A power cut at Christmas showed up the nonsense of our energy policy

The weather we can’t control but just how bad can our government be if there is even a prospect of regular power cuts due to their ineptitude?

Share

I may be something of a technophobe when it comes to smartphones, tablet computers and making the DVD player work, but this Christmas the Farage household suffered no shortage of twinkling lights on the tree and a kitchen full of labour-saving devices ready for a family gathering on Christmas Day.

So when, two days before Christmas, my house on the North Downs suffered two small power cuts, I feared our well-planned festivities might be at risk. And so it was that, at 5pm, the power went completely. After the initial rush for candles and torches – and, thanks to my huge amount of fishing paraphernalia, the paraffin lamps – came the realisation that, not only did we not have any power, we didn’t have any heating either. Thank goodness the hob was gas-powered. I could boil water for washing and shaving in the kitchen.

By Christmas Eve, there were 250,000 homes across the country without power and the storm had taken lives. While it was incredibly annoying, not to mention cold, not having any power, we were not suffering anywhere near as much as those poor families who were dealing with the misery of the flooding. Their homes would take weeks of draining, insurance claims and repairs.

My hopes that the huge energy bills we all pay would lead to a quick restoration of power as crack teams of engineers got to work were scotched. David Cameron’s statement that situations like this should make us all grateful for the “big society” made me want to throw something at him. As I sat shivering, I imagined the families who were all warm and cosy as they wrapped the last of the presents by the lights of the Christmas tree. Enough was enough: it was time to decamp to my mother’s house.

Over the past few years numerous sources have warned that the lights may go out by 2015. From the CBI to energy experts and politicians, it’s been a regular cause for concern. It is unfortunate and miserable when these things happen at Christmas time but the main impact was on domestic users. With our increasingly technological society– with businesses, public services and even traffic lights reliant on electricity and computers – what will happen if we fail to get a grip on our power supply?

The weather we can’t control but just how bad can our government be if there is even a prospect of regular power cuts due to their ineptitude?

This newspaper’s line has, in recent history, been one of the need for renewable energy sources and the risks of global warming and climate change. We’ve had EU agreements on CO2 emissions affecting everything from car tax to cows, and this culminated in the 2008 Climate Change Act, lorded over by none other than Ed Miliband. It was decided: the UK was going to run on wind turbines. Only five MPs voted against the Bill. With the discoveries of shale gas opening up new potential sources of cheaper power and a supply of money that could be used to ease the burden of elderly care, the EU is interfering with that, too.

Power matters; man-made climate change is doubtful. On top of that, the UK produces only about 2 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions, and when India and China are building four coal-fired power stations every week it does seem, to put it politely, as though we are cutting off our nose and damaging our economy to spite our face. And what are the risks? Well, I know that plenty of people are given air time on the BBC to tell us that the storms are due to a high number of people driving around in cars with big engines but the fact is that the main risk comes from a lack of cheap, reliable power. People die without heating, without lights, without hospital machines. And this obsession with wind turbines causes expensive energy. Our businesses cannot compete with companies whose governments have not made stupid decisions about energy policy. While we have decided that ruining the countryside with bird chompers is the answer, China is using coal and the US is using shale.

Even EU Commissioner Antonio Tajani said in September that he feared a European “industrial massacre” sparked by energy costs that would blight efforts to reverse years of manufacturing decline. When an EU bureaucrat has woken up to the dangers of our obsession with renewable energy and climate change but Westminster is content with looking the other way, I am concerned.

Securing our energy supply is one of the most important priorities of the Government and it is one that must be controlled by the UK. The sheer inconvenience caused by a few days of domestic power outage is nothing compared with what could happen if our government continues to look the other way and ignores the impending supply crisis.

Twitter: @Nigel_Farage

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Syria's Kurds have little choice but to flee amid the desolution, ruins and danger they face

Patrick Cockburn
A bartender serves two Mojito cocktails  

For the twenty-somethings of today, growing up is hard to do

Simon Kelner
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies