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Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Fuel Tax Protests

With regards to the planned go-slow and protests about the current price of petrol and diesel, my stance is; I support the protestors’ actions. Er hang on, some of you might say; you Bill Sticker, having publicly stated your position re law enforcement coming down hard on the side of the powers that be. Is not a little hypocrisy creeping into your high moral stance, hmm?

Not so, I respond. While the rules are the rules with regard to double yellows etc, there is room for legitimate protest. I sympathise with the fuel tax protestors because the fuel tax ‘escalator’ and recent EU rule changes gives overseas competitors an unfair advantage.

As far as I am aware, the EU rule change allows heavy goods vehicles up to 44 tonnes upon the public highways of this country, an increase of 12 tonnes on the previous weight limit. Bigger trucks have bigger fuel tanks, these bigger trucks fuel up in, say France, and have enough juice to pootle around Britain for a working week, and not have to refuel until back in a country where diesel is much cheaper, thus allowing these operators to undercut UK hauliers.

The purpose of the fuel tax ‘escalator’ was supposed to discourage excessive vehicle use and reduce congestion. Not unsurprisingly, this has not happened. All it has done is push the cost of travel by road skywards without apparent benefit. Out on the streets we see more big silly gas guzzling 4x4’s, more single occupant vehicles and no reduction in congestion. So the ‘tax ‘em off the road’ strategy is proven to be a failure and should be reversed, only funnily enough it can’t because all the cash thus ripped off the British public has been chucked down one of Gordon Brown’s gaping financial black holes. Oh yes, before anyone drags out the tired old argument “The Tories started it” – In that case, if the current New Labour administration is so good and wise – Why don’t they stop it? Because they dare not, cannot and will not.

Quote of the day

Talking to one of my older neighbours today while out walking the dog first thing this morning. We chatted about the pre election news and the blatant duplicity of politicians. Just before we parted to walk our respective dogs home he vouchsafed; “Politicians are like Bananas, they start out green, turn yellow, and there’s not one of ‘em straight.”

Put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Says it all really.


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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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