Tagged: Oil

Black Gold: More Greed From Opec

I have just watched on the BBC News that Opec-Plus members have agreed to cut the production of oil by up to two million barrels a day.

At the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the barrel price of oil reached a peak of $130, generating massive profits for oil companies, and for the oil-producing nations. Prices for petrol, diesel, and heating oil hit an all-time high, but have slowly been slipping since. Last week, they were down to £93 a barrel, still much higher than in previous years.

So the Opec members have reacted by agreeing to cut production, thereby forcing prices up again, so they can continue to profit from everyone who needs to drive, use heating oil, or face price increases on everything because of increased transport and delivery costs. Some of the countries involved in Opec are among the richest in the world, and include heads of state who are personally rich beyond comprehension.

Following today’s announcement oil increased in price immediately, and the prices of petrol and diesel are set to follow by the end of today.

How much is enough? How much greed must the non-producing countries tolerate? It appears that Opec Plus believes there is never too much profit, never enoough money, and that the countries dependent on oil imports have to tolerate any increase, no matter how huge.

This greed at a time of worldwide austerity and uncertainty is just obscene.

Let’s never forget the countries involved in this, if one day they come to us asking for aid or favours. Here is a list of them.

Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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The Obscenity Of Profit

Fuel prices are at an all-time high in Britain. Many people can no longer afford to use their car for anything but essential travel. Prices are going up in the supermarkets, all blamed on fuel price increases. This coming winter, domestic heating and electricity costs are set to rise to at least one third of the income of people on ‘average salaries’.

This has all been blamed on the war in Ukraine.

Yet that is a blatant lie. A con-trick foisted on the people of this country by the Conservative government, and their rich friends in big business.

The truth is quite simple.

They are milking the poor to feed the rich, and to make them even richer.

The proof is out there, and broadcast on the news media.

‘Energy firm BP has announced profits of almost £7-billion for the second quarter of 2022.’

BP CEO – Bernard Looney is getting an £11.7m bonus during a time 90% of the population is struggling to survive.

So why didn’t the war in Ukraine affect BP profits and the bonus of the CEO?

BECAUSE IT WAS A LIE.

Iran: All about one thing

The last few months (years, let’s face it) have seen a lot of antagonism focused on Iran. That country can’t seem to do anything right, in the eyes of others. Ever since the hostage crisis that ended in 1981, it has been vilified as the cause of so many problems, not only in that region, but the world over. If they couldn’t actually pin anything on the Iranians directly, they complained about the use of ‘Iranian-supplied weapons’, or ‘Iranian-backed troops’.

They didn’t mention all the Western-supplied weapons, or Western-backed troops. Oh no.

Remember the long war Iran fought against Iraq? It was from 1980-1988, to jog your memory. During that war, we all thought the Iraqis should win, and wanted the Ayatollahs in Iran to be defeated. Our governments did, anyway, and told us that was the preferred outcome. So we supported Iraq with weapons, advisers, and probably money too. Anything to see the end of Iran, or the regime that wasn’t on our side, as the former Shah had been. This despite the fact that it was conveniently forgotten that Iraq was the aggressor, as they sought to capture the rich oilfields of Khuzestan. At the end, nobody won, and over 1,000,000 troops and civilians were dead. But we don’t ever think about that, as we fill up our cars with fuel.

So once again, it was about oil. It was about oil then, and it is still about oil now.

What are those naughty Iranians up to now?

The US has withdrawn from a Nuclear deal that everyone else accepts was working, claiming Iran is not keeping its promises.
The US is now laughably blaming Iran for the 9/11 attacks, despite proof-positive that they were backed and organised by Saudi Arabia.
Iran is supplying arms to militant Palestinians in Israel.
Iran is supplying rockets that are being fired into Israel.
Iranian banks are ‘funding world terror’.
Iran has imprisoned a British woman on spurious charges.

There is more, but I cannot be bothered to list all the accusations.
Behind all of it, there is just one thing. Oil
It has always been about one thing, Ayatollahs or not. Oil
The Nuclear deal rejection is a smokescreen for? Oil.

The west wants Iran’s oil, and will stop at nothing to get it. That’s what all of this is about.
If you want to believe all the rest, then that’s up to you.

Scotland: A lost opportunity

Anyone in Britain could tell you that the referendum on Scottish Independence has dominated the news for much of the past year. Politicians on both sides of the argument have talked themselves hoarse, and unlikely bedfellows have joined together, in the hope of influencing one side or the other. There have been threats, propaganda, the instilling of fear and worry, and even outright lies. Big business all over the planet has lined up against the nationalists, pledging to withdraw most of the industrial and manufacturing base of this small country.  Pro-Independence pundits have made ridiculously optimistic claims about the possibilities for an independent Scotland, and the anti-lobby has countered with visions of doom and gloom.

