Oil rig Photo: ENI/CC
Oil rig Photo: ENI/CC

Josh Asker

Hurtling towards catastrophe with a new driver at the wheel – a driver selected by just 0.25% of the population. There can be no confidence whatsoever in new prime minister Liz Truss averting cost-of-living misery for most of us.

Months in the cold, going hungry, and anxiously checking the overdraft is the hard reality facing millions this winter. Meanwhile, £170 billion of excess profits awaits the big energy producers over the next two years. There really is no choice but to fight.

And as much as she doesn’t want to, Truss has no choice but to act. As the Socialist goes to press, she has issued the vague promise: “I will deliver on the energy crisis”. The most likely delivery is some form of bailout, to enable some level of price freeze and to avert an industry collapse.

We can’t afford to pay our bills now, and we refuse to foot the bill for a bailout in the future – as we had to with the banks after 2008. A windfall tax on super-profits would be a start, but only temporary, and leaving the same greedy bosses in place to resume parasitic profiteering again in the future.

Leaving the means to heat our homes and cook our meals in the private hands of a few has proven to be a recipe for disaster.

Half measures that leave the fat-cats in control are not the answer. We need to seize their profits by nationalising now, with no compensation to the rich shareholders. Publicly owned, the energy industry could be put under the democratic control of the working class, with elected committees of workers, trade union representatives and communities deciding investment and prices.

This crisis shows that the capitalist market has failed.

Like energy, all the necessities of life – food, water, housing, health care – are made unaffordable to us by the capitalists’ ruthless pursuit of profit. We need a socialist plan, where all the major businesses and banks are publicly owned, and democratically controlled – run to meet the needs of people and the environment. Join us to fight for it.