30 Of The Funniest Petrol Shortage Jokes And Memes As Twitter Reacts To The UK’s Panic Buying
When the pandemic first started and countries closed their borders to travelers, there was a lot of panic among citizens about how we would get products from other countries that our own countries don’t manufacture.
The most famous example is Japan: when a rumor was spread that all of their toilet paper was manufactured in China and that they should stock up, Japanese people started to panic buy. Later it was debunked and turns out, Japan produces its own toilet paper, but the rumor made people buy more than they needed and that created a toilet paper shortage.
A similar situation is happening now in the United Kingdom, but it’s not toilet paper. The UK is experiencing a shortage of fuel, because people are buying it in insane amounts even if they don’t need to because they fear that later they won’t be able to get any. However, as always, people on the internet are expressing their stress through ironic and sarcastic jokes and this serious problem has led to numerous memes being born.
The United Kingdom is experiencing fuel shortage and gas stations are closing down because they don’t have any supplies left. People are starting to panic, which is understandable; even if they don’t own a car, they understand that public transportation will not operate, so people will have problems getting to their jobs. Ambulance, police, and firefighters all run on fuel, so the concern is not without basis.
The root of all this chaos is actually not the shortage of fuel itself. In fact, the UK has plenty of raw materials and even plenty of the product itself. What is really the problem here is the shortage of lorry drivers to transport the fuel to the gas stations. Bored Panda reached out to John Fender, Emeritus Professor who was teaching Macroeconomics for over two decades at the University of Birmingham. He says that his impression is that the drivers' problem was always there, but it suddenly it got worse.
The Road Haulage Association claims that they need 100k drivers at the moment and they have tried to convince the government to make it easier to employ immigrants as after Brexit, the process is even more complicated. However, the government doesn’t think that it would be a long-term solution and is encouraging employers to invest in the local workforce instead of depending on foreigners’ labor.
However, the problem has to be solved immediately and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government decided to issue 5,000 three-month visas for truck drivers starting in October, and another 5,500 for poultry workers. It will hopefully allow British people to not worry about how they will get to their family and friends to celebrate Christmas.
For most people, it is quite obvious that the shortage of workers is related to Brexit. Professor Fender says that another big contributor to the issue was also the pandemic, as well as other reasons. But it seems the government doesn’t want to acknowledge that and in a statement said, "But like countries around the world, we are suffering from a temporary COVID-related shortage of drivers needed to move supplies around the country."
Also, they claim that there is no shortage at all and that the country has "ample fuel stocks" which is technically true but that didn’t convince people to continue buying only normal amounts of fuel.
Professor Fender explained how these kinds of shortages start: "Even if there’s no objective reason for a shortage, if enough people think there might be a shortage, then they might panic buy and hence cause a shortage. Even if I think there’s no genuine shortage, if I think that enough other shoppers are going to panic buy and hence cause a shortage, then that’s a reason for me to panic buy, and so forth. So panic buying can be a perfectly rational response to the possibility of a shortage (or to the possibility that enough other people might think there might be a shortage …). The same sort of process underlines bank runs."
Even though the fuel shortage is causing chaos, people are stressed and they are panicking, they still find ways to get a laugh or two from the whole situation. They are reacting in meme or joke forms, using sarcasm to try and cope with everything that life has been sending their way lately.
What do you think of these reactions? And what are your thoughts about the whole situation with the fuel in the UK? Leave all your reflections in the comments and upvote the tweets that made you laugh the most!
Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.