixing, or whatever you call it is “1970s socialism”, only Labour would do it, and it’s wrong. Or is it?
Well, that would depend on the party promising to do the freezing or fixing. Because the very same James Chapman has just reported on another pledge to freeze prices, but this time, the condemnation that was previously visited on Labour has vanished. This is not unconnected to the price fix promise being made by the Tories.
I kid you not: “Rail fares will be frozen in real terms for five years under a Conservative government, David Cameron will pledge today. In the most significant announcement of the party’s election manifesto, due to be published next week, the Prime Minister will say the move will save commuters an average of £400 by 2020”.
Dave says Jolly Good Sheow! Er, hang on a minute, though, where is the standard Mail response to this kind of thing - well, at least the response with which they would hit Labour - how would they pay for it? If less money comes in in fares, that means more public subsidy, and more subsidy from those who don’t travel by train. That means the policy would hit those outside London and the South East hardest.
An uncosted promise to bribe voters that was not thought through? Ah but don’t worry, Mail readers, it’s OK because it’s the wise, benevolent Tories who are doing it, not the rotten Labour lefties. So unplug your brains and vote how nice Mr Dacre tells you.
How does that square with the 'promise' or was it a 'pledge', to get rid of the damn awful Pacer trains?
The reason they are still on the rails is because of fare retrictions across Northern networks. This will hardly make it better, but it won't happen anyway. Fares will rise and the Pacers will still stay.
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