Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FairFuelUK Campaigners are attending all three Major Party Political Conferences in 2014. We will write a review of each conference experience and will be honest, apolitical and fair about the way the Campaign is considered at each of the three Party events. Here is the first of those reviews.

From left to right in the photo, James Hookham (FTA), Jack Semple (RHA), Quentin Willson (FairFuelUK), David Bizley (RAC) and Rob Shuttleworth (UKLPG)The Labour Party Conference Experience


FairFuelUK attended the Labour Party Conference in Manchester and held a Fringe Event in the Midland Hotel, where the great and the good of current Labour Party Politics were staying right next to their conference and exhibition centre.


From left to right in the photo, James Hookham (FTA), Jack Semple (RHA), Quentin Willson (FairFuelUK), David Bizley (RAC) and Rob Shuttleworth (UKLPG) gave a day of their time to hopefully debate with Labour Party Delegates at their Conference, issues that affect the economy and 32m UK Road Users. 


To hold this event FairFuelUK had to pay the Labour Party, through the Campaign's backers the FTA, in excess of £2,600 to hold a 60 minute meeting that also did not include £125 for each of FairFuelUK’s 5 panellists' security passes. And of course there were hotel accommodation costs to pay for with the inevitable inflated room rates to coincide with the Conference itself. SO the total cost of attending for FairFuelUK was about £4,000.  Please note that all three Parties charge to run Fringe Events.

Labour Conference Programme - 152 Pages of AdvertisingIn the lead up to the Conference, FairFuelUK also paid for advertisements in selected media to entice Labour delegates to attend their Fringe Event. On top of that, a personal invitation was sent to each Labour MP to come and debate "Are 32m UK Road Users getting a fair deal from successive Governments?” This was the title of the event that was also in the Conference Programme (pictured) on page 70 for the 10,000 delegates to be in absolute no doubt of the content of FairFuelUK’s event. Labour's Twitter account was also contacted with several polite invitations to attend.


Each MP was informed very courteously that FairFuelUK was holding this event on behalf of its 750,000 supporters and sponsoring backers, "to simply find out where the Labour Party is currently positioned regarding its support of the UK road user. And, following this Fringe Meeting the Campaign will therefore be better placed to include in its Manifesto an up to date understanding of the Party's future approach to voting motorists, hauliers and other road users. In a recent Poll of 30,000+ motorists, 87.7% said they would vote or maybe vote for that politician that truly understands road user issues. This will be a key General Election Issue in 2015.”

The meeting was voluntarily chaired by Quentin Willson, who supports FairFuelUK Campaign without any recompense. FairFuelUK through the fabulous hosting of the FTA (a founding backer of the campaign) supplied breakfast to all attendees as well. The event itself was held at 8.00am on Monday Morning. At the same time as the FairFuelUK event there were 20 other meetings for Labour Delegates to choose from, including "Data, Democracy and Power” and those sponsored by the Childcare Voucher Providers Association, the British Chambers of Commerce, Society of Labour Lawyers, Electoral Reform Society and the Policy Network, to name but a few.

Only 16 Labour Conference Delegates turned out to attend FairFuelUK’s event. NOT ONE MP!


There was however one Prospective Labour Candidate for Altrincham and Sale West, James Wright who did attend. He was perplexed and somewhat embarrassed as to why his Party Members were not there to debate the issue. He said: "this is a no brainer, pump prices must come down to help the economy, and the Labour Party should be right behind the campaign”.


On the previous day (Sunday) of the Conference Howard Cox, the original founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign also attended FTA’s "Big Transport Interview” session with Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Transport Secretary. He asked her this question: "Following the Treasury’s support of FairFuelUK’s evidence that cutting fuel duty is now proven to be good for the economy, will the Labour Party support a 3p cut in Fuel Duty?” She replied: "I can’t answer this question because it is way above my pay grade.” She was however exceedingly vocal at this meeting about trams and cycling.

