Fuel Protests – The Effects

So it’s Saturday morning, after three days of Fuel Protests, the effects have been as predicted by the BBC, almost non-existent. The only disruption was as a result of the M4 go-slow yesterday.

Looking back to Wednesday, lets remind us what Andrew Spence promised:

“We want an immediate reduction in tax to bring prices down or as of 6am next Wednesday there won’t be a refinery left open.�

That promise resulted in several days of panic buying, but when dawn on Wednesday arrived, what happened? The article in Thursdays Times sums it up as a flop.

Spence himself only managed to get 12 protesters to his local refinery, and turned up on TV on Wednesday morning complaining that the Police had moved everybody to a layby a quarter of a mile from the entrance. All over the country, what protesters did appear were outnumbered by press and Police.

On the radio protesters were proclaiming 99% support, not the opinion I got. Whilst most people would like fuel to be cheaper, almost nobody can fathom why wasting a vast amount of expensive fuel by driving 60-100 gas guzzling vehicles at a crawl across Wales and back proves anything.

Just to really add to the irony, as promised, since wholesale petrol prices have dropped back, the fuel retailers also cut back prices. However the point had been made that prices might have fallen sooner had it not been for the massive demand earlier in the week.

The final comment on the whole protest was when the Road Hauliers Association said that fuel prices weren’t the real problem with the haulage industry anyway, and that a tax cut would only delay the current problems. The problem is actually the cut-throat competition in the sector. Whilst some hauliers are willing to work for almost no profit, and the large hauliers have negotiating power, the rest are left to flounder. A cut in fuel prices would result in large parts of the industry cutting their rates, and we’d be back to square one. Also whilst farmers supported the protests last time, this time there were few to be seen, as high fuel prices mean more money for the burgeoning bio-diesel market – with Tesco selling bio-diesel since 2004.

One thought on “Fuel Protests – The Effects”

  1. I know. And, another point that no one seemed to mention…people protest against fuel prices by….buying petrol!!!! And still driving their cars! I think a much better protest by the hauliers (and other drivers) would be to just park up and refuse to drive. But that would lead to another Great Toilet Roll Shortage and we couldn’t be doing with that now, can we? 🙂

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