Well... we are. Er, what's your point?
I HATE car drivers. All of them. I do. I HATE them. HATE.
Glad I haven't got a car.
Ewar, are you a traffic warden?
Cars are the best invention ever - i could be driving somewhere right now, as opposed to writing shit to this forum, attached to a site that doesn't even exist anymore. Do you see?
Well, in truth the Farmers are behind all this. And guess what, the Farmers don't pay any bloody duty on their fuel!!! They get the agricultural or "red" diesel, duty free, for their tractors, then filter it and use in in their 3 Audis. Believe me, I know quite a few farmers. And yes, it's bloody ridiculous.
Fuel might be too expensive, but getting political here for a sec, just don't forget who started the automatic fuel tax increases every year, before you start to bash Blair.
I don't blame Tony Blairs. So the farmers are involved. What a fucking surprise. Once again farmers get into a tantrum and everyone else has to suffer. This protest makes me sick. There is no democratic basis for it - there's been no ballot, there isn't even a union involved for fuck's sake. Perhaps hauliers do have a problem due to fuel prices - does that give them the right to hold the country to ransom to change the situation? I don't think so. And the way people who drive are saying they support the action just coz they'll save a few pence on petrol to drive their bastard kids to school or go down the end of the road for a paper is truly repellent. What a pathetic country this is.
You've just given me a greaaat idea for a sitcom. A traffic warden and a motorist share a flat. Do you see? The traffic warden will be a really petty anal sort of person and the motorist will erm, like cars. And the traffic warden could put a parking ticket on some plates that the motorist has eaten off but hasn't washed up yet. "These plates will be towed away if not erm, washed up" or something. That would be funny. It could be called "The Traffic Warden and the Motorist Who Share a Flat".
Well this is a nice suprise thread, I've been arguing with everyone all day about this, every one is falling for this 'right wing' protest- farmers dont pay much duty on red diesel, fisherman pay NO DUTY AT ALL and the price of oil goes up and down do we realy want tax to change every week? Funny isn't it that every Labour government we have had has been disablised by civil unrest just near an election year...forces of Conservatisim!
What about the oil companies? They seemed to be invloved in the fiasco as well. The trunks have always been able to move, but the drivers are "too scared" - perhaps if the protested were actually doing something that classified as 'scary' then maybe they'd have a case. The oil companies are supposed to put pressure on the drivers to move, but have they really done that? The whole thing is crap, and everyone invloved (including Blair) needs a good lesson in 'how to reason properly, and not just say "No, i want to do this, and i don't care about you"'
Trunks? Err.. trucks, obviously.
I just want to drive my car
(Disclaimer - i can't actually drive my car because the exchaust broken - hopefully fixed by tomorrow. But i like a good moan)
Talking of the fisherman... they have nothing to do with this, so we are talking secondary picketing. If it was good enough for the poor miners, it's good enough for this lot. Smash the blockade now!!
Let's have a look at the 3 groups behind this...
1) The Farmers. Always the bloody same. Sit on their arses all day and get the euro subsidies and jump on any bandwagon going. Don't forget these are the same people behind the pro-hunting lobby. I say this to them, bring down the cost of fuel, and to pay for it abolish their subsidies. If they truly are doing it "for the people" they'll agree, surely?
2) The taxi drivers; how can I have any sympathy for a group of people who charge me TEN POUNDS for the privilage of transporting me 6 miles?
3) The hauliers; OK, these folk have been hit. But where were they during the miners' strike? Busting through the picket lines, dooming the strike to failure in the process. Can you say "hypocrite"?
Oh, and Haguey boy, saying the government should have stopped this before it started. How exactly? By cutting the tax? So why don't you commit yourself to it, eh? Oh, I forgot, Labour actually stopped the escalator a year ago, so if the Tories were in power petrol would be 3p a litre HIGHER right now...
This is gonna sound liberal but I like to stick my oar in with these things.
I support the action, but only from the point of view as it makes people aware just how much Britain relies on petrol and diesel. Since the action, the local roads have been much quieter and more pleasant. There are more people out on bicycles. Children are being walked to school. Cars are being revealed as our masters, not our saviours.
In my view, fuel tax isn't high enough, from an environmental point of view (Friends of the Earth reckon another 47% is needed) but the government should have been using the money from the escalator to encourage public transport use, even if it was just a few showcase projects - at least it would show people there's other ways.
Wasn't Harry Enfield shit?
I don't that sounds wishy-washy or liberal at all. Just the thoughtful insight of an obviously well-educated and sane human being. And no, I'm not being sarcastic either. Problem is, I'm finding that people I know are still driving 200 yards in 4x4's just to set their kids off at school, or drive 3 minutes to work when by their own admission it would only take 7 to walk. I myself don't have a car. I live out in the middle of nowhere, but I take the bus to work. And the events over the last few days make immensely proud of that fact.
I have to agree with Jase & PJ on this one.
Note: the Tories haven't said that they'd cut fuel tax......and of course skinhead Hague is a farmer himself......
Still, it is made worse (for me) by the fact local news shows have been crawling up the rears of farmers as normal. The attitude is that people in towns and cities are to blame for all the worlds problems. Some of our urban areas are really in need of assistance. I am really sick of this media pandering to a rural minority. It's time for the towns to revolt.
BUY foreign food. USE your right to roam. Go into the country and wind-up a farmer today. BLOCK rural roads with placards demonstrating against the conditions of inner-cities.
Anyone got any unleaded?
Nice to read some intelligent thoughts on this subject for a change - the mainstream media seems to have dropped the ball again :-(
These truckers are clearly idiots - demanding prices to drop even though Blair says its not going to happen - and he should know, who runs/runned this country anyway? Just sitting around stopping petrol reaching important places (not just emergency services - even supermarkets need petrol for god's sake, as shown by panic buying of Milk/Bread) is not going to work - the should have realised that by now. The price isn't going to go down - and if it does, it will eventually just go back up again. Time to actually think aobut what your doing, and try to act on the pertol situation as it appears now, not to change it as to how things were.
