Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #19 on: 2015-10-12 19:21:25 »
I do find this Catholic rhetoric against Capitalism just a little odd in that the theocratic oligarchy, that is the church, it is hardly renown for it's egalitarianism; now or over the last 2000 years. And the small matter of paying taxes. Though the capitalist do seem fungible with destructive self interest, when in the hands of the few; then I guess we label it fascistic capitalism.
A NEW paper published by Theos, a London-based religious think-tank, will raise hackles on the right and left alike, if only because of its title: "Just Money: How Catholic Social Teaching can Redeem Capitalism". Advocates of capitalism will certainly retort that the system has no need of redemption. The core meaning of the word redemption is something like "to secure the freedom, or the very existence, of someone or something at a price...." And as a supremely efficient instrument for resource allocation and price discovery, so the argument would go, capitalism should have no need of any external agency to purchase its right to exist. It just needs to be allowed to do its job. At the other extreme, critics on the left will retort that capitalism is so wicked that it cannot be redeemed by anything, least of all the doctrines of Catholicism.
Yet the paper by Clifford Longley is well worth reading, if only because it presents in readable language ideas which normally lie buried deep inside closely argued papal encyclicals and other cerebral writings. Mr Longley explains some of the key concepts in an elaborate body of thought which began to emerge in 1891 with a document called Rerum Novarum which accepted with qualifications the ideas of a free market in capital and labour. They include not just "solidarity"—the idea that all members of society must look out for one another's welfare—but "subsidiarity" or the widely devolved distribution of power. Catholic Social Teaching (CST) seeks to chart a middle way between unrestrained capitalism and dirigiste socialism by stressing the vital role of civil society: all the institutions, from the family to voluntary associations and churches, that stand between the individual and the state.
Mr Longley also stresses the need to cultivate virtues such as trustworthy behaviour and dismisses the idea, which was fashionable a decade ago, that the market has its own mechanisms for driving out untrustworthy behaviour. He recalls the Catholic teaching that accepts the idea of private property ownership, but with the qualification that the proprietor must be a good and socially responsible steward.
Much of his paper is devoted to a critique of the financial and economic boom that preceded the crash of 2008. It is implied that if the "market fundamentalism" and "neoliberalism" of that frothy era had been tempered by a good dose of CST, the collapse might have been avoided: and that CST is the answer to averting such tragedies in future.
Well, nobody who lived through the boom and bust of the current century's first decade can deny that it still merits some careful and contrite study. But to ascribe the tragedy of 2008 to "market fundamentalism" alone is itself a form of fundamentalism. The analysis would be more interesting if it looked at the ways in which, prior to 2008, liberal and non-liberal impulses clashed. In the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, for example, some role was played by the government-backed mortgage agencies—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—as well as the bond dealers of Wall Street. Those dealers, in turn, were looking for ways to minimise risk for themselves while heaping risk on vulnerable small borrowers. You do not have to be an advocate of CST to detect a dangerous situation there; there is no coherent theory of the market that does not allow the need for information and risk to be fairly distributed.
And in triggering the euro-zone crisis, the extreme rigidity and non-liberalism of southern European societies, economies and political systems, has surely played as much role as any "neoliberal" crusade. Indeed the very word "neoliberalism" on the lips of the European (and Catholic) left has become an almost meaningless term for "whatever we don't like". The discussion only becomes illuminating when you accept that the tragedy of extreme austerity and massive youth unemployment is a result of paleo-anti-liberalism (the refusal to tackle gerontocratic career structures, bureaucracies and restrictive practices) as much as any neo-ideology. That is one reason why Spanish, Italian and Greek youngsters flock to "liberal" London. Mr Longley is quite right to say that "market fundamentalism" is dangerous. But so, as the Catholic church knows, is every other kind of fundamentalism.
Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #23 on: 2015-10-13 08:54:49 »
The Prohibition of Evacuation
My point, as usual, is that open borders is justice, not charity. Saving perfect strangers may be a matter of charity. But letting strangers save themselves with the willing assistance of people other than yourself is a matter a justice.
Though the capitalist do seem fungible with destructive self interest, when in the hands of the few
I'm curious about what you mean by that, can you elaborate?