An open letter to the Labour Party from the FairFuelUK Campaign

At a private dinner later in the evening hosted by the FTA and attended by 3 MPs from the Labour Party, Howard Cox again asked that question to these politicians including significant background information as to why they should indeed back this core campaign objective and listen to supporters of FairFuelUK. All 3 MPs avoided answering Howard's question and clearly showed no understanding of the issues that face 32 million road users of the United Kingdom.

The conclusion from this experience at the Labour Party Conference is absolutely clear: The Labour Party does NOT seem to want to support the 32 million road users in the UK.  What other conclusion can we come to? They do not seem to want to support cutting Fuel Duty and are not willing to answer the questions posed in this open letter to the Party that was distributed at their Conference (pictured left). Remember carefully, if they were now in power pump prices would be in excess of £1.60p per litre.


In the 4 years of campaigning, we have tried to get in front of Ed Balls and Ed Miliband to discuss FairFuelUK objectives and what the Labour Party’s policies are for the 32 million road users who pay 42bn in tax each year to the Exchequer. Despite repeated invitations even via supporting Campaign Labour MPs, such as Stoke's Robert Flello, they have not had the decency to see us or even reply to messages we have sent to them.


The FairFuelUK Campaign will continue to lobby Labour MPs to try and convince the Party elite to reconsider their position of using lower Fuel Duty instead as a growth stimulus and not their traditional cash cow of canning motorists. Many MPs in the Party have indeed supported FairFuelUK in the past, so we are optimistic of a change in direction.. Let's hope so...


The Next Conference is the Tory Party's in Birmingham. See our next blog on that one. We will report fully and honestly....


In the meantime please purchase a Campaign Sticker, so we can for example afford to attend these conferences and continue campaigning for better and fairer pump prices on your behalf. Thanks for your continued support, FairFuelUK

Please donate to help the fight for lower fuel prices and a better deal for drivers

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[ posted by edmund prince, 23.09.14 15:51 ]

as a pensioner and owning a car is essential to me, i am finding it ever harder with increased energy prices to manage my weekly budget. if fuel prices are increased instead of decreased i will have to use my bus pass, which will mean i will not be buying petrol and so the government will lose revenue.


[ posted by walter weir, 23.09.14 16:02 ]

labour mp`s would not be there because they are in bed wiith the conservative party


[ posted by John Mclaughlin, 23.09.14 16:18 ]

I call on the labour party to sack Ed Balls as he's just another jumped up tory, and for the labour party to cut fuel duty not for the likes of Quenten and his kind of people because they can afford to spend money but for the working man who has to use his vehicle evry day to do his job and public transport is not an option because he has to take his tools with him so come on labour do what you're supposed to do and help the woring class


[ posted by George Bradbury, 23.09.14 16:27 ]

My job depends on transport. Every increase in fuel duty makes it more difficult to afford. My employer has to increase prices which further threatens my job and helps fuel inflation.


[ posted by David Britten, 23.09.14 17:00 ]

We continue to imagine the the MPs we elect are endowed with some vestige of intelligence. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Very few MPs exhibit even the merest trace of intelligence, or even common sense, and simply follow the party line, which is devised by a committee whose combined IQ is less than the shoe size of its smallest member.


[ posted by Kathy Everitt, 23.09.14 17:51 ]

Well, guess who I won't be voting for?!! Apart from the likes of Labour MP's, such as James Wright and Robert Flello, Labour obviously couldn't care less about the average person in the street! The person who needs their car to get to work, to add to the coffers via tax! We are hit time and time again by, so-called, educated people in Government, who ignore the indisputable evidence that to cut fuel duty, would boost the economy. It's common sense!! They'll be there, talking the talk, when they want our votes but their total disrespect towards the FairFuel representatives and, thus, to the very people they're supposed to be working for, illustrates very clearly what little regard they old us all in! Get your blinkers off, Labour, then you might see the bigger picture. Oh, yes! Just a thought! If you didn't lavish so much money on yourselves, by holding conferences in places like The Midland Hotel, you might not have to be so desperate in trying to rake in the dosh, any way you can, regardless of the consequences!


