Scaremonger watch: The AA

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Old fashioned ideas?

The AA, that old and respected motoring organisation, has come out with the most preposterous piece of Brexit scaremongering yet.  We must be ready for more of this nonsense in the next few months, but so far this surely takes the top prize for egregious nonsense.  Mr. Edmund King, President of the AA, warns that the price of petrol at the pump could rise by 18.7 pence a litre within days of Brexit.  For good measure, he adds that this could cost the average motorist an extra £494 a year.

Not “Could rise significantly”.  Not “May increase by up to 20p”.  No.  A precise amount, to three significant figures.  18.7p a litre.  The exactitude is designed to give a spurious air of precision to a wild and politically biased finger-in-the-air guess.  Not an estimate.  A guess.

How do they reach this extraordinary result?  First, they take the view that Sterling may fall by 20% (another “precise” guestimate).  OK.  They could be right, but I suspect that few economic analysts will agree.  If you want my guess, then yes, there will be a short period of unpredictable turbulence immediately after the “Leave” vote, until pessimists and scaremongers notice that the sky hasn’t actually fallen.  I suspect that there will then be rather little impact on Sterling, perhaps for a couple of years.  But in the medium term, as our economy improves compared to the continent, I would expect to see Sterling strengthening.  Tough for exporters, but good for motorists at the pump.  Bear in mind that a key reason for wanting to leave the EU is the economic benefit that will result from independence.

But then, says the AA, the price of oil is at an historic low, and could go up as much as three times.  Indeed it could, but that has absolutely nothing whatever to do with British membership of the EU.  It may happen if we leave, but it would equally happen if we were to stay.  They toss it in purely to exaggerate the headline figure – a dishonest piece of propaganda.

Finally, they don’t seem to have taken account of the probability that domestic oil production (which would be unaffected by the exchange rate) is likely to increase in the medium term.  Perhaps they haven’t read about the Gatwick Gusher and the large oil on-shore reserves identified in The Weald.  Mr. Edmund King may like to reflect that the UK is the largest oil producer in the EU.

I suspect that most people who join the AA are looking for roadside assistance, insurance, motoring advice and so on.  I’m sure that very few of them are looking for profoundly biased and misleading political propaganda.  My only regret is that I am not an AA member, so I can’t have the satisfaction of quitting in protest.

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19 Responses to Scaremonger watch: The AA

  1. Alan Wheatley says:

    I notice the word “Service” above the AA badge. That seems to have gone the way of the motorcycle combination – obsolete.

  2. John Poynton says:

    Clearly Mr. King cares nothing that trade deficits export jobs. I would welcome a moderate devaluation, but what is more likely to happen is that controlling our borders, which I guess would take a little while to enforce, would restrict the supply of labour and increase wages. That could lead to an increase in interest rates which in turn would lead to a rise in Sterling. It will take careful management to keep everything in balance.

  3. catalanbrian says:

    And UKIP has never involved itself in “profoundly biased and misleading political propaganda”?.

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Its taxed to the hilt so the few bucks oil jumps is SFA really. I’ll get mine from ISIL like the other nice places in this world… how would you know?

    The current AA and RAC arrived when the real AA and RAC …er-umm died way back? Remember the salute and waves at my beetle…rust bucket!

    • Jane Davies says:

      Other Beetle owners waved too…I used to love that! Loved my Beetle.

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        I had four VW’s with the flat 4 engines..From 1200 beetle, to 1200 van and then 1600 Variant estate thingys. I had the engines out at least twice each and have the scars on my hands to show it. 20 mins out and 20 mins in…brilliant! Spares everywhere.

        The ex Belgium PM (Verhofstadt whatever) informs us that Putin would be pleased to see the EU break up (Ch4 News tonight). He like me have a common goal…so be scared? WTF would Russia want with the problems that the Europe has, like massive debt for one? The Russians own big pieces in London already.

  5. foxbarn says:

    The AA business model has gone the way of VHS tapes, they have to do something to get noticed I suppose.

  6. ian wragg says:

    Who owns the AA these days????????

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Anybody and his/her dog Ian…or some investment group that gobbles up anything around the place. Don’t really care. I had used one of their lads in Scotland with a hire care…helpful guy. Didn’t get offered a spendy battery that time.

  7. Jane Davies says:

    More scaremongering here…..there is even a suggestion that the UK could freeze the state pension for ex EU members as they illogically do in other, mainly Commonwealth countries, including here in Canada.
    http://www.connexionfrance.com/Brexit-Britons-France-pound-sterling-value-Cameron-EU-17730-view-article.html

  8. Ian Terry says:

    These pillocks that make these outrageous statements want to remember the words of my old granny:

    Not a crime to be ignorant. It’s a crime to show it

    Lets get it got and show these pillocks that we can put the great back into this country.

    They sound and are being pitiful.

    A plague on all their houses

  9. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Was watching a Commons select committee today (Treasury stuff about EU benefit to UK). Question was about financial standards based on existing EU constructs after Brexit. Answer was that most of the financial standards of the EU are built upon what the UK created…earlier. Well I never?

    Who actually needs who here?

  10. Last night I had a talk with a distraught Canadian who had her life savings in Italy in Euros and property. Not having followed the debate, she was under the impression that, on 23rd June, 2016 she was going to lose the lot!
    That is the effect these wicked story tellers are having on normal people.
    They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  11. Ex-expat Colin says:

    No Takers On Ex-Greenpeace Chief’s $100,000 Climate Bet! (1 month after bet put up)

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/no-takers-on-ex-greenpeace-chiefs-100000-climate-bet/#comments

    And on G. Fawks

    Am expecting better fruit & veg.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I hope he didn’t just apologise via twitter and all the media broadcasts it. Another example of a person in high profile job, being paid mega bucks by the people who belong to this organisation, who can so easily disengage his brain and make himself look a complete idiot.

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