Close the damn Oxford Street doors – I mean it
VSlose those damn gates – there is a climate crisis for goodness sake!
Amid all the outcry over the Conservatives’ disastrous mini-budget, taxpayers’ huge energy subsidy to corporations and businesses has been largely ignored.
An estimate of the giveaway was nearly £50billion for the first six months. This is the equivalent of the total state pension budget for this period, i.e. we could double the state pension with this free plug for companies.
What has also not been noticed is that the more energy a company wastes, the more subsidies it receives from taxpayers.
Now, while there are businesses like mom-and-pop shops and pubs that desperately need a bailout, there are plenty of hugely profitable companies that don’t. Take, for example, the retailers of Oxford Street in London.
Their wide-open doors pour heated air into the street, subsidized by taxpayers. It is the ultimate symbol of our genocidal climate consumerism.
Following the announcement of this energy support program by the destructive Truss administration, I conducted a survey of Oxford Street retailers to see how many were leaving their doors open all day.
I found that a staggering 93% of them did. Only two large retailers had good energy efficiency practices in place, with doors closing after customers entered or left.
They were Marks & Spencer’s and Selfridges. A handful of high-end jewelers have also closed.
All the other major retailers had their doors wide open.
These included Zara, Body Shop, Microsoft, Disney, JD Sports, Dyson, Vodafone, McDonald’s, Lush, H&M, Lloyds Bank, Clarks Shoes, Next, Boss and Holland & Barrett.
So I posed this question to retailers: “In light of the climate emergency and war-triggered energy shortages in the UK and Europe, how can you justify wasting gas and electricity subsidized by taxpayers?
The vast majority did not respond, but three stores did. Boots said all of its other stores had their doors closed as standard practice – and they did not receive a government subsidy because 97% of their electricity came from renewables.
Primark also said all other doors to its stores, apart from the one on Oxford Street, were operated by the customer and not left open.
They added: ‘We have reissued a communication to all stores reminding them of our closed door policy.
EE/BT said they were “putting in place trials of different door opening policies”.
My investigation was also prompted by news that the French government has introduced a £695 fine for retailers if they leave their doors open when the heating or air conditioning is on.
Their government said leaving the doors open wasted 20% of the energy used to heat and cool the stores. It would be nice if all UK retailers adopted the French good practice behind closed doors. But ideally, to ensure a level playing field for all stores, this should be implemented by UK government regulation.
So I contacted the government and the official opposition parties to see if they would support such a settlement.
I asked then Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg: “In light of the energy crisis in the UK and the potential shortage of gas for winter electricity, due to war and the closure of the UK gas storage facility, would you support a ban on retail open doors? United Kingdom?”
A government spokesperson replied: “We remain committed to the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and are transitioning to clean, affordable and local energy to increase the Kingdom’s energy independence. -United.”
My rough translation of this is, “Of course, Rees-Mogg would never dream of introducing such sensible regulation to reduce the billions in taxpayer subsidies we hand out to oil companies. So we’ll ignore your question and provide a blah-blah answer instead. »
Although they twice asked Ed Miliband’s Labor Party press team if they would support the settlement, they did not respond. And rather pathetically, despite a very generous 10-day deadline, the Lib Dem spokesperson said: “I’m afraid we can’t meet this in time for your deadline.
My translation of the lack of response from the opposition parties was that our entire political class is terrified of being castigated for having so-called “nanny state” policies.
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I don’t know why every lily-livered British politician faints for fear of this childish accusation from the right-wing press?
But in light of this cowardice, I thought it would be empowering for our readers to run their own ‘Close your doors to Britain’ campaign.
Why not politely ask or write to any local stores in your area that have an open door practice, asking them to close their doors when the heating or air conditioning is on?
Let us know the results in the comments below.