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istock_Asda-petrol-station_Keith Lock

Petrol crisis: Could proactive planning have lessened the impact?

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A shortage of truck drivers, blamed on Brexit and coronavirus restrictions, has triggered long queues at petrol stations and fuel shortages in many areas of the UK. Combined with soaring gas prices, the failure of some smaller energy suppliers, and empty shelves at supermarkets, Britain’s crumbling supply chains are causing panic amongst businesses and consumers.

29th Sep 2021
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What started with KFC unable to source chickens has led to the prospect of Christmas without turkeys. The truck driver shortage that led to empty shelves and shortened menus earlier in the year has caused thousands of petrol stations across the UK to run dry as stations cannot get enough fuel to supply panicked motorists.

The government has said it will introduce emergency measures, including issuing temporary work visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers and the suspension of competition law to allow suppliers to deliver fuel to rival operators as way of calming the public.

While motorists look further afield to fill up their vehicles, the government also this week called up army drivers to help operate tankers in a bid to avert further crisis, while the RAC reported a sharp increase in the number of stranded drivers who had run out of fuel.

Back in July, the Road Hauliers Association (RHA) warned Brexit-related paperwork, tax complications and visa restrictions had led to a significant drop in cross-border drivers, and that around 100,000 long-haul operators had left the industry. The lobby group has since been on a collision course with the government, with both accusing the other of whipping up fear for political ends. 

Paging Michael Fish…

There is no fuel shortage, ministers have repeatedly expressed, however, only a depletion of common sense amongst a spooked population, reminiscent of the Great Toilet Roll Grab of 2020

With Britain so reliant on road haulage; 98% of all food and agricultural products and 98% of all consumer products and machinery are transported by road freight, any disruption to that network was likely to cause severe supply chain problems. Industry forecasters, and many within the AccountingWEB community, saw it coming.

“A lot of the problems now being seen have stemmed from not valuing what is actually a critical part of a good economy enough, logistics,” said Rick Smith, managing director at business rescue firm Forbes Burton. “There have been many years of neglect towards the haulage industry, not just by government but by the general populace as well and now the potential lack of turkeys is coming home to roost.”

Smith, as many AccountingWEB commentators believe, said tabloid media headlines had inflamed the situation and made an already volatile issue much worse. 

“The best the planners can do is anticipate worst case scenarios, such as bin lorries not being able to get fuel and collect rubbish, and work from there,” Smith added. “The key is, plan for different scenarios and be ready to shift trajectory at a moment's notice should something unexpected happen.”

Companies themselves must take their share of the blame, accounting experts believe. “I would expect organised clients to be in a position to sort this out,” said AccountingWEB commentator Paul Crawley. “If a client has drivers, then I would expect them to be more aware than most of us. This was so avoidable. There have been so many drivers complaining about conditions for so long.”

Long time coming

Some of the issues now flaring up have been decades, rather than months, in the making, added Nick Jackson, finance transformation leader at Oracle. “Lean, just-in-time supply chains have struggled in the face of global crisis,” he said. “To get back on track and plan ahead, spending big to ensure supply chains are robust and resilient, not overly lean, is critical.”

This means making the supply chain more agile and able to adapt quickly to any disruption, he said.  

“Finance directors must work closely with supply chain managers to identify and prioritise changes that matter most,” Jackson told AccountingWEB. “This requires increased visibility across operations, not just in terms of product whereabouts, but into the partners and stakeholders that supply chains rely on.” 

Increased transparency and awareness of the most business-critical elements are the main goals here, he said. Using automation and other efficiency-improving technologies could also help finance directors gather more information, analyse the supply chain, make predictions and act on insights, he said.

“Investment in this area is key to shoring up the supply chain and mitigating exposure to the ongoing disruption we’re seeing,” said Jackson.

The future of forecasting

Regardless of the current situation, it is becoming harder for finance teams to budget with any level of confidence about how the future may unfold and impact their businesses, added Jonathan Kipps, Chartered Accountant and founder of budgeting specialist software Forecast5. 

He said some of the problems business are juggling cannot be resolved with Excel, which is better for cashflow and profit and loss, but not responsive enough to the constantly fluctuating demands of the present. 

“How is a significant hike in the gas price going to affect input costs? What will be the effect of a fuel shortage be on deliveries and sales? And how will this translate through to the bottom line – and the balance sheet? What will be the knock-on effect on our business if energy load-sharing is introduced? Will my banking covenants be at risk? What new capital will need to be found to shore up the business?” Kipps said. “These are hugely important issues – and unfortunately possibly existential for some; solutions have to be found and time is – and will be – of the essence.”

