Friday, 14 January 2011

Public Sector, the state and petrol prices

I'm not sure if I'm filled with rage, or just paracetemol and lactic acid, but I received this email from a colleague who happens to work in the state sector.
Dear All,

Here is an interesting idea to think about (and act upon?)...unless you've already received the same message independently!

Please see what you think and pass it on if you agree with it.

We are hitting £129.9 a litre in some areas now and soon we will be faced with paying £1.50 per litre. So Philip Hollsworth offered this good idea:

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the 'don't buy petrol on a certain day campaign' that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to hurt ourselves by refusing to buy petrol. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work.

Please read it and join in!

Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a litre is CHEAP, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS - not sellers control the market place. With the price of petrol going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of petrol come down is if we hit someone in the pocket by not purchasing their petrol! And we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. Here's the idea:

For the rest of this year DON'T purchase ANY petrol from the two biggest oil companies (which now are one) i.e. ESSO and BP.

If they are not selling any petrol, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact we need to reach literally millions of Esso and BP petrol buyers. It's really simple to do!!

Now, don't wimp out on me at this point... keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!

I am sending this note to a lot of people. If all of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)....and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on. By the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it.....


Again, all YOU have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all (and not buy at ESSO/BP). How long would all that take? If each of us sends this email out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!! Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on.

PLEASE HOLD OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES It's easy to make this happen. Just forward this email, and buy your petrol at Shell, Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Jet etc. i.e. Boycott BP and Esso

I remember when I was young my father would drive a little out of his way to fill up on petrol at a petrol station that was a couple of pence cheaper than the nearest petrol station. I'd question the logic, but he'd costed it out and knew his fuel efficiency, and paying 43.9p per litre ten miles away was better than 45.9p at the petrol station opposite.

These days things have changed, petrol costs £1.30 a litre, most of that money goes to the government, about 80p is fuel duty and VAT.

Bear in mind Esso, BP, Shell, Tesco and all the rest are private sector companies.

I used to be a private sector company, I used to make CDs and sell them. They cost about 50p to make, to print on my desktop printer, and burn on my PC, cos I made so few of them I never paid VAT or any kind of tax.

Imagine if you will, that the government decided to force me to charge a duty and VAT on those CDs so I could no longer sell them for 50p each, but instead had to sell them for £1.30 each. I probably wouldn't have bothered.

Every few years we have a general election, we vote in 665 members of parliament, some of whom make up the government, but those in the government can't do much themselves, they need the vast vast apparatus of the state, thousands of employees, public sector workers following their dictats in order to collect taxes and spend the money. These people are all complicit in raising the price of petrol at the pumps.

And that is what exasperates me right now, that not only does the state artificially push the price of petrol up, but they also complain about the high price and suggest ways to put the companies out of business, to force them to lower their prices.

Ethically, public sector employees who object to high petrol prices should quit their jobs.

Here's another way I look at it. When I spend £1.30 at the petrol pump, I don't get £1.30's worth of petrol, I get 1 litre of petrol plus 80p's worth of government spending on schools, hospitals, European Union bullshit, MPs expenses, antismoking enforcement, Police officers working undercover, benefit payments and so on.

Actually I'd rather just have the petrol I pay for.


  1. any email that contains lots of BLOCK CAPS is clearly viral spam, written by an idiot and best ignored. The price of Brent Crude has risen of late, but it's the VAT and fuel duty which make up main rise.

    We should all petition our MPs to get Cameroon to make good on his election promise of a duty stabiliser, regardless of the Treasury's objections. Otherwise, what's the point of a manifesto?

    Oh, hang on. I see what they've done there.....

  2. Believe it or not, the UK has the lowest unit litre cost of fuel in Europe, it's only the highest due to tax, this has virtually nothing to do with the oil companies.
    Thank you again for covering my story last year (my home was broken into the week before Xmas and they stole all my court paper work ....12 large heavy a4 binders, someone wanted to get the heads up on what we were going to say or dare expose in court, we have made another very detailed video which names names at the very top of the corporations involved in this case, extremely embarrassing.
    Ian Puddick

  3. I quite like having health services and universal education that's free at the point of use, particularly since I had to have a number of major operations as a child, which, along with a decent education, my parents could never have afforded despite having been in continuous full-time employment aside for a year-or-so when my dad was bedridden with Epstein-Barr syndrome. Ditto social housing; it's supply is woefully insufficient, and I don't live in it myself, but since before it my mum's family was reduced to living in barn after their house burn down and, as a child there would have been no other affordable housing in the village in which I grew up, I'm still glad it exists for some people. See also rubbish collection, libraries, law enforcement (generally) and, er, roads, as well taking care of the victims of auto accidents and environmental pollution caused by cars. I was also very glad for the meagre benefits I received when I was unemployed for several months last year as a result of global economic meltdown that had nothing to do with me, which, really, are why I'm able to sit here writing this rather than lying dead in a ditch. If all that required that car drivers to pay a bit more tax to take a journey that probably could have easily been made on foot or public transport, I don't have the slightest bit of sympathy. Boo fucking hoo.

  4. which country do you live in? If you were a council tax payer, you'd have to pay more council tax to get your local authority to deliver on (generally) schools, housing, rubbish, libraries, police and, er, roads. Road tax might for a small part of the central govt grant which funds these services, but ain't no way Cameron/Osborne would waste the additional revenue from the fuel duty escalator on these vital services.

    That's all going on paying off the interest on the deficit which the previous administration ran up.

    And how exactly would you specifically tax the journeys which could be made via (tax-payer subsidised) public transport or foot? If people took up these options, we'd use less petrol so tax revenues would actually go down and you wouldn't get your social nirvana anyway!