Ill fares the land

Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey
When wealth accumulates and men decay.

The Tory party conference is in full swing and celebratory high-fives, with Lord Frost chuntering that the long bad dream of EU membership is over. Now unlike some of you whippersnappers, I recall what the sick man of Europe looked like in 1973, though as an ankle-biter I wasn’t that economically aware. Ermine Command sent an expeditionary force to the fair city of Oxford. Through the crackling wisps of t’internet came this signal


Our nonplussed forward team commander wondered if they’d picked up the time machine by mistake “I’m in a time slip and it’s Thatcher’s Britain all over again” – at least they’re all set for CDs if they can find a way to put them in their phones.

Think this is M&S

Looks like we’re going back to my schooldays, oh my. The British Renaissance has begun, Frosty my boy? You can find the odd wingnut to say it’s all Covid, and few things are single-valued. Still, at least we have some HMV nostalgia to get some feel-good into the Renaissance, Oliver Goldsmith be damned.

50 thoughts on “Ill fares the land”

  1. Your collective caption on those photos could be literally ‘Nothing to see here, move on’. The question is though, have you been duped with fake news, are those photos real, or are you Sir, inadvertently talking little brexit brittin down? What of the upside, with poor people unable to afford much food, the Tories will have eventually solved the obesity crisis, so we can now privatise whatever’s left of the NHS. Seriously, this was always going to happen, when repeated lockdowns are reversed, only then do you see the damage inflicted on just-in-time global supply chains, including energy which powers the entire economy. A lot of shut-down oil wells are not worth re-opening and most of the easy pickings were running out anyway, so as gas comes out with that oil, we now have global wholesale oil/gas/electricity prices jumping radically. Uniquely the UK exacerbated this with brexit as they can’t use collective purchasing power to bulk buy with Europe and through neoliberal ideological blindness sold the main buffer gas storage facility off a few years ago, so apparently hold only the equivalent of ~5 winter days of gas for the whole country until lights go out.

    Permanently eye-wateringly higher energy bills are therefore a guarantee and since energy powers everything we buy or do, most relevant bills will go steeply higher very soon. The only way the country can pay for this is by raising taxes and guess who pays that?

    Every country is ruled by an elite which parasitises its people commensurate with their gullibility. This simple statement of reality would routinely be disarmed via the knee-jerk response of calling every inconvenient expose a conspiracy theory by the system’s useful idiots and lackeys, but the latest leak is too undeniable:

    This is why we as a civilisation are hurtling towards a cliff edge with no brakes, because the 0.0001% have no reason to believe we are all in this together, they assume they can just let us die off and they’ll be fine as usual. They probably think there will still be enough resources for their tiny numbers to have a decent life in the few oases that will exist even in a harsher world and I really wonder if they’re right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. New Zealand seems to be where it’s at

      It’s kind of comical that seasteading always ends up going titsup – followers of the doctrine of Ayn Rand can’t get along. A whole bunch of John Galt “I am not my brother’s keeper” can’t get along long-term. Who’d a thunk it?

      The best way is the way of Dr No. Be in total control of your own island. Necker Island is the toned down variant, though I see it has a commercial wing to make the numbers add up. Just don’t tolerate any other John Galts in your Gulch. Shoot the buggers on sight. Galt’s Gulch Chile investors were surprised to find the head honcho was a sociopath and a con man. Did they not look in the mirror the morning they bought in? This bunch of gormless twerps saved money by turning the streetlights off at night. You couldn’t make it up.


  2. When I was last in supermarkets (Friday & Saturday) there were plenty of toilet rolls though!!

    OOI, you may find this chatter interesting, see:
    I had been puzzling about this since you raised it a few weeks back (see: and search for “frothy”) and finally decided a few days ago to reach out to ERN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm. ERN seems to be of the view that the 1970s was a particularly tough time for any of the proposed withdrawal rate solutions

      More challenging than any other crisis in recent history: The 1970s! As mentioned above, between 1970 and 1982 we had four recessions, two of them major. What’s worse, due to the inflation shock and rising bond yields, bonds got hammered and negated any diversifying benefit in this episode!