The difficulties of scenario planning at group and corporate level are likely to increase over time, Kipps said, as even when the present situation blows over, the UK is committed to reducing its carbon levels which may further impact energy supply chains.

“Transitioning to carbon-free without taking great care to protect and ensure this reliability will inevitably lead to continuing (large) cost increases and disrupted supply lines,” he said. 

“It falls to the corporate finance managers to try to prepare the directorate and management to ‘best guess’ how to cope and they need the finest tools available.”

Benchmarking

“It is going to take a while to rebalance and there are known knock-on effects that need dealing with,” said Forbes Burton’s Smith. “Fluctuation and volatility will be likely for the foreseeable future, but it is likely that the second quarter of 2022 will give a bench mark as to how the year is going to pan out.”

All businesses are likely to be impacted one way or another so it's best to be prepared, he told AccountingWEB. “The best way to look at it is to review what happened in the past, what is happening now and what is likely to be on the way.” with that picture in place, firms will be able to better foresee the future, he said.  

“You're best using strategic forecasting and taking a holistic view, forming an opinion on what is going to happen and ensuring you have factored in implementation,” said Smith.

Replies (103)

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By johnjenkins
01st Oct 2021 09:31

The RHA only commented on the shortage after being questioned on it by journalists.
Says it all.
So please, pretty please with knobs on, tell me why people panicked???????????
Could it possibly have been the media blowing the situation out of proportion.? The more people have pops at Boris the stronger he will become.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
By Duggimon
12th Oct 2021 09:37

johnjenkins wrote:

The RHA only commented on the shortage after being questioned on it by journalists.
Says it all.
So please, pretty please with knobs on, tell me why people panicked???????????
Could it possibly have been the media blowing the situation out of proportion.? The more people have pops at Boris the stronger he will become.

So it's the media's fault now? It was the RHA's fault before, until I corrected you on that. Are we going to go all around the houses until I chase it back to the source of the leak? We can just jump straight there if you like, it was the government, though I would expect it's through the general fug of incompetence rather than any sinister ulterior motive.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By johnjenkins
12th Oct 2021 10:04

You don't seem to be able to link things together do you? If you want to talk about ulterior motive, all this happened just before the Tory party conference. So your theory about the Government leaking doesn't stand up.

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Replying to winton50:
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By milleniumaire
30th Sep 2021 17:21

winton50 wrote:

You have to look at their behaviour over a number of issues and see the way that they say one thing and then do another.

The increase in NI is a good example of this governments lies.

https://www.conservatives.com/our-plan

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Stuart Walker Yellow Tomato Copy
By winton50
30th Sep 2021 12:04

edited due to double post.

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By vstrad
30th Sep 2021 12:06

The demand by the haulage industry for more visas is disingenuous. There are some 3 million EU citizens with the right to work in the UK who are currently not working in the UK. Many of them will be drivers. They don't need a visa to work here but they choose not to.
It was entirely natural for foreign workers to go home at the start of the pandemic and it's the industry's responsibility to lure them back.

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Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
30th Sep 2021 12:29

KFC had a chicken crisis in 2018 when they switched distributors - from a supplier who had 6 distribution centres, to DHL with just the one centrally located warehouse. They quickly ran out of chickens.
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/kfc-chicken-crisis-shortage-supply-chain...

Point is, as a consumer, distribution is something we don't see and don't care about until it stops working.

With the fuel crisis, a number of problems came to a head. Yes, Brexit hasn't helped nor has cancelling tests and lockdown preventing the training of drivers and just in time deliveries can't cope with disruptions.

But I think there is a bigger issue, the sector - and its not the only one - is addicted to self-employed/gig economy. Why pay for training or develop individuals through the career ladder when you can just hire people in for half the price? The answer, it seems, is a load of drivers retiring or returning to the EU, with nobody else replacing those jobs because of IR35, because it costs ££ to train and why bother with that expense when you have a contract with minimal commitment, minimal profit, pension/tax oblgiations, no leave or sick pay, etc.

We are told that the most important resource any business has, is its people....and we see businesses rely more on contractors than its own people, when you remove your only (people) resource, you are at the mercy of the market you operate in, when the drivers dry up, you have no business. Its crazy that a business reliant on drivers has little involvement in where its drivers are actually sourced, trained or come from.

