Politicians and media hype cause panic buying of petrol and diesel even before the threatened tanker drivers' strike


The out of touch Conservative / Liberal Democrat government politicians managed to cause unnecessary panic buying of petrol and diesel fuel, ahead of a threatened strike of (well paid) tanker drivers belonging to the Unite trades union.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude's stupid remarks about storing "jerry cans" of petrol at home in your garage, were seized upon by not just the tabloid media, but by tv and radio broadcasters like the BBC and Sky.

The equally out of touch Labour opposition (who were astonished that they managed to lose a "safe" seat to the extremist demagogue George Galloway at the Bradford West by-election on Thursday) spent most of the week feeding the tabloid press with their views about the irrelevant to most people, policy of charging VAT on hot pasties and on publishing a list which Conservative party political donors had had private dinner at Prime Minister David Cameron's home.

Labour in turn had to reveal that that Len McCluskey, the boss of the Unite Union, which has paid the Labour party at least £5 million, has had a private meetings or dinner with Labour leader Ed Miliband on 8 occasions since the General Election. Was the tanker drivers dispute discussed during those private meetings ?

The individual members of the general public cannot be blamed choosing to purchase more petrol or diesel than they have done historically at this time of year, especially given the massive media hype and propaganda and apparent political dithering they have been subjected to.

The Unite trades union is partly to blame, for not making it clear to the dim witted, short attention span mainstream media, exactly when they were proposing to take industrial action. Apparently this will not now be before or during the Easter Bank Holiday (a favourite target for UK and foreign transport related strikes) as many people jumped to the conclusion that it would be.

The Government is partly to blame for talking of "Preparedness", the training of Army drivers and the notorious "jerry cans", but again, not making it precisely clear when these measures were expected to be used.

It is not entirely the mainstream media or the internet social media's fault - they can spread rumours and misinformation rapidly, but they can also help to quash such rumours and panics, if they are used properly.

Will this self-inflicted Fuel Crisis be compounded by the planned rise in Fuel Duty (again, regardless of whether the world price of oil actually falls) this coming August ?

About this blog

This United Kingdom based blog attempts to draw public attention to, and to comment on, the Fuel Crisis caused by UK Government policy on energy i.e. petrol, diesel, LPG for use in vehicles, and for electricity generation, and the knock on effects on transport, food, domestic heating costs etc.

For a country with North Sea Oil and Gas,why are fuel prices so expensive in the United Kingdom ?

Most of the price for fuel that we pay is Tax to Her Majesty's Treasury, not directly anything to do with the world price of petroleum.

Is it really going to take blockades and protests in the streets again, like in 2000 under the Labour government, before the Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government listens to the people and abolishes the tax increases on fuel, which has reached over £1 £1.40 per litre of petrol in many areas ?

Or are they going to mismanage the Fuel Crisis, yet again, but this time invoke their Emergency Powers under the Civil Contingencies Act, or using the vast sureveillance powers of the state to snoop on peaceful protestors ?

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this blog, or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

info @ fuel-crisis.org.uk

If you want to send us something confidential, then you can use our PGP public encryption key

UK Fuel Price and Tax statistics

Various statistics on Fuel Prices and rates of Fuel Duty and VAT, are published by the misnamed Department of Energy and Climate Change:

Energy statistics: prices, where you "can download annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly statistics in Microsoft Excel 2000 format"

The Weekly Fuel Prices Table (.xls) is updated each Tuesday at 9.30 am.

Government Website Links

WriteToThem Identify and Contact your Member of Parliament, Members of the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, European Parliament etc,

No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister Tony Blair Gordon Brown gets David Cameron gets hundreds of thousands of letters and emails a year. It is possible to write to or email the Prime Minister, but do not expect him to actuually read your message, let alone respond to it personally.

Her Majesty's Treasury
Complain to Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown Alistair Darling George Osborne:
"Emails and letters for the Chancellor and his ministerial team come in the first instance into HM Treasury's Correspondence and Enquiry Unit and then are sent into the Chancellor's Private Office. All correspondence received is replied to, within 15 working days and so you will receive a response."