      Given the general resonance between now and the 1970s and that central banks have been firing ammo for 10 years to stave off the recessions of the GFC and the coronavirus pandemic, so their ammunition must be running low and perhaps the defenders’ guns will fall silent, some of the recessions forestalled may be queued in the pipeline.

      Does it not make you feel ever so slightly afraid if the characteristic of the 1970s is so hard to prevail against in drawdown, I wonder…


      1. I trust you saw ERNs take (in the comments towards the end of the post) on the P/E conundrum?

        >Given the general resonance between now and the 1970s

        The parallels are there for all to see – inflation & fuel crisis amongst others!
        IMO it is extremely unlikely to be exactly the same as the 70’s, but could conceivably be not so bad, worse, or ……

        Given this background are you still keen to try to buy the drop?
        If so, do you have you a cunning plan in mind, perhaps along the lines of and/or
        Having said that, lost of maths folks have shown – given a sufficiently long enough time horizon – that this may not be the optimal approach, see e.g. and/or


      2. > lost of maths folks have shown – given a sufficiently long enough time horizon – that this may not be the optimal approach, see e.g.

        I kinda broadly accept the hypothesis of DCA for an accumulator, and arguably lived it on a yearly basis for ten years in filling my ISA, though I did target suckouts. The heavy lifting was done in the early years from the GFC, and some unashamedly active action last year – but I was technically in drawdown then.

        I am not so sure in the case of drawdown, there’s at least a case to shift one’s risk profile/asset class allocation. Partly from the age-old mantra never have money in the stock market you will need in the next five years, and while I am prepared to hold three years in cash more than that risks inflation depreciation and is a drag on performance. I really ought to revisit the amount given I have a DB pension now 😉

        > IMO it is extremely unlikely to be exactly the same as the 70’s

        Not so much repeat as rhyme, eh!

        > Given this background are you still keen to try to buy the drop?

        Yes. I have seen 27% inflation. I listened to my great-grandmother as she described losing her life savings. Twice.

        I am still heavily overexposed in cash and rate limited by the ISA allowance, and if the 1970s are calling that’s a bad place to be. hanks for the mad fientist article – his general style normally absolutely gets on my tits because4 I am nowhere near as materialist-rationalist as he is. But his staged buy approach looks freaking brilliant, particularly as you can do it with limit orders. I have tried a simplistic variant of that on bitcoin, though perhaps I am overly greedy as none of my orders have gone through yet. But it’s brilliant, I can roughly define the amount I am prepared to invest, and this gives an analytical way to deploy it, without burning the lot it if the suckout is not deep enough.


      3. What’s rather pissed on my fireworks as far as implementing madfientist’s wheeze, having now computed the spreadsheet is that either the Vanguard ISA does not support limit orders or I am not clever enough to find out how the hell to do it.

        All of which supports commenter Jam’s observation that the Vanguard ISA, while cheaper than my old CS ISA, is not the right product for me. I will shift it next year.

        I will now see what I can do in iWeb.


      4. > But his staged buy approach looks freaking brilliant

        Both examples I gave use a broadly similar staged buy approach.
        They both seem to value using a system (set up in advance – presumably to try to minimise emotional reactions) and have developed their systems using their previous experiences. A primary concern for both seemed to be not burning their dry powder too quickly.
        Implementation, particularly via limit orders, may be easier said than done (IIRC RM could not do that) – but I am not too familiar with these. It might also be worth remembering any such limit orders you set up as I believe they must be cancelled if they do not lapse – and forgetting about them can catch you out many moons later and possibly somewhat by surprise. See, for example, September [2021] at

        BTW, the maths folks have also repeatedly shown that DCAing a lump sum is sob-optimal.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Iweb does let you do that. It’s slightly tedious to set up a ladder like that, but not too bad. Iweb also let you specify the timeout. So I have a modest hit set on VWRL now, but I don’t have much space on Iweb, basically this year’s dividends. Enough to battle test the theory.


