Editorial – Energy lights up the election NOT

So with 48 hours to go I finally heard something about energy in this election race. This morning the Prime Minister actually talked about energy policies and defended his government’s […]

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By Sumit Bose

So with 48 hours to go I finally heard something about energy in this election race.

This morning the Prime Minister actually talked about energy policies and defended his government’s green record. He was being interviewed on BBC 5 Live and quizzed on his turnaround from ‘Husky hugger’ back in 2006 to ‘Frackin follower’ today.

Old DC was doing his usual sweaty blithering and to be honest it does sound like he might need a good salt gargle, as the timbre of his voice was sounding a tad croaky after a month on the hustings.

But he did his bit. Defending with gusto the creation of the Green Investment Bank, the growth in renewables, a better economy that was cutting carbon. Oh and wind – lots of it – out there of course and not in the studio. Why cut support for it now? Well its ready to sway on its own said the PM. And he ended by saying he’d created eer the Green Investment Bank.

Ok no mention of the EMR, no mention of bills, not a word about fines for the Big Six or how we are now so behind on our nuclear new build that we’ll be chuggin’ on the gas pipe for years to come. No mention of how we will rebuild our energy infrastructure or pay for it. Nothing on EVs or smart meters. In fact nothing more than a gloss over the surface of energy.

I’m not being partisan here, Ed Miliband has spent more energy on talking about saving the NHS and fending off Nicola Sturgeon’s advances than discussing his one time flagship policy. As for Nick Clegg well the ‘sensible centre’ has been silent on energy issues. In fact even the Green Party has said very little on climate change, seeing as its one of the central hubs to their future vision.

We’ve been out and about canvassing opinion on energy issues for our series of Political Plug-in films. Watch out for them over the coming days.

Do the punters care about energy? Well perhaps not as much as they do about immigration or the economy but nearly all of them had a view on it. In fact most of the public seem far more clued up than the politicos would give them credit.

I’m not saying there should be huge swathes of debate on the issue but if you consider climate change is possibly the biggest danger facing us all. That without power there would be no hospitals keeping us alive or planes to fly in our immigrants, no food on our shelves and no TVs to watch all this election guff. I think the parties might be missing a bit of a trick.

What this campaign has proved is that energy is only of consequence to the electorate and so to the politicans, when something goes wrong. When we perceive we are paying too much, or the light doesn’t come on.

We take it for granted and so do our politicians. I’m sure come winter when/if there is a hike in energy prices the government of the day whatever it is will be shouting from the rooftops and our papers will be screaming for blood. Until then – switch off because no one is listening.