Shortages at filling stations reported as campaign obstructs deliveries from fuel terminals in England
Downing Street has condemned the “guerrilla tactics” of protesters who have blockaded fuel distribution terminals, as reports of shortages at petrol station forecourts spread and figures showed a fall in fuel deliveries.
Supporters of the Just Stop Oil campaign have taken action at 11 different fuel terminals in England since the start of the month, blockading and trespassing on sites to stop tankers entering, filling up or leaving to deliver fuel.
Petrol retailers say that the protests are not having a serious impact on deliveries. But there have been dozens of local reports of petrol pumps running dry and Priti Patel, the home secretary, said “people across the country [were] seeing their lives brought to a standstill” by disruption caused by the campaign.
The protesters have vowed to continue taking action until the government agrees on a ban on all new fossil fuel projects. On Monday afternoon, their 11th day of action, several were entering their 31st hour chained to pipework at Inter Terminal in Grays, Essex, the third largest terminal in the country.
One in three petrol stations were forced to close in southern England amid oil terminal protests, according to fuel campaigners.
The Fair Fuel UK Campaign claimed an estimated 1,200 pumps south of the Midlands had run dry on Sunday as action by Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion continued.
Fair Fuel UK wrote on Twitter: “We are getting credible intelligence that 1 in 3 garages have run dry of petrol and/or diesel particularly in the south, because of the ‘stop oil’ amoebas.
Home secretary Priti Patel branded the “selfish” protesters an “eco mob” as she attempted to blame Labour for not supporting the Conservatives’ new draconian police powers in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
She told the Daily Mail: “Hard-working people across our country are seeing their lives brought to a standstill by selfish, fanatical and frankly dangerous so-called activists.
I think that it’s beyond any doubt that they are activists Priti. Selfish and fanatical for trying to save the planet from burning to a crisp? It appears to me that UK government is selfish and fanatical through ignoring the most recent IPCC report comprising the collected wisdom of renowned scientists stating that immediate action is needed.
UK govt line appears to be that the protests are having limited affect in disrupting supplies and that protestors are selfish.
Calls to break up the Home Office – and redistribute its functions across Whitehall – are about to grow even louder, following Friday’s ruling that the department broke the law by confiscating refugees’ phones.
There are some basic principles of English law that you ought to be able to rely on with absolute security when you deal with the state. One of these is that you cannot be searched by an officer of the state, or have your property seized, without a specific legal basis.
Though this has modern overlays in the form of the Human Rights Act and the Data Protection Act, it falls mostly into the legal specialism known as the bleeding obvious. Or, to use the politer words of the High Court when considering the spectacular failure of the Home Office: “None of the legal concepts involved is novel or recondite.”
The behaviour that generated this judicial reaction was the Home Office’s policy, during most of 2020, of greeting people arriving on small boats to claim refugee status with an immediate search for their mobile phones, seizing those phones, demanding the passwords for those phones (while falsely claiming that it was an offence not to give them), downloading all the data on those phones onto Home Office systems and, finally, refusing to return the phones.
Jun Pang – Policy and Campaigns Officer on 02 Dec 2021 at Liberty
Not content with the already draconian powers in the [Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts] Bill to shut down protests and criminalise people trying to make their voices heard, the Government has recently added amendments to it.
1. LOCKING ON
Locking on only needs to be “capable” of causing serious disruption to “two or more people”. On top of that, no one knows what “serious disruption” means because it’s not defined in the Bill. Instead, the Home Secretary will get to define and re-define it at will.
2. WILFUL OBSTRUCTION OF THE HIGHWAY
The current punishment for someone who wilfully obstructs the highway is a fine. Amendments to the Policing Bill will change it to up to 51 weeks in prison, a fine, or both.
Such heavy punishments will stop people taking to the streets to stand up to power – and will add to existing pressures on courts, prisons, and the probation service.
3. OBSTRUCTION OF MAJOR TRANSPORT WORKS
This is another new offence that a person commits if they obstruct someone from taking any steps connected to the construction or maintenance of any major transport works, or they in any way interfere with “any apparatus” relating to that construction or maintenance.
