Anorak News | One Man And His Dog

One Man And His Dog

by | 15th, September 2005

‘DID you manage to get any petrol yesterday? What with the mass protest about the Government’s fuel tax, the one we’d been reading about all week, we’re concerned that too few of you scored your tank of juice.

This year’s SUV

There were hundreds of people standing on the forecourts and refineries yesterday. And maybe, just maybe, one or two were protestors, the rest being a mix of journalists from the press and TV.

It’s true to say, as the Telegraph does in its coverage of the protest that occupies a small corner of its page 11, that the fuel protest ran out of gas.

Oil Refineries and terminals operated as normal. Tankers made their usual deliveries. There were no blockades. And, as we have pointed out, at the Shell refinery in Jarrow, south Tyneside, demonstrators were outnumbered by the good men and women of the media.

People like the Independent’s Martin Hickman and Terry Kirby, who spotted Nick Pallett outside an oil depot in Hemel Hempstead. Not quite alone. But with Tramp, his pet dog.

Says Mr Pallett, a lorry driver: “We didn’t want to disrupt the public – they have done that for themselves. But I felt I wanted to come here today to voice my opinion.”

As a lone human protestor, Pallett’s achieved much. Since the protest was such a flop, there was no disruption to the public. And would he have made it into the papers, got his voice heard, had he been immersed in a throbbing crowd of screaming militants. We think not. There’s even a picture of Mr Pallett. And one of Tramp.

But what of his other point, the one about the general public disrupting their own lives?

The Indy says that after the talk of panic buying, the rush to the pumps has eased. After an estimated week’s supply of fuel was sold on Tuesday, the forecourts are now brimming with the black gold, and motorists are no longer panicking.

But though the protest was a damp squib, should we still be concerned about fuel supplies?

What of those reports about the world’s dwindling oil reserves? How Hurricane Katrina has affected the global oil markets? The behaviour of Opec?

This week’s protests have been ineffectual, but that doesn’t mean motorists can rest easy.

Petrol will not always flow. Problems in the Middle East will impact on production and pricing. As the Indy’s Johann Hari states, as of 2004, we have already used up half the planet’s oil reserves.

Should we worry? Or should we carry on regardless and just ignore the lone voice of protest in our heads..?’

Posted: 15th, September 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink