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RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: It feels like I've gone to sleep and woken up in 1973

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Had I fallen asleep and woken up, Life On Mars style, in the 1970s?

I was happily busting the face of words yesterday lunchtime, typing a column about the criminal stupidity of Britain’s suicidal energy policy, when I happened to be watching the television news, silently flickering in background while I was listening to Squeeze on the stereo.

Scrolling across the bottom of the screen was a banner announcing that the National Grid was considering paying households not to use power tonight due to ‘supply concerns’.

Eh ? It’s not even that cold.

Had I fallen asleep and woken up, Life On Mars style, in the 1970s?

Was Arthur Scargill back in business, shutting down coal mines and bringing power plants out of sympathy?

The last time I encountered a warning like this I was working at a provincial news agency in Lincoln in 1973, wiping out a copy by candlelight on a typewriter sitting and pleading through the week of three days of Grocer Heath.

At the time, we were warned daily of power cuts, following coal shortages caused by the miners’ strike.

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Had I fallen asleep and woken up, Life On Mars style, in the 1970s?

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Had I fallen asleep and woken up, Life On Mars style, in the 1970s?

It was the first time, not the Big One in 1984. Barmy Arthur was still an incendiary young regional official from Yorkshire, organizing flying pickets and dreaming of world domination.

We also had to deal with an oil shock caused by OPEC, the oil union headed by Sheikh Rattle’n’Roll of Saudi Arabia.

Fortunately, the oil and gas windfall from the North Sea arrived, which seemed to be our long-term salvation.

A decade later, when Mrs Thatcher defeated NUM Chairman Scargill’s year-long anti-democratic attempt to bring down the government by violent means, we thought we had left behind the last energy insecurity craze of the 1970s. .

We should have been so lucky. We hadn’t negotiated with the narcissistic, virtuous onanism of a future generation of politicians who would be willing to plunge us all into darkness just to feel good about ourselves.

Not so long ago, Boris Johnson hated onshore wind turbines on the grounds that the electricity they produced couldn’t rip the skin off a rice pudding.

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He called them “white satanic mills” desecrating the landscape of northern England and beyond.

Apparently, Shapps is now Secretary of Energy.  Of course he is.  Last week he was Home Secretary and the week before that he was Transport Secretary.

Apparently, Shapps is now Secretary of Energy. Of course he is. Last week he was Home Secretary and the week before that he was Transport Secretary.

Boris was not mistaken then, so what has changed? He is now one of the instigators of a Tory revolt to lift the moratorium on carpeting our greens and nice with hideous War of the Worlds windmills.

The same goes for Liz Truss. You must remember her. She was prime minister for five minutes fairly recently. Little blonde job, voice like a blowtorch. Ring bells?

No. No matter. It was a Tuesday. Anyway, at the time, as they say, she was passionate about hydraulic fracturing.

Drill, baby, drill and all that. Britain’s answer to Sarah Palin. Now she came all over Greta Wossname.

Michael Gove is another recent convert to wind farm racketeering. He’s a big fan of upgrading – provided, presumably, that these mile-tall horrors are stuck as far away from his Surrey Heath constituency as possible.

Somehow I can’t see the good people of what we used to call the ‘Gin-and-Jag Belt’ warming up to the prospect of the North Downs being littered with hundreds of giant Catherine Wheels, even with the aim of powering their new eco-friendly fully electric Jaguar I-Paces.

I suppose the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England would not be happier either.

So what’s going on here? Why don’t the so-called curators want to preserve what remains of one of the most beautiful bucolic landscapes in the world?

They would have us believe that it’s all down to Putin’s war in Ukraine, which has disrupted the world’s energy supply.

Well, that’s their excuse and they’re sticking to it.

The truth is that the crisis we are currently facing is the result of decades of neglect and inaction by successive governments.

Agree, the Ukrainian crisis did not help. But that in no way excuses the lamentable lack of planning and investment that goes back 30 years.

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After Labor’s failure to modernize Britain’s energy infrastructure, we at least had a right to expect a new Conservative government to put things right.

Instead, we ended up with posh boys on pushbikes, in coalition with brain-dead Lib Dems determined to put a stop to a new generation of nuclear power plants.

Call Me Dave even stuck a windmill on his roof in Notting Hill, while undoubtedly heating up his Cotswolds pile with Qatar’s finest and dirtiest four star. Vote Blue, Go Green was the buzzword. Go Dark, Go Broke turned out to be the sad reality.

After meeting millennial pin-up Carrie Antoinette, Boris went from eco-skeptic to Swampy. Influenced by Carrie’s super-rich green svengali Zac Goldsmith, who has so much money he could afford his own Saharan wind farm to power his high-end Tesla, BoJo bottled it.

The Stupid, Hypocritical Cop No matter how many they are to date, nonsense has gone to his head and will pay dividends on the international speaking circuit, funded by power-hungry, allegedly woke corporations such that Facebook – sorry, Meta – which now employs Dave’s former deputy, anti-nuclear Nick Clegg, on a multi-million dollar triple deal. I guess his lights won’t go out anytime soon.

As for Fizzie Lizzie’s new enthusiasm for onshore wind, your guess is as good as mine. It has nothing to do with what is best for Britain, just a way of putting the boot into Rishi Sunak.

I would have thought she would have looked at that ugly windmill next to the supermarket in Swaffham, part of her Norfolk constituency, and run a mile.

To govern? Go figure. He distrusted the “experts”. Yet he now swallows their advocacy for onshore wind turbines with apparent enthusiasm. Again, it wouldn’t be the first time he’d come full circle.

Yesterday XR poster Grant Shapps, another suspected conservative, declared his support for onshore wind turbines. This should go down a bundle in his Hertfordshire constituency. On a clear day, from Welwyn Garden City, if you stand above what was once John Lewis, you can see the wind farm as far as Biggleswade.

Apparently, Shapps is now Secretary of Energy. Of course he is. Last week he was Home Secretary and the previous week Transport Secretary – tasked with giving leftist anti-car councils £250million to turn the streets into crazy LTN golf courses. Where do they find these clowns? I’m a celebrity beckoned.

Their latest stroke of genius is to spend the £25m we don’t have on an intelligence insulting ad campaign telling us to wear a string vest and turn the heating down to 60C no matter what is in old money. All because they failed miserably to meet our energy needs just so they could get noticed on the BBC and at international ‘climate summits’ before flying home on a private jet.

Laydees and gennulmen, I again refer you to a speech given by the late Minister of Labor Nye Bevan in 1945 on Tory ministerial incompetence.

“This island is mostly coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.

As I wrote in March, our island today rests on half a century’s reserves of shale gas and billions of barrels of untapped oil and natural gas in the North Sea.

Yet our modern political geniuses have managed to produce a local shortage of gas and oil, purely out of short-sighted political vanity.

They reject cheap and cheerful fracking out of hand, in favor of useless, bird-shredding, landscape-destroying, foreign-made wind turbines.

And, to date, their only other response is whether to pay us to turn off the lights, lower the heating and turn off the television during the England v Wales World Cup game.

You’re going to have to forgive me now, before I spontaneously ignite. Squeeze has just returned to shuffle.

We really are Up The Junction.

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