PETROL PROTESTS FROM SATURDAY

by Jeanne Hambleton © 2007
NFA Leader Against Pain-Advocate

A blog inviting comments from UK motorists about the hike in fuel costs and a protest, launched by Brendan McLoughlin from his website petrolprices.com has attracted more than 2600 signatures in 36 hours with overwhelming support for a fuel protest. The response has so far been far greater than the signatures received for many of the e-petitions for the eyes of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

These are just a few of the pointed comments and criticisms of the fuel tax.

….the poor old pensioner is hit hard – I only wish my pension went up pro rata to fuel
……£1.08 a litre, compared to Tunisia where it was 22 pence a litre
……stop this legalised theft from the British driver
……RIP OFF Britain strikes again
……the government must be brought to task
……the obscene tax on fuel and ready to protest
……get a horse and cart, or protest?
……the government is shafting us at every angle

With such support in a short time, comments on the petrol blog have offered over whelming backing for action and a protest, with a very small minority opposed to blockades. When I last looked less than 36 hours after the first posting there were over 2600 comments and it was growing by the minute.

My poor e-petition for more funding for research for fibromyalgia appears to have stagnated at just over 550 signatures and I have been going on about that for months. Sadly it ends on 23 January 2008 when the Gordon Brown’s man will write back and say ‘tough’. Just in case I will leave the address here if you feel like giving me a bit of support before we get back to petrol http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/FIBROFUNDING/.

My grateful thanks to Brendan McLoughlin who this morning, Monday, sent me notice of likely petrol protests later this week. It is not what you know but who you know that counts!

Brendan, runs a very successful PetrolPrice.com newsletter service advising readers of the cheapest fuel prices within 5 miles of their home and this information can help you save money on petrol. His website, petrolprices.com, been working with a group called Transaction 2007 who have the latest news about plans for petrol protests.

The email I received today indicated protests were likely to happen from Wednesday but this now looks like action will be taken next Saturday… but it could be any time.

I hope Brendan can forgive me for quoting his email and website but, like me, I am sure he wants as many people as possible to be aware of what is happening.

We all know why it is happening and most of us are all disgusted at the tax levied by the Government on fuel, which adds insult to injury for the poor motorists and indeed ultimately the cost of living. As if we do not have enough problems with the growth of yellow speed cameras everywhere we look! Most thieves come in the dead of night and take maybe your TV, DVD, a bit of cash and jewellery and usually only strike once. But this ‘theft’ goes on week after week, year after year.

When travelling abroad I stand at petrol pumps with my jaw dropping at the price per litre. That, the cost of living and the government’s lousy governing is enough to make you emigrate.

While I have every sympathy with each and every motorists (I am one too), my heart goes out to the disabled and their carers – those with long term chronic pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, ME, arthritis – many living on benefits – who use their cars as their lifeline. If you read the national press you will see that many elderly folk cannot afford to keep themselves warm, quite apart from paying over £1 a litre for petrol to get themselves to their doctor for their check-up, or collect their prescription, or have tests at the hospital. I wonder are they trying to kill off the disabled and the old folks and starve the rest of us to death with higher food, fuel and heating costs? When I say the Government I guess I am talking about Gordon Brown and his Cabinet. So no offence to those good guys (MPs) who have been helping some of us. But enough of my soapbox chatter

Read what Brendan has to say – and my grateful thanks to him for telling us –

Dear Jeanne,

Last week I was informed that a group called Transaction 2007 had plans this weekend to release a statement announcing some kind of protest action relating to the price of fuel in the UK. I have just read a statement published on their web site in which they have confirmed that they are going to organise legal protest action, and that it could begin as early as this Wednesday.

I have got more on the PetrolPrices.com blog about this:

http://www.petrolprices.com/blog/petrol-price-protests-planned-for-this-wednesday-86.html

We will of course be following the story as it unfolds next week to keep you informed. If you want to express your opinion about the plans you can do so on our blog, as always, by leaving your comments and voting in our polls.

Regards,
Brendan

Brendan McLoughlin
Co-Founder
PetrolPrices.com
telephone: 0844 8160025
email: brendan@petrolprices.com

The website he refers to reads:
A group called Transaction 2007 is planning a “nationwide legal protest” this Wednesday.

You might remember the fuel protest of 2000, which initially gathered strong support from motorists. However, that support quickly turned when many motorists were prevented from filling up because of lorry blockades.

PetrolPrices.com expressed to the organisers that they might find public support for another fuel protest providing it was properly planned to be legal and orderly. So far, the Transaction 2007 organisers have been unwilling to confirm to us specifically what action they have planned for this week. When we pressed the group’s spokesman, Chris Hunter, he said, “This will be a numbers game levied against legislation. I can comment no further.”

