Friday, 30 March 2012

The world according to Snafu

A lot of news stories recently have grabbed my attention
Most recently here in the UK is the amazing events surrounding the non-lack of fuel.   The situation was created when the small band of heroes who deliver fuel to the various fuels stations all across the UK proposed a possible strike for more pay.   Being the kind hearted people they were they suggested that the best time for a strike would be at Easter when most people would be setting off either day tripping or visiting relations.  They felt this practice was unnecessary and being in a strong position they could put a stop to it by interrupting the nation’s fuels supplies and so keeping the roads quiet for the holiday period.
Our beloved leader then yet again demonstrated his fitness to run the country by creating a run on fuel by suggesting we all top up our fuel tanks just in case.  As a result of this, all the fuel stations around my commuter town ran out in the first two hours of the following morning.
Another of his deep thinking cabinet member further exacerbated the situation by suggesting something that is actually illegal in this country, namely storing some extra fuel in your home in a ‘jerry can’.  This kind of container holds more than the statuary amount you can legally store, so apart from causing the hasty to rush out and further exhaust the fuel stations, they were creating fire hazards all across the country.  I recall once before, a few years back, when there had been a fuel scare and some bright spark, oops not a good metaphor, filled a wheelie bin with petrol, which dissolved the plastic the bin was made from and the fire service had to evacuate the entire street to prevent accidental ignition whilst they disposed of the petrol sloshing about in the gutter.
So over two days, most fuel stations have sold more fuel than they would sell in a month and the government must be cheering  as the total tax revenue for the month takes a boost just prior to the end of the financial year.  Of course no one will need much fuel next month so sales will slump, but that is in the next fiscal year and so is in the very distant future, since long term planning does not seem to be a very popular idea in modern politics.
Another recent event was something unexpected in the world of politics, namely that the voters did not vote for the opposition in a local by election.  Normally this is always the case since most people by mid-term are pretty well fed up with their present government which has often reneged on many of its campaign promises, and no matter who is in power, voters will regularly vote against them just to show their feelings.  This, for some reason, always comes as a surprise to the party in power.  Probably because they have only ever been to their own party conferences where everyone present is madly enthusiastic about all things of their party, and in this flush of wild enthusiasm, forget that the other twenty odd million people who did not attend may have other opinions.  So it comes as a great surprise there are people who will vote against them.
On this particular occasion, a complete outsider got in and wiped the floor with the safe seat incumbent who had expected to waltz in, and so the outsider managed to poke both major parties in the eye in the process.
The thing I like about these situations is the platitudes that come out, although early on, the losing candidate refused to comment at all to the press, another losing party came out with the predictable phrase, ‘ you have to look at it in context’ which is a standard component of any politician’s speech after failing to win an election.
I have often wondered if I could place a bet in a betting shop on the chances of the failed candidate using that phrase in his defeat speech.  It would be unlikely that I could get very good odds, so it is not really worth trying.


  1. You might get evens on it - it's a fairly safe bet.

    The 'last minute tax revenue' hadn't occurred to me. Good point.

    And I'm assuming you've heard about the woman who decided to decant her illegally held petrol store in her kitchen..... while the cooker was on.

    You can't legislate against idiots.

  2. I feel sorry for that lady, rather a harsh punishment for not knowing quite how dangerous petrol really is. We get used to the idea it is just that stuff we put in the car and not something akin to a nepalm bomb. If petrol driven cars had become common after Health & Safety came on the scene, no one would be allowed near it.

  3. It's a bit scary, isn't it? The political thing, I mean - altho the petrol scenario is also something to be concerned about, considering how many crazy people there are loose in the world.

    Our city planners are debating about Light Rail Transit (LRT), which is above ground vs. an underground subway train extention. So far all I have seen on the news is one side throwing bricks at the other (not literally, but it won't be long), and calling each other the worst names imaginable - like a bunch of hooligans. Of course if they were discussing rationally, there would be nothing to show on the 6:00pm news, so maybe they are getting paid to act like hooligans - who knows. It's just plain scary to think about who these people are and what is ahead for our city.

    The recent Air Canada strike hit home for us, as OD (older daughter) and her family were trying to get home from the UK in the midst of it and sat on the tarmac in the plane for over five hours waiting to take off, and that after three previous flight cancellations and an overnight in a heathrow hotel. The stewards/esses were extremely rude to the passengers, many of whom were teams of young soccer players who were, by contrast, extremely polite and well behaved. My worst nightmare would be to sit on a plane for 5 hours before a 7 hour flight -- and all because many of the pilots 'phoned in sick.'

    I think snafu and AJ should run for office!

  4. You sound very sensible.why are you not PM?

  5. Yes, I also thought that the last minute tax revenue was uncanny timing, and that the slump next month would be in the next financial year. We had long queues everywhere as well, but luckily I didn't get caught up in the madness.