Dark Winter could arrive in Britain


Food Shortages and Power cuts are forecasted – We need to Overthrow the Incompetent Boris Johnson Government


by Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britain, 22.11.2021, www.thecommunists.net




The National Grid, the regulator that controls electricity in Britain, has forecast possible power cuts and shortages in the coming winter in Britain. One of its sub stations was recently damaged and this could also contribute to the shortage of electricity to businesses and domestic users.


“National Grid (NG.L) has issued a stark warning that the UK is facing a greater threat of blackouts this winter, as well as tight electricity supplies. The company’s electricity system operator (ESO) said Britain’s infrastructure will be able to get enough gas to see it through the winter period, but cut its forecast of buffer supply.


Around half of the country’s gas demand is used to heat homes, while another quarter is used to generate electricity. National Grid oversees the country's energy supply, and ensures supply and demand are evenly balanced. The ESO is a legally separate business within National Grid” [1].


The bourgeois press has also commented on the threats of power cuts and food shortages if there is a severe winter. Many forecasters have also forecasted snow and ice for this coming winter.


“Great Britain faces its greatest risk of blackouts for six years this winter as old coal plants and nuclear reactors shut down and energy demand rises as the economy emerges from Covid-19 restrictions. National Grid’s electricity system operator which is responsible for keeping the lights on said it expected the country’s demand for electricity to return to normal levels this winter, and would be braced for “some tight periods”.


The system operator published a surprise report warning that the tight electricity supplies recorded last winter could be tighter in the winter ahead due to “uncertainty” over the country’s power supplies. It said that in some scenarios the “margin” of forecast electricity supplies might exceed demand by 5.3%, the tightest margin recorded since the winter of 2015-2016, when National Grid was forced to ask businesses to reduce their electricity usage to keep the lights on after a spate of breakdowns at coal plants.


National Grid has traditionally published its forecasts for the winter in September but surprised the market on Thursday by issuing a preview report” [2].




COP26 - Climate Change Conference organized by the United Nations




At the same time that the National Grid was warning about power shortages, representatives of imperialist and capitalist nations were meeting in Glasgow. It was a global conference organised by the United Nations to deal with the emerging climate catastrophe that is engulfing the planet. The planet is warming at a terrific rate and globally there have been forest fires and floods in many nations in the south, affecting the poor and urban masses. Deforestation continues at a great speed and the ozone layer is rapidly diminishing.


Most of the discussion centred on carbon emissions and a greener planet. Even under normal circumstances, imperialism and capitalism are incapable of resolving the crisis of climate change in the planet. Faced with a second slump of their economy (the greater depression), capitalists are stopping so many measures which would at least slightly slow down the process of climate change that a whole generation of young environmental activists started to rage.


The capitalist mode of production is responsible for the destruction of the planet and all the conference at Glasgow resolved to do was tinker with various devices.


However, beyond the conference capitalists used the pretext of both climate change and the switch to sustainable energy sources to explain the energy crisis. Keeping in mind how little they are willing to change in order to safe the planet, it becomes obvious that the trade war and the economic recession contributed far more to the energy crisis than the supposed environmental protection measures.




Dark Winter in Europe




The present period has not only seen the emergence of the second slump. The crisis of world capitalism, as the main imperialist rivalry continues for dominance of a dwindling market, results in a general increase of power cuts and energy crisis. Russia, China, the USA, Europe, and Japan are all fighting for supremacy, but while the old imperialist hegemon USA is losing ground (taking Japan with him) and Europe can only dream about becoming a big player - imperialist Russia and China have managed to remain the growing imperialist force. However, the future has no answer about the outcome of this race for power (yet).


The ongoing trade war and the draconic bonapartist attacks under the pretext of COVID escalated the economic crisis. Europe might be especially affected by the short-cuts in energy supply leaving it in the literal dark. The experiences Britain made with empty shelves in supermarkets and the supply problems at petrol stations might also become a general scenario for Europe. Further, the situation in Britain could worsen sharply. Especially as the incompetent Johnson government was not even able to deal with the consequences of their own decisions during the chaotic BREXIT time. It does not need a lot of fantasy to imagine how this government would act in case of a dark winter scenario.


The workers and oppressed in Britain have to face the bitter truth: Only if we manage to organize ourselves on a revolutionary level, only if we overthrow the incompetent Boris Johnson Government and establish a Workers Government based on revolutionary politics – only than we have a chance to truly avoid a dark winter. Therefore, we need to discuss, to prepare and organize the indefinite general strike…and not to wait for the crisis that will come.




Time to get organized!




In two recent articles the RCIT has dealt with the threat of a dark winter: “A key feature of the current shift towards a new slump is the energy crisis. Such crisis is evident in all parts of the world.


The old imperialist countries in Europe and North America also face an energy crisis. Britain has been hit worst so far. Some of the country’s energy companies had to shut down operation due to high costs. Many petrol stations lack fuel and pictures with the sign “Sorry out of use” have made the headlines in recent weeks. The problem has been worsened by the lack of about 100,000 truck drivers, forcing the government to deploy soldiers in order to deliver fuel to petrol stations! [9]


But the crisis is also felt in other parts of the continent as European gas surged to a record 100 euros. [….] “A cold winter in both Europe and Asia would risk European storage levels dropping to zero,” says Massimo Di Odoardo at research firm Wood Mackenzie. Hence, experts warn that European countries may face power outages in the winter months. 


In short, “Dark Winter” creates the condition for a new phase of war and revolution. The RCIT calls all authentic revolutionaries to prepare for such a period! [3]


The RCIT in BRITAIN calls on all revolutionaries to join forces and to lead the working class and exploited masses with a revolutionary strategy to overthrow capitalism!


For a nationalised energy sector under workers’ control! National Grid and all privatised electricity companies must be nationalised and taken under workers’ control with no compensations for the capitalists! Managed by a team of workers and experts, the energy sector must be reorganized to sustainable green energy!


Only a socialist, planned economy can eliminate the danger of food shortages, fuel shortages and blackouts once and for all.


Facing the danger of a dark winter, it is time to get organized! Join the RCIT!






1) National Grid warns on tight electricity supplies and winter blackouts (yahoo.com)


2) Winter blackout risk in Great Britain rises after cable fire | Energy industry | The Guardian


3) Capitalist Energy Crunch: Towards Dark Winter - International Revolution (thecommunists.net)