Conjugating the “fuel crisis”

Self-fulfilling prophecies of our time… there are now hour-long queues forming at petrol stations, not because of a lack of fuel, but because people are afraid that there may be a lack of fuel later in the week. Of course, that means that there is now a shortage of fuel. Ho-hum.

Mind you, we took care to fill up the car at the first petrol station we came to upon arriving back in the UK on Sunday, when we could probably have made it home on what was in the tank. But as I pointed out to my wife, there’s an irregular verb at work here:

  • I am exercising prudent and reasonable foresight.
  • You are panic-buying.
  • He is a hoarder.

As in the last fuel protests in 2000, a bizarre inversion of attitudes can be seen in the press, with the Guardian calling for the smack of firm government against the protesters’ “illegal secondary picketing”, and the Telegraph providing a sympathic profile of one of the ringleaders the “farmer ready to fight again over a ‘plain and simple injustice'”.

“Developing…”, as they say.

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