Whatever you think about Ed Milibands proposal to freeze energy bills it has certainly set the political weather over the last few weeks. Anybody who lives in the real world, of falling wages, of declining job security but ballooning costs of living could not be failed to be impressed by this commitment and they can’t fail to doubt the necessity of something being done. It isn’t just the gas or the electricity bill that is effected, I have just received notice of a rent increase which directly cited the continuing high cost of utilities.
So, something must be done, and even those parts of the Conservative Party which are more in-touch with the real world thank the current leadership, like John Major who has spoken out to his credit, recognise that this is the case. Labour’s solution is bold and I believe it has the hearts of the electorate in that it addresses a real problem. However, the case needs to be made intellectually that this can be done as I dont believe the public is 100% convinced the idea is practicable.
Politicians have lost the art of explaining things because they wrongly assume it is no longer necessary in the era of soundbite and spin. The dumbing-down of politics is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy which is leading to increased voter apathy and disengagement. It is exceptionally arrogant of politicians and the political class to assume that people dont have the capacity to absorb and comprehend complex arguments and make well informed decisions. The media has a part to play here as it has had an undoubted role in elevating perception over content. This is something politics as a whole needs to address but it is now a pressing issue for Labour in particular.