About me
About me

Brown pleads over petrol prices


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

This post was published more than 15 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 15 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

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

  • My views may well have changed in the last 15 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and 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 724th post was filed under: News and Comment.

Recently published posts

Random posts from the archive

Kids on Porn / 22 November 2003

ITV News Channel axed / 14 December 2005

Skype / 26 February 2005

Habemus Papam / 19 April 2005

It seems to be working… / 07 October 2005

Driverless cars, algorithms and the ethics of valuing of human life / 11 February 2015

Comments and responses

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

    17.47, 18/09/2005

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

    19.20, 15/08/2006

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)

    20.47, 15/08/2006

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

    21.46, 13/01/2008

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

    06.52, 11/04/2008

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

    19.45, 24/04/2008

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)

    12.44, 25/04/2008

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

Compose a new comment

I'm not taking comments on my blog any more, so I'm afraid the opportunity to add to this discussion has passed.

The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.