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UK Fuel Strike - the Possibilities Nobody Dares Mention

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posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 06:42 AM
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As all of the UK members will be aware, 90% of the fuel tanker drivers may be about to go on strike causing mass disruption across the country. There is a lot of talk on the news about contingencies and the 'rights and wrongs' of both sides of the dispute, but I have noticed that there are several 'elephants in the room' that no one is mentioning, yet they seem clear as day to me.

1. The tanker drivers have a dispute about pay and conditions. They won't get much sympathy from the public on this as they are already well paid and unemployment is very high. BUT fuel prices, and in particular the obscene level of tax here in the UK, are a very sore issue for most people. If haulage companies, farmers and even regular motorists get their act together and use this opportunity to make the protests about much wider fuel issues, like what happened in 2000, then this could snowball.

2. If what I suggested in point 1 happens then it has the potential to be much bigger than the protests in 2000 for several reasons; the price of fuel is about twice what it was in 2000, unemployment is higher and the economy much weaker, tax is higher in general, there is much more anger towards the government in general (whether justified or not is irrelevant), and the big one is that in 2000 many people still did not have mobile phones, and there certainly wasn't anything like BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc. Panic, rumours and coordinated plans can spread much faster now.

3. As shown in the major, nation-wide riots of last year, there is an anger and resentment bubbling just below the surface across the UK, especially with the young. Much of this anger is aimed at the older generations (again, whether it is justified or not is irrelevant), and I have thought since the riots happened that if there is any window of obvious opportunity that presents itself then the violence and disorder can quickly spread again. Everyone saw how inept the police were at dealing with the disorder - they only regained control of London with police from 27 different forces! If police are busy guarding fuel supplies and trying to keep essential services running in a fuel strike then they will be quite obviously powerless to even attempt to stop a repeat of the 2011 riots. In my opinion the 2011 riots nearly reached critical mass - if they had gone on a few days more they would have been unstoppable. If fuel supplies are cut then supermarkets will run out of food etc, then we will see, out of desperation, a lot more people (and people of a different social class) looting, this will then give a further green light for the type of rioters seen in 2011 - it will act as a catalyst and become much worse.

4. The government keep saying they will use military tanker drivers to fill in for the strikers, but if you work it out then the military drivers, even at a stretch will only be able to deliver 15-20% of the supplies needed - and that is assuming there is no wider protest and no general civil disorder. Either way it won't be anywhere near enough so panic will ensue - this in itself again creates a tempting situation for the simmering potential rioters.

5. My own girlfriend is a carer. She is one of many thousands who look after old and disabled people in their homes daily - she couldn't do it without a car (they only have 5 minutes between each call to get to the next place, which are often miles away). I'm pretty sure that she won't be classed as 'essential services' but in effect she is. How are the government planning to address this? Simple - they aren't. The results of this kind of thing will be obvious - Britain has an ageing population, in my street alone several homes rely on multiple daily visits from carers. The lack of plans for this will create a sense of anarchy and powerlessness of the government - again a catalyst for social disorder.

In conclusion I would say that the UK today, like so many other developed nations, is a tinder box. We saw it plainly here last year - it was actually scary. Anyone who denies this is living with their heads in the sand. Now, given this situation, plus the fragility of our economy and infrastructure, and the totally obvious inability of our law enforcement to deal with civil disorder of any decent scale, and the conclusions are frightening. ANY even that can disrupt the fragile veneer of normality has the potential to throw us into a state of anarchy. Furthermore I would add that when a state of anarchy is reached, as was so nearly last year, then getting order back will be near enough impossible. There are so many people who are completely disenfranchised for a multitude of reasons, and so many people who are failing to understand it and who flaunt their wealth in their faces. It is just going to take a leader, or a number of leaders to emerge in those disenfranchised groups, leaders who realise that the time to strike is now... and there will be no stopping it all unravelling.

Interesting times....




posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 06:55 AM
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But remember this is only happening over the Easter weekend ... 3-4 days max.
If it was to go on for a number of days / weeks then maybe what you are pointing out may well start to happen.

I agree fuel prices are now so unbelievable that something needs to be done. It's not just effecting the haulage companies, farmers, businesses who rely on transport ... it's effecting the everyday driver.
I'm Mr average, married with a young child. Both work, both drive and are now really struggling to live month by month. I am one of the few, who seem to have gained a little from the recent budget - but not enough.

I'm amazed that the fuel strikes of several years ago have not happened again. They really hit home how to disrupt the transport network.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by Plumbduff
 


You have to remember how close to the edge modern society is. I worked for a company in central London a few years back that dealt with supply chain efficiencies. Logistics today is a different world even from that of twelve years ago. Most big supermarkets, for example, rely on daily deliveries, even during holidays and weekends. Even during a holiday period you will not fail to notice problems within 24 hours of any disruption to fuel supplies. 48 hours and it will be bad. Longer than that, even 4 days and what I'm talking about may well kick off.

