Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tory Party Conference: Environment/Quality of Life

May have mentioned yesterday that the Quality of Life/Environment session was a different kettle of fish to the Platitudes on Youth one masterminded by Gove.

But there was one thing that was just the same:

Contributions from the floor were concluded with a BME woman delegate sharing an anecdote ... Not understanding the game dippy Shadow Ainsworth tried to cut her in mid-flow, until someone who understood the desirability of the "BME-woman-delegate-at-the-end-of-the-session" gag shut him up.

[If anyone who watched more sessions than me can confirm that these also had prominent BME delegates and/or BME women towards their conclusions we might be able to establish a case for full on Tory tokenism. In comments please.]

Other contributions, all ritually slagging off Labour, covered the need for Tories to stop the Labour 3rd Runway at Heathrow, the need to reverse the Labour bulk discount price curve for power for poor Tories, the treacherous Labour river silt clogging Tory shipwrecks and Conservative sea fauna, and of course the Labour unseasonable rainfall damaging Tory business at Tory Brum golf courses.

I didn't quite make that last one up. But I did transplant it. Brum Lib Cons are blaming rain on golf courses for their budget mishandling. As well as people not using crematorium services as expected i.e. not dying young enough.

Changing the price curve for power is an interesting one. If we only use ten units we would pay for these plus the standing charge. If we use five hundred units we may still pay the same standing charge. So though the marginal cost is the same throughout the average cost falls and "the more we use the cheaper it gets".

Quite how to turn this on its head I don't know. Businesses don't use more particularly because the average unit cost comes down. It is still cost and still comes off the bottom line and they'd save it if they could.

This was thought provoking at least.

The third runway question is just a headache for any credible party of government. You know you will need to do it. But you know that shooting Bambi is always a bit of a hard sell. But perhaps Dave could confirm that he's listened to Mary and that her wishes are indeed now Tory Party Policy.

Most of these things aren't actually party political at all in sense of any left-right, liberal-conservative, freetrade-fairtrade kind of way. They are essentially managerial matters.

Though if anything in suggesting stopping the transport infrastructure expanding according to expressed demand, and in demanding a state-motivated fiddling with power tariffs these two Tories are strictly speaking barking up quite the wrong tree ideologically.

They are very likely accidental Tories who would be Lib Dem or indeed even Labour oppositionists if they were born or lived somewhere else. Their main conviction being that they are against not being in control.


Anonymous said...

In Indonesia there are about five residential electricity tarriffs, according to the output of the meter (smallest one I think is about 250W). So a poor household pays about £2/month, and a wealthier household with a more powerful meter would pay at least twice as much for the same quantity of electricity (an obviously more than that because they are using more).

Chris Paul said...

This is a very worthwhile thought - don't get me wrong - it's just that, like suppressing airports, it seems an odd thought for a Tory. IMO.

Thanks for the practical example of something a bit like this, though not the same really. What you describe is a bit more like broadband/dial up than our model of power distribution.

I'd like power generation to get back to far more local models. In which case local people could consent to more progressive pricing models. Can't see it nationally.