The media's behaviour in this has been apalling....they are just in luve with the protesters never questioning, feeding them anti-Blair lines etc. Only now that Sainsbury's has warned its about to run out of fuel is the media treating this with the questioning rationale that it deserves. Trevor McDonald's tonight was a shameful love-in...for God sake its more than just hospital buildings and ambulances that need petrol you stupid farming truck driving sons of bitches...people will die and i'm very angry...people dying for tax cuts......this country is becoming more and more patheticly selfish
sorry for all the spelling mistakes but I'm mad...see you all in Hell if this continues!
Completely agree with you NF. The whole sorry episode is sickening. Trevor McDonald only briefly touched on what is the single fact that stops the farmers argument dead in it's tracks... the tax level has gone DOWN since Labour came to office. That's it. Debate over. THEY ARE WRONG!! Simple as that.
As NF says, people are willing to cause death, simply to take off a few pence on a gallon of petrol. It makes me sick. The oil companies will just bump up their prices and make up for the difference anyway.
In total agreement with everything said here... At least there are some people in this country with some insight. BTW some questions:
1) There was a 'Dump the Pump' campaign in the Summer. Hardly anyone supported it. Now we have a 'mass' protest about fuel prices that has apparent widespread support. Why? What has changed in the last eight weeks?
2) Who is organizing this? There is no apparent leadership. If Blair did want to negotiate who should he talk to? If it's a spontaneous mass demo surely negotiation is impossible, and it has been clear from the start that he cannot give way. So what's the point of the demo?
3) If this protest was spontaneous how did blockades and picket lines appear simultaneously at every refinery in the country?
4) The oil companies. I don't know Industrial law but as far as I know if tanker drivers are refusing to cross picket lines organized by another industry then they are breaking their employment contracts and the law. Why aren't they being made to deliver across the picket lines?
5) The oil companies 2. Most petrol stations are closed, Some will go out of business. All are losing money. Why aren't the oil companies more concerned about this? Why haven't we heard anything from them?
6) The oil companies 3. Jon Snow was trying to get a statement from an oil company boss on C4 news. The guy would make no comment. He would not condemn the protests. Why? The CBI is opposed even though they support a cut in fuel duty. Are the oil companies tacitly supporting the action? Or have they had a hand in organizing it?
Spread the word on this. Support for these protests is fragile. People must not be hoodwinked into thinking that this is some kind of noble, spontaneous uprising. It's a shakedown. A racket, pure and simple.
And Oil Company No 4: Before the protests the oil industry released figures that apparently showed the industry losing 3.5p on a litre of unleaded. How is this, when the cost of fuel varies so widely around the country? They may still be making a loss, but the figures just don't add up.
And how much do they want off the price of fuel? The protesters apparently want a 55p/litre cost, which is 30p/litre reduction. Since each penny reduced is estimated to cost the treasury 330 million pounds per year, 30p/litre... just under 10 BILLION POUNDS. Now, pray, where do they plan to get this from? This equates to around 4p in the pound on income tax... are people prepared to pay this? Cos the money has to come from somewhere...
I posted this on the forum of Fracture fanzine, a punk fanzine where some of the users are amused and pleased that Blair is getting all peed off about the fuel crisis. While I can understand this in principle, I feel like this about it:
Hurrah, direct action, fuck the government, Blair is a cock etc.
It's not really LIKE that though, unless you are a 14 year old who aspires to be Rik off 'The Young Ones'.
I don't drive so the lack of fuel hasn't hit me as much as some people, but let me tell you about my dad. My dad works a shit job for very little money to feed his family and pay the bills. He has enough fuel to get him to and from work for the rest of this week and that's it. After that if he wants to get paid he'll have to take any time off he has as "service days" and when they run out he simply won't get paid. He can't get the bus due to the pisspoor state of the bus service in our area (which was recently cut down and the prices put up by a third - how's THAT for encouraging use of public transport?!), so unless there is petrol in the pumps by the weekend my family is going to be losing badly-needed money.
If Blair DOES cave in and cut tax on fuel, my dad will be less than two quid a week better off. If this "crisis" continues he will be considerably more than two quid a week worse off.
Fact is, this isn't about "the man on the street" at all - it's about haulage firms who want more profit.
Go on, tell me why I'm full of shit. I probably am, but if so then I want to know why.
You're not. Yes, the govt should have done more, earlier to make public transport cheaper and more accessible but that does not change the fact that this is not direct action, nor industrial action. It is a scam. A glorified protection racket:
"Nice country you've got here. Thing is these Western democracies, very fuel dependent. Tell you what, bung us a couple of quid in fuel cuts and we'll make sure everyone gets their petrol. Alright chief?"
A made up war between the government, the truckers?farmers and the oil company, and whose life in made worse. Why, it's us, the 'innocent' (well, in this any way) civilians. Just like any war.
Will it take the death of a person to make the picketers realise waht they're doing is wrong? Supposedly, it'll take three weeks before everything is back to how it was. Cheeers for that. What's the point in dropping the price of petrol, if people can't afford it because they're jobless? The frustration of not being able to do anything about this situation is the worst part. We just have to sit and wait.
Well I'm disgusted no one's mentioned the real villains here - the prehistoric micro-plankton whose decomposition over millions of years gave rise to the 'black gold' that causes human misery: oil.
Curse you God for letting them decompose so irresponsibly...
I should point out that my last 2 weeks of holiday this year starts on Saturday, I have enough petrol to drive to my grandmother's house (I was going to take her for a few days to visit relatives up North) and if this isn't over soon then I'm fucked.