Remember, the resentment and anger is palpable these days and is only just under the surface. It takes seconds for information to spread now.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:15 AM
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I dont even drive so it wont effect me,i stick to a good old trusty push bike, in fact the more cars taken off the road the better



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:16 AM
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This country will be third world before we know it.


Just a thought,consider the catastrophe if they strike at olympic time.That would cause enough chaos to light the fuse and if the riots started again.........WOW



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:19 AM
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So to have lower fuel taxes what bit of the government teat do you not want to have any longer ? Yes, taxes are high too high, but look what they pay for...everything. This is what happens when you have a party in power for too long at that has a socialist agenda, oh look you're struggling to make ends meet dont worry we'll top up your money to pay for the new flatscreen you want.

Why do you think that company directors started paying themselves more money, why should they increase the average workers salary to compensate how much things have risen, when the last government did it for them, working tax credits etc. Labour caused the issues, if they hadn't started 'topping up' people's wages.

I personally am for a much smaller state, i hate how much i have to pay in tax from my hard earned money. I'm not going to use the term scroungers, but it does fit for some. We have to have a welfare state, as at some point in time pretty much everyone requires it for one reason or another, it should not be a lifestyle choice. Unfortunately some people have used it as that, and because it is such an emotive issue no one, to date, has been prepared to address this other than to tax us more and more.

So what services do you want cut to pay for the fuel tax cut ?

Our Welfare bill is just out of control and i'm sorry but something needs to be done



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:24 AM
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Spains lorry drivers and fishermen always boycott everything when the diesel goes up and with good success too.

You just have to grow a pair of # instead of sitting at home complaining about fuel prices.

Go out there with your lorry and block all the petrol stations!



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by SupersonicSerpent
 


I respectfuly disagree, if what OP says were to happen it would indeed affect you, i am guessing that your employer uses petrol in one form or another to operate deliveries and those they work with probably use petrol, i would also guess that some of your coworkers drive to work using petrol.
The Grocery stores you shop for food have trucks bringing food to your local grocer using petrol, the farmers growing your food use petrol to power almost all of todays farming equipment.
The people who stock those trucks of food have to get to those place to even get food on trucks, not everywhere has a underground operating electrily, ohh yeah those people have to get to work to not everyone can use their bike.
I do think it will affect you, very much so, and i havent even got into the following chaos and general disorder that OP so wonderfuly explained in his bullet points.

I hope you will see the eventual effect it would have on you and think of a stratagy for you and your family to make the best of what could be a very bad and life changing event, Good Luck Mate.
edit on 28-3-2012 by 1947flxible because: spelling



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by FFS4000
So to have lower fuel taxes what bit of the government teat do you not want to have any longer ? Yes, taxes are high too high, but look what they pay for...everything. This is what happens when you have a party in power for too long at that has a socialist agenda, oh look you're struggling to make ends meet dont worry we'll top up your money to pay for the new flatscreen you want.

Why do you think that company directors started paying themselves more money, why should they increase the average workers salary to compensate how much things have risen, when the last government did it for them, working tax credits etc. Labour caused the issues, if they hadn't started 'topping up' people's wages.

I personally am for a much smaller state, i hate how much i have to pay in tax from my hard earned money. I'm not going to use the term scroungers, but it does fit for some. We have to have a welfare state, as at some point in time pretty much everyone requires it for one reason or another, it should not be a lifestyle choice. Unfortunately some people have used it as that, and because it is such an emotive issue no one, to date, has been prepared to address this other than to tax us more and more.

So what services do you want cut to pay for the fuel tax cut ?

Our Welfare bill is just out of control and i'm sorry but something needs to be done
see its not always that. i live in montreal qc and gas here is 10cents more expensive a liter than anywhere else because the qc government takes a huge tax out of gas... the worst is registering ur car, the keep charging more and more saying that its to fix the roads.... every year the roads get worse and worse and we pay more for nothing. i think the government system just doesnt work



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:44 AM
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The army are going to deliver all the tankers, they have been training for a couple of weeks so I don't expect much disruption.
But I do think they are trying to out price people on a minimum wage with the price increases, they want us to use public transport.
I too am a carer for elderly people and I worry about being able to get to their homes, my company has said they are going to restructure the amount we get for fuel and many of us are worried we will be footing the bill (or some of it) of our petrol.
They have said if we don't agree redundancies will have to happen.

edit on 28-3-2012 by boymonkey74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:45 AM
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reply to post by FFS4000
 


Sorry, I believe that the Torry Gov. Is anything BUT socialist, they're privatising everything they can, but this is causing a catch 22 scenario right now.

1. Unemployment is high, which in turn causes the budget needed to support those out of work to raise. How do the Gov. Get quick cash to help support this? Sell a sector.

2. A public owned business/company/sector goes private, the money goes into the govs. pocket to help pay for the raising unemployment.

