Although motorists are panic-buying gasoline, it is the government that is exacerbating the crisis.

 

Right, own up.

Who filled up their gas tank on Saturday, hasn’t used any since, and isn’t planning on driving much this week?

The government has made it clear who is to blame, and it is us. Ministers are correct in some ways. “People are buying gasoline when they don’t need it,” says George Eustice, the Environment Secretary. Panic buying by customers is, obviously, the short-term cause of empty gas stations.

However, this was not a crisis created by motorists or the media in general. It was a foregone conclusion as a result of other decisions and a failure to make decisions. Other contributing factors are conveniently overlooked when blaming motorists:

The government has consistently ignored warnings about the escalating supply chain crisis caused by a shortage of HGV drivers (roughly 100,000). The transportation industry has not been able to overcome the crisis by convincing older drivers to return. During the pandemic, the DVLA backlog for testing new HGV drivers has spiraled out of control, with 40,000 people currently awaiting tests. Last year, approximately 14,000 European lorry drivers left the United Kingdom as a result of Brexit. The lack of roadside toilets and showers is well-known among drivers in this area. When the petrol pump crisis erupted, ministers took to the airwaves without a clear strategy for resolving it… and telling the public not to panic-buy – a message that was sure to send millions out in their cars panic-buying. Over the weekend, No 10 seemed hesitant to enlist the Army’s assistance in fuel deliveries. For months, as more store shelves remained bare, the government remained adamant about luring some of those European lorry drivers back. Despite this, the idea of sovereignty, or the desire for the government of the day to have greater freedom to set its own rules on migration to suit the needs of the time, won Brexit 52-48.

It’s ironic, then, that this government, led by a Brexiteer, has been unable to use all of the levers at its disposal for fear of being humiliated.

I have a clear conscience, but а tаnk on the verge of exploding. I think I’ll be аble to work for аnother two dаys. For а keyboаrd wаrrior like me, this is а problem, if not а disаster, becаuse it mаkes my job in the newsroom more difficult. Mаny cаrers, police officers, medics, teаchers, trаdesmen, infrаstructure workers, аnd others аre running on fumes аnd cаn’t find а plаce to refuel. There is no fuel shortаge in the UK, but try telling thаt to them. @olyduff

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