If the miners had done this, how many farmers would have supported them?
Has anyone seen the latest Socialist Worker? I'd love to read their response to all this.
A bunch of Tory voters achieving more direct action than they've ever done... and ruining everyone's life within days. Food for thought.
The reason nobody supported the Dump The Pump campaign is likely to be apathy. They couldn't be bothered. With this fuel crisis, they don't have to do anything except say "what a good idea", then whinge because they have to walk their children to school instead of drive them a few hundred yards (*some* exaggeration for comic effect).
Blair should have done a lot more for public transport, to ease the pain of the tax increases. A simple move would be to remove the fuel duty from diesel for busses and trains - that (with a bit of prodding in some companies cases) out to reduce the cost of fares. Introduce a scheme so they can claim the duty back, or sell diesel that's coloured green or something, so it's easier to spot if the scheme is being misused.
If the fuel increases are supposed to be to curb fuel use and to encourage public transport, it's madness that this same stick hits the public transport companies just as hard.
What a marvellous thread.
Here I was thinking I was the only crank who believed that fuel taxes should increase, and sheep etc agree.
I have very little sympathy with the hauliers, taxi drivers and farmers. But at least they have some argument.
It's the private motorist to whom I most object.
He or she chooses to live somewhere largely because they have a car. They want to be hypermobile (as Simon Jenkins' excellent column in The Times said yesterday).
It's down to arrogance and selfishness.
Good lord, what an oasis of sanity this forum is.
Anyone else find themselves in an office environment where expounding the sort of views contained in this thread would see them sent to Coventry? I commute for 3 hours every day on public transport through London; most everyone else in the department drives in from 4-5 miles away. Comment overheard yesterday: "Christ, I'm going to have to find out what a bus *is*, now". Yes, that's right - and when it turns up (*if* it turns up), I vouch it'll have more than a quarter of its available seats taken, unlike your car.
I know this is very long but someone I know posted it to another forum and I heartily agree:
"Fuel protest my arse. these ***** made a mint out of the miners strike...driving scab coal all over the country..breaking picket lines..shitting on decent hard working people ...they wouldn't know what solidarity is if they fell over it....
Make the haulage firms pay for their pollution. That is a cost of THEIR businesses and we all pay the price. The area around the Mersey Tunnel (Scotland Road) has the highest rates of asthma and cancer in the country - there's no industry here to pollute the air so it's obviously nothing to do with the fumes from the gridlocked Wirral traffic!
Should we all pay to subsidise businesses that can't cover the cost of their pollution and the illness it causes? .....I say make the polluters pay
When the Government (Tory) decided that coal was finished that was it. A military operation (literally using troops to help break the strike) ensured mines closed, communities devastated and another term of office thanks to the great British car owning public (and the farmers).
So fuck the fuel blockade, get the bus and find another fuel like we had to when coal was scrapped.
Anyway, here's to the three day week and mid-week afternoon footy matches. "
I have mixed feelings about it.
I'm a London student so a car is a doubly stupid idea for me. I go to and from uni annd pretty much anywhere else I need to go using the tube and the mainline train services.
The annoyance of the slightly more crowded tube is offset by the joy of looking at all the car drivers who have been forced to slum it with us regular tube users since their chariots are somewhat immobile.
I even saw one bloke try for ages to make a mobile phone call and not understanding why he couldn't get a signal. I guess that if he's dumb enough to use his phone while driving then he's not smart enough to figure out that microwaves don't travel through dense concrete and brick all that well.
Do you know what else annoys me? People genuinely think that whenever the price of fuel is going up, that the government somehow hikes up the tax to suit without telling parliament. They don't seem to understand that the tax is a *percentage*, not a fixed fee (I actually had someone telling me that I don't know what I'm talking about and that in fact the tax is fixed), and that that percentage has gone down since the election, and certainly has not been altered since November last year. Therefore any increases since then are purely down to the oil companies. No-one else. The fact that they increased prices *again* on Tuesday is testament to that.
So not only are the British people wrong, they are also thick. What a mess.
All that work and what happens? The price of petrol has gone up (altough the cost of crude oil has gone down). Great.
And they've threatened to do it again in 60 days if nothing happens. I don't understand. Am i stupid?
Also, cars are pretty essential where i live. A bus to town every hour is all the transport we have. (oh, and a bus every two hours to the nearst city). Not that helpful really. Especially with no petrol.
I don't know what i'm talking about, but i've had fun saying it. Goodnight.
right it's time to get Thatcherite on their money-grabbing arses...60 days before it begins again. TB recalls parliament, a new law making it a 3 year prison sentence on people who prevent the free movement of oil...any lorry driver going less than 20 miles an hour without good reason, 9 points on their licence...they loose it...end of their worry about the price of fuel....if this were the unions the Daily Scumy Mail would be up in arms with all the farmers no doubt bleating about how it was effecting them....
AND THE OIL COMPANIES...TWO WORDS...WINDFALL TAX!
E-mailed comment on Breakfast News this morning:
"the greed of the Blair Government is bleeding us dry..."
So legally levying an excise duty on fuel to discourage excessive car use, and putting the money into health, education etc. is greed. So what is not wanting to pay a bit extra on fuel? Honestly, I can't believe that people still exist who think taxes are an example of governmental 'greed'. You can just see it can't you:
GORDON BROWN: Whoopee! Look at all this lovely money coming into my treasury!
THE CABINET: Thanks Gordon - now for some public spending!
GORDON BROWN: (no money) Bah!
>"the greed of the Blair Government is bleeding us dry..."
What amazes me is Hague saying that the recent protests are due to the policies of the Labour Government.
