After all the suffering and hardship endured by Britons during World War Two, it was a cruel twist of fate that the winters that followed the end of that conflict were amongst the harshest and coldest on record and, with a national shortage of fuel, even relatively wealthy people, such as George Orwell, resorted to burning furniture to keep themselves warm.
However, at least the government of the time had a perfectly reasonable excuse for failing to meet the needs of the people for power - we'd just come out of a hugely expensive and incredibly destructive war. The government of today has no such excuse.
Ofgem are warning that "families face "unaffordable" energy bills and power cut" in a few years time unless £200 billion - yes, billion - is spent now to improve power supply and storage. You don't have to be George Osborne to work out that this puts Britain in something of a financial pickle.
Our energy suppliers are mostly foreign. They really don't give a damn if fuel bills are "unaffordable" - it just means they make more profit. They don't give a damn if British industry is crippled by power cuts - it just means they make more profit. These companies are not going to spend billions of pounds on our energy infrastructure unless there is something in it for them - and making less profit is hardly an incentive.
The "dash for gas" might have seemed like a good idea at the time. Hey, anything that meant we didn't have to rely on bolshy British coal miners has got to be a good thing, right? Wrong - particularly if it means we have to rely on unstable Russian gas oligarchs, mad Middle East mullahs and dodgy French engineering.
We need to take back control of our energy supply and generation. We need to make sure that we can provide for our energy needs without relying on foreign support or favour. We need to realise that wind farms are never ever going to be able to provide this even if we carpet the whole of the United Kingdom in the ugly monstrosities.
We need to take back control of energy supply, generation and distribution. We need to make ourselves as independent in meeting our energy needs as it is possible to be. To do this we need four things.
First we need to re nationalise our energy industry entirely. Secondly, we need to give up this ridiculous pursuit of "renewable" supply which is currently incapable of providing us with the energy we need. Thirdly, we need to modernise our existing coal fired power stations and build lots more. Fourth, we need to make long term investment in skills and technology that will enable us to build our own nuclear power plants for the future.
Two of those we can do quickly. We can take back control of our energy industry relatively easily and we can withdraw from the pursuit of renewable nirvana in no time. The coal fired power stations will take a little longer as we not only need to build them, but we have to restore our coal industry as well. However, it will buy us enough time to do what is necessary for the fourth requirement.
Because that is the really long term goal. Those people who want us to go nuclear now are not living in the real world. The problem with that is that there isn't enough nuclear expertise to go around - and Britain is virtually devoid of it. Furthermore, such is the dire state of our education system that we are unlikely to be able to produce people with the skills and brains to do it ourselves - and reliance on foreign skill is not what I want because it is not good for Britain.
So, in the interim we keep what coal fired plants we have going. We build new ones. We re-open coal mines and dig new ones. That will give us the energy we are going to need for the next 20-50 years - because it will take at least that long to restore our education system to the extent that we are able to start, once more, producing the best of the best in engineering, design and technology.