Farmers divided over fuel protests
by FWi staff
FARMERS and other people with farming interests are divided over whether blockades should continue across Britain in protest at high fuel prices.
Most readers e-mailing FWi with views on the protests were supportive. But others voiced fears that the demonstrations could alienate the public.
Protestors on Wednesday (13 September) said they were determined to continue demonstrations despite signs that a trickle of fuel was reaching garages
Brynle Williams, leader of Welsh farmers at Stanlow where the protests began last week, is reported to have conceded the blockade was over.
But David Handley, chairman of the Farmers For Action group which has spearheaded the action, insisted blockades would continue.
Don Tomkinson e-mailed FWi to say: I hope that the action of these men prepared to stand up and represent us all is recognised by the government.
But Richard Stow said: We dont pay tax on red diesel, and I fear it has just drawn public attention to this generous position which we enjoy.
The National Farmers Union of England and Wales has refused to back the protests, fearing that its assets could be seized if it is involved in illegal action.
But the Farmers Union of Wales and the National Farmers Union of Scotland have both been supportive. Police say that protests have been within the law.
Scroll down to read a full list of responses received by 11am on Wednesday.
Yes Yes Yes!
[The protests should continue] for as long as it takes. Blair should be made to realise the people who had the power to make him also have the power to break him.
Short term hindrance for long term gain.
Protests are self-centred
A self-centered and short term response which bodes ill for any hope of reconciliation. Already supported by the public to an extent not generally made explicit – what right have less than 2% of the population ( farmers) to demand yet more!
Farmers get cheap fuel anyway
I can not understand what the protests have to do with farmers, as we dont pay tax on red diesel, and I fear it has just drawn public attention to this generous position which we enjoy.
I do not think other EU farmers enjoy this benefit, although I stand to be corrected.
Protestors deserve support
I would like to register my support for the direct action being taken by farmers and others in related employment against the excessive taxation on fuel.
I hope that the action of these men prepared to stand up and represent us all is recognised by the government.
Well done to those men !!!!
Heart says dump the milk
I am dairy farmer. My bank overdraft says [I should] get milk away in short term. My heart is saying that if I want my family to survive in long term, dump the milk. I will dump the milk happily if this keeps up. Good on you all,
Point has been made
While I wholly support the action that has been so effectively taken, the support that is presently manifest from 90% of the population will evaporate as quickly as the petrol if disruption continues for more than a few days. I believe that the point has been made and that the Government has been severely jolted. There is an election looming and I, and I hope most others, will leave them in no doubt that my vote will be cast elsewhere unless they take notice and do something to reduce the fuel price.
In the meantime, lobby your MP, MEP and Ministers to take action. We, the people, defeated the poll tax. Let us also democratically ensure that the price of fuel is reduced.
Step up the protests
Yes, continue but more intently
Tom Barron Ltd
Ending protests no loss of face
There is every justification for this action but care must be taken not to cut off our noses to spite faces by losing the public confidence there has been until now. People must have their emergency services fully operational, they must have their basic foods and also, extremely importantly, our livestock must be fed and properly cared for.
There would be no loss of face to stop blockades now for the good of the whole country just reminding Mr Blair that action could be taken again if the government does not respond within a time limit.
Rosemary Jones, Carmarthen
Continue for another day
We feel another 24 hours of protest are needed to make a point without alienating the public and causing [animal] welfare problems. Blair is probably not going to break but it should have lost him any support for the future.
Blair out of step with country
While I can only be concerned about animal welfare issues, it seems that the whole of the country is in support of each other in relation to the fuel crisis. The government and the police seem to be the only people at odds with the rest of us. I think this peaceful protest, which is what it is, should continue until the price of fuel, or the government, comes down.
It is about time this government came to realise the concerns of the rest of the country about the way things are going. Today I had cause to dial 999 for assistance with a seriously injured man we found wandering in the road in a rural area (Cornwall) no-one answered the telephone !!! Luckily my husband was attending first aid to the poor man, who had apparently fallen a great height from a ladder. The government can no longer even offer us a satisfactory emergency service, in the end the Air Ambulance was called which is of course only funded by donations from the public.
The government seem to be making a huge play of telling us how awful it is that this action may affect the emergency services but in fact they are the only people who have destroyed them. The ordinary member of the public are FULLY in support of this action and happy for it to continue until the government see sense.
Giving up is waste of time
The protests should definitely continue. It is only now (Tuesday 12 September) that the government is beginning to see a problem. If [the protestors give up] now then the past week has been a waste of time!
All the delivery drivers that have visited our farm in the last few days have said that the protests are something that needs to happen and they all supported the protesters. Besides, what other choice have we got ? Nothing else we do ever seems to get any reaction.
I wonder what the response would be if the protests had happened just before a general election.
Force conclusion soon
It is better to protest now and force a conclusion as soon as possible while the public agree that prices are too high. Tony Blair has listened at last. I hope he can find a way to reduce fuel prices that is not too embarrassing for him!
Government is mean and greedy
So this problem is not the Governments fault, but the fault of OPEC, according to Blair and his friends. Can anybody tell me why our fuel is double that of most other European countries?
We have no electric and have our own diesel generator (not out of choice!!!). Last year at 16p per litre it was costing us 3.20 per day in fuel. At 1168 per year now at 25p per litre it is 5.00 per day .
Thats just the generator. Then theres the tractors and the vehicles. So all in its costing us thousands more per year just because this Government is so mean and greedy. Any farmer who voted Labour at the last election wants his/her ass kicked!!!!
Continue protests despite shortage
Yes, it should continue. I have two days worth of fuel left!
Back the protestors
We have a 300 beef fattening unit and run plant hire and our own haulage lorry. We total back the protestors all the way. If this country goes down the way it is going there will be no small business left.
Nothing to lose
Dont give up now. We have nothing to lose.
NFU should not get involved
The NFU should have nothing to do with this action.
As a dairy farmer, I am concerned that the milk tanker may not be able to collect my milk, but, if petrol prices keep rising I wont be able to afford to run my car!!
I am prepared to put up with the situation to make this arrogant shower of a Government listen.
Keep them going
Expand. Yes but on a larger scale.
Frank Leeming (Director), Tom Barron Ltd
Keen for more action going
I am very keen for this action by farmers, truckers, fishermen and their supporters to continue for about 3 weeks.
There are too many Businesss that are being reduced to ruin by this Urban Government and as a result the Businesss are no longer viable. Tony Blairs Government has no idea about managing a Business, the majority of New Labour MPs are ex Teachers, Social Workers, and of course Barristers, without an iota of business experience in their little heads.
Blair needs to realise that the run up to the next Election will be a winter of discontent. Hopefully this Fuel Blockade will bring Blair to his knees.
What a stupid question!
If we give up now the government will go hell for leather to kill off farming once and for all.
Its absolutely critical that we do not back down until the government realise that we are not a bunch of country yokels on a mission. The nation is behind us on this one – something that we did not fully expect .
Only 18 mths ago petrol was 63p/l. We now pay this much in TAX!! I filled my van up last night, it cost me 49. Over 37 pounds of this was paid to MR BLAIR!!!!!!
We must be mad for putting up with it for so long.
Andrew Cooke, dairy farmer
What do you think to these views? Should the protests continue? Click here to have your say. Responses will be published on FWi.