There has been, in the last week, a great deal of words said – and written – about the price rise that British Gas has announced.
Most of the words have been against the announced increase. British Gas is making profit at a time many of their most vulnerable customers are struggling to pay their bills. That kind of thing.
But the fact is that most of the speakers of most of the words have got it wrong.
It is the duty of British Gas – a publicly traded company – to make as much profit as possible.
It is not the duty of British Gas to have a social conscience.
British Gas only has one function and, it may surprise some people to learn, that function is to make as much money as possible for its shareholders.
British Gas could diversify into other high profit areas. Selling arms, for example, as do other publicly traded companies.
Making money is the only aim of British Gas.
The wider questions which everyone who has written a Tweet, a blog, Comment Is Free about, has missed, are seemingly more obvious, yet nobody has aired them.
So I will.
Should the Thatcher Government have taken out of public ownership a not-for-profit organisation?
Was selling a not-for-profit organisation, which was owned by the public, and wholly able to be guided by the Government’s social agenda, a massive lapse in thinking?
Or was turning British Gas in to a profit-orientated corporate entity a good thing?