WHEREVER you look decency is getting its throat cut. If you've power and money, then you can do whatever the hell you want. But if you're poor and powerless, tough luck, sucker, you're going to suffer.

Our Prime Minister is the living embodiment of the country we've turned into: a Britain where rules are meaningless for those at the very top, and where riches accrue only to those already with wealth; where the game is rigged for the chiefs, while the poor get dealt a lousy hand from the bottom of the deck by a conman croupier.

Boris Johnson has just rewritten the Ministerial Code, hobbling the last chance of holding him to account for turning Number 10 into a Borgias' palace. It's wonderfully Hungarian: a form of Goulash Illiberal Democracy, where rules are for everyone except the powerful.

The same game is playing out in the energy market, which is now fixed for corporations against the customer.

Aside from the consumer expert, Martin Lewis, who's fast becoming the only champion the poor have in Britain, there's been barely a voice raised in complaint over some very unpleasant changes which Ofgem, the energy regulator, has been making to the market.

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No, not Ofgem's decision to change the energy price cap four times a year now, instead of two – so we'll all get a much more frequent taste of financial agony and fear. Rather Lewis chose to call Ofgem "a f****** disgrace that sells consumers down the river" over new rules around its "market stabilisation charge".

Put simply it boils down to this: Ofgem is introducing a new charge for all firms which offer customers cheaper energy deals. So, from now on, if you switch from an expensive supplier to a cheaper supplier, the cheaper supplier will have to pay a fee to the expensive supplier. The effect is clear: it'll become completely uneconomic for energy companies to offer you cheaper deals.

It's nothing less than a running a cartel for energy giants. Ofgem, which should be looking after ordinary people, is rigging the market for corporations. Clearly, Ofgem's decision to change the price cap every three months rather than every six also adds to corporate profits. If energy companies' costs rise again, then they face less time having to sell electricity or gas at lower prices. That alone acts as a profits accelerator.

The new market stabilisation charge just adds more gravy to their plate. For a good primer on the scandal, listen to the BBC's Moneybox programme. Apart from Martin Lewis, the Moneybox team are one of the few digging into what's happening.

MoneyBox presenter Paul Lewis, one of the most dogged interviewers on radio, teased the full scandal out of Ofgem's director of strategy Neil Kenward, in a jaw-dropping encounter.

Mr Kenward says the new charge "will require energy suppliers who are gaining customers to make a payment to the losing energy supplier, partially compensating them for the cost of the energy that they've already committed to buying for that customer".

It's as if you regularly shop at Sainsburys, but because you've now chosen to use Asda where prices are lower, Asda has to pay Sainsburys for the loss of your custom … and your grocery saving is slashed. You don't have to be Margaret Thatcher to see that's an assault on competition. The market stabilisation charge robs the customer.

So if you or I switch, how much of the price saving do we actually get given this jiggery-pokery by Ofgem? Answer: not much.

Mr Kenward says the customer gets the first 10% of "the price fall". After we get 10%, the rest of the saving is "shared" between the customer and the energy company which the customer has just rejected. And what chunk of that other 90% do you or I get? He says the consumer will "get 15% of what follows". The arithmetic seems clear: we switch and get about 25% of the saving, while the company we've walked away from gets 75%.

Mr Kenward claims "consumers could still save hundreds of pounds" – but in its own consultation on the change, Ofgem estimated a short-term cost to consumers of £1.2billion. Ofgem claims the purpose of the charge is to stop the collapse of energy companies.

One might ask: what about the collapse of impoverished families?

Morally, how can the regulator preside over such clear manipulation of competition which is loading the dice for big companies, and deterring new companies entering the market? As Paul Lewis said: "It's almost like a cartel where everyone charges the same price: the cap you [Ofgem] fixed, rather than competition where rivals can undercut the big players – they can't undercut them as they've got to give most of the gain back to the big rivals."

Yet Ofgem continues with the fantasy that "consumers are protected", and it's a "competitive market".

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When pushed three times on whether Ofgem was lobbied by energy companies, Mr Kenward said: "In a sense, we get lobbied by all stakeholders all the time." So we'll just take that as "Yes", then, shall we?

Ofgem has failed across the board. Previously, it presided over the collapse of 30 energy suppliers, then ushered in crippling price rises for customers, now it's creating a rigged cartel. Yet Ofgem claims that it's "learning lessons".

Yes: lessons in how to cause maximum suffering for the British public. Ofgem's intention, says Mr Kenward, is to "prevent new entrants pursuing an unsustainable business model" – or as you or I might say, a business model which is good for us, rather than shareholders.

Politicians, of late, have been scrabbling around for answers to the tidal wave of financial suffering that's now sweeping over the country. Here's one very simple course of action: scrap Ofgem. The regulator is clearly unfit for its role – it's a fox in the hen house. Refashion the regulator so it works solely for the consumer not business, and have government fix the energy price cap so politicians know that if they squeeze us too hard, we vote them out. How can we direct our anger at an anonymous and unaccountable regulator in the pockets of the very corporations it should be protecting us from?

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