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Brown pleads over petrol prices


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 12 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

If this isn’t a bizarre move, Mr Brown has been pleading with oil producing companies to up their production, so that petrol prices don’t hit £1/litre. Why he needs to do this pleading when two-thirds of the petrol price goes to him, I don’t really understand. For every penny more the suppliers charge, the price goes up a total of 3p, thanks to 2p in tax. So if Mr Brown is so desperate for the petrol prices not to rise, then why can he not reduce the proportion of tax charged, so that the total revenue remains consistent instead of increasing? That way, the impact of any increase would be reduced by two-thirds. Heck, he could even reduce the total revenue if he’s so worried about petrol prices.

I guess we can only be glad that

his comments did little to placate fuel protesters, who said demonstrations planned for Wednesday would go ahead unless Government ministers agreed to meet them to discuss their concerns within the next two days

As much as the last petrol protest was inconvenient, it certainly succeeded. And it could well do so again.

Of course, the bigger political picture is that this problem belongs to Mr Brown rather than Mr Blair – and it’s not good for a leader-in-waiting to be seen in a bad light… Could Mr Blair use this crisis to his advantage, and prevent (or at least make more difficult) the passing of the mantle to Mr Brown? I doubt it, but it’s certainly a possibility.

This 725th post was filed under: News and Comment.

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Comments and responses

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 17:47 on 18th September 2005.

Since the petrol protests never really amounted to much, it didn’t really matter so much that they were Mr Brown’s problem. But it was clever of him to lay down some political protection prior to the action, so that he would have been seen to have been proactive had the protests been more successful. But they weren’t. In fact, the only success was the Daily Mail’s creation of shortages, though it’s reporting of shortages before they ever happened, sparking panic buying. Well done them.

Comment from Anonymous

by Anonymous

Comment posted at 19:20 on 15th August 2006.

why do we Brits put up with high petrol prices when a large percentage of them are tax. What is wrong with us, is it a British thing that we don’t like to make a fuss or we think we will get into trouble, or we can’t stand for there to be a few shortages for the time it takes to wake the government up. How about a ‘no drive Sunday'(except for essential services like I experienced in the USA, that worked and bo one suffered except the petrol companies who are gouging us in partnership with the government anyway.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 20:47 on 15th August 2006.

Hmm, it’s a good question. Why do we put up with high prices? It seems that there is currently not enough motivation or desire amongst the general population to change the current situation, I guess.

It might be worth mentioning here that there’s an excellent free website at petrolprices.com which allows you to compare the petrol prices at different garages in your area, and even have the latest prices emailed to you on a regular basis. At least until Pipeline Card gets fully set-up, it’s a very useful site!

Comment from Alastair

by Alastair

Comment posted at 21:46 on 13th January 2008.

You may be interested in a map of mine that shows all the petrol stations in the UK along with pricing for a number of them. The system relies on the user to provide pricing feedback for us. http://www.whatgas.com

Comment from Kanwal

by Kanwal

Comment posted at 06:52 on 11th April 2008.

I’m sure it’s not true! If it was, nothing lake that would have been posted! It sounds so weird! I doubt that anyone would ever believe it!

Comment from alex

by alex

Comment posted at 19:45 on 24th April 2008.

who wants to start up a fuel strike???

maybe the rest of the population may grow some balls and join in…

yeah i laughed too.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 12:44 on 25th April 2008.

Well it’s happened before – I don’t see why it couldn’t happen again?

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