This week's fears of petrol shortages and fuel protests have put the question of the price of petrol back in the spotlight. Political Editor Jonathan Walker looks at the issue...
It was the biggest crisis the Government had faced. Garages were closing, the supermarkets were running out of food, and the NHS was put on emergency footing.
The fuel blockades of five years ago seemed like a bit of fun when they first began. But before long, the country was grinding to a halt.
And whatever other controversies and arguments have engulfed the Government, the fact is that this is the only time the Conservatives have led Labour in the polls since Tony Blair became leader.
Now, the price of petrol is back in the spotlight ? partly because the cost of a gallon has risen above #1 a litre in some places.
Fears of a second blockade have proved false, as demonstrations earlier this week proved to be low-key affairs.
But even rumours of another major protest were enough to lead to panic buying at Britain?s forecourts.
So what is going on? The average cost of unleaded petrol in the UK is currently 4.6 per cent higher than three weeks ago, while diesel prices have risen 2.5 per cent.
This is undoubtedly connected to Hurricane Katrina, which forced the closure of major refineries in the US.
And the UK Petroleum Industry Association, which represents Shell, BP, Esso and Total, has predicted prices could fall by as much as 4p a litre next week, as extra oil stocks enter the system.
But critics of Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, point out that prices have been rising steadily over time, whatever fluctuations take place in the short term ? and claim that most of increase is down to him.
If a litre of petrol costs 90p, 47.1p is going to the Treasury as duty, and another 13.4p as VAT.
The retailer and the delivery chain get 6.3p between them, while the cost of production is 23.2p.
In other words, most of the cost of a litre is tax. And that means Mr Brown is the person with the power to cut prices.
The Chancellor, however, has refused to do so, although it is believed he has also scrapped plans to increase fuel duty by 1.2p a litre ? or 6p a gallon ? in his Pre-Budget Report this autumn.
In a speech to the TUC this week, he said petrol costs were a ?global challenge? which needed ?global solutions?.
In particular, demand has increased thanks to the surging Indian and Chinese economies, which are demanding increasing amounts of resources such as steel, as well as fuel.
The answer, said Mr Brown, was more worldwide investment in refineries and alternative energies to boost supply. This meant making more oil available, as well as investment in finding alternative sources of energy.
Mr Brown called for 500,000 extra barrels of oil a day to be produced by Opec, the association of oil-exporting nations.
He also encouraged oil-producing nations to divert their current windfall profits into funding more production and refining facilities.
Now read two differing views on how to tackle the UK's fuel crisis.