Evidently that's why there are similar protests and blockades in many other European countries at the moment. It must be due to our increased European presence. I wonder why Hague hasn't used this argument to leverage his anti-Europe campaign as well?
>What amazes me is Hague saying that the recent protests are due to the policies of the Labour Government.
Yeah, but the conservatives will say anything: "The milllennium dowm, honestly, what a stupid idea, who'd think of something like that, what a waste etc"
Now none of this would have happened under Hague's leadership, he would have broken up the protest before they had even begun and would have cut the taxes, increased public spending, cured all illness, found world peace all before breakfast.....stupid smug tosser...the good thing is he looks very desperate trying to piggy back on the protests...as for the lorry drivers they ust be in favour of a single currency now. One of them was calling for tax harmonisation on C4 tonight...se he wants to pay frances higher income taxes then!
as for the media and their phone-polls. ITV Teletext continues with their 4th loaded anti-Labour poll in 4 days, each of course showning 98% in favour of Tony Blair's instant electrocution. I've been monitoring the activities of Teletext Ltd for a while and there is definately a pro Tory bias in their news reporting - Hague's comments go unchallenged, anti-Labour stories given top billing when not even metioned by other news organisations, Labour poll dips given massive exposure when Labour poll gains are ignored....it wouldn't have anything to do with the service's Tory owners would it? and is this not breaching ITC rules
Thank goodness for this place of sanity.
Now let's play spot the contradictions:
I care about the environment.
I need a car and cheap petrol.
I want money spent on public services.
I do not want to pay tax to subsidise them.
I hate the French.
I like the way the French can protest.
Farmers gets millions from EU taxpayers, we should reform CAP.
Farmers are poor debt-ridden folk who need all our sympathy.
I could go on, but you get the general idea....
>as for the media and their phone-polls. ITV Teletext continues with their 4th loaded anti-Labour poll in 4 days, each of course showning 98% in favour of Tony Blair's instant electrocution. I've been monitoring the activities of Teletext Ltd for a while and there is definately a pro Tory bias in their news reporting - Hague's comments go unchallenged, anti-Labour stories given top billing when not even metioned by other news organisations, Labour poll dips given massive exposure when Labour poll gains are ignored....it wouldn't have anything to do with the service's Tory owners would it? and is this not breaching ITC rules
I'm so glad it's not just me that thinks this. I thought I was just my innate paranoia. Surely they must be breaching ITC rules on impartiality?
I don't see that this has damaged Blair, but Hague has made a fool of himself calling for recall of Parliament and implying approval for the blocaders (wonder what he said during the Poll Tax demos).
Wonder also if the Tories are going to bother turning up for the next election - they haven't shown any interest in winning it for the past 3 and a half years.
Teletext Ltd. is owned (at least in part) by Associated Newspapers Ltd., publishers of the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard.
That explains a lot.
Don't they share News staff as well. It's appaling how they are allowed to get away with it.
I've always found the Teletext polls amusing, you can usually predict the outcome, which will be a middle England Blue rinse view.
Which I generally find puzzling, since, given the utter banality and lowest common demoninator programming that ITV trots out, you'd think they'd have given up watching ITV and gone looking for something a bit more to their taste.
But banal, crap TV with Robson Green and Anthea Turner is precisely what the blue-rinse brigade want!!
These phone polls are not worth bothering about. When the Tories were in, Teletext polls were confidently predicting a 70%+ vote for Labour, and 10% for the Tories. Just as crap as the polls now. The simple fact is that, while people blame Blair for the crisis, when you ask about Hague they just say, "all governments are as bad as each other". So there will be no Tory landslide. Blair's majority will be much smaller this time round, but Hague's not even going to come close.
Most of Teletext may be Conservative claptrap, but it also gave us the excellent Digitiser... moc-moc-a-moc!
BTW anyone who doubts that this whole crisis has been engineered to discredit Labour should have seen Newsnight tonight. There was an interview with a farmer who pretty much admitted he supported the protest to get at the government (mention was made of his excise free red diesel but it was quickly glossed over). And an interview with a member of the WI who (surprise surprise) supported the protest "Get ready to duck Tony Blair" said the idiot who had compiled the report. Look, who was shocked that the WI gave Blair a hard time in the first place? - it's stuffed to the hilt with Mail reading arseholes anyway. Jeremy Vine described how the protest had, like Diana's death, changed the nation. I fucking hope not. This whole thing has been a despicable fraud. And the ordinary drivers who supported it because they want cheap petrol should be ashamed of themselves.
>But banal, crap TV with Robson Green and >Anthea Turner is precisely what the blue->rinse brigade want!!
I see your point. I was thinking of Middle Class Tories, and wondering how they could possibly appreciate utter shite like Bruce's Price is Right, Trisha et al. But, whilst Price is Right seems aimed squarely at the idiot Council House audience (idiots who happen to live therein, not all council house dwellers = idiots...you know the sort of viewers I mean) your example of Robson Green has a broader, fairly classless pleb appeal.
So, thanks for putting me straight, and also for getting the word banal in the same sentence as "Anthea Turner". I realise it's not hard to do, but it always pleases me when I see it.
"Turner Around The World" anyone?
back to politics :
I hope you're right re Blair losing some seats but still getting back in. When things like the fuel crisis come along it makes me worried. Blair isn't good, but a lot better than The Tories in many ways.
It just worries me that the same people who daub abusive slogans over Paediatricians doors after reading (or at least looking at the pictures in) The News of The World are allowed to vote, and they're unlikely to vote for Blair because He Raises Taxes.
>But, whilst Price is Right seems aimed squarely at the idiot Council House audience
Hey, I live in an ex-council house!! ;) I know, I know...
>So, thanks...for getting the word banal in the same sentence as "Anthea Turner".
Well, I try... ;)
>I hope you're right re Blair losing some seats but still getting back in. When things like the fuel crisis come along it makes me worried. Blair isn't good, but a lot better than The Tories in many ways.
Once the election gets underway, hopefully the cost of crude will have come down so the problem will be forgotten about (although I bet the people who mistakenly blame Blair for putting the taxes up when in fact what has happened is that the same level of tax is being levied on a higher raw price, won't congratulate Blair for bringing the tax down when the price of crude goes down) we'll be able to point out things like the fact that a million people will lose their jobs under the Tories, back to boom-and-bust etc...
>It just worries me that the same people who daub abusive slogans over Paediatricians doors after reading (or at least looking at the pictures in) The News of The World are allowed to vote, and they're unlikely to vote for Blair because He Raises Taxes.
Which he doesn't in this case, ironically. That business with sex offenders was a laugh though. At least 3 of the names mentioned were put on the sex offenders list for being caught having sex with another man in a toilet, I mean really...
Daily Mail, News of the World, Tonight with Trevor Tory McDonald all tools of the ignorant....and a shout for Metro radio who have behaved totaly out of order in the last week....egging on protestors....presenters slagging of the government and making personal attacks on Tony Blair....i thought they were supposed to be a non-political pop music station
Well if it's coverage we're talking about, Look East and Anglia News have been doing their usual sop to the farmers and rural conservative lobby. Blah, blah, town folk know nothing, blah, blah, bomb all cities, blah, blah, it's the only news item we have; etc;
PS to sheep>>> I live in a council property.
The notion that only stoopid people live in such places is outdated. My own theory is that as there is not only a class gap, there is also a social (or intellegence) gap. This helps to explain why some rich folk in large piles are morons, and why some low-life like me in grotty hovels are smarter than the Establishment.
.....but it's just a theory.
It was quite amusing to see the public supporters that were joining the protest at Shell in Jarrow on Tyne Tees News, all teenage girls, dressed in track-suits, (a few with push-chairs) none of them car drivers.
Just to draw back from a Britain-centric view: America, country that uses TWO-THIRDS of the earth's resources despite only having about ONE QUARTER of its population has no fuel problems at all. Let's look at Indiana for instance. As soon as prices rose to $4 a gallon (read: ridiculously cheap), the governor chose to TAKE SALES TAX OFF so that the motorists wouldn't get upset and refuse to vote for him next time the great political machine rolls around to voting time.
I live about 10 minute's walk from my place of edumacation (yes, it is a word). I have never yet attempted to walk, mostly because I'm too lazy. But had I attempted to, I would have to cross three 4-lane highways without the distinct advantage of a pedestrian crossing. No such thing in Carmel, home of BMWs and Lexuses. There's a school bus for everyone who lives sufficiently far to have to cross said 4-lane highways. Up till the age of 16, most of the kids will ride it. Of course, 25% will get their parents to drive them, then moan and whinge at the traffic that means they're late. Once they hit 16, they get their driving license and a nice 4X4 to drive to school in. And they do. There is no other public transport. In a year here I've seen about three cyclists, total.
Mention the environment and they couldn't care less. The White River is a dead river because of the amount of industries pumping chemicals into it, and nobody gives a sh*t unless they can use it in a political advert.
Ugh. It makes me sick, and it makes me even sicker that the media has me brainwashed to a certain extent. I'm all right Jack, I have cheap "gas". So loggers remove 4 acres of trees in the american "wilderness" every day? So Lake Michigan is slowly re-approaching its "dead" status only a few years after a major cleanup? I have my car, I don't have to ride the bus.
Sorry for the rant. It just drives me nuts that all we care about is the almighty buck and our f*cking air conditioning.
Indeed - it's car obsession is one of the few things that I really dislike about the US (the death penalty and the 80s sitcom 'You've Got It Made' being among the others.) It's a stark warning of what can happen to a country when petrol consumption becomes the be all and end all.
Lots of detail in The Observer about the week's events - but a failure to make the right connections. Apparently most of the organisation of the blockades *was* conducted by farmers through a group called Farmers For Action. The central question to this 'crisis' is why are the farmers so deeply involved when they receive red diesel which carries a fraction of the excise duty? Even taking into account that this is primarily intended for farm useage it still doesn't explain why they would be severely harmed by high fuel prices. Unless they wanted to damage the Government for political reasons of course...
NOt even 1/4 of the population - 600 million divided by 6 thousand million.
As Vonnegut had it, "almost no-one on Earth is an American."
Talking of not even a quarter of the population - estimate of number of people involved in fuel blockades - 2500. Population of UK - 56 million. A popular uprising eh? Perhaps if everyone on the forum blockaded refineries we might get those Goodies repeats.
Or 300 million? I'm not sure anymore. Anyway, I agree with the sentiments expressed by almost everyone on this thread. The only good that will hopefully come of this is that sales of electric or hybrid vehicles will go up as people imagine being able to drive around smugly on empty roads in 60 days.
And how do we get the electricity? Most likely from an oil or gas-fired powerstation.
This is why we need bi-cy-cles.
>And how do we get the electricity? Most likely from an oil or gas-fired powerstation.
>This is why we need bi-cy-cles.
I think that's a little unfair. Electric powered transport, even if it took power from fossil fuel power stations, would still massively reduce pollution and petrol consumption. And gas powered cars/buses don't need power staions at all. Bikes are all well and good, but as a pedestrian I find them a bit of a pain in the bottom. (People riding on the pavement, blithely jumping red lights etc.) I wouldn't want a city full of them.
Yeah, all right. i was just getting all strident because I haven't seen a cyclist in months.
since the world's fossil fuels will run out at some point in my lifetime I think this little "crisis" should show everyone just how much shit we'll be in if we don't start embracing new forms of energy.
