Will the energy crisis trigger political unrest?

Around 90,000 people in the UK have joined Don't pay UK, a movement against high energy prices. Their plan: to join forces in refusing to pay their bills starting October. Commentators speculate on whether this will lead to a larger wave of protests.

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The Independent (GB) /

The system is broken

An anonymous activist explains in The Independent why she is taking part in this movement:

“Come October, it is estimated that one in three UK households may be plunged into fuel poverty – and by January, with the average energy bill potentially topping £500 a month, it could be 40 per cent. Meanwhile, companies like Shell, BP, and Centrica (which owns British Gas) are taking in record-breaking profits and paying out huge bonuses. ... If we stand together, we can put an end to this downward spiral that robs people of their livelihoods while making shareholders exceedingly rich. ... The system is fundamentally broken.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Armageddon is coming

The world will face colossal upheaval due to the rising energy prices, the Daily Telegraph predicts:

“The ensuing convulsions are likely to be of a far greater order of magnitude than those that followed the 2008 financial crash, which sparked protests culminating in the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring. ... Carnage has already arrived in the developing world, with power outages from Cuba to South Africa. Sri Lanka is just one of a cascade of low-income countries where leaders face being driven out of power in an ignominious blaze of petrol droughts and loan defaults. But the West is not going to escape this Armageddon. In fact, in many ways, it looks set to be its epicentre - and Britain, its Ground Zero.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

How fears are stoked

Rzeczpospolita criticises the view expressed in many countries that Ukraine is to blame for the high energy prices:

“The coming winter may be very difficult for many societies, but for Ukrainians it will be incomparably more difficult. ... Isn't it the corrupt politicians who have been pursuing irresponsible policies towards the banks for years and plunging states into debt? Are they not the reason that some EU countries have made their economies so dependent on Russian gas? One also can't help thinking that stoking fears of an energy crisis in winter is meant to create a more favourable public opinion for a quick agreement with the Kremlin.”