What can government do to fix this? Very little other than to encourage sectors to employ and retain staff (like apprenticeship grants, etc) or if self employment is the future, then to provide individual (taxation based?) incentives to specific sectors to encourage take-up where the sector is lacking - government did that recently with nurses, giving grants to encourage more people to train as nurses.

Just my opinion of course.

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Replying to Jason Croke:
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By Rgab1947
30th Sep 2021 12:24

Finally some sense being talked instead of lets knock Gov.

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By Agutter Accounts
30th Sep 2021 12:24

Ed Davey wrote this week that when he was Environment Secretary in 2012 at the time of the last fuel crisis when strike action was threatened, he was tasked with drawing up contingency plans. This he did, and also arranged with the MOD for 1000 army drivers to be trained up to take over delivery roles in an emergency.

So there WAS a plan in place 9 years ago at the time of the much-criticised Coalition.

Well, PM Johnson where are those plans and why have you not implemented them? Or have you neglected boring details like being properly prepared for emergencies because it is too much trouble?

What a complete and utter shambles.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 12:35

You can't plan for "panic buying". This wasn't a fuel shortage or threatened strike. Did you moan at the supermarkets for running out of loo rolls caused by "panic buying"?
Stop knocking our PM just cos he doesn't do what you want him to do when you want him to do it. If you follow him carefully he is a PM who is very flexible and adaptable. IMV there is no better PM in a crisis.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Justin Bryant
30th Sep 2021 12:48

It's hard to think of anyone worse in a crisis. Even his close friends & relatives admit that (leaving aside what people like DC say). That said, Theresa May was pretty awful too and it's possibly a case of having the least worst option.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 14:20

Come back Jeremy Corbyn, all is forgiven.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Justin Bryant
30th Sep 2021 15:02

Well, OK, but that merely confirms my least worst option point and doesn't change the fact BJ is rubbish in absolute terms, which was my only real point there.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 15:36

How can you say that? After all the pressure as leader and PM without a majority, when all and sundry were having a pop. Made Brexit happen, won a resounding victory at the general election. Was the only real leader who took control over the pandemic with a vaccine. The best is yet to come, Justin. Unfortunately success in politics is never rewarded MT and TB classic examples.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
30th Sep 2021 13:16

I think Boris fits into the category of being a "100% free marketeer", that is, minimal intervention from government and let the market control itself. You sort of see that with his reluctance to lockdown, his eagerness to re-open the Country, his disdain for rules, especially EU ones...and his constant flip-flopping may be an internal battle between letting businesses figure it out for themselves and having to intervene and call the army in when businesses fail to step up and deal with it.

BP could easily have resolved this issue if they had employed their own drivers, had a tighter contract that penalised their sub-contractor for failure, or improved their logistics planning by anticipating in advance a shortage of fuel HGV drivers or perhaps not came onto national TV to say they were having to close some of their stations as a result of no drivers!

To me, BP have messed up their logistics planning, they should have had a risk management plan in place that factored in the fallout of Brexit (loss of drivers, etc), if your business is about distribution of product to your own stores, you'd think logistics planning would be paramount as a risk.

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Replying to Jason Croke:
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By Justin Bryant
30th Sep 2021 13:34

I disagree. There are certain strategically vital services that should not be left solely to the whims of the free market. If BJ does not appreciate that then he's a pretty duff leader with garbage policies (to use some choice, topical words). It seems Ed Davey at least appreciated that point.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
30th Sep 2021 13:24

Duplicate.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
30th Sep 2021 13:59

Bunter as many call him or as the Daily Star calls him , "Bozo the Clown" is out of his depth. How he got to the top of politics beggars belief. Having followed his career over the years, I have never seen a more shallow, self-serving individual occupy 10 Downing Street. He is good at letting his gob go, as befits a journalist but what pray, are his other talents? He admits to 6 children - and two divorces and a string of affairs.

As for flexible, he certainly assesses the direct the wind is blowing and follows it. That is the only reason he supported Brexit. It was a crude career calculation that paid off. Opportunist with no principles is nearer the truth.