If we all want to carry on living as we do - ie with cars and plentiful electricity and heat then we're going to have to scale up nuclear power - the renewable sources, great though they are, just won't cut it if we want to keep up this level of power when the coal, oil and gas has gone.
the only feasible alternatives are ultra efficient solar panels - and hundreds of thousands of square miles of them and wave power.
The problem with electirc cars is that you invariably move the pollution elsewhere - you're not creating it as you drive, but the power station is creating it instead.
Electric vehicles also have the odd problem of beig very quiet, which could lead to death. I experience this as a cyclist - people step out in front of you when crossing the road - they are listening for traffic noise, don't hear any, so start crossing. Hopefully they'd learn quickly if electirc vehicles became popular.
The other problem that isn't addressed by electirc/hydrogen/magic powered cars is the demand for road space. Bicycles are much more space efficient. A lot of the reason for them being ridden recklessly on pavements at the moment is that the roads are too dangerous or poorly thought out for bicycle users. The jump the red lights to escape the petrol-head frenzy from the motorists when the lights turn green and they all want to race away.
But.. public transport has got to be the way forward. It needs to be cheaper. It needs a change in attitude that public transport = loser and big private car = success.
>The problem with electirc cars is that you invariably move the pollution elsewhere - you're not creating it as you drive, but the power station is creating it instead.
Yes - but this would still lead to less pollution and congestion. And as Jo_ham points out - there are other ways of generating electricity.
>The other problem that isn't addressed by electirc/hydrogen/magic powered cars is the demand for road space. Bicycles are much more space efficient. A lot of the reason for them being ridden recklessly on pavements at the moment is that the roads are too dangerous or poorly thought out for bicycle users. The jump the red lights to escape the petrol-head frenzy from the motorists when the lights turn green and they all want to race away.
Hmmm. There will always be a need for private cars. I don't own one but even I can see that. Shopping trips, family outings, trips to areas that don't have public transport (these will always exist) jobs that require the constant transference of bulky stuff to and from work etc. etc. Bicycles can only ever be a partial solution. And I'm sorry but cyclists do not jump lights solely due to agressive motorists. Trust me - only last week I was nearly hit by one. He did aplogize, at least, but he still jumped the lights - and not a car in sight. Anyway, anecdotal evidence, not conclusive... I'll move on.
>But.. public transport has got to be the way forward. It needs to be cheaper. It needs a change in attitude that public transport = loser and big private car = success.
Yes - I agree. But private cars will still be needed. And as I said earlier - gas powered vehicles require no polluting power stations.
I'm fairly lucky in that I can cycle, walk, or take the bus to work, but I agree there should more done to promote and develop alternatives.
Also, I read recently that whereas Europe (including the UK) are on course to cut emissions, the USA will increase emissions by 15% over the same period up to 2010. I get sick of seeing Americans with NASA or NOAA pictures bleating about how the world is wrecking eco-systems when they're the worst bloddy offenders. Admittely in the UK there is a lot more we could do - the Tory privitisation of public transport didn't help at all. The has to be a radical change of thinking, attitudes and lifestyles to achieve this - the fear of change - be it to a greener lifestyle - or a single currency is played upon by politicos and press alike. The net result is paranoia, loathing (even xenophobia) and a nation looking backwards whilst stuck in the mire.
Watching a news program today, and it was full of people saying buisinesses weren't affected by the crisis because peple could get the train to work. Why don't you think of something other than London?
gas powered cars are a stop gap - gas is taken out of the ground along with oil. it's not a never ending resource, although there is a lot mre of it.
(currently, oil rigs burn off 70% of the gas they bring up, the rest is sent to the refinery).
there is always plenty of evil gas around though
Well, Hague decides to reduce tax by 3p/litre. In one fell swoop he's managed to propose depriving the treasury of 1.5 billion, cause more environmental damage as road users will just use their cars that bit more, and at the same time only actually reduce the tax by a pound a week for the average car-user (assuming 12,000 miles/year, 30mpg). How sad is that?
As some one pointed out to me ....2 weeks ago Labour had a 20 point lead in the polls with a fuel tax policy.....now the tories have a 4 point lead and Labour still have the same tax policy. Funny how it didn't matter to the general public 2 weeks ago. The British people will get a government they deserve if they continue in this hyseria....Hague governing from his spinning bandwagon, direct action legitimised I can quite happily resort to 'illegal activites' to try and distablise him....oh sorry no I can't the Police will beat my head in if I even have more than 6 people on a picket...funny that?
Re: direct action
The hypocrisy gold medal goes to the head of the farmers' union who, in response to the courrt decision not to convict the Greenpeace protestors who trashed GM crops, announced that this 'legitimized mob rule.' What the fuck was the fuel blockade then? I don't remember any votes being taken. I'll mention this one pertinent fact again:
Number of fuel protestors: 2500
Population of UK: 56 million.
In what way was this 'people's protest' *not* mob rule?
>Well, Hague decides to reduce tax by 3p/litre. [...]depriving the treasury of 1.5 billion, cause more environmental damage [...]only actually reduce the tax by a pound a week [...]How sad is that?
It's great! Cheaper Petrol! Vote Tory! Hey, have you seen that clip where Del Boy falls through the bar hatch? That's the best comedy ever. I'd love to see it again.
Ouch. Cutting. Thanks for the insight... :)
Seriously though, I haven't actually heard anyone say that the Tories are great. Infact they've gone mysteriously quiet. Could this be because they know opposition governments always exaggerate for headline effect, and that if this is the best they can muster then clearly Labour have been right all along?
