Thursday, 5 June 2008


This protest by bikers in Northern England against rising fuel costs is totally nonsensical. Were they stoned when they came up with that? Just some of the reasons why:

a) If the fuel is really too expensive, how do they justify buying it in order to stage the protest?

b) The protest conveys their message to ...who? The motorists legitimately using the motorways to travel between work and home who have their journeys lengthened (meanwhile burning through more fuel while sitting in queues)? Or perhaps the fuel sellers in the region who probably smiled happily as hundreds of motorcyclists bought their fuel?

c) A litre of fuel costs only slightly more than a similar amount of milk or spring water in the UK. For something that actively damages the environment and that people should regard as a privilege to use, I don't consider that to be expensive.

I know this could be said about any number of protests, and it's true that you need to do some headline-grabbing to make your cause known, but (in all seriousness) how about blockading ExxonMobil HQ with their bikes instead? Or perhaps the Houses of Parliament? Local MP's offices? At least that would have a tangible impact on organisations that contribute to, and profit from, the "problem".

Maybe I'm missing something. Please comment if you think I am.

More disturbingly, it doesn't end there - according to the last paragraph of the Times article, a national protest for all vehicles is being organised via Facebook for June 22. I can't find the particular Facebook group, so I can't determine the level of interest. However, there are a lot of small groups with exclamation-point riddled names which seem to regard cheap petrol as a god-given right. For somewhere as small as the UK, with a reliable, far-reaching train network, there's no reason it should be.

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