I cannot make up my mind whether you are serious or being ironic. I seriously think the man is just not up to the top job. He lacks the ability and talent, and crucially the backbone to accept criticism and take it on the chin.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 14:39

Please tell me what having 6 kids and 2 divorces got to do with the price of fuel?
I have 5 kids, 2 divorces and yes a few affairs in my youth, does that make me a bad Accountant? In your eyes - yes.
A man out of his depth - made Brexit happen (the will of the people), won a landslide general election (showing up labour for their lack of ability, talent and backbone) and, oh yes, making sure that we had a vaccine to come out of lockdown (which the whole world was in) - not bad for starters. I can't wait for what he will achieve during his first term. The knockers and name callers can continue but Boris will rise above it. Why? because he's intelligent,has personality, has ability and backbone and is not afraid to alter his cabinet if they are not doing the job.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
30th Sep 2021 14:48

I have known a few bad accountants and cleared up their errors but I have no idea whether you are one. That is not the issue.

I would not use the vaccine issue now. Bad salesmanship. Several European countries after a slow start have pulled ahead.

I suggest at your tender age you currently have a bad case of teenager hero-worship. I am sure you will recover from that eventually.

From long experience I have a default position that all politicians are scoundrels unless proved otherwise. Currently I see mostly scoundrels, including Bunter. Governments are like the curates egg - good in parts, though I suspect this one will end up smelling more like rotten eggs.

And to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to have one divorce is unfortunate, but to have two is careless. I have but one divorce with two children, a second very happy second marriage. That says nothing about me as an accountant which is a career issue.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 15:15

So why did you mention kids, affairs and divorces if politics, like Accountancy is a career issue?
Yep 72 and still acting like a kid. I admire strong leaders, in fact I voted for Tony Blair. His mistake was not to get rid of Gordon Brown. I thought Oscar said that about losing parents, hey ho he said a lot of stuff.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
30th Sep 2021 15:24

Look up the meaning of the word "paraphrase". The original quote was of course made by Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. But the two words "unfortunate" and "careless" can be applied similarly.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 15:42

So you were name dropping eh? Paraphrasing has to be pertinent to the original not just some made up stuff to show you know a bit about culture.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Justin Bryant
30th Sep 2021 15:08

In case you've not noticed, Brexit has happened in name only re the ongoing NI issues etc. - yet another of his whopping lies.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 15:17

NI was always going to be a problem, eventually there will be no border either on land or in the sea. Fishing is an ongoing problem and always will be.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Justin Bryant
30th Sep 2021 15:49

I'm pleased to see you admitting that at least, but my main point here is that BJ did the opposite re that and much else besides, like the born liar he is.

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By richards1
30th Sep 2021 13:42

Another elephant in the room is the way that the Civil Service and Government run departments appear to be operating at their own pace.
1. DVLA not back to working at full pace my licence is back with them for its 2 yearly renewal and they have advised a 16-2o week wait. If HGV's arte in the same position no wonder.
2. Still cant get a face to face appointment with a GP despite being double jabbed booster imminent.
3. Still waiting for my tax rebate from 2019/20 and 2020/21 and we are not too far from the tax year end 22

If I ran my business like that we would be "out of business"

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Replying to richards1:
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By Agutter Accounts
30th Sep 2021 13:49

Yes. My wife would concur over the DVLA. She did not get the usual reminder letter to renew her 10-year plastic licence which ran out. She waited two months to get the replacement.

Our local surgery in the village is excellent, especially when I was diagnosed with a serious illness last November. But it an exception rather than the rule.

And it seems that HMRC is also in a mess so your tax problems are not exceptional unfortunately. I now ring the agent line at 8am, or one might as well not bother. I have better things to do than hang on the line for ages.

I have a client who has waited a mere 6 months - still unacceptable for something that normal takes a couple of weeks - for a CIS rebate. Your problem of two years wait is simply outrageous.

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By onezero
30th Sep 2021 14:36

How much is just created by the media with political intent?

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By SJH-ADVDIPMA
30th Sep 2021 15:43

Remoaners, i think their pathology is similar to stalkers, they just cant see reality starting them in the face, theyre delusional for their cause.

The shortage of drivers is a result of excessive maximising shareholder wealth ideology, coupled with the covid lockdowns being the straw that broke the camels back, add a sprinkling of idiotic protestors on the M25, and you have a minor blip blown out of proportion by the media, leading to a slightly bigger blip. Ive not struggled to buy petrol.

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Replying to SJH-ADVDIPMA:
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By Justin Bryant
30th Sep 2021 15:59

Well done for not mentioning Hitler or the Nazis re Godwin's law. Whoops! I've just done it.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 16:08

Didn't Hitler nearly die from a lorry driver?

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Replying to SJH-ADVDIPMA:
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By johnjenkins
30th Sep 2021 16:04

So what about IR35 as most lorry drivers are self-employed.