With fuel breaking well beyond the £1 barrier, PetrolPrices.com has had a huge rise in the number of emails from concerned motorists. People were especially angry following the last fuel duty hike imposed by the Government in October. Despite being made aware of the huge resistance from motorists, the Government pushed ahead with the 2p duty increase, leaving the public frustrated and angry. Over 80,000 people had voted against the tax hike on our blog post.

The protests of 2000 achieved some success in that the fuel duty escalator was frozen. However, it has now resumed and with the rising price of oil motorists are paying ever increasing taxation due to VAT on fuel. Unlike fuel duty, which is fixed, VAT is charged at 17.5%, so for every 1p increase in the price of fuel, we are actually paying an extra 1.175p.

We’d love to hear what you think. How have the tax and oil price rises affected you? Will you be forced to tighten your belt this Christmas as a result?

UPDATE: This morning (10/12/07) Transaction 2007 announced a firm date for the protest. Protests will start Saturday 15th December 2007 at 10:00am. They say the date was decided by members as “the best possible to enable those who would normally be working during the week to attend.” According to a press release on the site, they plan to protest outside refineries or storage depots across the country.

THE COMMENTS

Do log on to the website mentioned in Brendan’s letter as you will get the chance to make comments about the petrol situation on Brendan’s blog and VOTE on do you think the government should have acted before these protests? YES or NO.

In the first hour there were already 75 comments with cab drivers lorry drivers, and the public willing to get behind any protest.

The support is overwhelming for the protest with calls cut the tax with comments –
Very soon I’m not even going to be able to afford to drive to work which will mean no pay….no job no home etc! Where exactly do they get off charging us these prices? Where I live to get public transport to work would cost me over £12 each way just to go by bus…hello?????????

Rising fuel prices add to the cost of virtually everything. Fuel eats into already thinly spread fixed incomes, but the government doesn’t seem to care.

I think you have heard me say this numerous times – it is time to write to your MP not only for fibromyalgia but for fuel tax

We MUST act together and hit the government hard – write to your MP and tell him unless he starts to act on your behalf then you’ll be looking for a new MP – remember that this government was elected and can be elected out…

The government and their taxes are a joke. Gordon Brown needs to improve public transport or lower fuel duty, or he could very well be out of a job come the next general election

I am absolutely disgusted in the Government’s behaviour in handling our taxes and fuel duties. I was part of the protestors at Kingsbury last time but, yes you’ve guessed it, they’re threatening to get the army in if we do it again. I say, LET’S DO IT AGAIN. They can’t arrest all of us if we all stand for the same thing can they? The prison’s are already over-full and can’t cope! It’s about time everyone in this country stood up for themselves. Are we going to let Gordon Brown bully us into submission??

The levels of taxation on fuel here are totally unjustified given the seriously poor public transport as an alternative.

It’s time we acted to show Brown how seriously unhappy we are with this stealth tax

If the government tried living on average wages they would see what a struggle life is already is without this outrageous tax hike!

I can understand why so many British people are now trying to emigrate, and that’s because they are all fed up of being robbed not by criminals but by our own government. I wouldn’t be surprised if we are taxed to breathe next.

Gordon – I’m sure you can save money by not paying so many benefits to lazy people and immigrants!!!

Posted by Peter, 9th December 2007 10:35pm
The reality is that oil is a finite resource, and as there becomes less of it then it will become more expensive. If you choose to live miles from where you work or work miles from where you live then you have to face the costs of your choices. Don’t blame everyone else for the consequences of your own decisions, particularly the government.
Posted by Steve, 9th December 2007 10:39pm
I take it that peter has a good well paid job and can afford to live in a built up area. Blockade now!

Personally I think this was this written by Gordon’s new spin doctor – could it be Alistair C.? If you want to receive e-mails from Brendan about the changeable petrol prices and the cheapest pump near you visit PetrolPrices.com to be added to his address book. It is a great service. If you want a good read – have a go at the blog. I could not get to the end it grew so fast.

I am thinking of getting a horse and cart. I might be late for work every day but I will blame Gordon Brown. He has got broad shoulders. The manure will be good for my rhubarb. I will keep you posted. Talk soon.

Jeanne

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About FMS Global News

Folllowing Rick Usher's death in December 2008, at his request in September of that year, I had agreed, as his principal contributor and an experienced journalist, to run the FMS Global News service due to his heavy commitments to music and raising research funds through this avenue. Following his sad and sudden death I hope to continue his work as he would have wished.
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