Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 May 2016

The government deserves to go up in flames over fuel scaremongering

By Lindy McDowell

Published 05/04/2012

The general consensus is that the coalition Government has handled the fuel crisis woefully.

Encouraging consumers to stockpile before a shortage that never was was certainly a bizarre, not to say lunatic, strategy on the part of those running the country at a time when they should have been advising calm.

But there was, nonetheless, something impressively Nigella-esque in the way it suddenly stoked demand.

Where Nigella has the undoubted ability to inspire a shopping frenzy for say, Maldon salt and cupcake cases thanks to her finger-licking television show, the Government has suddenly discovered a similar knack for getting the punters to the tills albeit through plain, old scaremongering. Who would have thought the coalition - even inadvertently - could be such a motivating sales team?

More to the point who would have thought anybody would listen to them? Have people gone completely mad?

Overall there were only two big winners in the government-sparked petrol-buying frenzy.

The petroleum companies.

And the manufacturers (whoever they are) of all those jerry cans. The punters paid the price for heeding government advice.

No wonder it hasn't exactly fuelled long-term confidence in the coalition.

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