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By Agutter Accounts
06th Oct 2021 12:03

Serial neglect by successive British governments and failure to bring vital infrastructure for HGV drivers this side of the Channel up to European standards are key ingredients of this crisis.

In recent times, like a lot of the public service, the DVLA has been shown to be completely unfit for purpose, as well as hopeless at staff relations. The workforce is ageing, working conditions primitive by modern standards and the cost of training prohibitive.

What Brexit has done is highlight what an awfully mean, backward country this is that cannot sort out its own problems and has a government that will not even try.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
06th Oct 2021 12:31

Blah blah blah blah blah. Just watch how Boris will blossom without EU restrictions.
Boris will make this country the best place to live in the next 10 years. Oh by the way German business has already started to relocate here. Oh by the way the Brits that went to Spain are coming back. Oh by the way Illegals don't want to be in France, they would rather be here.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
06th Oct 2021 12:43

I thought we were talking about the fuel and trucker crises?

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
06th Oct 2021 12:53

We were until you started knocking the UK.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
06th Oct 2021 14:32

So I am not allowed to criticise failed polices then without people like you claiming I am being "unpatriotic".

People like you are part of the problem. You cannot accept let alone answer genuine criticism, and worship at the altar of those who say they are sorting problems when clearly that is not so.

Governments in my lifetime have made the same mistakes time and time again and this one is turning out no different.

Put not your trust in false prophets and charlatans and above all never trust politicians of any persuasion to sort anything.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
06th Oct 2021 14:56

Criticise the Government and MP's and Institutions as much as you like but calling us a mean, backward country is downright unpatriotic and has no foundation. The problem with people like you is that you see a PM that is making things happen on a scale never seen before and that frightens the living daylights out of you and your ilk. All you can do is name calling.
Yes Government make mistakes, don't you? I certainly do.
Boris is not false. What you see is what you get. Actions speak louder than words. Boris is a slightly overweight "action man".

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
06th Oct 2021 15:15

I have told you before I do not do "patriotism". It is the last refuge of the scoundrel so I was always taught. In your book that obviously make me an enemy of Britain or however you want to describe it.

All Bunter has done - and he was at it again today - is let his gob go about what he is going to achieve. About the only thing he has actually got done "de jure" is Brexit and it is far too early to be definitive as to what, if anything that might achieve.

I have seen and heard plenty of "can do" people in a long working life, and they all come with a big gob, full of what they are going to do, but never actually finding time or the ability to do it. These people suddenly move on either before they are pushed, or when they are found out to be empty vessels just making a lot of sound.

My wife's boss when she retired from nursing three years ago was of this ilk. All the experienced staff in the department left for other jobs or retired in the 12 months prior to my wife retiring - about a dozen Band 5 and Band 6 nurses. Guess what, not long after my wife retired, this boss left - under a cloud so our sources tell us.

Bunter has made a lot of grandiose claims and promises today. How many of them will bear fruit by the next election? Or will the infamous men in grey suits come for him, as they have with past leaders, and tell him his time is up? We shall see.

Never trust politicians and their bluster. Most of it is wishful thinking for the sycophants or just plain porkie pies.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
06th Oct 2021 15:44

Let's recap. Your the one that said we were a mean and backward country. Is that patriotic? Oh hang on you don't do patriotism just unpatriotism. So if the cap fits wear it.
Let's look at what Boris has achieved (with help). Brexit, won an overwhelming victory in the GE, got the vaccine sorted so that we don't have to go back into lockdown.
Now let's look at what he is going to do.
Sorting out the NHS and care problem, which has never been tackled by any Government, sorting out the North South divide including the post code lottery, which no other Government has tackled.
There are other minute things like sorting the fuel crisis and looking at policing.
All this in under two years with pandemic restraints and all you can do is name call.
As for PM's
Thatcher was axed because she got things done. Blair was axed because he got things done. It appears people like yourself do not like people who actually get things done. Now this might be a psychological problem resenting people in power.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
06th Oct 2021 19:42

With such wide inequality - some of the worst in the developed world - mean and backward country is fair comment, unpatriotic or not. The truth sometimes hurts.

On the kindest analysis the jury is still out on whether Brexit was a good idea. I never thought it was and never voted for it, either in 2016 or 2019.

Johnson appointed Kate Bingham, one of the few sound appointments he made last year, to head the vaccine purchase, with money no object. But it required getting lucky over the vaccines picked - which it did thanks to publicly funded scientists from across the world. Much clapped but ill-rewarded NHS staff did the heavy lifting this year. But the programme has stalled and other countries have overtaken Britain's early lead.

