Thursday, 26 May 2016

Time to do some panic buying

The French are blockading their oil refineries again. They are also blockading the ports to stop oil tankers docking. Filling up the car is getting difficult, with long queues where petrol is available and at least a quarter of filling stations completely dry. The government has three months' emergency oil and is releasing that, but of course there is panic-buying increasing demand just as the supply dwindles.

But the UK is fine, isn't it?

No. Think back to the UK blockades of 2000 when the country ran dry and pretty much shut down. How did that start? In France! UK protestors saw what was happening over the Channel and picketed UK refineries. There is a chance, not massive, but possible, that the same will happen again. So right now you should be panic-buying petrol. (When it does happen and everyone else is panic-buying petrol, you should have moved on to panic-buying food.)

That said, the UK government does have a secret plan on how to deal with refinery protests - it blocks all national reporting of the protest; nothing on TV news, nothing in the national papers. It doesn't, or cannot, block local reporting, so with some digging you will still be able to find out what's happening by looking at regional websites, but the great mass of people will not become aware of the protests so will not panic-buy and will not go to join the protests. Problem solved! Perhaps UK oil refinery blockades are happening right now - we wouldn't know. After all, there were further refinery blockades in 2005 and 2007 and they had no effect, because no one knew.

Incidentally, the BBC's usual tactic for burying news they don't want known is to report it as 'local'; nothing on the flagship news programmes, nothing on the website front page. So they're covered, they've reported it, but not in a way many people will see. Everything that happens is local to somewhere so everything can be buried if they want.

Anyway, a quick trip to top up the car can't hurt, can it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So wish I could buy gas here, rename it petrol and ship it there, I'd make a killing, anyone got an oil tanker going spare. Of course I'm not sure where I would sneak it in, bit tricky to hide one of those. Perhaps I'll stick with cigarettes and whiskey :-)