So the poor old BP PR department will be working overtime this week after their email got out about their pricing.

And all the usual suspects have weighed in wanting "something to happen".

This all began of course last year when Judith Collins "wanted something to happen". So she requested a report. Very Labour Party of her.

The report actually didn't say a lot, it certainly didn't conclusively suggest there was anything dodgy going on in the petrol market.


Now the problem with the market is it's one of those subjects that winds everyone up. Everyone resents paying big money for gas.

Not that we do, you want big money, go to Europe and fill a tank. But we think we do and we are taxed ridiculous amounts on it.

And not only do we resent it, but the purveyors of the service is big oil - and they're easy to hate, like all big corporates are easy to hate. Add to that you have good numbers of people who pedal the urban myth that the whole industry is a jack up and collusion is running rife.

Hence the report , which said there was no collusion, but the market wasn't quite working as freely as it might. And no one really could work out what that meant.

Then the election came, the government changed and nothing has been done, until perhaps now.

The BP memo at least clears up the 'no collusion' aspect of it. Like it or not petrol companies are allowed to charge whatever they like.

And what this memo reveals is when faced with trouble in a specific location they do an unusual thing, they manipulate other markets to support the market in trouble. In other words they jack the price up in surrounding areas. is that illegal? Not even slightly.

Why? Because there is nothing stopping the opposition taking advantage of it and undercutting them. So why in this case didn't they? Greed I suspect. You charge what the market will bare.


Is BP winning friends doing this? No. But that still doesn't make it illegal, perhaps just short-sighted, even stupid.

Energy Minister Megan Woods can huff and puff all she wants but what's she actually going to do? And this is the key to good leadership, once you've put out the press release, once you grabbed a headline, once you've issued the good old telling off, what are you actually going to do?

I said at the time the Collins report was a stall, given she knows as well as I do that governments aren't setting the price of petrol.

And Megan Woods, I assume knows as well as I do she can have all the meetings she wants, what's she actually going to do about BP setting their own prices?

They either set them or she does. And is she? No she is not.

So where does the power lie? It lies with us, you don't like what BP does, don't go there.
If enough do that, just see what happens.