So we’re looking at a fuel panic, despite there being no actual strike even announced yet. The government deny they’re scaremongering, New Labour are absolutely silent (no bug eyed ranting from Wallace) and the union is just yelling at the car drivers clogging the forecourts “you're stealing our thunder; we haven't even walked out yet!”
Of course all this means that certain garages are now seeing pounds signs; there’s one in Birmingham that’s already put his fuel up by 4p a litre (diesel and petrol). I think it will only get worse as more and more garages follows suit. He says it’s because he’s having to pay more due to the frequency of deliveries; but we heard all this during the fuel protests in 2000, and it turned out to be a pile of steaming horse manure.
Profiteering, as far as I know, is illegal; yet, back then, and again now I’m sure, nothing will happen to those doing it. The reason? Well, to be honest it’s the same one for why the government is stirring the public up into a feeding frenzy of fear about fuel shortagesin the first place – they make money from our misery.
No change there then I hear you say; and of course you’d be right, but the problem is in this instance its some serious money. They not only get about 55-60p per litre at the moment (so imagine all those queues and how that adds up for the exchequer); but they also get 20% on the final tally – so again another nice little earner.
George Osborne must be dancing round his ivory tower in delight. Of course, for the rest of us plebs who do not have publicly funded...everything, then the ramifications of this are going to be horrendous.
Especially as this is heading for the Easter holidays; and therein lies the second part of the government’s plan – stoke the panic buying and eventually the refineries will struggle to maintain output as the confusion and alarm spreads; you'll quickly find the situation spiralling into ever decreasing circles. Certainly I’m watching the start of it on the news even now.
If the strike goes ahead then, by the time it does, the public will be baying for the fuel tanker drivers blood and, most importantly to Cameron and Co, especially if he doesn’t denounce the strike – Wallace and Grommit’s, aka Ed Milliband’s, head on a very sharp stick; and if course his 5-10 point lead in the polls (dependent on which one you refer to) will evaporate quicker than snow in the Sahara.
Bear in mind here that UNITE is the union that gives him and his party the most support, both financially and in voting numbers – Ed’s in a tight spot; denounce the union and have them ousting him quicker than you can say “where’s his brother?”, or don’t denounce them and have the public forming lynch mobs and scouring the streets for his bug eyed body.
Perhaps he should ask Grommit – that dog’s smarter than most humans I know (including myself), and I often wonder if he shouldn’t be running the country? Let’s face it, this current bunch have already made a dog’s dinner of a mess out it all; how much worse can a really smart plasticine dog make it? But only if he leaves Wallace at home of course.
Back to the subject at hand; and I have to say that as sneaky practices go, this has to be up there with the big ones.....but, this all hinges on the strike going ahead. If it doesn’t, then Cameron & Cronies are going to be the ones scraping the egg from their faces (as some are already doing if current reports are to be believed), and will find themselves sinking even faster than the Titanic in those all important polls.
Scare mongering is one thing if the scare actually happens; but if it doesn't then......well, I doubt he'd fare as well as Chicken Little. The risk of no strike is rising; the element of militant stance in the face of public outrage is gone, the queues are already there, the stockpiling by households is already happening and the public are already angry with the (non-existent) strikers.
Currently the strike would really be a damp squib; Cameron might think he could argue that, SuperCam, deflected it into the New Labour camp where it destroyed his arch nemesis, Grommit Guy. But the chance of the public buying that line is as about as likely as sewing pigeon wings to a pig and teaching it to fly.
Still, there’s the SAS motto that “he who dares, wins”; perhaps Cameron’s just following that saying and guesses this is all worth the gamble. But he should remember two things – 1, there’s another saying, by Seneca, that goes “luck never made a man wise” - and if anyone needs wisdom, it’s Cameron; this little escapade has 'Epic fail' writ large on it.
2, the public have long memories and there’s also the council elections coming up in May; if this goes wrong then he will suffer the worst public humilation since John Major admitted he did have a fling with Edwina Curry (and she made that comment about his grey baggy underwear).
So I shall sit back and stay calm and carry on watching this comedy of fails, errors and panic unfold. The most hilarious thing about this is if there was a book or a movie with this plot, we’d all ridicule it for being too unbelievable. In this case, you really couldn’t make it up, could you?
This is Simi, thanks for reading......