Running on empty

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The Independent Online

There's nothing quite like misjudging the mood of a nation. The organisers of the "Dump the Pump" boycott of petrol stations who hoped to mobilise mass support for their cause will have to think again.

There's nothing quite like misjudging the mood of a nation. The organisers of the "Dump the Pump" boycott of petrol stations who hoped to mobilise mass support for their cause will have to think again.

Reports suggest that the planned protest had little impact. One planned "rolling roadblock" for example, could only boast a half a dozen lorries and cars respectively. Perhaps the sunny weather is taking our minds off the threat of the £5 gallon. That same sunshine may be reminding us of the more transcendent peril to the planet of global warming and our wasteful use of precious finite resources such as fossil fuels. Maybe a petrol price war among the supermarkets has confused matters.

Or perhaps, as Mr John Culley of Edgware, north London remarked as he filled up at the pumps yesterday, the campaign has enjoyed only modest success because "there's no alternative. You can't say 'I'll use Mars bars instead of petrol'". "Dump the pump" needs a tiger in its tank.

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