Support the Fuel Protesters!

Contains no jokes. Nothing of interest to anyone outside Great Britain, except for a great recipe for left-over Halloween turnips.

  At the time of the first fuel protests, Daily Telegraph columnist Sion Simon called the protesters the scum of the earth. Polly Toynbee in The Guardian described them as the forces of conservatism and enemies of the people. Cartoonists depicted the protesters as fat uncouth yobs.
  This time around the Guardian says the fuel protesters are 'fomenting anarchy' while The Times says they are 'drunk on their own self-importance'. Cartoonists depict them as fat uncouth yobs.
  Farmers and hauliers are the backbone of the country. New Labour media lackeys of the type of Toynbee and Simon are the scum of the earth.

  It is quite clear that the government's promise to listen to the fuel protesters was nothing more than a delaying tactic. They have used the truce simply to re-arm and prepare for further conflict, a trick they learned from the IRA.
  Instead of listening to the protesters' genuine grievances and trying to find some constructive solution, in the two month interim the government has trained the army to drive tankers, infiltrated Special Branch into the protest movement (ooh, those dangerous farming lorry-driving subversives), and tried to sway popular opinion against the protests through the aforesaid media pig-whore-lackey-pigs.
  And just last week Blair conveniently had a Damascene conversion to environmentalism, presumably to allow the government to play the Green card with greater ease. This won't wash. Those environmentalists who have been showing up on TV and in the press to say that heavy fuel duty is good for the ecosystem give me a pain. The high fuel tax has nothing to do with greenness and everything to do with Treasury greed. I am as Green as the next person and certainly more so than anyone in this bloody government. Fossil fuels may be bad but it is not possible to do without them at this stage in history. (For one thing, every single plane flight produces more pollution than 40,000 cars running for a year. Or something. I am not sure of that statistic, but it was big and had a four in it.) It helps no-one to make fuel so expensive that only government ministers and corporate expense-account types can afford to run a car. Besides, what is our alternative to driving? To be killed in a train wreck or die of despair waiting for one to show up. Blair is a fascist who can't even make the trains run on time.
  People in rural communities need to drive a lot because things like village banks, post offices and shops are fast becoming unknown outside Agatha Christie, and the occasional appearance of buses produces as much excitement and fear of the unknown in those places as two-headed calves or children with birthmarks.
  People in small towns need to drive because most of the town is now out of town.
  For farmers and lorry-drivers, the heavy fuel duty threatens their very livelihood. British haulage firms lose contracts to French rivals who can afford to fill up with cheap fuel. Many self-employed truckers have to work so hard to make ends meet the choice is practically between feeding their families and ever seeing their families.
  As for farmers, it hardly needs me to point out their plight. The excessive fuel duty is just one of many things forcing the small family farms out of business. Enlightened self-interest as well as common humanity demands we help them. The disappearance of moderately sized farms run by families who take a pride in their work, in favour of vast profit-squeezing conglomerates, will make another BSE-type horror more not less likely.
  If we lose our farmers we lose our independence as a nation. If we can no longer feed ourselves then we are truly at the mercy of Europe and the rest of the world. In fact, if I was the sort of person who saw conspiracies everywhere, rather than a huge, frank corruption of all areas of life that works by depressing and enervating you with its very openness, I would say that this may well be exactly what our leaders want.
  Rather than being the bunch of hairy apes the London government-media elite appear to see them as, farmers and small businessmen are the Gibraltar Apes of our once so lovely little island. When they go, Britain goes too.
  I might also add that simply as a matter of general principles it is never wise to fuck around with farmers. They are well-armed men with a special kinship to death who are perpetually grumpy from getting up early in the morning. Indeed, I am amazed at their restraint thus far. If I had to get up at 4a.m. to earn about five fucking pence a day, there would be a lot of politicians and supermarket owners picking shotgun pellets out of their backsides by now.

  The protesters characterized by the New Labour/media elite as the scum of the earth are nothing of the sort, neither are they frothing reactionaries or wild-eyed radicals. They are decent, hard-working people who want nothing more than a future for their families. This unfair tax is crippling them and screwing every one of us.

  Anyway, here is my mother's recipe for Halloween Hotpot:

To feed around six people - all ingredients approx - vary as necessary:

5 lb potatoes or more
3 or 4 large onions
1-2 whole turnips to taste
(Whatever left from hollowing out Halloween lanterns -
the more the better)
butter large knob
salt/pepper to taste
1 lb bacon or six bacon chops (pref)
1/2 lb grated cheese

Boil potatoes/turnips/onions until cooked
Drain & mash well. Add butter salt and pepper.
Put into suitable casserole dish - a big deep oblong earthenware one for preference
Top with grated cheese, then bacon strips or bacon chops
Sprinkle cheese with salt & pepper
Bake in hot oven until cheese is golden brown and bacon fairly crispy - Delicious!