For the opposition Labor Party, which struggled to attack the government despite the pandemic-inspired national solidarity, beating the Tories over the high cost of living is a simple strategy. Some analysts predict a series of humiliating reversals for Mr Johnson, starting with the potential impact of the tax hikes.
“When articles are written in conservative newspapers about a return to the seventies, it is a blinking red sign of conservative government,” said Tony Travers, professor of politics at the London School of Economics. He noted a maxim in British politics: “Opposition does not win elections; Governments lose them. “
The specter of fuel shortages appeared to be greatest on Friday. Long lines formed at some petrol stations in London while others reported that they were working normally. Priya Dela, a cashier at a busy Texaco station in West Norwood, southeast London, said her gas station may run out of fuel at the end of the day.
Ragu Thangavel, a manager at an Esso station in Brighton, said he was out of diesel by Friday morning and he expects to run out of fuel by evening. “There have been long lines since this morning,” he said, adding that he had not been told when his next delivery would arrive.
Oil giant BP said several of its gas stations had closed due to a lack of unleaded and diesel fuel. Tesco, a supermarket chain that operates gas stations, said it is temporarily closed in some areas. The problem is not the fuel supply, said Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, but the lack of trained truck drivers for transportation.
The challenge of finding and paying qualified drivers affects not only the fuel sector, but other sectors as well. With drivers retiring and approval replacement being delayed due to the pandemic, the labor pool has shrunk despite increased demand. That drove up wages. Tom Binks, the managing director of Peter Green Chilled, a refrigerated and frozen food transport company, said he had to increase the pay of his 60 or so drivers by 35 percent since April to keep them.