      6. > BTW, the maths folks have also repeatedly shown that DCAing a lump sum is sub-optimal.

        I think that’s easy enough to see. What I can’t yet see is the reason for the failure of Britanny in this, although I suspect it is the same issue. The presentation is facile, and subject to false conclusions. What I think is the reason for the underperformance relative to DCA is the specification of market lows kept B out of the market for much longer than five years, because the overall period is 40 years. She only gets into the market 15 years from the get-go.

        I also remember the 1980s. You could get a damn sight more than 3% interest on cash, so B takes an implicit inflation degrowth which would probably not be that bad. So I challenge the representativeness of that simulation. Hell, I was paying 15% as a mortgage interest at one point in the 1990s! So no, I am not convinced that DCA is all that, though it is probably the easiest win for anyone saving from income, and when you are doing it for 40 years it’s probably the best way to start.

        There is a little named corollary to the adage ‘don’t have money in the stock market you will need to call on in the next five years’ which is largely a product of typical stock market volatility and bear/bull durations. It’s that if you are holding unproductive assets for longer than that, you are likely to be getting invisibly reamed by inflation, which is why the DCA lump-summers are taking a hit.


      7. > BTW, the maths folks ….
        IMO, “sufficiently long time horizon” is a key clause and for folks of our vintage we are defo now nearer the end than the start! Add in deaccumulation (possibly with pension income too) and the scenarios are indeed different. OOI, the Retirement Manifesto guy (Fritz) has pension income too and used his strategy (for the dip) to effectively re-balance away from bonds.

        > Iweb does let you do that.
        Very interesting. I looked at this a while back and I thought iWEB’s functions in this area were limited to shares . What did I miss and what are the costs, etc like?

        Also, does a GIA not come bundled with your iWEB s&s ISA – so could you not use this to extend your play space on the same, or at least a similar, cost basis?

        Fritz executed his plays mandraulically. IIRC, he explains his schemes finer points (including details like taking screen shots) in the comments to the post.


      8. My bad.
        I have just taken another look at iWEB and I assume you have used what they call “TradePlan” – see and the key phrase about eligibility on this page is “Please note, TradePlan is only available on CREST eligible UK investments”.
        Also, my supposition re costs (GIA vs ISA) is slightly wrong – as effectively each (?) trade plan is set up FoC inside an ISA, rather than at £2 a pop in the GIA. Having said that, my reading of the costs section is that if your plan is triggered one set up/amendment cost is effectively refunded.

        All looks very encouraging provided the asset being traded is “CREST eligible UK investments”.

        Have I now got this about correct?

        Liked by 1 person

      9. > TradePlan is only available on CREST eligible UK investments

        I am targeting VWRL ETF, in the ISA. I had to do the capital gains tax return for my mother when she moved into sheltered accommodation. Bless their flippin’ cotton socks, my parents didn’t do ISAs. They did share certificates, FFS. Look on the bright side, there’s a low cost of carry. Let’s just say I did my best, but that’s not something I ever want to do again.

        As it is I consider myself reasonably numerate and with an understanding of the problem-space, but the trauma was enough that I’m not doing that on my own account if I can help it. Taking this, this and this into account fills me with dread. I am first going to kick all of the gold I hold from the ISA into a GIA (because gold is honest capital gains or not, and there are gold funds enough to bed and breakfast capitals gains in the same year without coming out of the asset. That way I liberate the cash in the gold ETFs to deploy in the ISA.

        So I’m not doing that sort of buy ladder in a GIA, the capgain complications (and what part of VWRL is income) is not a place I want to go. GIA is for lumpy purchases and pref no income, or income units only. And I don’t have one at this stage, though I need somewhere to put the ill-gotten shorting gains so I will end up there next TY.

        That page you found sums it up – on an annual ISA-s worth I don’t really begrudge iWeb their £7 a trade. Last year I was the pinball wizard form but I am open to a better way.


