9 November 2000
Fuel protest – 7-9 November, 2000


Whos wrong, Bill?
BILL CHRYSTAL obviously thinks anyone who does not agree with him is wrong.

Most of the articles in the Farmers Weekly are about farmers or come from farmers, so how does he think the FW is not listening.

Does he honestly believe every article will please him?
Andrew Hawkins, Simonsbath, Somerset
hawkins@warendrive.fsnet.co.uk


Talk to the farmers
ITS high time your farmers paper started to help and talk with farmers, and learn the truth and tell this useless government like it is. Otherwise the farmers will stop reading your rubbish and leave like they have done to the NFU.
Bill Chrystal, Wingate, Co Durham
bill@billchrystal.freeserve.co.uk


Short, sharp – and in London
ANY further action should take place in London, preferably around Westminster and should be sudden and short.

I have spent most of my life working in African countries and the present govt acts more and more like the governments over there. Isnt the best form of government to be seen and not heard?

As in African countries we are now getting too much inequality, which leads to instability.

Mr B and Co cannot be allowed to get away with the spin.
Tim Roberts
robtiml@cs.com


We cant afford another protest
THERE are others to think of in the matter of the fuel problem.

No one – and I mean no one – is happy about the way this excuse for a country is run, but if the threatened protest goes ahead (again) people will suffer.

There are so many small businesspersons like myself out there who simply cannot afford a repeat of Septembers crisis.

I will never regain the money I lost through the actions of others, but I willingly accept that as I was on their side and am relatively grateful that someone has stood up to the corruption which is our government..

However, an election is not so far away and we have all made ourselves heard. Our present government is made up of hard-nosed individuals who must go – and they will, but to damage the massive amount of small retailers like myself this side of Christmas is unthinkable – the consequences are huge and I for one am worried sick.

Please take it out on those responsible and be responsible yourselves – its like me blockading a farm for a week or so and expecting them to like it or lump it.
PW Marsh
PWM64@tinyworld.co.uk


Keep it up
I SUPPORT the fuel lobby – do not give in.
F Hodgkin
fhodgkin@farmersweekly.net


Its time to stop
NO more protests – the point has been made.
Michael Widen
michael.widen@pop3.hiway.co.uk


Dump sheep on the streets
MAY I suggest you off-load a dozen sheep on every street corner of the centre of London.

If the government want to impound the tools of the protesters i.e their lorries and licences, then let them impound the sheep and then find a farmer to look after them and feed them.

This way they may find that there is actually a difference between sheep and people.

All the best to any action you should decide on. Many people out here are still rooting for you.
Jadz and Jo Lenart, Penwortham, Lancashire
lenart@tesco.net


Theyre not listening
YES, we think the protest should carry on – after all the government isnt listening.
Jennie and Steve Andrews, Cheltenham
steve-jen@farmersweekly.net


Government should respond to oil market
SHOULD there be another round of protests? Yes. Why?

  • In a democratic society one would hope that when a tax regime is clearly out of kilter with its original conception, i.e oil at $15 a barrel, or whatever, as against the present levels, the tax regime should be altered.


  • Oil company profits remain astronomic and they should also be subject to a changed tax regime which should fund fuel duty cuts at the pumps.


  • Kerosene and red diesel have doubled in base price in the last year – doesnt Ben Gill know this? Have these products been “loaded” to reduce increases of road diesel and petrol prices?


  • Governments are elected to care for the all aspects of national life – this government will not get a second chance at the next election. Unfortunately, though, the civil servants who advise it will still be in place to sway the new government.

Richard G Iliffe
poolefarming@countryside-inter.net


Give it the full 60 days
I THINK nothing should be done before the 60 days are up.

I also think that rather than one concentrated effort, the tactic should be a steady stream of actions. None so big as to discomfort the public – because they will be our greatest ally – but sufficient to keep the protest in the publics awareness.

This should continue right up to the General Election if necessary.

The point we should keep hammering home is the difference in price that we have to pay compared with other Europeans. It is also worth pointing out that in the USA – which is enjoying very prosperous times – fuel prices are lower still.

Dont let us get involved with politics, just keep hammering home the price discrepancies and the effect these are having on UK plc.
Marcus Findlay, Dunbar, East Lothian
marcus@littlespott.net


Wait until later
THE Government is organised to resist another fuel blockade, so will it have the intended effect?

Will it have public support?

Initailly I think everyone should wait and discuss the problem and then hit them hard with possibly something else – a lorry drivers or hauliers strike, possibly at the start of the new year when all stocks are low.

Whatever action is taken, it must be at least as effective and hopefully better than the last very good protest.
Peter Lawson, Ixworth, Suffolk
bridgemount@farmline.com


Think tactics – is the time right?
THE point has been made, but I believe further direct action may be desirable.

I think that in the present circumstances we must wait to see what is announced in the budget statement next week. If that is not acceptable I do not believe an imediate blockade is desirable if only to show how reasonable we (farmers) all are.

The press then need to see us offer further negociation.

This will inevitably fail, at which point resonable and patient men will be seen taking direct action on the week following.

In September the action was for just long enough and I would not want to see a new period of direct action extented.

From a PR point of view, any action must not have an adverse effect over Christmas and the New year.

I do not believe the public will back disruption over this period. There must be no action after the end of November.

Mid January/February (weather conditions permtting) is the next available window for action. Action during a hard winter will not gain public backing.

Sadly I cannot condone any action that will break our disgraceful laws which prevent public protest.
Gerald Duke
geraldduke@mail.usa.com


Cause havoc
THE government seems to be creating its own crisis.

Every time a minister says “do not panic”, more rush out to the pumps. If another protest occurs, I will support it not because I am a farmer, but because I believe it is wrong to highly tax what is now an essential item.

Indirect taxes must be targeted at things people can easily do without. Everone is affected directly or indirectly by the price of fuel.
No name supplied
hrfl@farmersweekly.net


Cause havoc
I THINK that the protesters should stick to their deadline and cause havoc for the government.
Sam Chambers, Sexeys School, Somerset
sschambers@sexeys.somerset.sch.uk

More responses – before 7 November, 2000