Petrol, pasties and the politics of panic: No.10 is in a shambles
This balmy government can't get anything right from pasties to petrol, whilst the public talk openly of the policies of madmen and the need for our leaders to take a long, long rest....
- Ministers appear to give conflicting advice on how motorists should cope with threatened fuel strike
- Cameron tries to seize control of crisis as panic plays out at the pumps
- Then PM declares his love of Cornish pasties in an attempt to calm criticism of new 'pasty tax'
- Meanwhile, RAF personnel train to operate fuel lorries to counter walk-out
- Francis Maude stokes chaos by advising drivers to fill up spare jerry cans
- Firefighters say message would 'massively increase' fire and explosion risks
- Sales of petrol up 45 per cent yesterday compared to a normal Tuesday
- Miliband STILL refuses to condemn Unite, Labour's biggest union paymaster
Filling up the family car and buying a hot snack are two of the simple realities of everyday life.
But yesterday they conspired to plunge the Government into a day which veered between high farce and panic.
First, ministers appeared to give conflicting advice on how motorists should cope with threatened fuel shortages caused by a looming strike by militant tanker drivers.
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude exhorted people to take the extraordinary step of filling up jerry cans to deal with the impending problem.
But only hours later, the Prime Minister insisted there was no urgent need for motorists to queue at the pumps.
Then, in a clumsy attempt to calm criticism of the new ‘pasty tax’ announced in last week’s Budget, David Cameron declared his love of Cornish pasties at a Downing Street press conference.
Meanwhile Labour leader Ed Miliband and his Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls sought to capitalise on the Government’s discomfort by ostentatiously turning up at a branch of Greggs to tuck in to hot sausage rolls.