      10. >I’m not doing that on my own account if I can help it
        OK, got it. I think I might end up using GIA soonish for not entirely dissimilar reasons.
        My reading of the iWEB page is that a tradeplan trade will still cost you £5 total if it is executed (GIA or ISA) but will be FoC if not executed in an ISA and £2 in a GIA; assuming you do not modify/change it once set up.

        >Last year I was …..
        Good to know that Tommy is alive and well; presumably no shortage of baked beans round his way – that scene has been etched to my mind since the mid 70’s!


      11. > but will be FoC if not executed in an ISA and £2 in a GIA; assuming you do not modify/change it once set up.

        On a hope for the best/expect the worst I’m of the view it would be FoC if executed but that could be read as chargeable (to set up) if not, and possibly £2 to fiddle with. Arguably in the GIA it is FoC if executed.

        Hargreaves Lansdown also seem to support limit/SL orders – that is probably where I will end up next year.


  3. Interesting photos.

    Further north (Midlands) things have not yet come to this. The supermarket shelves are mostly stocked with only a few non-essential gaps. Petrol I can still find at village gas stations, although Sainsbury’s were out of diesel yesterday, which was a first.

    I was a young adult in the early seventies, and while I can remember the running power cuts, for which we kept a camping stove in the kitchen and candles, I don’t have any memory of food shortages.

    The most puzzling aspect of all this is the sheer docility of people. Most don’t seem to question the official line that it’s nothing to do with Brexit, most seem happy enough to continue to accept that Papa knows best. Our north-harrying Norman masters of a thousand years past still haunt the English subconscious.

    And where this is going to end up, god knows. Great wrenching damage is being done in front of us to the social and economic fabric of the UK. If Frost follows through with his latest threats (unlikely, I know), all bets are off. We could be getting emergency aid from the EU by the end of the year.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. No fuel or food crisis up here in the Northwest – some queues at the petrol station last week but all pumps available when I filled up at the weekend and no noticeable gaps on the supermarket shelves. Not yet anyway.

    Am trying to ignore all the doom and gloom but might start adding a couple of extra items to my shopping…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmm. Not sure crisis-what crisis cuts it at the mo. I just received this dark transmission from MSE’s Martin Lewis

      Hi mustelid,

      The energy market is in extreme crisis. Wholesale gas prices – which firms pay – have risen fivefold in the last year. Much of the UK’s electricity is generated by gas too. This means both gas and electricity prices for consumers have rocketed to previously unimaginable levels.

      For energy switching the situation is catastrophic. Nine energy firms, with nearly two million customers between them, have gone bust, and more are almost certain to follow (so I’d urge everyone to download your bill, and screengrab your credit so you’ve got a record). There are no decent tariffs left to switch to – in fact, there are very few tariffs for new customers at all.


      Here are the key need-to-knows:

      There are no switchable deals meaningfully cheaper than the price cap. We are in the perverse situation where there is nothing meaningfully cheaper than the default price you go to when a deal ends (or if you’ve never switched). Even though the regulator’s price cap jumped by 12% on Friday 1 October, it is still set substantially below the current cost price of energy – the main reason so many firms are going bust.
      If / when you come off a fix, you will pay a lot more. There’s no getting away from this I’m afraid. Many coming off cheap fixes will find themselves paying up to 50% more than they were – when they move to the price cap – but there is currently no solution. If you do want to fix you’ll pay even more as the current cheapest fix is 30% higher than the price cap, so for most the premium isn’t worth it.

      I paraphrase this as “This is Martin your Frugal Airways captain speaking. all four engines are on fire, this sucker’s going down. Have a nice day”

      Welcome to Frosty’s Renaissance. This week’s Economist put it well

      In the words of Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s former adviser, “The stooges who trusted No 10, and those who trusted the stooges, now have no petrol.”

      When I heard Friday I think the 24th the self-satisfied nincompoop Shappsy say don’t panic buy I filled up that night, because if you’re going to panic, panic early or not at all. And quite frankly, with this ship of fools in charge, panic early and pretty much all the time. That’s heating systems that don’t rely on mains electricity, an alternative that doesn’t rely on gas, and tins. I’ve already given up on turkey, never really cared for it that much 😉

      Liked by 4 people

  5. But look. Boris is pictured jogging in a shirt and formal shoes. His hair is unkempt and he said something in dog latin on LBC. Nothing to see here. Move on.

