Convoy – damp squib or sad victory?

15 November 2000

Convoy – damp squib or ‘sad’ victory?

By FWi staff

NEWSPAPERS are divided on the effectiveness of the convoy of farmers and haulier who descended on London on Tuesday (14 November) in protest at fuel taxes.

The Daily Express calls the gathering of 400 vehicles “a damp squib” after predictions of 500,000 people, and says the Government concessions divided support.

Demonstrations in Hyde Park were upstaged by the Chancellor revealing details of concessions to hauliers, claims The Independent.

It says the protest was “a spirited but low-key gathering by a coalition of hauliers, farmers, motorists and bemused onlookers and tourists.”

In its editorial the newspaper “sadly” concedes that as their earlier action wrung Government concessions, demonstrators can claim victory.

The Independent is unimpressed by the pledge by departing Peoples Fuel Lobby leader David Handleys that the fight goes on.

“I may be stepping aside but that does not mean the PFL is going away. Were taking a break for a couple of weeks,” said Mr Handley.

But The Independent insists: “They must forget their Wat Tyler fantasies and return to their depots, ”

More sympathetic coverage comes from The Daily Telegraph which says the convoy received “an emotional welcome” from London supporters.

The newspaper also reports that 80 vehicles disrupted traffic in Edinburgh, but that the turnout was lower than the 300-strong convoy two months ago.

The Financial Times suggests that demonstrators will now lobby MPs and seek a big turnout for the Countryside Alliance rally in March.

The Times laments that times have changed since the “heady late summer madness” of the September fuel protest.

“There has been biblical flooding, a mini-budget and madness in Washington. The public has moved on. It does not seem fair somehow.”

The same newspaper reports that the Peoples Fuel Lobby may sue police, who they believe may have tried to block their protest.

  • Fuel protests – news update
  • Daily Mail 15/11/2000 page 11
  • Daily Express 15/11/2000 page 16
  • The Independent 15/11/2000 page 1,2 and Review page 3
  • Financial Times 15/11/2000 page
  • The Daily Telegraph 15/11/2000 page 4 and 29
  • The Guardian 15/11/2000 page 2
  • The Times 15/11/2000 page 1, 4 and 23

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