Capitalism in the hands of the few is fungible to me in 2 ways:
1-A closed circle with no competition (oligarchy) like we are approaching now, certainly with the banking system, means the demands that might govern and mediate capitalism are now just severing the self interest of the those holding the wealth. They can substitute what ever fiat currency or rules that suite them. Be it a : Pope, King, Feudal Lord, Raja, Emperor, Banker, CEO, they are interchangeable.
2-This self serving few holding the wealth and power are now set apart from any social framework and any social system; democracy, fascism, dictatorship, police state, slavery , that can be interchanged for he rest of society and they really don't care.
Now it might seems that these are rather short sited position for the oligarchs to take as their wealth comes for the general populations, but I think there is a a critical mass, where we are now, when the financial systems are used to create wealth now is largely with slight of hand that by passes the traditional, work, produce and, sell of capitalism.
This would seem to be a house of cards, but still a self serving life time pile of money to isolate from any worries and the future be dammed " Let them eat cake"
The following examples of Public Corruption Investigations are written from public record documents on file in the courts within the judicial district where the cases were prosecuted.
Former City of Portland Smart Parking Meter Manager Sentenced for Taking Bribes and Filing False Returns On May 27, 2015, in Portland, Oregon, Ellis McCoy, former Manager of Portland’s Parking Operations Division, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for taking almost $200,000 in bribes from two city contractors from 2002 to mid-2011. In August 2012, McCoy pleaded guilty to conspiring to accept bribes, accepting bribes, and filing false tax returns on which he did not report a substantial amount of the bribe as income. According to court documents, McCoy gave favorable treatment to the city contractors in return for $164,567 in checks and currency plus the value of travel, meals, lodging, and other expenses of an undetermined amount. McCoy created a phony consulting company and submitted invoices for fictitious consulting work so he and the contractors could disguise some of the bribe payments as payments for consulting work. McCoy accepted about $70,000 of the bribe payments in cash and that the contractors paid for some or all of his meals, travel, and entertainment expenses on about 60 trips for business and pleasure.
Former Chairman of Board of Trustees for South Carolina State Sentenced for Racketeering Conspiracy On May 20, 2015, in Columbia, South Carolina, Jonathan Pinson, of Greenville, South Carolina, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $337,843 in restitution. Pinson was convicted by a jury in June 2014 on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and false statements. According to court documents, Pinson was involved in four different schemes. One scheme revolved around the 2011 homecoming concert at SCSU and Pinson’s efforts to steer the concert promotion contract to his close friend and former SCSU roommate in exchange for a kickback. Other schemes included Pinson’s theft of government funds earmarked for the installation of a diaper plant in Marion County. Proceeds from the grant, intended to create jobs in rural Marion County, were instead pocketed by Pinson and his associates. Pinson was also convicted of theft of government funds received from a 10 million dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant intended for the development known as the Village at Rivers Edge. In the final scheme, Pinson again used his position as Chairman of the Board of SCSU to influence officials at SCSU to purchase land known as “Sportsman’s Retreat”. The seller of the property, Richard Zahn, Pinson’s business partner, testified that he agreed to pay a kickback to Pinson in the form of a new Porsche Cayenne, an SUV valued at approximately $90,000.
Former Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Legislature Sentenced for Bribery and Extortion On May 14, 2015, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, former Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Legislature, Louis “Lolo” Willis was sentenced to 60 months in prison. On Nov. 19, 2014, a jury in the Virgin Islands convicted Willis of four counts of federal programs bribery and extortion under color of official right. According to evidence presented at trial, Willis was the executive director of the Legislature between 2009 and 2012. His responsibilities included oversight of the major renovation of the Legislature building and awarding and entering into government contracts in connection with the project. Willis was also responsible for authorizing payments to the contractors for their work. Willis accepted bribes, including $13,000 in cash and checks, from contractors in exchange for using his official position to secure more than $350,000 in work for the contractors and to ensure they received payment upon completion.
Former Township Financial Officer Sentenced On May 1, 2015, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Alan Mizen, of Zionsville, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $343,000 in restitution. Mizen was previously convicted of theft of federal program funds. According to court documents, Mizen served as the chief financial officer for Center Township. In June 2010, he set up a bank account and deposited a $343,541 check that was drawn from public funds. Mizen then used the computerized accounting system at the Center Township Trustee’s Office to create a false invoice indicating that he had written the check to the “Treasurer of State.” Mizen then transferred the funds to various personal accounts that he maintained. From June 10, 2010, through July 2012, Mizen used the embezzled taxpayer funds to finance personal expenditures.