    “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”, Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For the most important things in life you minimise risk, if you have a serious medical condition, you want the most qualified surgeon, for a life-changing legal threat, a barrister, not just a lawyer, only the best pilot on a flight through a storm. But now, when the world is going into energy shock therapy, the people look to a clown to save them, of all the possible options available, that was their free will choice. Yet we will all pay for that, including we who didn’t vote for the people’s jester, because we didn’t want entertainment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Ermine,

    FWIW, I have just transferred an ISA and general trading account to
    There was an awful mess up of the transfer by them, which was a poor start. It was purely an administration error, which I cannot see being repeated, thankfully.
    Now, I have been transferred over, it actually seems alright with a fairly agreeable user interface and the ability to do limit orders, kill and fill, and stop-loss, etc. too.
    I cannot say I have used all this, it is still early days for me with them, but it seems fine after the poor start.
    It is not for funds, but if you only have ETF’s perhaps you and @AlCam might find it worth a look. It is very cheap too, cheaper than HL.

    @FI Warrior
    I am pleased you highlighted the country’s very low capacity to store gas. I heard about that on a podcast (BBC – More or Less) where they were discussing price volatility. Moving increasingly to use gas for power generation and simultaneously reducing the capacity to store it, which would have allowed everyone to smooth out price spikes seemed completely bonkers to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thanks for the heads-up! I will migrate my vanguard holding to etfs as it comes to the new tax year, I have a bias in that direction already so it shouldn’t be too hard


  7. I am Midlands based and the petrol stations where empty here. All had signs saying no fuel. Sadly I think it is the demographic of the area. I had luckily filled up the week before this crisis kicked off so I still have some fuel as I use a demon diesel but will need to find more at some point.
    My local supermarkets have empty shelves too. The big 3 have plenty of empty shelves as they struggle with their supply chains. The discounters seem to be better stocked. I just accept that I may not be able to buy what I want and just get what I can and look for alternatives.

    I was young when the 70s power crisis was happening, I remember the power cuts and having to use candles for light and a camping stove to heat food. My parents grew a lot of food so we just lived off the produce of the garden.

    The power crisis has been building for years, my ex-partner worked in the power industry and they have been warning of this for at least 10 years. We are so dependent on gas for generating electricity and (import too much). We have not invested in building the right power stations (diversification) or the engineers to operate them.
    My friend just got their new prices for gas and electricity from their supplier and the electricity price rise is DOUBLE the gas one, with both going up. I cannot cut my use any more than I have without sitting with no heating or lighting.
    We have sold off the utilities to private free market companies – which I personally think is wrong. Utilities should not be free market. Fine for other industries but not power and water.
    The globalised economy is now hitting the UK. The owners of the fertilizer factories are just the start of threats to closed down UK operations as they move them to cheaper countries. The UK gov now having to pay global companies to keep uneconomic factories open to maintain UK supplies. All this outsourcing is now coming back to bite.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seems very patchy now, the shortages. Which plays into Bojo’s crisis, what crisis angle. Trouble is, these boys don’t do forward planning.

      All the green levies are loaded onto electricity. At some stage it will be worth modding a generator to run on gas and locally generate power inefficiently, just to shed all that loading 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We don’t have Brexit in Canada – although probably Alberta would now like to get out. We don’t have the Conservatives in power – they lost the recent vote because an even more unhinged far-right party siphoned off some of their support.
    But we do have persistent inflation, empty shelves, soaring energy costs. and an insane property market. I guess maybe the best bet is New Zealand to ride things out. Or not – who knows?


    1. Blimey, I am surprised on the empty shelves, though not the property prices!

      The big problem with NZ is you’d have to share the place with whazzocks like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel. And from my POV they have a terrible attitude to stoats!


