Friday, 13 June 2008

Fuelling The Panic

Not much has changed in the last 2 weeks - I've been busy with work and spending most of my time in Shrewsbury, which is quite a big plus really. Oh, and a division of The Smug Brigade® gave me some money, so things aren't too bad at all really, even though my social life has seemingly disappeared again, though hopefully only for a short time while I get things sorted.

At least last Sunday I finally managed to meet my good friend Kate who I've known for just over 6 years since meeting on the Red Dwarf Web Board. It's a bit shameful really, seeing as she only lives in Wrexham which really isn't that far away. Oh well, was really great to meet at last and to get to meet Danny John-Jules for the second time!

Apart from that and work, not much else has been going on in my world however, a certain national matter, or rather the way it is being covered in some sections of the media, has been annoying me. Now, I actually agree with the drivers as I do feel they deserve more money for transporting such dangerous substances around and helping to ensure it is safely delivered to the tanks within the fuel station(s) it is destined for and let's face it, their protests have nothing to do with the ridiculous price of fuel at the moment, as we know whose pockets are being lined as a result of that. Like anyone who has a job that involves a heavy amount of danger and responsibility, they deserve a good wage.

Anyway, I'm straying from the point. What's really pissing me off is that certain areas of the media are covering the story in a way that provokes panic that wasn't there in the first place. Ok, so this strike is lasting 4 days and naturally, alot of stations hit by the strike will either come close to or actually run out of fuel before Tuesday. But because some reporters and their editors like to cover the story along the lines of "Panic buying hits the UK's petrol stations as a 4-day strike cripples the nation's fuel supply", the situation is made worse as people start to think that everyone else is rushing to get the last few drops of fuel before it all runs out, so everyone ends up in huge queues outside their local petrol stations, using up fuel while they wait, then when they get to a pump, fill their vehicles right up to the top before going home again.

Enough people do this so that panic needlessly spreads, pictures of this panic starts appearing on TV, the Internet and Newspapers and soundbites are taken out of context on the Radio. This all causes more panic so that petrol stations not directly "under threat" from the strike end up being drained dry by the new wave of panic buying. As a result, the whole situation is far worse than it should have been and all the wrong people end up getting the blame for it!

I must stress that I am not saying all news outlets are like this, but it's because some are like that, we end up in these sort of situations. So if you geuninely need to fill up your Car/Van/4x4/Monster Truck/Noel Edmonds because the needle is getting close to the red, then go to the petrol station and put in the same amount you usually put in and carry on as normal. If you have enough fuel already to get you through the next few days, then have a nice weekend, take it easy on Monday and Tuesday and as the cover of a certain useful intergalactic book says... DON'T PANIC!

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