BP get the Bootle
By Ethan James Carroll
BP has reported its highest quarterly profit in 14 years, what a relief! Nadim Zahawi gave us a scare when he informed us that the oil and gas giants were ‘struggling’. BP has just scraped by with an underlying £6.9bn profit between April and June, triple the amount the company secured in the same period last year. I am sure that working people are rejoicing, especially in my local Bootle community. You have heard my irony before, but slipping through the lips of big oil - disguised as sincerity.
Bootle is a post-industrial town directly north of Liverpool, with neighbourhoods ranked among the 0.5% most deprived in the UK. Despite a strong sense of working-class comradery, our community cannot bypass profiteering energy giants.
Amid the struggle, I thought of Mollie Simpson's article in the Liverpool Post, "this is why people kill themselves, because they cannot provide for their children." By October, energy prices are expected to rise by 78%. Bootle families will choose between food and warmth. Britain: the mother of democracy, but not of its children.
If the pollsters are right, Liz Truss will win the Tory leadership election – accelerating the crisis. The Prime Minister in-waiting has no interest in regulating or taxing the energy giants holding the British people to ransom. Truss has no priority to cut the costs of working families up and down the nation.
‘Pound shop Thatcher’ is more pressed about vilifying workers, discontent with government enforced wage-squeezes and oppression. She would rather strip away striking rights than raise a finger to help my community. Just Tuesday, Truss U-turned on an insulting policy of cutting the pay of civil servants and public sector workers outside the South East. Has nothing been learned since Johnson? We don't want a personality contest, we want to keep the lights on.
So, while BP, Shell and Centrica all boast billions of profits, British people struggle under a disinterested Conservative government dead set to strip away their liberties. Perhaps the answer should be public ownership of utilities, privatisation has failed. After all, as costs spiral in the UK, we look to France to see how energy price rises have been capped at no more than 4%. We need to do the same, not just for Bootle's sake – but for the survival of everyone.
Ethan James Carroll is a proud Liverpudlian, member of the SLF, and student at the London School of Economics.