    1. I think it’s not so much the lump sum that gets hit by SoR, it’s the steady draw that is highly sensitive to SoR. Of course that’s the point of investing a lump sum, but if you didn’t draw then I believe SoR would be reversible, whereas if you do draw down than that doesn’t hold.


  9. Viewpoint 1
    “The shortages of essential workers and goods that are disrupting daily life might just have something to do with the severity of the rupture with the EU. But that can’t be acknowledged for it would be to concede that the prophet of Brexit is fallible. So, business must be ferociously blamed for unfilled jobs, paralysed supply chains and the threat of a Christmas without turkeys.”
    Viewpoint 2
    “Ever since his landslide Election victory, even Cabinet Ministers have been struggling to answer the question: What does Boris want power for? Now, as we exit the first party conference season since that triumph, he and his inner circle believe they have found an answer – a radical restructuring of the economy, a robust recalibration of his party’s relationship with big business, and the deployment of a decisive wedge issue that will consign Labour to another decade in the political wilderness.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do hate to say this, but I am with BoJo’s original approach that there shouldn’t be low end immigration visas. If that’s what people voted for, then they should get it, good and hard perhaps, but I also just plain disbelieve the studies showing there is little impact of immigration on salaries. I acknowledge the lump of labour fallacy, but the evidence is coming in, that particularly at the low end, pay and conditions have been shat on for over a decade by EU labour. It may be that these jobs end up not being done to the same extent, but the pay hierarchy is pyramidal. So EU free movement of labour denting the lowest 1% of the wage spectrum will result in a lot more than 1% of workers feeling the pain. And there is an argument to be made that Remainers do owe an apology to this group, or perhaps are having that apology shoved down their necks.

      So I find myself more in company with viewpoint 2. Although the Guardian have been getting on my tits of late, what with their militant veganism et al, so perhaps I am just getting old 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I also remember Stuart Rose launching the Remain campaign by complaining we’d lose cheap labour if we left the EU. It will be interesting to watch what happens on this.


  11. I spend much of the year in Australia, and take full advantage of the beaches and ocean swimming while there. Recently for some reason I’ve started watching shark videos on youtube, and it is clear that sharks are frequent visitors to Australian beaches, where they check out blissfully unaware swimmers at surprisingly close range. Almost always of course, nothing happens.

    I have noticed over the years that when swimming I sometimes get a very strong urge to get out of the water… a friend here says that perhaps I should start obeying the urge.

    I’m getting a similar feeling with the UK economy. So much seems to be happening, so little of it good. As well as the ongoing background Brexit degrade, the government’s Mad Frankie Fraser is pushing the UK into a full-on trade war with the EU, the BoE is talking up an IR rise ‘before Christmas’, the economy is falling apart like a cheap Christmas toy… I also found a fascinating, if far from pretty, set of numbers btl an FT piece that shows what is happening:

    UK GDP as % of German GDP
    2015 85%
    2018 72%
    2020 68%

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks Al Cam and FI Warrior, I will have a read later on, but what I have seen of so far really is eye watering as you put it.
    It is all a bit depressing. I am slightly over-weight the UK economy for historic reasons, maybe I should just sell the UK fund and go full global tracker. But I remind myself that the UK stock market is not representative of the UK economy and vice versa, and most things are already priced in, so will probably just sit on my hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome. Re: investing in anything connected to or relying on the UK economy for the future, I recently just learned about cabotage, which I’d never heard of until then. This (according to wikipedia) is where a transport company in one country can both pick up and drop off the same load in another country instead of just going there to drop or pick up something between those two countries. The advantage is obviously huge as a long route could do several loads to try and never be empty, thus being as efficient and therefore profitable as possible. (environmentally better too) Surprisingly few countries allow this, but unsurprisingly its one of the advantages of EU membership.

      Currently, being an island, most imports and exports servicing the UK travel by truck and these now have to make the return trip empty, so prices will increase massively, exacerbated by fewer hauliers wanting to deal with the UK at all as it’ll be less profitable as well as more hassle with bureaucracy and other difficulties, like driving on the other side.