4. STOP AND SEARCH
The Government’s amendments will also expand stop and search. Police will be able to stop and search a person or vehicle for items intended for use in connection with the offences in the Bill: obstructing the highway, public nuisance, locking on, and obstructing major transport works.
Police will also be able to put orders in place allowing for ‘suspicion-less’ stop and search for these items in a specific location for up to 24 hours (and up to 48 hours, if authorised).
People given a protest banning order will be subject to a set of conditions, including not associating with certain people, going to certain places, carrying certain items, or using the internet in a certain way.
They can last for up to two years, but there is no limit to the number of times a protest banning order can be renewed by the court.
Protest is a fundamental right, but protest banning orders effectively ban people from organising and making their voices heard, striking at the heart of what makes protest meaningful and effective: political community.
These new offences will either deter people from protesting, or drag them into the criminal justice system for doing so. They will further entrench discrimination, with devastating consequences for marginalised communities.
But they are’t law yet, and this Government buckles under public pressure and u-turns time and again.
Consider the following example, because it’s about to come true. Someone has been a British citizen for decades. They go on holiday. When they try to return, they’re told that the Home Secretary has stripped them of their citizenship. They are not told why. They are not told the charges against them. They have no functioning right of appeal. They have been made stateless, by ministerial fiat.
This would bethe consequence of a new provision added to Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders bill, which goes through the Commons over the next couple of days.
Making someone stateless has long been seen as one of the most egregious actions a government can take. In the words of Hannah Arendt, the great scholar of totalitarianism, it deprives people of “the right to have rights”. It makes you an unperson: without protection, without home, without legal status.
This is proper police state stuff. The last-minute amendments crowbarred by the government into the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill are a blatant attempt to stifle protest, of the kind you might expect in Russia or Egypt. Priti Patel, the home secretary, shoved 18 extra pages into the bill after it had passed through the Commons, and after the second reading in the House of Lords. It looks like a deliberate ploy to avoid effective parliamentary scrutiny. Yet in most of the media there’s a resounding silence.
Among the new amendments are measures that would ban protesters from attaching themselves to another person, to an object, or to land. Not only would they make locking on – a crucial tool of protest the world over – illegal, but they are so loosely drafted that they could apply to anyone holding on to anything, on pain of up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment.
It would also become a criminal offence to obstruct in any way major transport works from being carried out, again with a maximum sentence of 51 weeks. This looks like an attempt to end meaningful protest against road-building and airport expansion. Other amendments would greatly expand police stop and search powers. The police would be entitled to stop and search people or vehicles if they suspect they might be carrying any article that could be used in the newly prohibited protests, presumably including placards, flyers and banners. Other new powers would grant police the right to stop and search people without suspicion, if they believe that protest will occur “in that area”. Anyone who resists being searched could be imprisoned for – you guessed it – up to 51 weeks.
Recently, the Guardian broke the news that the reason we are seeing increasing numbers of asylum seekers on our beaches is because they have cottoned on to the fact that, thanks to Brexit, we are no longer part of the Dublin Agreement. This inconvenient truth seems to have escaped Farage and Johnson and all those who are hell bent on ruining the country’s economy at any cost if we can only get control of our borders.
Since 2016, the Tory party has rapidly morphed into the BNP-NF-Brexit Party-UKIP-Tory party but how far has it gone?
Put it this way. Now it’s suppressing its own reports on the reasons people make the treacherous journey across the channel. Home Office data show two thirds of those attempting to make the crossing are genuine refugees, many coming from war-torn parts of the world. As one of the world’s largest exporters of arms, the UK has had a great deal to do with creating the hell that they are escaping.
But the Home Office is not publishing this data. Why? Because it doesn’t fit the narrative. These are inconvenient truths that the Tories don’t want people to hear. So best they just make out that the asylum seekers are illegal immigrants coming over here to scrounge benefits and get a nice hotel on the back of the taxpayer.
