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‘Strange how those moaning about foreigners taking our jobs have fallen silent’

Great Britain has become a great big joke – why would Europeans help us out with our petrol crisis after the way we treated them over Brexit, asks Anila Baig

Bus driver voluntarily directs traffic amidst fuel panic buying

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Laugh because anyone with half a brain cell knew that Brexit was going to be a monumental shambles.

Or cry because 18 months into a pandemic and the misery caused by lockdowns, isolation, bereavements, job losses and other money woes, we now find ourselves unable to go out because we have no petrol.

“How is life in England?” my uncle from Karachi asked the other day.

“Well, we have food and fuel shortages and I had to wait a month for an emergency blood test,” I replied. “And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

How the tables have turned. Great Britain has now become a great big joke.

Secretary of State for Culture Nadine Dorries can tweet all she likes about how ‘THERE IS NO FUEL SHORTAGE’ but if the pumps have run dry then more fuel her.

Do you agree with Anila? Have your say in the comments below



This fuel crisis has been looming for years, spurred on by Brexit and Covid
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)




Ministers are desperately throwing out ideas to avert this crisis, such as drafting in the Army and issuing 10,000 short term visas, but why would anyone from Europe answer our SOS when they were so inhumanely treated before?

They fare much better in other European countries and aren’t treated like dirt.

There are also plans afoot to introduce training programmes so that people here can learn to be HGV drivers even though haulage company bosses have long been warning about a shortage of workers.

And surely if it was that appealing we wouldn’t have had a shortage in the first place?





It feels like history is about to repeat itself.

In the 1950s and ’60s my parents’ generation were told that this country needed them.

War had decimated the economy and immigrants from the colonies were needed to rebuild the nation.

They faced deep hostility from some native Brits who put up signs on their doors like ‘No dogs, no Irish, no Pak…’

Still, they kept the wheels of industry turning by enduring horrific conditions working in the ‘dark satanic mills’ and kept the country moving by driving buses and working as conductors.



“Just like our elders who came to drive buses, will our youngsters now be told they need to retrain as HGV drivers?”
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Image:

WalesOnline/Rob Browne)




This time it is not war which has caused shortages but the utter incompetence of the Tory government who have been in power for over a decade.

Brexit cost billions and yet we are all so much worse off than before.

So if no-one from Europe wants to be humiliated again, where do you think the drivers will come from?

I would not be surprised if people from the Asian subcontinent and former colonies will be expected to fill the vacancies, the absolute last thing that the diehard Brexiteers wanted in the first place.

Or, just like our elders who came to drive buses, will our youngsters now be told they need to retrain as HGV drivers?

Suddenly it has gone very quiet from those who were highly vocal about ‘them foreigners coming here and taking all our jobs’.

It was always the jobs that no-one else wanted and now there is no-one to do them.

When it comes to sorting out this mess who exactly is in the driving seat?

Because it sure as hell isn’t the Tories.


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