      Every day now I see price increases in my local shops, after they held off for months, most worryingly including serious jumps in staples like 25% on a loaf of bread, while the constant intermittent shortages are not changing.
      So, while this is not investment advice, it’s simply a fact that may help, make of it what you will and good luck.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But, but, but, Shappsy sez he’s got it all under control. They have changed cabotage rules and

        People will be able to get things for Christmas – these measures are having an impact, things are loosening up. […] We’ve got now three times as many people applying to become lorry drivers every single day than before the crisis. We have to be careful, we mustn’t try and report ourselves into a crisis.

        So that’s all right then. “Crisis, what crisis?”

        Mind you, the FTSE100 is on a post-pandemic peak. You go, Shappsy!


  13. Dude, I tune out fast when any politician starts talking. It’s like with adverts, you know they’re actors paid to say the product’s great, so how could anyone ever believe that when it’s an open fact anyone would take the free money paid for repeating those words? Similarly live through even one electoral cycle and you know to watch what they do, not say because they’re paid to lie. I don’t know why the tories are so against drugs, if they decriminalised them they could get the other half of the country to vote for them too. Though to be fair, given the recent polls showing them running away with the vote right now, while the country’s falling apart, they don’t actually need more voters. But I’m going to get rich quick selling unicorns to all these cult-of-personality voters with a reality bypass, you can have one in any colour you like, even ones that don’t exist, just believe enough and it’ll happen, free delivery on amazon prime, just for you 🙂


  14. I was coincidentally lucky to get a 2-year fix on home energy bills just before the crisis hit, but since it looks like a permanent feature of the new landscape, I’m now adapting lifestyle and home to save maximum energy as fast as I can afford to:

    If I came into a windfall, I’d get a passive-house and set up my own off-grid diversified power options. I remember regular power cuts as a kid and you’d be surprised how you just get used to it when you have no choice, but the price is not just inconvenience, it shaves a fraction off total national productivity and inevitably, soon your quality of life falls.


    1. I hope your new deal stays the course! I thought I had set me up a good two year deal earlier this year. However, the day after I finally sorted that deal out the provider went bust. Oh joy! I guess we must live and learn.


      1. Arrrggh, I did wonder if a deal is retained when the supplier goes pop, it happened to me with Solarplicity going bust a few years ago, but I had already moved on past the deal period, to a new supplier even and was only fighting for the withheld credit amount I still had with them.

        This is precisely why I’m all for nationalisation of crucial infrastructure, sure the state can also run it badly, but there’ll be no siphoning off of profits to the usual charlatans.


      2. As you might have guessed, there is a little bit more to my tale. I decided to stay with my existing supplier for the new 2 year deal. And that deal was only due to kick in when my existing deal finished in a few weeks time. So, when the supplier went pop (the next day) I was still on the existing deal – which incidentally was better than the new 2 year fix I had agreed to take on. What then happened in our case was that the new supplier took on the existing deal and extended it for a few months. I then took out another 2 year deal with the new supplier – as they are one of the big six and IMO had been better than fair in their handling of the takeover of our bust supplier. This deal was significantly more expensive than the never started 2 year deal (with the old supplier), but not catastrophically so. There are still a few loose ends to sort out – but nothing major – and, so far so good.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. BTW, I do not think the supplier that takes over your account is obliged to honour your extant terms. IIRC, Martin Lewis said as much on his TV programme a while back too.


  15. @ Al Cam, Hmm, I guess all we can do if you have the time is try to research the company as well as the deal to boost your chances that it’ll survive the term of the contract. This is unfair because the onus is again on the ordinary person just trying to live in peace, to do more work in their own time just to avoid unnecessary stress or being shafted in the unavoidable process of everyday acts of life. But, this is a neoliberal world and we vote for it despite complaining. I’m currently with Octopus which I checked only on Trustpilot, but since saw that they have US funding, (if I remember correctly) so actually were already making a loss and the investors accepted this. I’m guessing their business model like Amazon, is to lose initially for market share then raise prices later when the competition are crushed, so no win for us sheeple long-term, but for what its worth right now their service is really good and the rate seems reasonable.


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