And that is about the sum total of what Bunter's government has done so far. The rest, on the kindest analysis, is still on the drawing board.

So NI goes up for working people next April, so they a take home pay cut of 1.25% whether they get a headline pay rise or not. Most of the new funding is likely to go to the NHS with social care getting what is left.

And the divide is not so much North/South though there are fewer properous people here in County Durham. London and the south east have lots of poor people with a rather higher cost of living than ours. I do not think politicians have grasped the size and scale of the problems and the long term commitment and consensus required. And Bunter is NOT a consensus politician.

Thatcher got things done for sure, but some of her worst acts haunt us to this day. I never supported her as I always thought her programme divisive and wrong. Blair got things done. He went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq and that destroyed his premiership and achieved nothing except lots of dead people, most of them civilians. He neglected home affairs as a result for which a lot of people paid the price.

When I critcise someone you call it name-calling. I see it as fair comment. You and I have very little in common. Our view of life is very different indeed.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
07th Oct 2021 09:40

Where in the world is there not inequality. We are probably one of the most caring nations in the world. We have a diverse people base which is beginning to integrate (slowly I agree) and interact. My wife comes from Bolton and we regularly visit. The diversity and interaction is amazing.
The EU is collapsing because they are too rigid and compliant. What has trade got to do with the movement of labour (absolutely ridiculous). Boris will lay the foundations of a new European agreement based on EFTA.
Why do you resort to name calling? Is that how you justify your demeaning remarks about our country and its leader?
Boris has grasped the size of the task and as he quite rightly says no other politician (Tory of Labour) has had the guts to do something about it. He will.
The poll tax would have stopped a lot of "lager louts". Some of her best acts are also with us today (which you seem to forget). I shudder to think how many deaths and devastation would have been the result of Tony not going to war. You really do seem to have, not only a selective memory but an unwillingness to look at both sides of an argument. Name calling isn't criticising it is rude and shows lack of respect. The difference between us is glaringly obvious. You are a pessimist (perhaps your life has been troubled) with a chip on your shoulder and I am an optimist, especially now Boris is at the helm. Come with us or get left behind.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
07th Oct 2021 09:54

You recycle the same old right wing nonsense time and time again. It cuts no ice with me.

Go live in Bunter's nirvana. You are welcome to it.

I am a cynical realist who sees things as they are not how some clown says it is.

We live in a very different world so you stay in your bit and I will stay in mine.

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Replying to Agutter Accounts:
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By johnjenkins
07th Oct 2021 11:14

I actually feel sorry for you living in a constant cloudy atmosphere where there is no brightness.
Kim Jong-un looks more like Bunter than Boris, so you got that wrong. You really should stick with Bozo and the clowns, it's a bit more enlightening.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Agutter Accounts
07th Oct 2021 11:27

Don't you DARE patronise me you smug individual. You are like a religious fanatic. That is how they talk. If you don't see things their way, you automatically have not seen the light. I do not do religion, political or otherwise.

I do not believe which I suppose makes me guilty of apostasy. In some religions that would elicit a death sentence, and once did in Christian society also.

To be absolutely clear, I do not believe in the gospel according to Bunter and the Tory party. I do not believe any politician in fact from long experience.

If you have a problem with that, you have a problem. I don't.

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By johnjenkins
07th Oct 2021 12:42

I can tell I have upset you, which is not the object of the exorcise. I have no problem with your beliefs or non beliefs. However I do take issue when you slag our country off.

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By Agutter Accounts
07th Oct 2021 13:50

Didn't know we were trying to "exorcise" anyone? certainly not my thing.

Call it slagging if you like. But no country is above criticism - not even Britain.

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By johnjenkins
07th Oct 2021 14:44

By slagging Britain off then you must be slagging yourself as you're part of Britain. There is a difference between a genuine criticism and slagging off.
We weren't trying to exorcise anyone. I was trying to exorcise the demon inside you that has given you the big chip on your shoulder.

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By Agutter Accounts
07th Oct 2021 15:12

You have a serious reality problem if you are into exorcism.

And it perfectly sane and legitimate to criticise Britain or any other country. Otherwise you end up with "all hail the great leader" who is above criticism, and institutions that become religious icons that you are burnt at the stake for criticising as blasphemy. That is going back to medieval ways.

I have no chip anywhere. I paddle my own canoe and answer to no one. I am doing comfortably well thank you. There are just some people and institutions of which I want no part.

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