This is a security announcement. You are under the threat of imminent death from terrorist attack. It is your duty to report anything suspicious to the armed police who patrol this station for your safety. If you stray more than two feet from your handbag it will be subjected to a controlled explosion. Mind the gap between the train and the platform. Because of bad weather we are providing a reduced service today: you are advised to check our website before travelling. [Not the most useful announcement in a station.] And may God have mercy on you all.
A series of IT disasters and other fiascos have wasted hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. The UN calls the Conservative government racist, and the Tories call the UN hysterical. Terrorists are coming into the UK through the Common Travel Area with Ireland. Nick Clegg, asked how he wins people over in debates, said I always try to keep a good sense of humour, and if I have an argument with someone, to keep the argument about what the argument is about and not allow it too often to become sort of personal. I make one exception, for a man named Ed Balls”: the headline is Clegg v Balls: it’s personal. Not, oddly, Clegg prefers to keep debate to the Issues.
The Times is the paper of record, neutral between the main parties: stories are matched, Mr Miliband’s incompetence and Mr Cameron’s uselessness. Disaster stalks the country: Gatwick investigation after ‘Third World’ chaos.
What of this? The National Grid pays “constraint payments” when it does not buy electricity from particular suppliers. Power demand is subject to peaks and troughs, and so generating capacity has to be on call: where it is not used, suppliers are compensated. This is the kind of technical information which would make me nod wisely and pass to the next thought: I don’t want great detail. But The Times reports this as a “huge bill to leave turbines idle”. It is a “record” amount because there is an increasing number of those beautiful, majestic wind turbines. Tory Peter Lilley calls it “taking money from the pockets of poor people to subsidise rich landowners”. Beware Tories speaking up for the poor against the rich: his real target is green energy. The Times starts with the Anger at the Waste, and only at the bottom of the column is the allusion to balancing costs, which I have supplemented here from my own knowledge.
The Opinion pages have a Christmassy article- the irrelevance of the Church of England- and how the Tories pardon Alan Turing in order to appear Modern even though they have jettisoned their green policies and incite hatred against Benefit Scroungers and Immigrants. They criticise negativity while indulging in it- as do I.