Governments and price-fixing: pot calls kettle black

Michael Winning

I learn that supplies of heating oil are running low. Worse, we have this:

Charles Hendry, the Energy Minister, said that ministers would work with suppliers to ration supplies to make sure that customers could get through the festive period, and confirmed that the outlook was potentially “very serious”.

Pres Reagan said “the most dangerous words in the English language are “I’m from the government and Im here to help”.

Of course there are more broken promises and bribery in the pipeline (sorry) as in this:-

Chris Hoon, the Energy Secretary, promised that no customer would be without oil over Christmas, adding: “The Energy minister has been in constant discussions looking at any way in which those who need heating oil, and are short of heating oil, get it. That is absolutely essential.

Not helped by “moochers and looters” as in this:-

Pat Glass, Labour MP for North West Durham, accused oil suppliers of “utter exploitation”.

And Conservative backbencher Neil Parish, representing Tiverton and Honiton, added: “Isn’t it time you took on the oil companies and ensure constituents get a fair deal as many of my constituents have no choice but to have oil?”

I am learnng to be more careful about my typing.



  • Fascinating that faced with a shortage of oil the ioummediate response is to attack suppliers of that oil.

    Biting the hand that feeds you never seemed so apt.

  • What shortage of oil? A clearer example of price gouging and Market failure I cannot imagine. So a few days of slightly bad weather means oil supplies fall by 50%? Utter bullshit and an excellent example of why the “free” Market if left to it’s own devices gallops towards monopoly and price fixing.

  • Since oil supplies have not fallen by 50% and there is no evidence of price gouging (whatever that is) or of market failure, i can only assume that Doug Shannon is either a fool or dishonest. (or probably both)

  • Doug, in a free market, can you please tell us who might be able to enforce something called a “monopoly”?


  • Doug,

    I think you might be an “economics student”. Please ask for help if you need it.

  • Seems a fair comment, Doug.
    Pretty straightforward – this price-fixing is only happening because there is no form of control over the distributors who will always do this.
    40p to 70p a litre in a month is “free market” and therefore ok? They know we have to pay. What a rip-off.

  • Richard Smith, if the price charged by the distributors is so extortionate why don’t you set up in the business, sell at lower prices and clean up?

    Of course you won’t because their isn’t any ‘price fixing’ and ‘control’ of comapnies providing goods and services always leads to inferior service at higher prices.

    Still, don’t let reality get in the way of your envious leftist whining.

  • Of course 3-4 week claimed delivery times at a 50% higher price than month ago could, IN ABSOLUTELY NO WAY WHATSOEVER, be considered an inferior service at higher prices…

    Still, don’t let reality get in the way of your ridiculous free-market idolisation.

  • And CH Ingolby, I may be a fool, who can tell, but I’d rather be a fool than a pompous prick such as yourself. I believe it is however a genetic fault that right wing wankers such as yourself are often born with, so we’ll just blame your parents then.

  • Doug, i’d rather be a pompous prick than a whining flacid cunt such as yourself.

    You leftists are eternal victims, all businesses are evil, all voluntary interactions between people are trickery and being so pathetic you need Mummy Government to come and protect you from the nasty big wide world.

    How sad and feeble you are.

  • So let’s see then….

    (1) States can always supply oil to consumers who want it, immediately, and at the lowest posted price. States are nice: they are not moochers or looters. they give out free stuff.

    (2) Oil companies and fuel distributors are nasty, rich, venal, scheming bastard scumbags, who want to sit on oil as long as they can, to get the highest price in times when most people want it, and then say that they “can’t deliver it”. They “make profits”: this is course is bad, and they are looters and moochers.

    (3) States also deliver the best education, encompassing more and more knowledge of the world, its history and geography and sociology, for free of course, to everyone, rendering our population ever-more educated, more skilled and more wise and critical. There are more libraries than ever before, containing more and better books about more things.

    (4) Health care under states is the finest obtainable: the death rate from all forms of disease and ill-mumour has never been lower in recorded time. Doctors only needed to be employed by states for this to happen. The NHS is of course not a monopoly supplier.

    (5) States also demonstrate the truth of the clear axiom that there should be a monopoly supplier of money. The value of state “fiat” currencies rises stratospherically year-by-year in all jurisdictions, whereas the objective value of useless commodities, such as gold, falls, and people’s wealth held in things other than fiat currencies crumbles into worthless powder.

    (6) Returning to oil, States can simply magic it out of the ground, sending it through syberspace to the neediest comsumers in the fastest time. the fact that they’ve spent the last 20-odd-years threatening global warming if we used “fossil fuels”, and building thousands of functionless windmills against our will, is neither here nor there.

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