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Radio 4 on Fuel Poverty & Community Energy Co-Ops - there is only 1 view allowed on the BBC

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 24 August 2021

Forced to work in the kitchen by problems with my study ceiling, I am suffering BBC Radio 4, something the Mrs inflicts on me every morning as a punishment for being an evil capitalist. Today’s torture is listening to Positive Thinking presented by Sangita Myska, a “deep dive” into how to end fuel poverty. Natch all the guests agree on one solution with nobody at all challenging a narrative which is patently absurd. This show encapsulated all that is wrong with the BBC.

The narrative was that the way forward was for communities to generate their own power and so the first guest ran a co-operative company in Brixton which had installed solar panels over a Council estate and used the power generated to fuel communal lighting. Any surplus was sold to the Grid and this reduced the carbon footprint of the estate and also with the profits made the fuel bills of those on it, though not by a lot.

The guest happily admitted that her co-op had enjoyed grants from the grateful taxpayer and that the biggest source of income was subsidy, i.e the grateful taxpayer. In other words in a programme on sustainable energy what we were shown as a flagship was in fact unsustainable and only existed due to the ,largesse of the taxpayer.

Other guests joined in. More middle class folks earning a good whack paid for, ultimately, by you and me the poor taxpayer for running such schemes all agreed that Scotland was a role model we should all follow in that it handed out the biggest subsidies, grants and other handouts to such community based initiatives. That would be the Scotland running a deficit far greater than the rest of the UK, something only manageable because England allows it to such so greedily at the teat of Alba. Yes that Scotland. Nobody discussed that matter.

Clearly the Scottish models are even less “sustainable” in the real world that the English ones. All they do is add to the deficit and debt of the state which, one day, will have to be paid for. These are the challenges that a balanced programme might have considered but there was nobody to raise them. The BBC, itself funded by an increasingly begrudging taxpayer just will not give a platform to anyone who questions whether money trees actually exist.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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