Thursday, 26 June 2008

Running On Empty

There's some grim news for motorists in the press this morning. According to the Telegraph, "Petrol prices to rise after head of OPEC warns of sharp fuel hike."

The article goes on to suggest the price of diesel could reach £1.47 per litre, with unleaded not far behind at £1.32 per litre. At those prices, it could cost between £70 and £100 to fill up the tank in a reasonably sized car.

No doubt the mental enviroists are clapping their hands, but for those of us with even the most tenuous grip on reality this cannot be encouraging. And for the accident - nay, disaster - prone Government of Gordon Brown-Trousers and his bumbling sidekicks, who have ably demonstrated their total inability to do anything whatsoever about this inconvenient situation, it's just another nail in their coffin.

Only a few days ago, a survey found that the public blame the Government for the petrol pain they are feeling, and the majority of them are more than willing to vote the red men out of power if they don't fix the problem - pronto. Unfortunately, there's very little our attempted Government can do apart from dither over proposed fuel tax increases. They know very well that if they don't impose the planned duties they will appear weak, but if they go ahead and add to the public's misery they will be even less likely to even keep their deposits at the next election. Goodness, it's tough at the top, eh?

No wonder almost two thirds of the population now think Gordon Brown-Trousers is a liability, according to this poll in the Telegraph - that's hardly a surprise, now, is it? He's been a liability for years, long before he became PM, it's just that Blair was better at keeping the lid on things. Without his gleaming grin, the wheels - already wobbling alarmingly - have fallen off the New Labour bandwagon, and the shambles that has been the British Government since 1997 is laid bare for all to see.

Of course, things are only going to get worse. Rising fuel prices mean that other goods will inevitably cost more, squeezing the pound in our pockets even more and putting pressure of pay deals. Already, a summer of industrial action seems almost inevitable, and that will have its own knock-on effects, both in real terms and in terms of public confidence and morale.

Right now, things are not too bad - they could be better, but they're not dire. After months of rising prices, inflation and, inevitably, interest rates they will quickly become dire, and then bloody awful in very short order. Reassurance, and a boost in public confidence, would probably go a long way towards preventing this long term damage, and that would best be achieved - in the public's mind, at least - by a change in Government.

If Gord were to call an election tomorrow he would be soundly defeated, but the country would probably benefit from his humiliation. It's one of those "f0r the good of the many" situations - but I don't see Gordon Brown-Trousers limbering up to do the decent thing. Just goes to show what's on his mind, doesn't it? Power, self-interest and political survival. Makes a change, eh?

Billy Seggars.

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