Anorak News | Fuel For Thought

Fuel For Thought

by | 12th, September 2005

‘YOU might not notice anything out of the ordinary as the car you’re travelling in crawls along the road this Wednesday morning, but there will be a new and exciting reason for the slow-moving traffic.

‘If we label petrol ‘organic’ we can charge more’

Forget for a moment poor road design, too many cars and mothers in humungous 4x4s dropping off their little loves at their school desks, and note the action of the Fuel Lobby.

The Telegraph (“Motorists to face three days of fuel demo misery”) says that when you do arrive at work some time this Friday night, you will have played your part in a protest against rising fuel prices.

As the paper reminds us all, there has been a 20 per cent rise in petrol prices over the past few months. Many professional drivers are unhappy with this, and later this week protestors will go-slow along motorways, block refineries and, as the Times reports, form a 100-mile convoy along a Welsh section of the M4.

Andrew Spence, a spokesman for the Fuel Lobby, tells the paper that the cause even has international bent – he’s been contacted by lorry drives in Spain and France who are planning “sympathy protests” and may target the port of Dover.

While day trippers returning from a shopping spree across the channel pass the better part of the week drinking and smoking in their cars, the Times reminds us that this is indeed a worldwide issue

Hurricane Katrina’s disruption of the US oil industry has compounded a growing problem. Indeed, Gordon Brown, as the Times says, is to demand that the £160 billion Opec members have earned from the recent hike in oil prices goes into freeing reserves and bringing prices back down.

As Brown says: “You have a cartel that has limited production in the past and has been slow to respond to rising demand.” He says the price rise is a “global problem that demands global solutions”.

But the British protestors and their sympathetic continental peers recognise that blocking the entrance to the local petrol station is hardly going to make the bigwigs at Opec sit up and take notice.

The hauliers are aiming their ire at Brown himself, asking him to reduce the burden of the Government’s fuel tax and so reduce prices at the pumps.

Brynle Williams, who led the stand-off at the Stanlow refinery, Cheshire, that triggered the big fuel protests of 2000, and now a Conservative member of the Welsh Assembly, tells the Telegraph that hauliers may “park up” and stay put until fuel duty is reduced.

This sounds like a dastardly and effective plan. And it’s not without its beneficial side-effects, not the least of which is giving motorists something interesting to talk about and look at as they sit motionless in traffic.

And will make a pleasant change from spotting sheep…’

Posted: 12th, September 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink