Its amazing how quickly things can go wrong. The strike action at Grangemouth was given a "don't panic" response from the First Minister who claimed that there were "ample and substantial" fuel stocks that would last until May.
Aye right. Trying buying anything other than premium unleaded and a newspaper in a lot of garages and you'll be disappointed. Stocks have gone dry in many places already.
The political spin on this has already begun of course. Unionist commentators are suggesting that Westminster can use this crisis to wrong foot the nationalists by sending up plenty of supplies from England and keeping us going, thereby demonstrating that Scotland is better off within the support mechanism of the Union. The nationalists, some would suggest, on the other hand are sitting waiting for it to go badly wrong and claiming it is a reserved matter and there was nothing they could do, citing that they would have handled the crisis much better in an independent Scotland.
Sadly, it already has gone badly wrong. Some garage forecourts decided to shove their prices through the roof to maximise profits. Garages have run dry and people are starting to get agitated. England may have plenty of fuel, but the fact is that the infrastructure to get it up here in a hurry appears to be non existent. I am told that for all their many petrol stations, Morissons only have four tankers, which is plenty normally, but not able to cut the mustard in times like these.
Its amazing that a two day strike not only threatens to bring Scotland to a standstill, it is also seen by many of the politically inclined as a commentary on the state of the Union. For those of us like myself that prefer the Union to Nationalism, we could really have hoped for a considerable fleet of tankers heading across the border to bring us supplies at the first hint of trouble. I say we could have hoped for that, but with a Westminster Government burdened by various other crises such as the credit crunch and teachers strikes, perhaps we should just have expected this.