Murdoch repeatedly meets UK prime ministers in secret. The deal is that Murdoch sets the agenda and provides support to these right-wing politicians in return for favourable treatment. It should be recognised and accepted that Murdoch is a foreign tax evading billionaire so politicians are promoting private foreign interests over those of their country.
4 January 1981 Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch meet in secret with the meeting repeatedly denied since. Thatcher agrees that Murdoch can aquire the Times and Sunday Times newspapers thereby controlling a huge proportion of UK newspapers without a referral to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
The News of the World phone hacking scandal damages Rupert Murdoch’s influence. The News of the World hacked the phones of murder victims and thereby damaged police investigations as well as hacking the phones of royalty and celebrities.
Murdoch’s political influence returns following the phone hacking scandal.
Murdoch owns prominent UK politicians Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel. Boris Johnson gets the thumbs-up to be UK prime minister from Murdoch at the London Olympics, Priti Patel and Michael Gove attend Murdoch and Jerry Hall’s wedding celebrations in London. Priti Patel behaves as Rupert Murdoch’s private secretary e.g. here and here.
Extinction Rebellion protested today about UK’s press and politics being dominated by the politics and interests of 5 [ed: 4] non-dom tax evading billionaires. The political agenda is largely set by these sihts who often engage in criminal behaviour e.g. phone hacking, or facilitate criminal behaviour e.g. corruption of high elected politicians like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel. Surely it must be a crime for Priti Patel to be Rupert Murdoch’s PrivateSecretary instead of UK’s Home Secretary.
I am likely to revise this article but I want to get it out. It’s about the historical and continuing malign and corrosive influence of the Australian-American press baron Rupert Murdoch on UK politics. The article starts by looking at Murdoch’s influence over Tony Blair’s government before looking at how he still wields influence over Boris Johnson’s current government (and needs expanding there). I’m only searching the web so you can do this for yourselves.
Former Sun deputy editor Neil Wallis was in charge during the 1997 election campaign when then-Sun editor Stuart Higgins was on holiday.
The paper made shockwaves when it published a “Sun backs Blair” front page after declaring “it was the Sun wot won it” for the Conservatives in the previous election.
He said he asked for a first-person piece from Blair on his party’s “cut and dried position” on Europe but it was “a piece of PR flim-flam that actually said nothing”.
“I said ‘I’m not running this Alistair [Campbell, Blair’s spin doctor] because it’s just saying nothing’. But I said ‘for this to be coherent, for this to have an impact, this needs to say you will not go into the Euro without a referendum’.
“And I duly got the piece under Tony Blair’s name committing them to a referendum on the Euro if it was ever considered that they would go into it.”
Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage directly linked this Sun column with the eventual vote to leave the European Union 19 years later.
He told the documentary: “The price of Rupert Murdoch’s support for Tony Blair was that Blair promised he would not take us into the European currency without first having a referendum, and if Rupert Murdoch had not done that we would have joined the Euro in 1999 and I doubt Brexit would have happened.
“So I think when we look at the long history of Britain’s relationship with the European project that led ultimately to the Brexit vote, I think that was a decisive intervention from Rupert Murdoch.”
So much falls into place with the revelation that Tony Blair became godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s two young daughters and attended their baptism on the banks of the river Jordan last year. True, it isn’t yet clear whether Blair had agreed to become a godparent while he was prime minister [see footnote], and the ceremony did take place after he had left office, but the important point is that the relationship underlines Murdoch’s deep entrenchment in British political life.
Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi Deng, who let slip the information in an interview with Vogue, described Blair as one of Rupert’s closest friends. Blair’s account of the relationship in his memoirs is somewhat different, portraying Murdoch as the big bad beast, who won his grudging respect. That is clearly disingenuous. As other memoirs and diaries from the Blair period are published, we see how close Murdoch was to the prime minister and the centre of power when really important decisions, such as the Iraq invasion, were being made.
