Mark Twain wrote: ”Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform” – Notebook, 1904. So if you found yourself at the back of a mile long queue for petrol this week surely it was time to “reform” your thinking, do the opposite to the “majority” and go home.
Transport minister Mike Penning admitted that Mr Maude had made a “mistake” after he advised people to store petrol. However, he insisted that “Mr Maude was right to advise drivers to keep their petrol tanks full as the seven days’ notice the union is required to give before going on strike would leave little time to prepare”.
“Little time to prepare”! What planet do these people live on? When the country is behaving to normal petrol buying patterns we generally need less than a few minutes to prepare to go and get fuel. In fact many of us don’t even need that, we fill up when we see a petrol station on the way home or maybe when we need something else – like my need for milk the other night!
The Government has had a self-inflcted two weeks from hell. I cannot believe anyone in authority was that misguided or could have so little grasp on the reality of the possible outcome of announcing the new Government policy: do not panic outright, just panic on a regular basis. The instruction to keep your tank full had so many more repercussions than just the tricky business of deciding when you consider it to be the time to refill to full. Think about this – because the Government clearly didn’t – everyone was told to go fill their tank, now calculate the number of cars, the number of petrol stations and the number of hours in a day, and it is a shock that queues of ten miles long weren’t cropping up all over the place. We could have had true meltdown, but instead we had a mini meltdown that still resulted in an untold number of additional trips made to the end of queues where people sat burning more emissions than we could have done with – good to see that joined up thinking kicking in with DECC’s carbon reduction targets.
OH but now there might not be a strike! Absolute genius.
Mark Twain also created something called Opposite Day…probably when he saw a queue of people forming for almost zero apparent reason and he ran in the other direction.
Note to people that queue: don’t…note to self: order milk from the milkman.