The issues of currency, EU membership, Defence and a nuclear deterrent, and even the laughable threat of a withdrawal of NATO protection, have all been thrown against the arguments for an independent country. The Yes campaign has traded on tradition, Scottish flags and bagpipers, as well as the inherent distrust of the English, and the Westminster parliament, to rally voters to their cause. Famous actors and musicians, many not actually living in Scotland, have appeared on TV, urging a vote for ‘freedom’. The leaders of the nationalists have talked grandly of new international borders, a Scottish passport, and trade agreements with countries all over the world. Neither side really provided any hard facts. They did not answer most of the questions posed by ordinary voters. And they seemed to conveniently forget the fact that they already have their own parliament, albeit as part of a United Kingdom. This is very much a toy parliament though. Allowed to do such things as to not charge for medication, or require fees from university students. Anything ‘serious’ is still controlled and overseen by Westminster. Nonetheless, they do have one, which is more than we can say in England.

If I was a Scot, I would have voted Yes. It would have been for many reasons; none of them to do with economics, all of them to do with character and identity. Even as I ticked my ballot paper though, I would have known that it was a lost cause. It was never going to happen. Fear of the unknown would always prevail in the end. And those threats to withdraw industry, to remove the jobs and livelihoods, would always be at the back of the voters’ minds. Promises were made; vote No, and changes will happen. More powers will be devolved, and a better future secured for all in Scotland.  I would have known that this was a lie. Scotland has had scant representation in the UK parliament for many years now. They have not voted for the party in power, and as a consequence, have been sidelined. Their oil will run out, the fish stocks will dwindle, and nobody needs their heavy industry anymore.  They will just fade away. Their national identity will become a curiosity for tourists, and the country will be destined to be a place of holidays and whisky, an enormous service industry on a national scale.

The result is out this morning. Less than half of the electorate voted for Independence. It was always going to be so.

They threw away a rare opportunity. One they may well never have again.

Interests abroad

“We are literally backing the same people in Syria that we are fighting in Afghanistan and that have just killed our ambassador in Libya! We must finally abandon the interventionist impulse before it is too late.” – Congressman Ron Paul, September 16, 2012

http://prolecenter.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/the-anti-empire-report-117-2/  William Blum

I read the above quote on another blog. It was in an article by William Blum, link above, that I can recommend as an interesting read. I just felt that this one quote sums up the complete nonsense of American foreign policy, and by default, the foreign policy of all their allies too.

When the Soviet Union was fighting the Taliban in the 1980’s, the West embraced the same religious fanatics we are currently castigating (and bombing). Arms were supplied, advisors sent off to assist, and their leaders, including Osama Bin Laden, and Abu Hamza al-Masri, were hailed as heroic freedom fighters. Thirty years later, and those Western allies are dumping the body of one in the ocean, (supposedly) and extraditing the other to face trial in the USA. During the Iran/Iraq war, spread over eight years during the same 1980’s, we were in no doubt who the West wanted to win. Iraq was hailed as the sensible aggressor, and their army would save the region from the excesses of the Ayatollahs, and fundamentalist Muslim fanatics. It is fair to say, that whilst no side actually won, the West was pleased that the Iraqis were not defeated, and that Iran had lost the flower of its manhood, in an relatively pointless conflict.

By 1990, the same country that we had supported for so long, including the supply of most of the weapons we later accused them of concealing, had become a sworn enemy, and the First Gulf War was the outcome. By 2003, the Iraqis had still not learned their lesson, and a laughable implication of their supposed role in the 9/11 attacks, ended with the destruction of the regime, and much of the country along with it. Not long after, those same Western allies invaded Afghanistan, ostensibly to help the legitimate government get rid of the Taliban, and to introduce freedoms for women, and non-fundamentalist Muslims there. Strangely enough, this was almost exactly the same reason the Soviets had given for their intervention, twenty years earlier.

Saudi Arabia, long held to be a friend of the West, is now beginning to be criticised. They are suspected of harbouring terrorists, and not doing enough to bring peace to the region. Their laws are too strict for ‘our’ taste, and they are controlling a cartel of price-fixing OPEC countries, making us pay too much for our oil. Iran is close to achieving the manufacture of a nuclear weapon, we are told. They are not friends of the West, and do not allow the necessary freedoms in their country. They also charge too much for their oil, and also choose who to sell it to. This huge country, with a population of 80,000,000, is written off by the West, with no regard to its former power and influence, as the once mighty Persian Empire. It is treated like a naughty schoolboy in the classroom that is the world, simply because it refuses to play the game with the Western Powers. Crippled by sanctions, reviled, and misrepresented, is it any wonder that it has become isolationist, suspicious, and unfriendly?

Being a former friend of America, Britain, and France, has become decidedly dangerous. Those countries that have never sought, or been granted this boon, are succeeding where others have failed. Cuba, China, North Korea, to name but a few, have escaped invasion by foreign powers, (at least in modern times) and in many cases are courted as business opportunities, or at the very least, tolerated, even ridiculed; but not bombed. The outcome of being a friend, enlisting support, and often taking power as a result, is plain to see. Give it a few years, and America, and their allies, will be back to take it all away again. Countries like Syria, Libya, and Somalia, would be wise to look at these examples, and change direction accordingly.