Former Illinois School Board Member Sentenced for Bus Contracts Fraud Scheme On April 21, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, Alice Sherrod, a former North Chicago school board member, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $7.2 million in restitution. In September 2013, Sherrod pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false federal income tax return. According to court documents, between 2001 and 2010 Sherrod, who was the North Chicago school district’s Director of Transportation, participated in a fraud scheme with four co-defendants, including Gloria Harper, the former President of the North Chicago school board. Sherrod and Harper used their positions to enrich themselves secretly by soliciting and accepting gifts and cash from their three co-defendants in exchange for favorable official action regarding student transportation contracts. Initially, Harper and Sherrod received kickbacks of approximately $4,000 to $5,000 a month but, by 2003, they were collecting approximately $20,000 a month. The three co-defendants funneled kickbacks totaling at least $800,000 to Harper and Sherrod and made more than $9.6 million in profits. All five defendants pleaded guilty last year and have been sentenced. Gloria Harper, of Berwyn and formerly of Gurnee, was sentenced to 120 months in prison for her part in the scheme.
Illinois Businessman Sentenced for Participation in Corruption Scheme On April 14, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, Ronald Garcia, of Lockport, was sentenced to 36 months in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $67,792 in restitution. Garcia previously pleaded guilty to federal program bribery. According to court documents, Garcia participated in a scheme with co-defendant, Joseph Mario Moreno, who had served for more than 16 years as the elected county commissioner of Cook County, Illinois. Garcia owned and operated Chicago Medical Equipment & Supply, Co. Between March 2008 and July 2009, Moreno and Garcia conspired to extort a company that won a county contract to force it to use Garcia’s company as a minority subcontractor. Garcia provided Moreno and his wife with a $100,000 home mortgage loan in July 2007. Garcia then forgave the $100,000 mortgage loan to Moreno in exchange for Moreno’s efforts to steer the lucrative sub-contract to Garcia’s company. On Feb. 19, 2014, co-defendant Moreno was sentenced to 11 years in prison for engaging in a series of public and personal corruption schemes.
Former Campaign Treasurer Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Filing False Campaign Reports On April 13, 2015, in Washington, D.C., Hakim J. Sutton, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 16 months in prison, three years of supervised and ordered to pay $18,231 in taxes and interest to the IRS. Sutton pleaded guilty on Oct. 23, 2014 to one count of income tax evasion and one count of knowingly filing a false and misleading campaign finance report. According to court documents, Sutton was the principal owner of the Sutton Group, which performed political consulting services in the District of Columbia and elsewhere. In 2011 and 2012, Sutton served as the treasurer and custodian of records for the campaign of Michael A. Brown. Between July 2011 and May 2012, Sutton diverted approximately $115,250 from the campaign bank account to himself by depositing the funds drawn from the campaign bank account into his own personal bank accounts, and converting funds drawn from the campaign bank account to cash. Some, but not all, of the money that Sutton diverted was compensation for Sutton’s work on the campaign. However, Sutton failed to file income tax returns for calendar years 2011 and 2012. Sutton also omitted references to the checks that he had written to himself in a series of six reports he filed in 2011 and 2012 with the District of Columbia Office of Campaign Finance.
Four Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Rocky Boy’s Corruption Probe On March 11, 2015, in Great Falls, Montana, Mark Craig Leischner and Tammy Kay Leischner, of Laurel, were sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years’ supervised release. Mark Leischner was also ordered to pay $281,313 in restitution, and Tammy Leischner was ordered to pay $375,092 in restitution. Mark Leischner, pleaded guilty to embezzlement of over $200,000 in funds from the Chippewa Cree Tribe Rodeo Association, federal student financial aid fraud, and obstruction of justice. Tammy Leischner pleaded guilty to aiding the embezzlement of $311,000 in federal funds, bankruptcy fraud, federal student financial aid fraud, and blackmail. Tammy Leischners brother, Dr. James Howard Eastlick, was also sentenced to 72 months in prison, three years supervised release and ordered to pay $424,800 in restitution. Eastlick, the former psychologist for the Rocky Boy Health Clinic pleaded guilty to charges of bribery relating to a federally funded program, bribery of a councilman and income tax evasion. On March 10, 2015, Bruce Sunchild, was sentenced to 34 months in prison, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $370,088 in restitution. Sunchild pleaded guilty to bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion. All four sentencings were a result of the Rocky Boy's Corruption Probe.
