25 September 2000
Fuel protests – your comments

Ode to Blair
Look whos hiding in his lair
The one and only Tony Blair.
Sitting in his Downing Street den
When along comes Trevor (late of News at Ten).
He said 94% of the people think youre wrong
So you had better listen to us before too long.
Look out, PM, the truck-drivers are coming round
Wheres Tony Blair? – hes gone to ground.
Penny Rendle, Burton, Dorset
pennyrendle@hotmail.com

You aint seen nothing yet
AS “new oil” is being discovered at approximately one-quarter of the rate in which we are using “already discovered” oil, it may be that, in the next 20 years or so, that we will have to pay much greater transport costs than now, or go back to the bicycle and horse and cart.
Frank Munns, New Zealand
fcmunns@xtra.co.nz

Now get rid of Blair
CONGRATULATIONS to Farmers for Action and the hauliers for conducting an efficient and very effective campaign against the obscene amount of tax imposed our fuels.

I have no doubt that it will have the desired effect in the long term, and if it also has reduced the popularity of Blair and his champagne socialists, so much the better!

Who knows, the demonstration might not only get rid of this iniquitous tax, but may perhaps cause the Reds to lose the next election – yippee!
Dick Lindley, Altofts, West Yorkshire
dicklindley@birkwood.fsbusiness.co.uk

Make the government listen
IT is time to move the action and tactics.

The general public are sick to death of high taxes, and Blairs arrogance and lies. It is time to move the blockades from the fuel depots and set them up outside Parliament and Downing Street.

This socialist government must be made to listen to the people.

Tony Blair says we live in a democracy; he has shown in one short week what a load of rubbish that is.
Chris Lindley, Swords, Dublin
Chrislindley@hotmail.com

Misjudgement by Blair
I AM not a farmer but a retired firefighter.

I support fully the action taken by our farmers and truckers. Blair badly misjudged the whole situation, and will pay the price later on.

It is doubtful, however, if he will lower the tax level, and I am sure the protesters and pickets will have to come out again.

However, this is only one issue giving concern to our farmers, and our government should look at all the issues and and come to some resolutions.

I wonder, how long it will be before a farm goes out business and a Frenchman or Belgian jumps in, and because of a political loophole is able to make it pay.

I hope that never happens.
John Black, Kennington, Oxfordshire
jblack193@netscapeonline.co.uk

Red diesel concession open to abuse
THE offer to be able to use red diesel in road vehicles is ludicrous.

Who will be honest enough to admit how much red fuel they have used? The system is totally unworkable,and open to monumental abuse.
Gordon Ashcroft, Yelling, Cambridgeshire
Nearcast.Ltd@farmline.com

Protesters quit at the right time
THE decision to stop the protests now was timed just right.

To continue would have played into Blairs hands and given him support to break farming. I have already met people who are saying that they will boycott British food.

The first bankruptcy, or worse death, that could be attributed to the protests would have finished the publics sympathy. Stopping now is just right – it can always return!

Keep the pressure on Blair, not on ordinary people.
David Logan, Broad Oak, East Sussex
davidlogan@btinternet.com

Its not just about fuel
THE petrol protest is not just about fuel prices; it is as much a result of the government not listening to farmers, hauliers or anyone else.

If it takes more disruption to make them listen, then let us get on with it.
Fred Henley, Seaton Ross, East Riding of Yorkshire
hrf1@farmersweekly.net

Lower duty would mean higher prices
I CANNOT understand why farmers generally should be pressing for a reduction in petroleum duty.

Can you explain to me why a straight reduction in petroleum duty of, say, 10ppl will not lead to an increase in demand, intensifying the fuel shortage and contributing to the pressure to increase crude oil prices even further.

So the result will inevitably mean, in my example, the price at the pumps reducing by less than 10p and an increase in the price of red diesel.

I did not think this was what farmers were wanting. Their interests are quite different from the general public and farmers taking a leading part in the protests seem to be misguided.
John Sparks, Market Harborough, Leicestershire
john@congreve.com

High prices hit us all
WHY can`t the goverment see!

High fuel prices affect not only hauliers and farmers but every consumer in the country.

The only difference is that while other industries are able to pass these costs on, we are stuck with them, as the firms we sell to or haul for are only interested in maintaining their own margins,leaving us with the loss.

When these costs do hit the economy instead of our accounts, Mr Blairs low inflation rate will go through the roof, leading to high interest rates which will be no use to anyone, especally in the agriculture and haulage industries.

(Of course this is what Mr Blair would want so he could say the Euro would lead to lower interest rates).

Fuel Tax Rebates would be the answer, linked to type of business, with private fuel adjustments made in accordance to postcode,current tax code and increased levels aimed at second home owners in the countryside.

By the way, the fuel demos were a credit to the people who carried them out. For the government to say they were violent and intimidating was a total insult, when compared to the Mayday Anti-capitalist march.
Glyn Long
glyn.longandmarsh@farmersweekly.net