Monty Bedwetter, Conservative MP for North Suffolk & Central Ipswich has hit the headlines again after a long absence, for controversial comments he has made concerning the impending motor fuel supply crisis.
In an interview on Around Anglia this morning, Mr Bedwetter suggested that he had a simple solution to the possibility of striking tanker drivers.
"Our plan is to move to a standard retail model for the supply of car fuel. Instead of having to queue up at specialist premises for petrol or diesel, it will be supplied in handy containers in shops all over the country."
"Just as the majority of people have moved away from traditional milk deliveries and now buy their milk in supermarkets, fuel supply needs to head in the same direction. Cars use significantly less fuel now than they did thirty years ago, so the quantities involved are quite reasonable. Drivers will simply pick up a couple of cans when they do their weekly shop."
The MP doesn't think his plan will limit competition in any way. "On the contrary, shops will be able to stock various brands of fuel including their own. Consumers will be able to choose their preferred brand or the one that is best value. And you will be able to buy fuel on-line through Amazon and other companies and have it delivered by courier."
His plan would make current petrol stations obsolete, but he believes they will still be able to operate. "They always claim they don't make money from selling fuel anyway. Now they will be able to concentrate on their primary function - as a drive through shop for cigarettes, sweets, last-minute presents and barbeque briquettes."
Mr Bedwetter also had a plan for the supply of fuel to airports. "Pipes. That's all that's needed. We'll connect the airports directly to the refineries so that no deliveries are required. It will remove hundreds of dangerous lorries from the roads at a stroke."
Even the issue of remotely situated petrol stations and airports has been considered by the MP. He says that many will operate micro-refineries on-site to deal with the issue. "It's a bit like the concept of micro-breweries in pubs. Manufacturing fuel locally will allow it to be made from locally available source ingredients, such as bio-fuel crops or coal. In the outlying areas of my own constituency, for example, the plan is to use sugar beet. It makes good financial sense."
The switchboards at About Anglia were swamped by angry callers within minutes of Mr Bedwetter's comments. Many said that his ideas were ill-conceived and likely to prove dangerous, but Mr Bedwetter was unrepentant. "New thinking always ruffles a few feathers. Just because an idea is ill-conceived and dangerous, doesn't make it a bad idea," he said.