Simon Nixon on what happens when North Sea oil runs out — and we have to do without the drug that fuelled the boom yearsThe New Labour spin doctor’s handbook has clear guidelines on how to deal with a crisis. First, deny it exists. If that doesn’t work, attack anybody who dares draw attention to the problem, usually subjecting them to a vicious smear campaign. And, if all else fails, blame it on Europe. So it has been with this winter’s great gas crisis.
Wholesale gas prices have quintupled in a month, factories are shutting down, bosses are threatening to shift production abroad, and terrified pensioners are wondering whether they can afford to keep their houses warm this winter. The government’s response? That it is all the fault of those dastardly Europeans, who selfishly hoarded gas for their own use this winter and are now refusing to sell their stockpiles when our own system collapsed at the first cold snap of the season.