Former Campaign Coordinator Sentenced for Embezzling from Former Texas Lieutenant Governor Campaign Accounts On Feb. 27, 2014, in Austin, Texas, political consultant Kenneth Barfield, aka Buddy Barfield, was sentenced to 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release for stealing more than $2.5 million in campaign funds from former Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Barfield was also ordered to pay $2,513,778 in restitution to the Barfield Litigation Trust Settlement and owes the IRS $427,073 in back taxes. On October 21, 2014, Barfield pleaded guilty to wire fraud, making a false tax return and embezzlement of federal campaign funds. According to court documents, Barfield was a member of the campaign staff and committee for Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst’s run for the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 2012. Barfield, and through his Austin-based companies, were responsible for securing, paying, and/or subcontracting legal and legitimate activities on behalf of Dewhurst’s campaign and had a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the campaign, including oversight and maintenance of financial records. Barfield engaged in a scheme to steal campaign funds and use it for his own personal expenses including his home mortgage, school tuition for his children, personal investments and other living expenses. In addition, on his 2008 income tax return, Barfield stated that his taxable income was zero when, in fact, his taxable income should have been reported as approximately $582,000. Also, under Barfield's direction, fraudulent documentation was submitted in disclosure reports to the Federal Elections Commission regarding expenditures for campaign disbursements.
Former First Lady of Virginia Sentenced for Public Corruption On Feb. 20, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia, the former First Lady of Virginia, Maureen G. McDonnell was sentenced 12 months and one day in prison for violation of federal public corruption laws. Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were convicted on Sept. 4, 2014, following a jury trial of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud and conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right. Maureen McDonnell also was convicted of two counts of honest-services wire fraud and four counts of obtaining property under color of official right. According to the evidence presented at trial, from April 2011 through March 2013, the McDonnells participated in a scheme to use the former governor’s official position to enrich themselves and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts and other things of value from Star Scientific, a Virginia-based corporation, and Jonnie R. Williams Sr., Star Scientific’s then chief executive officer. The McDonnells obtained these items in exchange for the former governor performing official actions to legitimize, promote and obtain research studies for Star’s products, including the dietary supplement Anatabloc. The McDonnells obtained more than $170,000 in direct payments as gifts and loans, thousands of dollars in golf outings, and numerous items from Williams. The McDonnells also attempted to conceal the things of value received from Williams and Star and to hide the nature and scope of their dealings with Williams from the citizens of Virginia by, for example, routing gifts and loans through family members and corporate entities controlled by the former governor to avoid annual disclosure requirements. Robert McDonnell was sentenced on Jan. 6, 2015 to 24 months in prison.
Former Public Library Contractors Sentenced on Bribery Charges On Jan. 27, 2015, in Detroit, Michigan, James Henley, of Detroit, and Ricardo Hearn, of Royal Oak, were sentenced to 27 months and 28 months in prison, respectively. Each was also ordered to pay $750,000 in restitution to the Detroit Public Library. Henley and Hearn, both former contractors with the Detroit Public Library, were sentenced on charges of bribery of a public official. Henley also pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for the year 2007. According to court documents, Henley and Hearn paid former Detroit Public Library Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Cromer a total of $1.4 million in kickbacks in return for contracts for information technology services with the Detroit Public Library during the period 2007 to 2010. After being confronted by federal law enforcement officials, Henley and Hearn both cooperated in the prosecution of Cromer. On Sept. 16, 2014, Cromer was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $3,913,890 in restitution to the library.
