The threat of a gas tanker-driver strike has brought out the best in British political double-speak to calm a fearful nation. Queues Lines are forming at every and any gas station as fears of an Easter-break strike has the blokes back in blighty filling up every and any container they can to stockpile petrol. In response to a panic-worthy statement by Cabinet Minister Francis Maude who said "People should take precautions, just in the way the Government has taken precautions doing some sensible planning," and drivers should keep their tanks at least two-thirds full in anticipation of a shortage, sales of Jerry cans have risen this week. This pre-emptive stockpile-driven panic-buying to avoid real panic-buying should the strike occur spurred some calming words from Energy secretary Ed Davey "I don't think they (drivers) need to queue, I don't think they need to change their behavior very much,". Too late mate! More economically concerning were comments, cited by The Telegraph from the government that "We are under no illusion, the impacts of a tanker strike could be very severe for our economy, could really disrupt the lives of millions of people." As the head of the retail motor industry federation noted "I think the government have mishandled this from the very start" and in the pun-of-the-day, Sky News notes the government "made a crude decision to play politics with petrol without regard for the consequence." When will the Fed's actions finally lift sales of currency-stockpiling wheelbarrows we wonder? Or alternatively, a Toilet Paper run based on the Treasury's relentless "actions"?
The Daily Mail on the mixed messages from the government:
and memories of years gone by - "Don't Panic Mr. Mainwaring":