Blog: The news in England today
Dave Leggett | 13 September 2005
We English haven't had a lot to cheer sports-wise for quite a while, so we're really milking the fact that we have just beaten the Australians at a game of cricket that has lasted much of the summer.
It's hard to explain to non-cricket people the importance for England of beating the Australians at cricket in a Test series (the 'Ashes') succinctly so I won't attempt to here. Suffice to say, if you don't know, it ranks right up there with beating either Germany or Argentina in a game of football. But commiserations to the Aussies who played the series in great spirit and were gracious in defeat (and we're actually sorry to see the back of Warne and McGrath - two great sportsmen unlikely to be playing in the next Ashes series over here).
Anyway, the cricket is the lead news item in the media here at the moment; there was a big victory parade for the team in London today (no, I don't think it would be the lead item if we'd lost at the Oval yesterday with the series squared).
But another big news item here this week is the possibility of protests later this week over high fuel prices, led by road hauliers (freight truck operators). We had blockades of fuel depots and fuel shortages here a few years ago in similar circumstances, so the fact that it is in the news has already triggered panic buying with people queuing up to an hour for petrol in some places.
Of course, people - like the petrol retailers - have been popping up in the media to offer reassurance that there is no need for panic-buying and that there is plenty of supply, with protesters not planning to blockade depots. But just the fact that the item is in the news with mention of the term 'panic buying' triggers even more panic buying, of course. It's a paradox that amuses me a bit (not that much, 'cos I could be among the queuers soon). Oh well, I'll make myself feel better with another Ashes celebratory ale.
To be a little more serious for a moment, I came across an interesting article in the Economist about the global oil supply position and the effects of Katrina. It is pretty sobering on two counts: (1) will consumers, paying more for gas, cut back on other spending, triggering economic slowdown or recession? and (2) we seem to be uncomfortably close to supply capacity limits with little room for manoeuvre if there should be some other event that disrupted supply in an important oil-producing region.
Article is at below link. You will have to be a signed up with the Economist to see the full article (I think).
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