Why I Hope BP Goes Bust!
I like having a log fire in the evening.
We have one most evenings between October and the end of March.
Most of our logs come from trees which have had to be cut down. A couple of months before Christmas, we had to get the tree surgeon in to take down three silver birch, a sycamore and a fir tree. It was sad to see them go (they were all dead and dangerous) but they provided us with a huge pile of logs. And although still fairly green, the logs burnt well. The trees they came from were dead.
But, of course, the log pile has diminished over the winter.
And the other day I thought I would replenish our stocks before the last cold spell of the winter.
Naturally, the usual sources were out of logs. We weren’t the only ones to have the same idea.
I called in at a branch of Homebase because they usually sell decent logs. When I couldn’t find any I looked for an assistant. When I eventually managed to find one, and to persuade him to talk to me, I asked him if they had any logs.
`Not that I know of,’ he replied, with majestic indifference.
I know that is what he said because I wrote it down.
`Not that I know of.’
So no points to Homebase.
It’s not difficult to see why the chain is in trouble and there is talk that many stores may close.
So I tried a nearby BP petrol station.
There I managed to buy eight bags of wood for the princely sum of £89.12. It was all they had.
There were four bags of something called briquettes at £14.99 each bag. And four bags of something called `real wood’ for £7.29 each bag.
I wouldn’t have minded so much but the bags of `real wood’ were so small that I could carry all four at once. They were really half bags.
And, to make things worse, the logs were muddy and they were wet. They felt and smelt as though they had been stored at the bottom of a pond. Inevitably, they did not burn well and they spat. To sum up, their logs were wet, dirty and vastly overpriced.
And when we got home I found that the olive briquettes were available online (post free) for around a tenner a bag.
Do BP always overcharge for this stuff or was the company taking advantage of people because the weather was bad?
But minus points to BP for proving that the spirit of Harry Lime remains with us in 2018.
In an average winter between 40,000 and 60,000 old people die because they cannot keep warm.
By charging extortionate prices for a rotten quality product (the so called `real wood’), and either overcharging or taking advantage of a cold spell to profiteer on the briquettes, BP seem to be doing their best to add to that number of deaths.
I very much doubt if anyone at BP will be ashamed or embarrassed by this.
It is the corporate way these days.
Incidentally, the boss of BP, Bob Dudley, was paid $11.6 million in 2016 and $19.4 million in 2015.
So I will cheer when BP goes bust.
Copyright Vernon Coleman 2018