The Reader: Leadership is needed to tackle ‘perfect storm’

·2-min read
Vehicles queuing last week up outside a BP petrol station in Alton, Hampshire (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
Vehicles queuing last week up outside a BP petrol station in Alton, Hampshire (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

The Government has now called in the Army to help with fuel shortages. We are witnessing the worst energy crisis for a generation in this country. This is compounded by the lack of truck drivers, as well as Brexit, which means that we are in a “perfect storm” of energy shortages, high prices, and at times, no food supply on the shelves.

The Government should have planned for this possibility when we left the EU and lowered visa requirements for this sector, so we did not have this eventuality. The hubris on the part of the Government in its belief of British exceptionalism overrode practical thinking. With price rises and shortages, now more than ever we need leadership. This crisis takes us back to 1979, when the then Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan said, “crisis, what crisis” in response to a “winter of discontent”.

Oliver Steward

Dear Oliver,

Around 200 military personnel — half of them drivers — are being deployed in Operation Escalin, despite ministers insisting the situation at the pumps is easing. The shortfall in HGV drivers which has prompted many of the shortages did not happen overnight. The Government should have seen this coming and made a plan to address it. They have allowed a supply chain squeeze to balloon into a full-blown crisis. We cannot go on like this to Christmas.

Emma Loffhagen, Comment writer

Festival of UK needs tiny venue

Only four per cent of respondents in a recent YouGov poll think Brexit has gone “very well” since the end of the transition period. My question is: will the Government use these figures when calculating the capacity for the Festival of UK, dubbed the “Festival of Brexit” next year, or will they make a complete mess of that as well? I wonder.

Robert Boston

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