[ posted by David Towell, 23.09.14 17:53 ]

It would be good to hear from 'Fair Fuel' how this campaign can be part of reducing our carbon footprint so as to address the overwhelming priority of our times, halting global warming. The '32 million' (mostly) have children and (will have) grandchildren who will suffer the consequences of our failure. We are not just motorists, we are responsible people. At the same time, perhaps Fair Fuel will address the question of whether all 'growth' is good. If growth just means more stuff to fill our cupboards, more pollution, more damage to the environment etc. we would be better without it. The only good growth is green growth. If Quentin and colleagues are so buried under their bonnets that they can't understand this, so in love with cheap fossil fuels that all else, including the lives of their grandchildren, are of no consequence - then we need to treat this propaganda with extreme scepticism.


[ posted by admin, 23.09.14 18:37 ]

Thank you for your comment. You have a biased view of 750,000 supporters of lower fuel prices. Quentin drives mainly an electric car. we are supported by UKLPG that is the cleanest vehicle fuel. Please dont assume what you dont know about the people behind the campaign. We are also fighting for lower emissions and truly care. Thanks Howard Cox


[ posted by Geoff Brearley, 23.09.14 17:55 ]

I've been a life-long Labour voter, but I can no longer stand back and ignore the blurring of the political lines. Conservative, Lib Dem or Labour, I can see little more difference between them than the colour of their badges. All are more interested in their political careers than in doing what they're voted into office for. As such, I'll be looking to place my vote elsewhere. Quentin's got my vote if he wants to be Prime Minister!


[ posted by Alan Ratcliffe, 23.09.14 18:39 ]

Well done 'Fair Fuel'. Take no notice of the likes of the 'Green Brigade' they are living a on a different planet than the rest of us, this 'low carbon footprint' is another way the government is imposing a tax, and as far as the labour party go, they screwed up the country fine style when they were in power, so we don't want them coming up with bright ideas, they could try getting rid of Ed Balls, he wastes enough air as it is.


[ posted by angus brown, 23.09.14 21:06 ]

Red Tories. Traitorous scum
All my local MP Jim Murphy is good at is claiming expenses an he's very good at that.


[ posted by Rob McIvor, 23.09.14 22:04 ]

I think, in fairness, it was probably not that realistic to expect a large turnout, given the timing of the event. From my experience, MPs rarely attend fringe meeting unless they have a strong personal interest in the topic or are speaking. Labour also attracts fewer individual delegates than the Conservative conference (principally, I suspect, because it's so expensive to attend and committed Tories tend to have deeper pockets) and they are more likely to attend fringe events that have high profile/celebrity speakers or are "core" Labour topics.

An additional factor is that many individual delegates arrive on Monday morning - on Sunday night you are more likely to bump into other lobbyists than genuine delegates in the restaurants and bars and they are off doing their own things at 8.00 on Monday morning. So I don't think it would be correct to interpret the low attendance as a lack of interest or empathy but more a reflection of the nature of the potential audience and the high level of competition from other meetings.

I imagine there will be larger turnout at the Conservative conference, for the reasons given above. I wouldn't order in a large number of pastries for the LibDems though!


[ posted by David Logue, 24.09.14 00:38 ]

why would they worry, they get mileage for riding a bike. a trip to the shops is booked as work related as they bought some tea bags for work while they were there. make the idiots pay through the nose and while your at it make them pay for ours.


[ posted by Deirdre Snook, 24.09.14 08:00 ]

Many of us still harbour the illusion that the MP's who serve in our name, actually have our best interest at heart. The exorbitant cost of fuel penalises workers who have no option but to use their car for work. I am self employed so have no option but to cut down on the use of the car for leisure activities to try to keep my costs down. Lowering the fuel price will add a stimulus to the economy & it will give hard pressed taxpayers some relief. Thank you for your campaigns to help us motorists ….


[ posted by Steven Smith, 25.09.14 17:23 ]

When labour was in power Alistair Darling constantly hammered the working man with huge fuel duty increases , I will never vote for them again as they dont care about the motorist and the problems we face with high fuel prices at the the pumps.
I need a car for work as there are no buses at 5am in the morning and on minimum wage I can barely afford the petrol to travel to work .
Wake up Labour and listen to the working man


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