Sunday, April 11, 2010
An interesting article from EU Referendum on how the Kyrgyzstan revolution has been largely about the government's role in pushing up the price of energy. And about how our media has barely mentioned the cause.
Covered widely by the media, the reports of the rioting in Kyrgyzstan yesterday vary widely in tone and content. But, even if you have to drill down into the piece, not even The Guardian can conceal the reason for the unrest, which has seen protesters beat a Cabinet minister to death.Of course the people of Kyrgyzstan are armed & we are disarmed.
"The violent rolling protests appeared to be largely spontaneous rather than a premeditated coup," it says, eventually telling us that a "leading expert" has said the government had triggered the protests by imposing punitive increases on tariffs for water and gas. "In the last few months there has been growing anger over this non-political issue," said Paul Quinn-Judge, central Asia project director of the International Crisis Group.
"The government thought they could get away with it," he adds. "Most people agreed. But in the last few weeks we have seen several rumblings in the secondary towns and cities in Kyrgyzstan. There has also been a crisis inside government. Now it has all come together in one giant wreck."
Even the BBC is forced to concede this point but, in fact, the problem has been grumbling for more than "a few weeks". Unrest was reported by Radio Free Europe at the end of February, identifying the protesters as responding to the "electricity price hike".
There is much more to it than that, as The Daily Mail indicates, but even on 23 February the Institute for War & Peace Reporting had Timur Toktonaliev in Bishkek writing: "Soaring energy costs anger Kyrgyz", with prices for electricity having risen 100 percent and the cost of central heating shooting up by 500 percent. Clearly, energy prices have been the primary trigger of current events...
Here, the crucial issue in Kyrgyzstan was that the prices were driven up by government fiat, albeit following a decision to remove subsidies which had enabled energy to be sold at less than the cost of production. It can be assumed, from this, that where government action is directly responsible for price hikes, governments will take the flak.
It is far too extreme to suppose that we will any time soon see a Cabinet minister beaten to death on the streets of London, although there are not a few who would leap at such an opportunity if it was presented. But it is not a happy or a stable government which relies only on constant police protection to keep its members alive and safe.
However it is undeniable that the average household's electricity bill has gone up from £600 to £1243 over 5 years & is set to increase by, officially, another 60% to over £2,000. Even that is unlikely to prevent blackouts by 2015, when new EU regulations close much of our electric power & possibly by 2012. Scotland is, of course worse off because our politicians are all insane.
Also undeniable is that if we went nuclear like France we would have power at 1/4 the price - £311 annually. My guess is that since (A) French nuclear systems are 30-40 years old & (B) their costs are also grossly inflated by over-regulation, albeit not as much as ours, that £311 could be further considerably reduced.
Of course with power at 1/4 of its present price much industry currently moving to China & India, such as steel mills, would be viable, very viable, here. as Jerry Pournelle said "cheap power + economic freedom = wealth" & the opposite, as we see, is also true.
This brings me to a minor point in the lecture on global warming by Scotland's scientifically illiterate Chief Science Advisor. On question from the audience was "I am a politician (he didn't say which party & it is part of the problem that it doesn't really matter) & I would like to tell you that if I go into an election offering all this we won't get voted for". The answer which she didn't give, & having already asked my question, I didn't either. is that they are already committed to it all & the way they get round it is by not telling us or indeed lying about it saying "the era of cheap energy is over" & it isn't the politician's fault. The fact is that the era of cheap power has barely started & it is entirely the fault of our wholly corrupt, thieving* fascist, murdering** political elite, that we are deprived of it.
Obviously they depend on the whores of the BBC, ITN & newspapers to wholly censor mention of this, even reader's letters, while printing absolutely any eco-Nazi lie they are given, since if the facts were generally known the murderers would by lynched here too.
* to the extent of £932 per household per year
** 25,000 pensioners die annually, entirely unnecessarily, from the effects of fuel poverty