The Wider Cost Of A War

Companies supplying fuel are jumping on the news of war in Ukraine and the current oil price increase to justify eye-watering price increases passed on to consumers. Despite BP profits in excess of £80 BILLION pounds last year, petrol at the pumps is forecast to hit £8.50 a gallon soon. ($11.20)

Although British Gas profits and share prices have never been higher, they are imposing increases in excess of 50% immediately, with the prospect of another 20% to follow at the end of April. Electricity companies have followed suit, with some predicting rises of 100% on current monthly payments.

We use heating oil in Beetley to run our central heating and hot water system. In December, 500 litres cost around £310. Today’s quote is £621, rising daily.

Salaries and pensions are not increasing much at all. In most cases, there are no increases whatsoever.

The Futures Market is making people obscenely rich overnight, as they rush to cash in on what everyone accepts is a real crisis in Ukraine. But are we just being bamboozled by the huge corporations and multinationals? I for one think we are. Both Britain and the USA are significant producers of oil. Both countries invested heavily in oil production, and both have claimed in the past to be self-sufficient in oil. Some time ago, Britain claimed to have invested so much in Green alternative energy, that it now supplied 43% of our requirements.

And that figure was published in 2014.

So how is it that the tragic war in Ukraine in 2022 can be used to justify such a hike in costs to ordinary people?

Profit and greed, pure and simple. In parliament today, Boris Johnson was laughing when asked about the increases.

Laughing at ordinary people wondering how they will heat their homes.

(It is still worth remembering that even when we are struggling to pay our bills, stay warm, and put fuel in our cars so we can drive to work or to the supermarket, we are better off than a refugee family from Ukraine living in a UNHCR tent in a foreign country. )

68 thoughts on “The Wider Cost Of A War

  1. You wrote, “So how is it that the tragic war in Ukraine in 2022 can be used to justify such a hike in costs to ordinary people?” My answer to that is: “Big Business will always use any available excuse to raise prices on everything consumers use. Sometimes it is a tidal wave in some far off remote place that generates price increases because of the tidal wave’s effect on commodities transportation … Then there are the fires at oil refineries .. then there are the hurricanes … then there are the wars … then there are the wombat farts in unexplored jungle areas. They are all bullshitters waiting for any opportunity to rip the consumers off. But we are stuck with this situation because nobody in government has the intestinal fortitude to do anything about it. I remember a day in which we actually had some consumer protections. But not any more, I am afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was as if the oil and power companies were so delighted on the day of the invasion, they were increasing their prices moments after it was announced. Being cynical, I am sure they had advance notice long before the Russians attacked.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Shareholders benefits and dividends, pay rises for the executives, and supposedly investing in ‘Green Energy’. Though our government already gave them a tax break and subsidies to ‘Investigate Green Energy’.
      It’s a scandal that nobody seems to be bothered about. We need a revolution.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It does make one wonder why they need billions stashed in off shore accounts and private banks. It must be some sort of obsessive pathology in these greedy elites, that they have to amass such monstrous amounts of money. It does make me wonder if they do it to impoverish Joe Average. I think they get a perverse kick out of reading about and seeing photos of the poor at food banks. After all even allowing for a lavish lifestyle they cannot possibly spend billions!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately any War opens the door for carpet baggers and profiteers. Capitalism and the military industrial complex is the name of the game on Earth and until we come up with a modified version of it we are the mercy of a global economic system based on it. I believe the war in Ukraine is also about grabbing natural resources in anticipation of food shortages caused by climate change. Eventually global supply chains will break down as the climate gets worse and weather geo-engineering goes wrong. Best to find a place to live over the next thirty years (I’ll be dead by then) where you can find food, water, and fuel. That is what I advise my children. Capitalism is about using everything up until it’s gone so a few can make huge profits and live a luxurious lifestyle in the short term. We are also manipulated by unscrupulous politicians who are meglo-maniacs and have gone far beyond the pale of respect for our basic humanity and species survival.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I am going to have to ration my use of the car, and be more careful about using the heating. But I won’t stint on food, as I want to eat well at my age.
          Best wishes, Pete.
          (This comment was in the Trash folder too!)

          Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a sad state of affairs, Pete. I feel such sorrow and empathy for those in the midst of this war. I can also feel disgust with the way governments and corporations use this to gouge us all. It is truly disheartening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In many countries, such government action would result in mass protest, or revolution. But we seem to have lost our spark in the UK. In France, huge protests forced the government to cap the fuel increases to 4%. We sit back and just accept rises of 50-100%.
      Too much stiff upper lip. We need softer upper lips.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’ll take thousands of children starving and rations imposed on the population before they start to do street protests. Why don’t the eco protestors ever protest abut poverty? They never seem to care that people are sitting in cold homes and struggling to pay the bills.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What is ‘the market’ other than a metaphor for money grabbing bastards, who are no better than gamblers at the end of the day. I find it odd that they keep saying that oil is at its highest price since 2008, but I cant remember fuel at this price back then? At least they have ditched the VAT here, as I believe they have in Ireland as well. There are also some pretty generous subsidy programs in the EU to hep with the increase in fuel bills. Just as well the UK left the EU so that it could have control over all these things!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. More money for the shareholders in BP and Shell over here of course. Their government friends will be looking after them and chuckling at us mugs paying unnecessary increases for fuel.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Perhaps the whole country needs to do a bill strike and cancel their gas and electricity direct debits in protest. Millions of people refusing to pay. Imagine that! The companies would go bust. Leave the cars in the drive way and refuse to go to work. Strike for poverty and against the greedy energy companies!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps the U.K. and the U.S. are raising prices domestically because they anticipate supplying oil to the European continent due to denying Russian oil exportation. Also, the Green Energy revolution is trying to accomplish too much too quickly, resulting in a political war against fossil fuels at a time when we really more or oil and natural gas production.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All good points, David. Electric cars need electricity to run, and that has to be generated. Also cobalt mining for making the batteries is devastating parts of the world. Hardly a green alternative for the miners working in near-slave conditions for a few dollars a day.
      (Most of Europe is not currently banning Russian fuel imports, but talking about ‘reducing dependence on them eventually’. )
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The US has cut Russian fuel off completely and prices are rising every day! Europe on the other hand has not, yet your prices climb any way – greed is a powerful emotion.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. yes sir. we are, the ordinary people victims to these leaders. Their ego and greed. If Ukraine can not fight Russia, let them work it out together. why the whole world has to pay for Ukraine and pay for a war that is not ours.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We have to pay because we are the unwilling victims of an international money market that is reacting to a European war to make profits. That’s the sad truth of it for us, and death and destruction is the much sadder truth for the people in Ukraine.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Like

    2. Yes indeed, GP. The rich get richer, the income gap widens, and all the time people are dying in Ukraine. Yet certain people see the whole situation as a reason to make even more money.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The worst is yet to come, Liz. I fear we are headed for a return to the Victorian era in Britain. Destitute poor, and laughingly comfortable rich. The people who voted for that are simply ignorant fools, with no wider knowledge.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Boris is all right, so sod everybody else. They need to reduce the VAT on petrol, but will they? Will they heck. It’s all about grabbing as much money as possible these days. You’ll not be surprised the latest regarding the ULEZ charge is increasing it to cover all of London and various other cities. Will it clean the air? No it will rake in more money because people still need to get from A to B.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That charge is so unpopular, I am wondering if it will cost Khan the next mayoral election. It does nothing to clean the air. Only a total ban on vehicles would do that. That will never happen as long as it brings in huge revenues in charges.

      And what about the Dartford Crossing? That was only supposed to charge until it paid for itself. Now it has become another ‘cash-cow’ for the company that owns it.

      Motoring in Britain is the most expensive in the world. Our love of, and need for cars, is costing us dear, and the successive governments have been raking in the cash whilst using vehicles supplied to them free of charge, or claimed back on ‘expenses’.

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes…of course I agree that we are very fortunate not to be refugees. How long before everyone on the planet is somewhere other than where they were born?

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  9. Why are they allowed to get away with it? They just take advantage of every opportunity to extort money. Isn’t this what a recent riot in Kazakhstan was about? Did it get anywhere? I doubt it. What exactly are we supposed to do?

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    1. In France, there were huge demonstrations, and the government capped any fuel increase to 4%. I think that over here, people are more bothered about keeping up with Instagram and Netflix, sadly.
      Best wishes, Pete.
      (I found your comment in my Trash folder.)

      Like

  10. You’ve got that spot on Pete. I am in no doubt that whilst fuel and some food items will legitimately become more expensive as a result of reducing dependency on Ukraine and Russia, we are being ripped off by oil and gas companies. They think we’re stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stupid or not, we have no viable alternative. Except a revolution. That is unlikely to happen while there is still a ‘Reality show’ on TV to watch, or a fantasy series to binge-watch on Netflix.
      Thanks, Paul.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Even acknowledging the horror of Ukraine, the hike in fuel prices is a travesty of criminal proportions, a blatant contempt for the general population and yet another coruscating knife in the side of our pregnable society . . !

    Liked by 1 person

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