Anyway, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said this would be a big mistake in the long run. And the oil companies would just up the price anyway. But then you probably won't have read their report, eh pleb sheep ;)
you can't win either way.
as usual the tory papers are calling the tax on fuel "abiminably high" thanks to labour, although it's quite obvious to anyone with any insight at all that it's not labour's fault. true, they haven't brought it down (although they did remove the *tory* auto tax escalator) but they haven't pushed it up all that much. the big rise has been the percentage increase.
as was said before, low income tax, high indirect taxes. you can choose not to use petrol (or use it less) but you can't choose not to earn money.
indirect taxes are somewhat better in my view. Admittedly, for those that depend on their car (disabled people, people living in the country with little or no public transport, taxi drivers etc) this doesn't hold true. But in general it's better.
the governement could quite easily increase their inflow by increasing the rate of tax for high earners. let the fat cats with monster cars and gigantic wallets pay their way for a change.
>Seriously though, I haven't actually heard
>anyone say that the Tories are great.
>Infact they've gone mysteriously quiet.
The opinion polls seem to indicate someone is saying the Tories are great, and it bothers me that they're seemingly gaining ground over a policy that I completely disagree with, and that overall just seems wrong and selfish.
Maybe that could be their new slogan. Tories. Wrong and Selfish [tm].
>Anyway, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has
>said this would be a big mistake in the
>long run. [..]But then you probably won't
>have read their report, eh pleb sheep ;)
I am aware of their work :)
I'm also aware of the views of the environmentalists, who say it's entirely wrong to cut the cost of fuel. Higher fuel costs do make people consider other ways of transport, though clearly not enough. But it's a start.
If the Tories wanted credibility, a more carefully thought out plan that perhaps gave rebates or other help to the poorer people who need a car due to lack of public transport. Cutting the costs of public transport.
Not just slashing the tax on fuel, because they reckon the Treasury can handle it. Haven't we still got a National debt to pay off?
>>Seriously though, I haven't actually heard
>>anyone say that the Tories are great.
>>Infact they've gone mysteriously quiet.
>Not just slashing the tax on fuel, because they reckon the Treasury can handle it. Haven't we still got a National debt to pay off?
Actually no. That's another Tory disaster Labour have cleared up. Ho hum.
Its clear labour are now going to lose the next election they have messed so many things up recently this is the final straw.
UP THE TORIES.
>Its clear labour are now going to lose the next election they have messed so many things up recently this is the final straw.
Go on, name them all, since there's so many.
I'm impressed, 83 posts before we get an idiot (unless he's just being ironic). Must be a record for this sort of thing.
Remember that Labour were 25% behind the Tories in 1979, for a prolonged period, then they came back to close the gap to just 1%. Similarly Thatcher was 23% behind Labour during the poll-tax riots. The Tories won the subsequent election. If Labour thinks it's going to lose it'll just put back the date. Remember that they are not compelled to go to the people until 2002. By then Labour are bound to have pulled back, what is it, average 2-3% difference?
The worst that will happen as far as Labour are concerned is a hung parliament. And ironically, if that happens it'll be doom for the Tories, not Labour; the Lib-Dems will demand PR, damning right-wing politics for the next 20 years because like it or not, left-of-centre politics (embodied by Labour and the Liberal Democrats) are more popular in this country than right-wing politics (Conservative). As long as Labour don't foul up completely they'll retain the 50% needed between them to govern. Simple as that.
Thank you Jase (no sarkcasm here BTW) Your posting has reinstated some rational calm to my fevered paranoid brain! And to the guy who said UP THE TORIES - I agree.
As far as you can go, if possible.
>>But then you probably won't have read their report, eh pleb sheep ;)
>I am aware of their work :)
Just to stop any animosity here, I was saying that your pleb-persona wouldn't have read it. Just to clear that up ;)
It is about time Blair did get his finger out though, and this is how he should do it.
Firstly, give concessions to the truckers, and business in general, in the form of a rebate. This will stop any further trouble and to be honest as many of these companies have no choice but to use the roads they should be exempt from the more crippling effects of higher taxation. They are not the real problem environmentally, heavy car usage by private motorists is.
Second, reform the car-tax laws. This will get most people on-side, having the same effect as a reduction in car tax for most motorists, as well as providing a true incentive for less consumption of fuel. Decrease the tax for efficient cars, increasing it for gas-guzzlers. And zero-rate the road tax for anyone prepared to invest in a gas, alcohol or hybrid-powered car, all of which are available.
This way, everyone is happy. The businesses' woes are eased. The only motorists to be hammered are the ones doing the damage (ie the performance-car ponces), and environmentally-friendlier cars are encouraged. Far better than reducing fuel tax, surely?
Oh, and of course, by balancing the above figures announce that the 1.5 billion per year that the Tories would squander is to be spent on public transport. Whilst not the answer, some extensions to inner-city public transport would undoubtably help out.
Sensible, fair and responsible. Why I should be a politician...
Pleb sheep didn't understand your previous comments, but he's busy watching "Birds of a Feather Night" on UK Gold, so isn't really interested anyway. Theres this old woman who thinks herself posh but she's a bit of a slapper, apparently, and it's hilarious.
>Firstly, give concessions to the truckers, >and business in general, in the form of a >rebate. This will stop any further trouble [...]They are not the real problem
>environmentally, heavy car usage by private
Environmentally, I disagree. Long distance movement of freight needs to go to the railways, or even the canals for non-perishables, where the movement is more fuel efficient, the large loads are less dangerous to pedestrians/cyclists/other motorists, and where the infrastructure was designed for the weight. There are far too many companies running the "Just in Time" model, which is good for them financially, but bad for the environment when it can ultimately lead to a lorry driving 500 miles to deliver one part/can of beans etc.
But.., politically, some concession needs to be made towards the truckers to keep them on side, and I agree with what you say from that point of view.
>Decrease the tax for efficient cars, increasing it for gas-guzzlers. And zero-rate the road tax for anyone prepared to invest in a gas, alcohol or hybrid-powered car, all of which are available.
