Armed Forces on standby to beat fuel tax protesters

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, May 14, 2004.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

  2. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    Obviously they don't like peaceful demonstrations of dissent!

  3. msr,

    can you copy the Times story onto the thread. Being a tight wad, I am not signing up to read the paper but would like to know the story.
  4. Here y'go.

    Armed Forces on standby to beat fuel tax protesters
    By Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent

    Talks today on secret plan as New York oil prices near record levels.
    THE Government has drawn up secret plans to prevent a repeat of the 2000 fuel revolt as oil prices reach record highs. Emergency powers will be used to detain protesters and the Armed Forces will be sent in to maintain supplies.
    Ringleaders of the protests that brought the country to a halt four years ago have given warning of a new campaign to disrupt supplies unless Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, cancels a planned rise in fuel duty due in September.

    Contingency plans will be discussed today at a meeting at the Department of Trade and Industry attended by intelligence officials, key government departments and fuel industry representatives. They will be told of industry predictions that the record oil prices could force up the price of petrol close to 90p a litre by next month, well above the level that triggered the protests in 2000. Oil traded in New York at $41.10 last night, 5 cents short of its record price.

    Oil prices have risen more than 25 per cent since the start of the year because of the rapid increase in energy consumption among industrialised nations and explosive economic growth in China. The risk of possible terrorist disruption to supplies has also influenced the market.

    The contingency plans include invoking emergency powers to break blockades of oil refineries by removing anyone occupying access roads. Tankers will be commandeered and driven by the Armed Forces. The intelligence services have compiled dossiers on 200 key people who took part in protests and are monitoring their activities.

    In the event of shortages, essential users, including emergency services, health workers and supermarket supply chains, will be given priority. Ministers are determined to avoid a repeat of panic-buying of food, in which supermarket shelves were emptied.

    The strategy for controlling fuel purchases by motorists has changed after the failure of the rationing system used last time. Drivers managed to circumvent the £10 maximum rule introduced at most filling stations by repeatedly queueing on different forecourts.

    During any future protest, retailers will be ordered to set a minimum purchase of £35-£40 so that only cars with almost empty tanks attempt to buy fuel. People will be prevented from filling spare cans.

    A source involved in drawing up the contingency plans said: “The key objective is to take control from the beginning of any protest rather than, like last time, allowing it to creep up on us. We have to act before panic sets in and causes a national emergency.”

    Fuel shortages took hold quickly in 2000 as panic- buying drained supplies. The blockades were called off after the Government agreed to talk to the haulage industry about cutting road taxes.

    Brynle Williams, a North Wales farmer who became a Conservative member of the Welsh Assembly after helping to organise the action, said that new protests were a “distinct possibility”.

    David Handley, the chairman of Farmers for Action and another ringleader, said that the trigger for action would be the planned duty increase of 1.9p per litre. He said that if the Chancellor suspended the increase it would help to moderate anger over fuel taxes, which represent almost three quarters of the petrol pump price.

    “If he doesn’t listen to us then I can see a reaction taking place that will be just as serious as in September 2000,” Mr Handley said. He refused to comment on how protesters would seek to overcome the contingency measures, but added: “There is more than one way to skin a cat.”

    Ray Holloway, of the Petrol Retailers Association, said that petrol prices would rise sharply in the coming weeks if the price of crude oil remained above $40 a barrel.

    “There are implications for pump prices about a month ahead. You’re looking at a rise of 6-7p.” He added that the average price now was 81p per litre. “The protest price in 2000 was 80p a litre — that’s 85p today with inflation.”

    Oil industry analysts said that the current high prices could become permanent unless they fell back below the $40 per barrel psychological threshold in the next few days. A report from Barclays Capital bank said: “The psychology of the market might change dramatically were prices to stay above $40 for a week or two. If prices are still above $40 in a month, we would not be surprised to see them stay above that level for the rest of the year. Indeed, if $40 sticks then $50 becomes threatened.”

    The Department of Trade and Industry said that today’s meeting had been planned months ago. “It is part of an ongoing programme to make sure that our contingency plans are as robust as can be. It is a table-top exercise looking at what we can do if there is disruption to oil supplies.”

    It seems to me the govt does not like the people of this country to be able to voice their opinions against them!
  5. Given that the government looks likely to have squaddies doing the plods' work, isn't it reasonable that they should be payed the same when doing that job? A constable earns £30,186.
  6. Gizzardtoo , I think it's a freebie.
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The problem here is not really the price of oil, it's the insane amount of tax collected by the Scottish Thief so that the Dear Leader can waste yet more money on dead-end policies.

    The way to stop protests would be for the government to cancel the next planned rise in fuel duty and announce a temporary reduction in fuel duty to prevent prices at the pump going above a preset level.

    Instead, New Labour, the party of the people, will act in a heavy handed way, and increase the overstretch already being suffered by both the police and the armed forces. This will, of course, cost a huge amount of money. Other costs will include confidence in the police (already stressed due to NL's speed camera policies and failure to deal with crime), being further eroded and worse retention in the armed forces.

    I predict that CDS' spine will be elastic enough for him to be still in line for his peerage etc.

    The only bright point is that it will be a further nail in New Labour's coffin.
  8. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    If it was the price of oil why are the spams paying $1.90 a gallon (about £1.10) to our £0.82 a litre? Even allowing for economies of scale of production, volume turnover etc, that's still more than 3 times less than us in comparison. Over £0.67 goes to the tax man for every litre of fuel we buy. For what? The roads are sh1te and we pay a road fund licence that has gone up again to further bolster the coffers for an infrastructure that fails. The only time I manage to get an easy jounrey on the motorway is when I pay £2 for the M6 Toll, and even then it's crawling with traffic police with nothng better to do that trap mostorists who they think can afford the fines because they pay for the privilidge of using a road my car tax already paid for once over!

    Thieving Scotts tw@t!
  9. According to a recent poll of European states, the UK spend the least amount out of the revenue collect from its Road Fund Tax, a mere 5%. What is the rest used for? Not giving us a decent raise and proping up the welfare state.
  10. You are all being ripped off pure and simple - Litre of unleaded (91 octane) here in NZ has just shot up to $NZ1.20 -having hung around the $1.10 mark for the past year. $NZ1.20 is about 40p.

    Little wonder the prolitatiat are getting upperty!!
  11. it really is getting ridiculous the price of petrol. If old GB still goes ahead with the rise in duty on fuel then that will really scupper New Labours dream of a third term in office.

    And I say about bloody time as well. :twisted:
  12. 85 bloody pence for a litre of diesel!!!! is this how were paying for a craply thought out invasion of a country that was no immeadiate threat to us?

    Dear Maggie,
    please come back and save our country.

  13. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    It's just one way of paying. As a serviceman, Thieving Gordon will make you pay extra for his failure to budget for the war properly, by making more and more cutbacks.
  14. Price this morning is $42.00 a barrel on North Sea Crude. Now let's see, how much of that goes to the Evil Exchequer?

    Answer , a damn sight more then when it was $22.00 a Barrel.

    Do you get the picture yet?
  15. Unfortunately yes, I do get the picture. At this price of oil he can afford to cut the tax on it and still be quids up.

    But knowing the tight tw*t, don't hold your breathe :evil: