Brown and Fuel – Turning a drama into a crisis

With Hoyer drivers threatening strike action tomorrow it was no surprise on Tuesday that the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said:

“We believe that this strike is unnecessary and we would want to ensure that nothing was done that inconvenienced the public. …But the most responsible thing the public can do is to continue to buy as normal.”

From this story on the BBC News Website

Ah, the good old reassurance of a “Don’t Panic” message from Gordon Brown. Much like the “Don’t panic the economy is actually doing fine” and “Don’t panic the 10p tax rate wasn’t that important and nobody will be at a disadvantage”.

So no surprise then that the reality is that there are already “Signs of panic petrol buying as queues build” and the petrol retailers can all state the blindingly obvious that Gordon’s warning not to panic was doomed to backfire, as reported here. When will the British government learn that the ‘New Labour Nanny State’ approach does not work, and that the only ones they have left to blame are themselves after this many years of mismanagement. We must be the only country that would encourage a failed chancellor to become the PM.

Meanwhile, with some forecourts already low on stock, we wait for the outcome of last minute negotiations that are going on between Shell’s contractors (Hoyer UK and Suckling Transport) and Unite, the union representing the 641 workers demanding a 13% pay rise and a minimum wage of £36,000 a year.

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