So the fuel crisis might have been averted for now. As a good friend of mine said to me yesterday – I drove past the petrol station and saw all the people queueing for petrol and I wondered if they had too much time on their hands…

I liked the sign outside a pub on the A6 yesterday which said “Impending beer shortage – PANIC BUY your beer here now – be ahead of the crowds!!”

So – a few comments on the whole thing:-

1. Why do politicians not think before they open their gobs? What did they think was going to happen when suggesting Jerry cans? One woman this morning was burnt in her kitchen when one of her cans of petrol caught fire. Makes you wonder why she thought it a good idea to have petrol in her kitchen in the first place – but that’s another story.
2. Having b*****d up with the first announcement – did they think the second – not to panic, was going to work. Perhaps the fact that any potential strike is more than a week away will keep things a little calmer for a few days?
3. Most stuff that goes on in Parliament is of little interest to Joe average – but this week we have had the working mans lunch attacked (pies and pasties – vat on hot food) and the petrol “crisis” – these things stick in the national consciousness and give the Opposition lots of free ammunition. Though Ed Milliband is showing how sad he really is by posing for “pie” photos. Very statesmanlike Ed – cos – yeah that’s when we need a strong leader, and if he shows me he eats pies for lunch I will definitely vote for him next time :-)
4. Times like this show the ease with which the masses can be manipulated. When it comes to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – this one is squarely in the hygiene factors. (look it up). We revert to caveman when our basic needs are in danger of not being met – so petrol shortage means “forget sense, forget what is best for society in general, forget my neighbours and friends and family – I NEED PETROL”. So was the point of the announcement to keep the papers and the public focused on all the “ijits” buying all the petrol and away from the actual strike / potential strike.
5. Even though we know it’s a bit pointless – because if no-one reacted to the announcement there would be no crisis, and the strike may never happen – we still go buy petrol and contribute to the crisis in our own small way!!

So – did I go fill up with petrol? No. I don’t need any at the moment and have better things to do with my time than queue at the local garage. However, my husband did fill up. To be fair – we are driving to Somerset on Saturday for a weeks holiday – so we did need to fill up anyway!

Will we learn anything from this mini crisis? Will we heck! But it has made for an interesting couple of days. The bigger concern to me seem to be the fears of an Israeli conflict with Iran which could drive up oil prices, prices at the pump and end hopes of an economic recovery. Lets hope that doesn’t happen then !

for more comment