Former Virginia Governor Sentenced to Prison for Public Corruption Scheme On Jan. 6, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell, former Virginia Governor, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and two years of supervised release. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were convicted following a jury trial of one count of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right. Robert McDonnell was also convicted of three counts of honest-services wire fraud and six counts of obtaining property under color of official right, while Maureen McDonnell was convicted of two counts of honest-services wire fraud and four counts of obtaining property under color of official right. According to the evidence presented at trial, from April 2011 through March 2013, the McDonnells participated in a scheme to use the former governor’s official position to enrich themselves and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts and other things of value from Star Scientific and Jonnie R. Williams Sr. The McDonnells obtained these items in exchange for the former governor performing official actions to legitimize, promote and obtain research studies for Star’s products, including the dietary supplement Anatabloc. The McDonnells obtained from Williams more than $170,000 in direct payments as gifts and loans, thousands of dollars in golf outings, and numerous items. As part of the scheme, Robert McDonnell arranged meetings for Williams with Virginia government officials, hosted and attended events at the Governor’s Mansion designed to encourage Virginia university researchers to initiate studies of Star’s products and to promote Star’s products to doctors, contacted other Virginia government officials to encourage Virginia state research universities to initiate studies of Star’s products, and promoted Star’s products and facilitated its relationships with Virginia government officials. The evidence further showed that the McDonnells attempted to conceal the things of value received from Williams and Star by routing gifts and loans through family members and corporate entities controlled by the former governor to avoid annual disclosure requirements. Maureen McDonnell is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2015.
Former Consultant to New York Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Sentenced For Tax and Fraud Conspiracy On Dec. 19, 2014, in Manhattan, New York, Melvin Lowe, a former consultant to the New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee ("DSCC"), was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years’ supervised release. Lowe was convicted in September 2014 for conspiring with New York State Senator John Sampson to defraud the DSCC of $100,000 and for personal income tax offenses. According to court documents, Lowe arranged for a New Jersey-based political consultant to submit a false invoice to the DSCC for $100,000 in printing services. Sampson approved payment of the invoice and the DSCC sent $100,000 to the New Jersey-based consultant. Lowe instructed the consultant to send $75,000 of the proceeds to Lowe's consulting company. Lowe received more than $2.1 million in consulting income from 2007 to 2012. He reported less than $25,000 in income on each of his federal income tax returns for 2007 through 2009, which he did not file until late 2010. Lowe never filed tax returns for 2010 through 2012. He never made any payments toward his taxes for the years 2000 through 2012. Lowe also caused a bank to make a false statement to his mortgage lender regarding the balance in his checking account. When the mortgage lender sent Lowe’s bank a Verification of Deposit form to verify Lowe's claim that he had $65,000 in his checking account, Lowe caused the assistant manager to claim that Lowe's account had a balance of more than $80,000. At that time, the balance in Lowe's checking account was $2,156.
Former Florida County Employee Sentenced for Tax Evasion On Dec. 17, 2014, in Miami, Florida, Jesus Pons, of Coral Gables, and former employee of the General Services Administration (GSA) of Miami-Dade County, was sentenced to 51 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $556,254 in restitution. On Oct. 15, 2014, Pons pleaded guilty to tax evasion. According to the court documents, Pons was a computer services manager at the GSA of Miami-Dade County. He was responsible for managing and allocating resources to information technology projects for the county and supervising and managing tasks performed by county vendors. From 2007 to 2011, Pons received money in the form of illegal kickback payments from two county vendors, Data Industries and Paradyne Consulting Services. In exchange for these illegal kickbacks, Pons approved payments from Miami-Dade County to the vendors for consulting work that was never performed. Pons did not report the illegal kickbacks on his tax returns. From 2007 through 2011, Pons earned $1,666,998 in income from the scheme that he did not report to the IRS, causing $556,254 in tax loss.
Former Executive Director of Affordable Housing Organization Sentenced for Conspiracy to Steal Federal Funds On Oct. 17, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Stacey Jackson was sentenced to 60 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay over $424,000 in restitution to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and to individual victims, as well as a $50,000 fine. According to court documents, Jackson, the former Executive Director of New Orleans Affordable Homeownership (NOAH), a city agency and non-profit corporation, conspired with others to misuse and personally benefit from federal funds that NOAH had received. HUD, both before and after Hurricane Katrina, provided grant money to the City of New Orleans to address blight within the city and to remediate homes damaged by the storm. Jackson, as the Executive Director of NOAH, was responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency and determined how much each contractor would be paid. Jackson arranged to overpay certain contractors, instructing them to kickback portions of the overpayments to her. Jackson instructed others to pay her kickbacks out of the NOAH money she paid them for work that could not be substantiated by invoices or work actually performed. Additionally, Jackson paid, in part, for a renovation project on property she owned, by using public funds distributed to NOAH. Finally, Jackson provided false and fraudulent documents to a contractor in an effort to mislead the federal grand jury investigation into the fraud.