Blair and Murdoch didn’t have to be bosom buddies for the relationship to be counter to the interests of a healthy national life and politics. As Lance Price, the former Blair spin doctor, has said, Murdoch was one of four people in Britain whose reaction was considered when any important decision was made during the Blair years.
Rupert Murdoch launched an “over-crude” campaign to force Tony Blair to speed up Britain’s entry into the Iraq war, according to the final volume of [total cnut] Alastair Campbell’s diaries.
Mr Blair’s former communications director accuses the media mogul of being part of a drive by American Republicans to drag Britain into the controversial war a week before the House of Commons even voted to approve the intervention in 2003.
The claim is explosive because it appears to contradict Mr Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. The News Corp chief told Lord Justice Leveson in April: “I’ve never asked a prime minister for anything.”
It is the second time that claim has been contested. Sir John Major, the former Prime Minister, told the inquiry this week that Mr Murdoch threatened to withdraw the support of his newspapers for his Government unless it took a tougher stance on Europe. …
Liverpool MP Andy Burnham has suggested that Tony Blair did not order a full enquiry into the Hillsborough disaster because he did not want to offend Rupert Murdoch.
Mr Burnham, a Labour leader hopeful said he was told not to pursue his demand for an official investigation when serving under Mr Blair.
As a result a “major injustice” was allowed to remain in place for more than a decade, he said.
Mr Burnham was the driving force behind Gordon Brown’s decision to set up the Hillsborough Independent Panel into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans. … The Sun caused lasting outrage after publishing a report following the 1989 tragedy accusing “drunken” Liverpool fans of attacking rescue workers. …
Former Prime Minister Tony has always adamantly denied allegations he had an affair with Wendi, who was married to the News UK magnate from 1999 to 2013. However, the new BBC show spoke about Wendi’s affection towards him, including an unearthed diary entry in which she spoke about his ‘good body and legs’ before adding: ‘And what else and what else and what else…’.
But it was a series of emails, allegedly from Wendi about Blair, that effectively caused their divorce. ‘She made a bad mistake,’ journalist Ken Auletta explained. ‘She was sending emails on Newscorp email, so it’s easy for one of Murdoch’s minions, or lawyers, to extract those emails and see what they said – and they did. …
dizzy: At Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall’s wedding in March 2016 Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Priti Patel were invited – three prominent members of the current UK government. David Cameron and George Osborne – anti-Brexiteers – were not invited. Tony Blair was not invited – he’s been dropped by Murdoch after not having an affair with Wendi Deng.
£2.6m: Refurbishment for White House-style press briefings
Downing Street has spent more than £2.6 million on renovations in order to hold White House-style press briefings, it was revealed on Saturday.
£37bn: Spending on troubled Test and Trace system
HuffPost UK revealed on Thursday that the small print of Sunak’s budget showed the Test and Trace system is to get another £15bn, bringing its total cost to £37bn. The funding for 2021/22 comes on top of this year’s spending allocation of £22bn.
MPs said that the “eye-watering” sums should prompt ministers to do more to prove that the system, run by Tory peer Dido Harding, was giving taxpayers real value for money.
£340,000: Payout to Home Office official after Priti Patel bullying claims
On Thursday, it emerged the government agreed a “substantial” payout to settle a top civil servant’s employment tribunal claim after he quit amid allegations of home secretary Priti Patel’s bullying.
£4.4bn: Additional costs of Brexit preparations
Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union cost the taxpayer more than £4 billion in additional government costs, according to the Whitehall spending watchdog last March.
£150m: Millions of unusable face masks
During the early days of the pandemic, the government scrambled to secure deals with suppliers for precious personal protective equipment (PPE). Questions have been raised about many of the contracts, among the most notorious being a deal for 50 million face masks that did not work.
The masks were bought for NHS England from investment firm Ayanda Capital as part of a £252 million contract. But the government said because they used ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, they may not have fit tightly enough for clinical use. It confirmed in court papers that the masks would not be used in the NHS.
£60m: Falling short of supplying computers to disadvantaged schools
A £60m contract was awarded for the education department to provide laptops to teachers and disadvantaged children during the lockdown.