Friday, 30 March 2012

It's not just the media...

Since my previous post on what I felt was irresponsible reporting of the recent fuel crisis, I feel I should add in the sake of fairness, that while the media could have covered the story better, one could argue it was the spectacularly ill-advised and ill-informed comments by politicians that sparked the 'panic-buying' in the first place.

My sense is that those involved in the fuel supply business and emergency planning in general are not best-pleased with the pronouncements put out by politicians like the Cabinet Minster Franics Maude, telling people to stockpile petrol in Jerry cans. Or as an anonymous contact involved in emergency planning delicately put it;

“Francis Maude is not only monumentally stupid by telling people to buy highly volatile liquid and store it in their homes at a time when the fire engines may be short of petrol to respond to the resulting fire, but is also encouraging them to break the law, as Jerry cans hold 20lt and the legal limit of fuel you can store at home is 10lt split between two 5lt plastic containers.”

On a more serious note, a woman from York is now seriously ill in hospital with 40% burns after trying to decant petrol in her kitchen, and the fumes ignited from a flame from the cooker;

So politicians need to be very careful what they say when they offer 'advice' on how to deal with possible fuel shortages, and think of public safety rather than any possible ulterior political motives, such as trying to undermine the proposed industrial action by tanker drivers (which were today ruled out over Easter in any case).

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