Fools Fuel Fuel Crisis

So the tanker drivers have voted to strike. Not particularly helpful at a time when the economy is spluttering along with the OECD forecating that the UK economy will officially be in recession when the next GDP figures emerge. However, in that context, David Cameron’s ham-fisted attempts to whip-up anti-union sentiment have backfired spectacularly. The first obligation of Government is the security of the nation. On one level this means defending us from physical attack, be the threat foreign or domestic but on another level, this means maintaining order and preserving the calm running of daily life. If there is ultimately a strike, and there is a process of arbitration to be undertaken first, then the union must give 7 days notice. This has not happened and there is no imminent prospect of it happening. The call by Cameron, Maude and Davey to go and top up our tanks was therefore grossly premature and has generated exactly what they profess to be trying to avoid; panic. Even today, Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, has suggested that rather than going round with the typical one-third full tank, we ought to double or treble this. Where does he think all this extra fuel is going to come from? Is it going to magically appear in the forecourt tanks of the nation’s fuel filling stations? My local filling station is already out of diesel with no prospect of resupply for some days. The next nearest has queues out into the road and they tell me they can probably keep going until Saturday. Their next delivery is Tuesday. This is a shambles and a crisis created solely by the Government. If they’d bothered to talk to the industry before frightening everyone, they would have learnt that forecourt stocks are at around their lowest ever. This has come about due to the continuing closure of filling stations and the tight credit conditions, which mean that filling stations’ cashflow is squeezed to breaking point causing them to stock the minimum amount they can get away with. So, the context of fuel supplies was poor to start with but now the Government has lit the spark to set off the whole powder keg. Mr Cameron, your Government has failed in its most basic duty to maintain the orderly running of the Country. You need to apologise. Now.

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