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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Who are Genel Energy?

"Key allies in the US and UK led war on Islamic State (ISIS) are covertly financing the terrorist movement according to senior political sources in the region. US and British oil companies are heavily invested in the murky geopolitical triangle sustaining ISIS’ black market oil sales.
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq and Turkish military intelligence have both supported secret ISIS oil smuggling operations and even supplied arms to the terror group, according to Kurdish, Iraqi and Turkish officials.
One British oil company in particular, Genel Energy, is contracted by the KRG to supply oil for a major Kurdish firm accused of facilitating ISIS oil sales to Turkey. The Kurdish firm has close ties to the Iraqi Kurdish government.
Genel operates in the KRG with the backing of the British government, and is also linked to a British parliamentary group with longstanding connections to both the British and KRG oil industries.
The relationship between British and Kurdish energy companies, and senior British politicians, raises questions about conflicts of interest — especially in the context of a ‘war on terror’ that is supposed to be targeting, not financing, the ‘Islamic State.’…"
Of course, the Western explanation is that ISIS is selling the oil to Assad.

Worse —
“Turkey has sponsored Islamist groups in Syria, including ISIS, since the beginning, and continues to do so. The scale of ISIS smuggling operations across the Turkish-Syrian border is huge, and much of it is facilitated with the blessings of Erdogan and Davitoglu, who see the Islamists as the means to expand the Turkish foothold in the region.”
"Genel Energy plc is an oil company with a registered office in Jersey and field office in Turkey. It has its exploration and production operations in IraqiKurdistan with plans to expand its activities into other Middle East and North African countries.[1] The company owns rights in six production sharing contracts, including interests in the Taq Taq, Tawke, and Chia Surkh fields.[2]"

Saturday, 14 November 2015

On Steel

Steel making from iron ore is a silly thing to be doing in the UK. We no longer have supplies of Iron Ore and there is sufficient diversity of steel supply from elsewhere. So why is there a difference between importing steel and importing the ore? UK steel works should be about recycling steel that is already here – and it should be near fully automated.
The engineering the steel workers should be doing is constructing automated housing production lines – creating energy efficient houses that can be simply bolted together on site.
What I find annoying about the ‘save the steel’ campaign is that there wasn’t a ‘save the wool spinning’ campaign when all the spinners shut down due to competition from Turkey. Is that because it was a female/immigrant industry?

UPDATE: Bill Mitchell has a blog on the structure of jobs in the steel industry here. It makes for interesting reading.

Saturday, 7 November 2015


Dodgy Dave may be backing the out campaign. Although probably not.
"David Cameron will issue a dramatic warning to fellow EU leaders this week that he may have to recommend a UK exit from the European Union if they reject his demands for reform.
Turning up the pressure on the other 27 EU heads of state, the prime minister will formally table his list of demands – including a four-year ban on EU migrants claiming in-work benefits after entering the UK"
Hmm, and will this "four year ban" apply to young people? Probably!
Senior government officials have indicated Cameron may think again about granting a vote to 16- and 17-year-olds, if, as is expected, the Lords backs the move in a vote on 18 November.
Haha. Turkeys voting for Christmas!