27 November 2000
Fuel protest, 9-26 November


Act in unison with hauliers
MAYBE we could combine our efforts by blocking the ports and stopping foreign lorries entering the UK to operate on our roads and undercutting our British hauliers.

At the same time, we could search out all the imports of French beef or other meat products such as udders apparently coming in from Holland to supply meat retailers in the UK.

This surely must be stopped as we are struggling to sell our forequarter beef into our own meat-processing market, which only attracts what must be considered a dumping price of 35p/lb on the bone.

When is the UK government going to change its attitude to us hardworking supporters of the British economy, for all economies are based on their inherent resources which are its people and its land.

Somewhere our leaders – if you can call them that – seem to have forgoten the very essence of a countrys wealth is its loyal subjects.

This is what will keep the public support if we can only maintain this attitude of loyal subjects only wanting what is after all the best for our country both now and in the future – which includes a vibrant and lively rural economy.
Jonathan Parry Williams, Carmarthen
joggy26@hotmail.com


Seconds out …
Gordon Brown had better ready himself for Round 2!
James Parker
JRParker@bicton.ac.uk


No more protests
NO more protest – Haddock is right. Im only disappointed that hes missed the opportunity to help biodiesel.
Willian Cooper
austen_fen1@hotmail.com


Good luck
GOOD luck to the run.
Anne Bradley
anne.bradley@farmersweekly.net


Rethink how to put our message across
THE point has been made and the public are aware of the reasons for the fuel protests. If they are continued, Joe Public will soon get feed up and his support will be lost.

If any form of action is taken, it needs to hit the government and some of its operations without involving the public – something that hurts the Labour politicians, who are out to make things look good before the next general election.

The fuel protests did the Labour government a lot of harm.

To forge closer links with the truckers does not help put over the problems that farmers face. We need better publicity of the plight of farmers, with facts and figure made clear, especially where competing with Europe is concerned.

I hope someone can think up a successful plan to make this government listen and act.
John Nye
j.nye@farmersweekly.net


Dont play into their hands
NO blockades – because we will play into the governments hands.

By going back to the refineries now, without the element of surprise, we will enter into a confrontation with government that we cant win without losing public support, and will only benefit New Labour in a run-up to an election.

The smart move is to walk away for a while and try something else.
Peter Delbridge, Twitchen, Devon
delbridge@talk21.com


Springs too late
IT will be too late by Spring.

Protest now – we cannot “pass on” our extra fuel costs (or am I missing out somewhere?). Sit on your backsides much longer and half of us will be out of business by the time of a change of government.

They must want that, but do you? I know that fuel costs are only a small part of our problems, but lets face it, at least it has galvanised us into some sort of action.

Get on your tractors and show some fight!
Swinburn
stablesfarm@farmersweekly.net


Wait until spring
BLOCKADES?

Yes, but not at the moment. Do it next spring in line with the Countryside March, then you will bring everyone together.
J&P Wright, Brettenham, Norfolk
jandp.wright@farmline.com


No blockades
NO blockades – that would be certain to alienate the general public.
Albert Watson, Kintore, Aberdeenshire
afwatson@talk21.com


More protests
I AM in favour of more protests if there is no cut in fuel tax.
Glyn Buckley
glynbuc@farmersweekly.net


Take the protest to the politicians
I FEEL very strongly that a second fuel protest must be made.

We only run one small lorry which delivers our produce all around the national wholesale markets and some of the multiples.

This one vehicle costs us now about 7000 extra to run, and our ex-farm price for our produce has come down rather than increased.

One can fill up vehicles in Belgium for just over half of what it costs here – a crazy situation. We must protest again, but in an imaginative way, and not necessarily at the fuel depots or the supply depots of the multiples only.

The protest should be taken to the politicians rather than the public. We need the public on our side, just like last time.
Margot Bateman
orieltonmill@farmersweekly.net


Who should pay for what in tax?
I BELIEVE that the NHS, schools, pensions etc are for everyone in equal measure and therefore should be funded out of income tax rather than making fuel users (and more particularly those living in rural areas) pay for them.

However, fuel users should pay for transport etc. Therefore the protest should concentrate on making the tax system fairer to those who pay.

No one is questioning the requirement for the funds to supply the welfare state; they are questioning the fairness of taxing one unrelated group to fund benefits for everybody.

Therefore, rather than risk loss of public support amid comments that fuel protesters are not representative of the general public, a loud call for a general election as soon as possible would seem to me to be a much more sensible way forward.
Philip Gorringe, Blakemere, Herefordshire
philip.gorringe@farmersweekly.net


Nothing to lose
THERE is nothing to lose. Cereal drying costs, heating costs, car and farm fuel costs are all up – where will it end?

Carry on with a blockade.
Sylvester T Campbell, Cairntradlin, Aberdeenshire
stctradlin@aol.com


Kick the Labour government in the teeth!
THE labour government claim to be a listening party – what total crap!

Why are they so determined to put genuinely hardworking people – farmers and hauliers – out of business and on the dole queue?.

I am a degree student studying for a BSc in crop management at Harper Adams. With the current employment situation, when I graduate next year I will be forced to join the dole queue because of the current crisis in agriculture, thanks to Tony Blair and his cronies at Number 10.

I totally support all fuel protests and I think that stronger action will be called for this time.

Farmers and hauliers should stand together and unite in forcing the government to reduce fuel taxes. They can certainly afford to do it with a 10 billion surplus in the Treasurys coffers.

I will be among the protestors and the protest should continue untill the government wakes up and reduces fuel taxes!
Joshua Larcombe, Duddon, Cheshire
joshua.larcombe@tinyworld.co.uk