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Tuesday
Apr032012

Fill yer tanks!

I’ve been out of the UK for the past 6 days so I’m a little out of the loop, but let me just see if I’ve got this right. The current Prime Minister was slipping into the mire with ugly revelations about dodgy donors dinners in Downing Street. I wasn’t surprised, we’ve all known grubby back handers from big corporations have a massive influence on policy. It’s not party political, all parties (other than possibly the Greens) are guilty of the same deep and soul-destroying corruption.

But this was a bit too obvious and nasty, Dave C did a bit of wriggling and excuse making but it wasn’t working, then the fuel tanker drivers handed him an excuse on a silver platter.

If you are Prime Minister and you’ve spent your life doing PR and you say ‘drivers should just top up their tanks and not worry about it’ you know what you’re doing.

It’s calculated, it’s been mulled over, the possible public reaction to this statement had been assessed and sure enough, the moronic Mail readers, fed a constant diet of fear and anxiety about foreigners, communist truck drivers and evil social workers waiting to take away your children responded by sitting in queues outside filling stations where there was no shortage like a row of brain dead numpties. Should I really be blaming the great British driver with our legendary foresight and innate intelligence? What about, as I’m sure I’ll get a Tweet to remind me to feel guilty, what about the mum taking her sick child to hospital who had nearly run out of petrol and had no choice?

What was incredible though was that there was no shortage, there was no need to panic buy, the tanker drivers didn’t go on strike and the spotlight of our proud British media was turned off Dave and his money grubbing crawling to large donors popping in for a take away at Number 10. Job done.

However, the flip side of this event was the innate fragility of our dependence on the fuel regular readers know I love to harp on about. Mr One-Note Samba starts to parp-parp-parp on his little tune. Maybe we need parp-parp-parp to think about parp-parp-parp our dependence on a fuel supply parp-parp-parp that is at best going to get ridiculously expensive and parp-parp-parp at worst just going to run out.

The non-existent fuel shortage instantly sent the country into a tailspin. How can we even live without our cars, how can we survive for 10 minutes without driving! Arrrgh, 2012, it’s the end of life as we know it! One old Etonian says ‘fill yer tanks’ and everyone feels nauseous with fear.

Energy independence, from national to community level, from huge industrial generating plant to a solar array on your roof, a wind turbine at the end of your street, a geothermal plant by the playing fields, a micro-nuclear facility buried in the ground near the re-cycling depot would change the way we operate.

It’s not a cure all, it would bring up fresh new problems and issues but a huge amount of our fragile transport and energy infrastructure would without doubt be more resilient to the vagaries of well dodgy UK politicians and even more dodgy Middle Eastern regimes. I’m #justsayin’

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Reader Comments (8)

It's funny how the media are so easily lead away from one 'headline' to the next, I thought it was just me thinking that the PM and all that seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill to change the current attention from dinner to fuel (and pasties).

I just wish that Nissan would hurry up and start building the Leaf overhere and bring the price down, I've wanted one for ages and the recent 'fuel crisis' has just made me want it even more.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephen

Very well said. Wouldn't 1000 smaller power plants be more efficient than 1 massive plant prone to failure? Instead of millions on consultants, engineers, designers and more consultants building some big new nuclear power plants, how about giving us all a £5,000 (for instance) voucher to spend on solar panels and wind turbines (and, shock horror, nice stable geothermal networks, the one renewable energy source *not* dependant on the weather!). This could spurn a whole new industry and manufacturing base too. Anyone know any renewable engineers who could take Dave out to lunch to persuade him...?

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Hardy

No, dont agree Robert, its almost always cock-up rather than conspiracy. The results of an apparent "fuel shortage" would always make a any colour government look worse than the usual politician's backroom goings on. They would have goaded the tanker drivers into real action if they wanted to do that. That hasnt happened...no, its the sheep mentality of the UK drivers mixed with an individual minister's cloth-headedness with the 24 hour newsmedia churning the whole thing around into a panic. If a goverment could be THAT organised to do this deliberately, the whole country would be in better shape by now.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

It's even more cynical than just diverting attention from Cam Dine With Me. Consider the OECD about to show UK plc has zero growth for the first quarter of 2012, and is really in a recession. What better way to boost the figures before the financial year end than to get a fuel panic going.

The tax receipts from just two days of panic buying are not to sniffed at.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I agree with Heather, and suspect cynical manipulation. The more astute voter will have noticed that a distracting headline always quickly follows an uncomfortable period for any government. For example, does anybody remember the bill proposing backdoor privatisation of the NHS now?

What about MPs expense claims, the billions 'given' to banks, the last budget cutting the 50p tax, the rise in taxation on pensioners, etc.etc. It seems to me that most politicians are pretty media savvy even if they can't orchestrate a conspiracy, they know the Tory press (Daily Mail etc) will do the rest.

Similarly, I expect the Post Office are happy with their price rise announcement and the panic buying of stamps. Nothing like having a boost to your cash flow. How gullible the public are; why not just find an alternative, they exist. It's because it takes effort and they don't want radical change.

So it is with fossil-fuelled cars, rather sit in a queue for an hour, have a good moan and then back to the brain-in-neutral downward spiral with a shrug of the shoulders. Better that than radical change like mopeds, buses, or even cycling.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

It's funny how often I get asked "Well, what would happen if everyone plugged their electric cars in at once - naaiir?"

Well, I don't have to ask the reverse now do I.

April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Thwaite

I agree that variety in flexibility training is important: doing the same 3 stretches every day is dull and your body adapts quickly to that.
Static stretching on a field after training in the rain in November doesn't help improve flexibility. The trouble is getting somewhere warm, dry and after having showered \ eaten.

April 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertyre changers

I can see that there were lots of reaction posted here. I find it interesting for readers gave their opinions to this article.

May 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplumbing fittings

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