To email the Chancellor or the ministerial team, the address is:

ministers@ hm-treasury.gsi.gov.uk

and to send a letter the address is:

Rt Hon George Osborne MP,
Chancellor of the Exchequer,
HM Treasury,
1 Horse Guards Road,

You can also fax correspondence on:
020 7270 4580

Consumer Focus - the former Energy Watch independent watchdog for gas and electricity consumers has been amalgamted into Consumer Focus

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets - the regulator for Britain's gas and electricity industries.

Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Government Department which is supposed to be coming up with and implementing some sort of strategic Energy Policy for the United Kingdom, was shunted off in October 2008 into the newly created Department of Energy and Climate Change, to make way for the return of the twice disgraced Peter Mandleson's return to the Cabinet.

The useless Minister put in charge was Ed Miliband, the younger brother of the equally useless, yet ambitious, Foreign Secretary David Miliband (another example of NuLabour nepotism). - It turns out that both brothers were ambitious for power and Ed Miliband is now the Leader of the Labour party, which is proving to be as incompetent in regard to Energy Policy and Fuel Prices in Opposition, as it was when in power.

The lack of continuity of Ministers in charge of this department has continued under the Coalition, with the Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne resigning to clear his name of driving offence allegations.

The Ministerial team who might make announcements about Energy Policy, or who will be flying off at public expense, to international conferences etc. representing the UK, and who you might wish to write to or lobby in person, are:

So far, these Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government politicians have not been much of an improvement over their incompetent and authoritarian Labour predecessors.

DECC Contact Us web page.

Department of Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place

General enquiries:
0300 060 4000
[standard national rate)

Email: correspondence@decc.gsi.gov.uk

"Enquiries from journalists should always be directed to the DECC Press Office, either as per the IPO Directory (White Book) or via the Enquiry Unit on 0300 060 4000. The out-of-hours number for urgent press enquiries is 020 7215 3505."

The top civil servant is the Permanent Secretary Moira Wallace
email: perm.sec@decc.gsi.gov.uk

The DECC Corporate Governance page list some more of the top civil servants and publishes reports about some of their foreign trips and expenses paid by th etax payer.

N.B. these do not reveal all the extremely rich Energy Company vested interest lobbying activity which obviously influences them more than the plight of the log suffering general public.

Protest Website Links

Fuel Tax Protest - low turnout protests in 2005

Farmers for Action some of the organisers of the fuel protests in 2000

Road Haulage Association

Fuelprotest.com online petition

Fuel Website Links

Automobile Association summary of UK and Oversease fuel prices

Rip-Off Britain

Fuel Industry Links

UK Petroleum Industry Association - made up of the 9 companies the main oil refineries in the UK.

UK Petroleum Industry Association Ltd,
Quality House
Quality Court Tel: 020 7269 7600
E-mail: info@ukpia.com

BP Oil UK Ltd, Witan Gate House, 500/ 600 Witan Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1ES
Tel: 01908 853000,

ConocoPhillips, ConocoPhillips Centre, 2 Kingmaker Court, Warwick Technology Park, Warwick CV34 6DB
Tel: 01926 404000

Esso UK Ltd, ExxonMobil House, Ermyn Way, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8UX
Tel: 01372 222000

Ineos Refining, INEOS Group Ltd., Hawkslease, Chapel Lane, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7FG
Tel: 0238 0287067

Murco Petroleum Ltd, 4 Beaconsfield Road, St.Albans, AL1 3RH
Tel: 01727 892400

Petroplus UK, St. Mark`s Court, Teesdale, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 6QW
Tel: 01642 736101

Shell UK Ltd, Shell Centre, York Road, London SE1 7NA
Tel: 020 7257 3000

ChevronTexaco Ltd, 1 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London E14 4HA
Tel: 020 7719 3000

Total UK Ltd, 40 Clarendon Road, Watford WD1 2TQ
Tel: 01923 694000

Energy Networks Association represents the licensed gas and electricity transmission and distribution companies in the UK.

ENA member companies

Blog Links

Spy Blog - civil liberties, security, privacy, technology, legislation

Global Guerrillas - John Robb

NuLabour blog

ParliamentProtest.org.uk blog - opposition to the curtailment of peacefule demonstrations and protests around Parliament and Whitehall and beyond.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

The hints and tips below are just as important to anybody organising a peaceful Fuel Protest, as they are to other people who might come under UK Government or Multinational Corporation surveillance for their political activties.

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

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