Re:The Red Pill
« Reply #29 on: 2015-10-18 15:22:52 »
Between the 'Green Sheep lobby', bad planning, and fossil fuel industry failures; we have 'a dumb ass' situation. Something I suspect we can look forward to in North America since the same issues apply.
Factories face switch-off to keep household lights on, National Grid warns
Source:Telegraph UK Author: Emily Gosden, Energy Editor Date: 2015.10.15
Rising risk of blackouts means factories may need to be paid to switch off on weekday evenings to keep household lights on Factories may have to shut down on weekday evenings this winter to keep household lights on as Britain faces the worst power crunch in a decade, National Grid has warned.
There is an "increased likelihood" that there will be "insufficient supply available in the market to meet demand", forcing the UK to rely on "last resort" measures such as paying factories to power down, National Grid warned.
The risk of blackouts will be the highest since 2007/08, even once emergency plans to reduce energy demand from businesses and fire up old mothballed plant have been deployed, analysis released on Thursday shows.
Britain's spare capacity margin – the effective ‘safety buffer’ between peak electricity demand and available power supplies - will be just 5.1 per cent once the emergency measures are used.
Without such intervention to artificially bolster supplies, the margin would have fallen to just 1.2 per cent, the lowest in a decade National Grid confirmed.
In a report, the company said there was an "increased likelihood" that it would have to pay large businesses to switch off between 4pm and 8pm during the week.
Busineses with 130 megawatts of capacity have signed up to take part in the scheme, which is voluntary. They will be paid for taking part, even if they are not actually called upon - as happened last winter.
A further 2.29 gigawatts of power plant capacity that would not otherwise be available will be paid to remain on standby to fire up if needed.
Such action would only be taken "as a last resort in the event that there is insufficient supply available in the market to meet demand", it said.
Analysis by Ofgem, the energy regulator, suggests that without the emergency interventions, a blackout during a cold snap would be highly likely.
The risk of “controlled disconnections”, in which customers’ power supplies are cut off, could have been as high as a “one in one year” event – implying an incident would have been expected at some point during the winter.
The tightening of supplies has been caused by the old polluting coal plants being forced to close by environmental rules more quickly than new plants are being built.
More coal plants and old nuclear plants are expected to close in coming years, worsening the crisis.
Old, polluting coal plants are being shut down Photo: Alamy
The GMB Union, which represents energy workers, has accused the Government and National Grid of complacency with 7.4 gigawatts of capacity due to be lost as nine power stations close during 2016.
Ofgem forecasts suggest that by next winter Britain could experience 'negative margins' - meaning output from Britain's power plants would not be enough to meet peak demand - if it is very calm, resulting in low wind turbine output.
By 2018/19 a new Government subsidy scheme called the 'capacity market' is due to come into effect, designed to pay power plants to guarantee they will be available to keep the lights on.
But that scheme has been called into question after the Telegraph revealed the only new gas plant due to be built through the scheme is in doubt, with its developers unable to secure funding.
Expert have warned a solution to keep the lights is likely to require more subsidies to be paid to new plants, raising bills for consumers.
Cordi O’Hara, director of UK market operations for National Grid, said: "Electricity margins are manageable throughout the winter period and we believe we have the right tools in place to manage the system. This includes using the 2.4 GW of additional balancing services that we have ready in place for times of highest demand."
Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, said: "Keeping the lights on is non-negotiable. National Grid has the right tools in place to manage the system this winter and we will ensure that they continue to do so in future.
"Our number one priority is to ensure that hardworking families and businesses have access to secure, affordable energy supplies they can rely on.
"In the longer term we are investing in infrastructure and low-carbon energy supplies, such as nuclear and shale gas, to improve energy security for future generations."