It is clear that the Government has acted to create a run on petrol, in an attempt to line up public opinion against UNITE. It is also a ploy to get people to stock-up on petrol, so that UNITE's position will be weakened if eventually a strike should emerge. It is all a move to weaken the Union's negotiating position. It is classical Thatcherism.
UPDATE : The following from Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph on 30 March, confirms my above claim - "now that I have heard the Conservatives’ private explanation, which is being handed down to constituency associations by MPs, I begin to feel angry. The private message is as follows. 'This is our Thatcher moment. In order to defeat the coming miners’ strike, she stockpiled coal. When the strike came, she weathered it, and the Labour Party, tarred by the strike, was humiliated. In order to defeat the coming fuel drivers’ strike, we want supplies of petrol stockpiled. Then, if the strike comes, we will weather it, and Labour, in hock to the Unite union, will be blamed' ”.