Saturday, June 30, 2007

Oh, the petrol...

First we start off with the story of petrol rationing to motorists in Iran. This is no big deal as an allowance of 100 litres a month is fine. I do not use more than 100 litres of petrol a month and if we had this restriction here in the UK it would not bother me or change my lifestyle. For normal car useage 100 litres a month is OK although this has caused some disquiet in Iran. Market forces can be quite noisey even in Islamic states.

Second we have the attempted car bombs in London that did not detonate. These both had large quantities of petrol on board.

Third we had this afternoon a drive in attack at Glasgow Airport involving a petrol laden burning Jeep Cherokee car.

But is this also a surprise? Market forces will rise and if you ration petrol to the man in the street then protests will arise. If you invade countries who are no threat to you whatsoever, Afghanistan and Iraq, then protests will also arise. Some of these protests are quite polite, questions in our houses of Parliament but others like the 7/7 bombings in London will be rather vulgar. We all quietly knew that a terrorist attack would occour in the UK because of our government's foreign policy but we could not name the date. Obviously when our war mongering Prime Minister Tony Blair eventually stood down there would be an increased risk of terrorist activity. This has been heightened by the calendar pointing to 7/7 and the memories that prevokes.

However, it is not just our fears that have been whispering in the dark. Chatter had been growing on the internet about the London bombings and the Glasgow Airport attacks. This should come as no surprise to street wise people. However, everyone must do a risk assessment to their daily lives. Life here in the UK is nothing like daily life in Baghdad. We can go about our daily business without the fear of kidnapping, sectarian violence or exploding cars in market places. In my day job as a driver on the National Express network I realise that the threat from being caught in a roadside bomb is extremely remote. I am a moving target and most roadside bombs are stationary. All our coach stations are car free and even if a drive in attack takes place, like at Glasgow Airport, the chances of me being there at the same time are extremely remote.

There is however, the prospect of the walk-on suicide bomber passenger which is a risk we have to take everyday. Bus and coach drivers in Israel have to live with this risk every day of their working lives and I fear that the same has now come to the UK.
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