3. The new private company/sector then shaves of jobs left right and centre to make it more profit efficient.

4. Increase in unemployment.

Privatisation of public sector never solves anything, just look at the state of our rail networks



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:52 AM
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The OP sums it up very well.

However I will NOT be going out of my way to 'panic buy' fuel.

I didn't go out of my way last time the fuel strike was on and will not this time.

The governments response is truly terrible though.
They recommend people fill up fuel canisters and store them at home.

1. peoples house insurance is null and void if your house goes up in flames due to stored fuel.
2. Why can't the government grow some balls and resolve the situation ?

Oh that's right, its not in their interest to.

If I put my conspiracy hat on, The business year is coming to an end.
What better way of gaining extra tax by getting the nation to panic buy fuel.

Then they can scew the figures and say how much better the UK is performing.
Mr 'Call me Dave' has a lot to answer for,



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:56 AM
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Back to the OP however, you are relying on this happening all on a hypathetical reaction, that people will protest, i'm not too sure that this will happen.

The days of the strike are well picked to say the least, around easter, where there are quite a few bank holidays, there are many factorys that don't work on bank holidays because they don't get delivaries (a factory i used to work in used to close every bank holiday) so alot of fule would be saved already from those lorries not delivering good over Europe, which will soften the blow for ordanery car fillers.

Secondly, everyone is busy seeing family around easter, so less people will be thinking about traveling to london to do a demonstration.

If it was done from sunday - today, then i could of seen your scenario play out, for the pure and simple fact of the weather that we've been having. Many students out enjoying the sun with little to do, everyone trying to get outside as much as they can before the sun goes down, why not join a protest and do something that you believe in, as well as enjoying the sun and meeting new people?!

Tis one thing about us Brits, we are dictated by the weather, even the riots last year stopped as soon as the rain came in,lol



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:58 AM
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Good to see the government aren't encouraging panic buying, because that would be really stupid.


A government minister has been urged to withdraw his advice that people should fill jerry cans with petrol to prepare for a fuel tanker strike


www.guardian.co.uk...



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:58 AM
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They will probably let people panic buy, famalies spending hundereds on fuel to cover a week or so & companies spending thousands to get through the week - Only to give the guys a pay rise and our economy function as normal but the Oil companies get an influx of profits over a few days. All spculation of course but who knows.

I have a horse, so i win.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by woodwardjnr
 


The government minister retracting his statement only makes matters worse.

It highlights how out of touch they are and shows how incompetent they all are.

Change at the top please.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by diddy1234
 


The assumption that everyone has a house with a garage just shows how out of touch some of these politicians are. Should people who live in flats keep a couple of cans of highly flamable liquid knocking around.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 08:26 AM
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If anyone is going to do some sort of fuel strike I think it would be best to encompass the days people usually get paid. The reasoning is that I know that I usually do not have much money to get gas tward the end of pay day so I make the assumption that I am not the only one in this boat but with a little planning we can get what fuel we need a few days before. Just a few bucks worth. When the strike is over fill the vehicles up!



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 09:04 AM
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OK...I'm going to check a message I have received by text out.
Delivery drivers to the northern most part of Anglesey have told my friend who txt say there is no fuel in Warrington (where I am based, they obviously don't know me) and in the North West generally. So what is going on...have thay started at Stanlow already?

Rainbows
Jane



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 09:06 AM
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Thanks for all the reactions. Just to answer a few points here;

1. This kind of thing WILL affect everyone - not just those who drive. Unless you don't eat, use any utilities, don't work for a company that relies on customers and suppliers etc etc then you will be affected.

2. Though it wasn't my prime issue with making the original post, fuel tax could and should be cut drastically. The government wastes plenty of money in lots of ways, especially the welfare state. Also, I realise tax has to be raised from somewhere, but taxing something so heavily that will hurt hard working families, small businesses, and those already struggling to make ends meet, something that has a pass-on cost to almost everything imaginable, is utterly ludicrous. Don't believe me? Well why doesn't every other country levy the same or similar levels of taxation on fuel, and why do many nations actually subsidise fuel prices? Oh right, that's because fuel is as important as oxygen to a modern economy.

3. Yes, the exact results I am talking about do indeed rely on events unfolding a certain way, but I think it is a reasonable likely way. On the Saturday that the riots kicked off last year I was talking with my family about how violence was going to be on the streets very soon, because of a multitude of reasons - that night I flipped on Sky News just before I was going to go to bed and I saw the start of the riots in Tottenham. I have the same feeling now - there are just so many factors conspiring to make the perfect storm.

This financial mess hasn't even begun to play out yet, despite what some politicians are saying. Now, we are approaching the hot weather of 2012 here in the UK and Europe, and there are so many tensions just simmering that is is unbelievable. Then we have complete idiot politicians, and a great many Baby Boomers who think life is just dandy, and this spells trouble. I just see this potential fuel strike as the first test of this fragility here in the UK this year.



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