COMMENT & ANALYSIS; Politics, Comment and Analysis, Edited
Byline: Tryst Williams
SO, in the great Fuel-Non-Shortage of 2012, were you Team Panic or Team Stoic? Were you one of those who queued to squeeze the final drops from the local petrol station? Or did you scorn ministerial advice to fill up, opting instead to cruise in neutral down every hill, with one eye on the petrol gauge? Today, we're told Western Civilisation as we know it is not ending; there will not be any fuel-related industrial action this side of Easter. After days of urging motorists to fill up if their tanks dropped below two-thirds full, the government admitted we don't need to queue for fuel.
From the events of the last week, you'd have thought Britain was facing a missile strike, not a tanker strike. What it tells us about the average car-using Briton is pretty unattractive. There are trades and professions where an empty fuel tank is a serious matter. But for many - the school-runners, commuters, just-got-to-nip-to-Tesco drivers - a vehicle isn't a lifeline. When we thought our beloved motor might be taken away, we reacted badly. It's April Fool's Day today (you might even find your Wales on Sunday has entered into the spirit of things) but, frankly, reviewing the events of the past week, the joke is squarely on us.
THE increase in both first and second class postal rates by 14p is a step too far.
Likewise overseas rates will increase. Does Royal Mail not see that increases on this scale will surely see the ending of mailing of birthday cards and the like which, in turn, will mean that card firms will cease trading and more people are unemployed? Equally, increases in overseas rates will sound the death knell of people who trade in stamps and postcards etc.
Once Great Britain led the world with fair pricing, yet these increases sadly will make ours among the most costly in the world. …