Patrick Christys: Fuel shortage is like the great big toilet roll crisis all over again

'We’ve got a backlog of around 40,000 lorry drivers waiting to sit their test'

Published Last updated

Obviously as an internationally renowned shock jock what I’m going to say now will come as no surprise to you all – I think we all need to calm down!

That’s right everyone, chill out about the fuel shortage. There’s not a shortage. This is a totally man-made crisis. If people didn’t panic buy fuel, then there would be no shortage. It’s like cutting off your feet and then complaining that you can’t walk to work anymore.

It’s like the great big toilet roll crisis all over again. There’s a new virus out there that makes you cough and have a fever. Right then, better buy every single sheet of toilet roll this side of the Watford Gap so I can stand on a fortress of tissue paper and watch elderly people have a breakdown in Tesco.

Let’s just have a look at where this panic started. The government says it’s down to comments being leaked from an industry meeting that said fuel stocks at forecourts were lower than expected.

Who stands accused of leaking those comments? A trifector of anti-Brexit ideologues at the Road Haulage Association - Duncan Buchanan, the RHA’s policy director. He answers to Richard Burnett, the chief executive of the RHA, while the public face of the industry body is Rod McKenzie, the managing director of policy and public affairs, who previously, obviously, worked for the BBC.

They stand accused of wanting to continue to import cheap foreign labour instead of paying HGV drivers a better wage, or, you know, what they’re worth.

It has repeatedly claimed there is a shortage of 100,000 drivers in the country, though the Government insists the true figure is closer to 30,000 and that when it comes to tanker drivers, the shortfall is as few as 150-300 drivers.

So that’s where, allegedly, this fuel crisis has come from. People with a strong political agenda. The irony for those pro-Brussels big wigs is that I’d actually rather carry round a plastic bag full of diesel than rejoin the European Union so I can be bossed around by an unelected German lady and a cabal of random continental diplomats.

All joking aside though, we have a moral duty to not panic buy fuel and this is why everyone needs to calm down.

Boris is thinking of bringing the army in to help with the supply chain, relaxing the rules to allow around 5,000 foreign HGV drivers to work in the UK again and potentially get retired lorry drivers back in action.

We’ve got a backlog of around 40,000 lorry drivers waiting to sit their test, that needs to be sorted sharpish and, to be fair, the fact that it wasn’t seems like a glaring oversight.

But if our panic buying means that somewhere between 50-90% of independent petrol forecourts are out of fuel then how are people going to fill up if they want to go to work? There’s talk of school closures because people can’t drop their kids off or teachers won’t be able to get in.

We really need to calm down about this, for the good of the nation. Come on Britain, Keep Calm and Carry On!