None of which are ultimately the answer, but again politically, it's a good thing, and it could be worse (ie The Tories plan) environmentally. Britain can't sustain the growth in private vehicle ownership, be it petrol, diesel, hydrogen, gas or magic bean powered - there's the congestion and road building to consider too. I still stick by my plan of zeroing the fuel tax on public transport usage (efficient in fuel and space) and increasing it on private transport (with a sliding scale, as you imply, in favour of more fuel efficient private transport).
>Far better than reducing fuel tax, surely?
Politically, yes. Environmentally, well, it's far ahead of the Tories.
>Oh, and of course, by balancing the above figures announce that the 1.5 billion per year that the Tories would squander is to be spent on public transport.
Now that one does win my support. Write off to Mr Blair at once, You might get a peerage :)
Yes - my thoughts exactly. VOTE JASE FOR A SANER BRITAIN!
Jase> > > Go for it. Run as an independent at the next election.
Independant? He'd never get any votes - he needs the backing of one of the big two...
And he might not get much backing in a Yorkshire constituency(!!)
Very true. Sadly.
People have a stark choice. They either get used to lessening dependency on cars now, or they get a nasty shock in 30-50 years time. It's their choice.
Sadly, the populous of western countries are only interested in their own interests, here and now.
well, when the fossil fuels run out no one will be able to say "oi, get that petrol moving, you're harming the NHS"
I'd forgotten about alcohol powered engines - It's pretty much a limitless resource if made by fermentation. It can be made chemically as well, but this requires components of crude oil. I think it's time we developed a fuel with an eqivalent energy to petrol and diesel but doesn't use non-renewable sources.
Ignoring the cars for a moment, what about aircraft, trains and ships.
There's no way a jumbo sized aircraft can run on batteries or solar power. I would make a similar case for trains.
The world will be crippled if we can't fly with the same or greater capacity as at the moment.
Someone should send this thread to parliament.....
I've an uneasy feeling about alcohol fuelled cars
*cut to Homer Simpson filling his car :
One for you.. one for me.. one for you.. one for me... *
But not that. It's already been shown that Ethanol (I believe) can be fermented well from sugar cane and used to fuel cars, but my nagging doubts revolve around the West exploiting 3rd world countries to grow it for little or no profit, as already happens with many other crops like tea and coffee.
I think with a variety of sources (wind generators, Salter's ducks (the sea bobbing things) tide generators, solar power, hydro electric generators) we can generate enough electricity without using fossil fuels or resorting to nuclear, but much more needs to be done to promote energy efficiency. That would keep most of the trains running, though it wouldn't help the planes (which in any case are the least fuel efficient mode of transport by a very long stretch) or ships.
I think many savings can be made to reduce the number of passenger flights.
With the internet (video conferencing et al) I really can't see how any company can justify sending someone over to an office in anouther country "to have a meeting" as many companies do at present.
There are usually several alternatives to the way we do things at the moment. They might not be quite so convenient, but it's surprising how quickly you get used to them, especially if you can feel proud/smug that you're doing your bit.
But one good thing about the fuel crisis is the opportunity it creates for topical satire...
>But not that. It's already been shown that Ethanol (I believe) can be fermented well from sugar cane and used to fuel cars, but my nagging doubts revolve around the West exploiting 3rd world countries to grow it for little or no profit, as already happens with many other crops like tea and coffee.
true - I didn't think of that.
>I think with a variety of sources (wind generators, Salter's ducks (the sea bobbing things) tide generators, solar power, hydro electric generators) we can generate enough electricity without using fossil fuels or resorting to nuclear, but much more needs to be done to promote energy efficiency.
unfortunately I doubt that - nuclear power is currently the only way to generate the sort of power we would need - although current electrical efficiency leaves a lot to be desired. A vast amount of money needs to be invested in the renewable energy generation methods before they become feasible.
With nuclear we have a source already pretty much ready to take over full scale. It will be necessary to bring back fast breeder reactors within the next 20 or 30 years I would thing. The down side to this is that they make weapons grade plutonium so security will have to be a very large part of the operation.
Regular nuclear reactors still require mined uranium that will eventually run out, Fast breeders make nuclear fuel as they go along. The other benefit is that old coal and oil power stations can be converted since the method of generation is the same - provide heat to boil water and then drive turbines with the steam. The only thing that differs is how you supply the heat.
That would keep most of the trains running, though it wouldn't help the planes (which in any case are the least fuel efficient mode of transport by a very long stretch) or ships.
Turbofan engines on modern aircraft are pretty efficient actually - when you consider the work they have to do. If you powered a jumbo jet with enough internal combustion engines to get it of the ground and over the Atlantic... well, you couldn't. You'd need so many engines and so much fuel that you'd never get more power than than the weight you were adding - if you see what I mean.
The tories are now 8 points ahead, the British Public are truely, truely idiots...
>The tories are now 8 points ahead, the British Public are truely, truely idiots...
well let them stick with it and then we'll see. William Hague as PM? The say you get the government you deserve...
I think we should all go and live in a commune. With goats.
Funny how quickly the British public seem to turn just like that. Maybe most people in the UK are C/conservative by nature. Yes, of course most people we know are left-wing, but look at how the circulation of something like The Daily Mail has actually increased since Blair got in. (And they have the sort of readership that *always* votes.)
Which paper organised this poll, anyway? Bet it was Sunday Times or the Mail.
>I think we should all go and live in a commune. With goats.
No goats please, I'm vegan.
"No goats please, I'm vegan"
What a great title for a saucy bedroom farce, set in a stable, poking fun at British attitudes towards cross-dressing, vegetarianism, and beastiality! Starring Doanld Sinden and Griff Rhys-Jones.
and Ronnie Corbett ad the humourous german neighbour with limp