A view from the Bridge

AFTER a week of trying to appear as calm as possible every time I go to fill up my car, it appears that there’s no end in sight to the will-they-won’t-they saga of striking petrol delivery drivers.

“Pump number 3, about £60 worth,” I suggest coyly to the girl at the petrol station, who knows I usually run my car on fumes and eyes me suspiciously.

Having thus far refused to fill up a container, I’m seriously considering doing so now. Afterall, however much ‘panic buying’ might be perceived as looking daft, being stuck at the side of the road with no petrol would be even dafter.

The way that government has handled the situation has been less than exemplary, with a succession of conflicting advice. Advising people to stock up on fuel is probably pretty sensible if there are to be shortages.

And I can’t accept that Francis Maude is particularly to blame for the woman who managed to burn herself by decanting petrol next to a cooker. He told the public to stock up on petrol, and people took it. Nowhere in his comments did he say ‘decant said petrol next to a source of ignition’. Personal responsibility is a great thing, but sometimes it’s just easier for people to shout ‘evil Tories’ than admitting human error might be to blame for an unfortunate accident.

HAVING enjoyed what can only be described as delightful summer weather for three or four days, waking up to a blanket of white misery served only to make an already droll Tuesday even droller.

After speaking to a chap from the Met Office last week who assured me that a good spring doesn’t necessarily mean a miserable summer, I can only hope that he’s right and that this snow isn’t a harbinger of things to come.

LASTLY, council candidates are gearing up for this May’s elections and will be writing pieces for next week’s Ellon Times so that our readers can judge for themselves who deserves their vote. I will be speaking a lot to candidates over the coming weeks, and will be interested to hear from readers and politicos on their opinions, policies and ambitions for Aberdeenshire, and Ellon in particular.

Whether you have a favoured candidate, or none at all, everyone who can vote should vote. Even if it’s just to spoil the ballot paper and write ‘none of the above’, it’s better than not turning up.

We live at the tail end of an era which saw our ancestors liberate themselves slowly but surely from the clutches of absolutist authority - political, social and religious. Democracy is a precious thing, sore won, and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Remember to register and take part!