On both sides of the Atlantic, politicians are intricately linked to the oil industry.
Last Thursday, OCI revealed that the 5 cosponsors of the latest pro-Keystone XL bill have received, on average, over $662,000 in fossil fuel-related campaign contributions in their careers.
But it is not just in America where Dirty Energy Money clouds the political system. Great new research by the World Development Movement has revealed that one third of Ministers in the UK government are linked to the finance and energy companies driving climate change.
This “energy-finance” complex as WDM calls it is “at the heart of government is allowing fossil fuel companies to push the planet to the brink of climate catastrophe, risking millions of lives, especially in the world’s poorest countries.”
The three most important Government’s Ministers including Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chancellor George Osborne are all embroiled in the nexus of money and power fuelling climate change.
WDM argues that “If we are to move away from a high carbon economy, the government must break this nexus and regulate the finance sector’s investment in fossil fuel energy.”
And its not just the House of Commons, either. The House of Lords is also home to dozens of people linked to either big Finance or big Energy. An investigation has recently revealed that a sixth of Lords have remunerated links to the financial sector.
Let us not forget that Big Finance and big Energy are intricately linked in a complex web of personal and funding. Between 2010 and 2012, the UK’s five biggest banks underwrote £95.5 billion in corporate bonds for fossil fuel companies and another £74.5 billion in new share issues.
All five British banks have people on their boards who are linked to the fossil fuel industry.
Beyond Hague, Cameron and Osborne, other members of the British Cabinet are also deeply linked to the oil industry: Let’s look for a moment at Vince Cable, The Liberal Democrat who is the Business Secretary who is also the “Minister for Shell”. And where did Vince once work? Shell. As WDM point out Vince’s “past at Shell, where he worked for seven years between 1990 and 1997, is well known.”
I once phoned Vince up to ask him about persistent rumours that he had been part of a team from Shell who had “negotiated” with the Nigerian Government over the imprisonment and potential release of Ken Saro-Wiwa in the weeks before the writer’s death in November 1995.
Vince flatly denied the accusations and even phoned me back after having spoken to his diary Secretary: No he hadn’t been in Nigeria in the weeks before Saro-Wiwa’s death, he said. There was no substance to the rumours, at all, he maintained. In the years since we spoke, nothing has come to light to challenge Vince’s version of events.
But years later the fact that Shell’s ex-senior economist is now in government as a Minister, including being the “Minister for Shell” has somehow escaped the scrutiny and outrage that it should have done. In part this is because the intricate web of politics and oil and finance has become so normalised that it nearly goes with comment or criticism.
That is why WDM’s report and wonderful Infographics are brilliant and another useful tool in the growing tide of evidence about the desperate need to separate oil and state, and about getting Dirty Energy Money out of politics.
Because until we do, the climate crisis is just going to get worse.
BRITAIN is unsuitable for human life, the UN has declared.
It is rather nippy
As forecasters predict ice, snow, darkness and blade-like freezing winds that can actually slice your face off, the UN declared the country uninhabitable and began evacuation procedures.
A UN spokesman said: “We just want to get as many people out alive as possible, then we’ll figure out distributing them across pleasanter places like Spain.
“We’ll be sending helicopters in about a week, keep watching during the X Factor ad breaks for details of where to rendezvous. Maximum two pieces of hand luggage each.
“In the meantime, just stay inside. Do not attempt to leave the house or even look out of the window, it’s far too psychologically damaging.”
British father-of-two Stephen Malley said: “I leave for work in freezing darkness and then I leave the office in freezing darkness.
“I’m sure this country is like a giant haunted house, actively trying to kill its inhabitants.”
Mr Christmas is the seventh person to be questioned as part of Operation Yewtree.
The news has come as a shock to the public who are still reeling from allegations made against Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and 3-2-1′s Dusty Bin.
“It seems that every day there are new developments,” said 42 year-old Karl Newman from Chepstow.
“These people form part of my childhood memories, so to find out that they have been noncing it up is quite shocking.”
“I remember sitting on Santa’s knee on several occasions when I was a child, and him telling me he would empty out the contents of his sack in my bedroom if I was a good boy now sends a shiver down my spine.”
37 year-old Melanie Carter also recalled some of the things Mr Christmas had said to her when she visited him at the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham in 1980.
“I remember commenting on his outfit and he said that if I wanted I could stroke his furry rim.”
“I’d also been worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver presents to my house because I don’t have a chimney.”
“He said that it wasn’t a problem because he liked to enter by the back door anyway.”
“He also reassured me that the doll’s house I wanted wasn’t a problem and that the elves would have no problem knocking one out.”
A recently unveiled EU poster sports the oppressive Soviet hammer and sickle symbol numerous times
BRUSSELS – Belgium – The EU’s Soviet agenda was laid bare today with the unveiling of a new EU poster that finally puts to rest the bloc’s Soviet credentials.
The new poster is a clear signal that the EU is a Soviet Fascist bloc and is a direct threat to freedom, democracy and humanity as a whole.
A warning from history
“Not only are we laughing in the face of all citizens within the European Union, we are also revealing ourselves to be truly a Soviet system where we amalgamate and assimilate all within our borders. We destroy all individuality, all nationality, and dictate all economic policy. This is the EU, and when we get our stormtroopers goose stepping on the streets, you will see what you have got yourselves into. Remember that evil is allowed to happen when good men stand by and do nothing. The EU was allowed to happen, as was Stalin’s Soviet bloc, and Hitler‘s Reich. No one did anything, nations stood by until it was too late, banks financed them until it was too late. The same is up with the EU, no one did anything, and unelected EU bureaucrats now rule over you. You pay for my unlimited expense account and my diamond encrusted pension plan, my unlimited global travel perks and my laughter at you pleb citizens, the scum that you are, I laugh at you,” an unelected EU bureaucrat said from the EU parliament yesterday.
British premier, David Cameron, who knows very well what the EU is and how it will finally reveal itself to be a totalitarian Soviet Fascist state, was all too eager to proffer his congratulations to the EU for its recent Nobel Peace Prize.
“I have been told to say this by my superiors in Brussels. I say to the British people that the key to joining the Eurozone will be Scotland. When they embrace the EU, as Southern Ireland did, then we as England will be given no choice but to join the EU as well. I know the plan, as do many other cabinet members. A referendum in Scotland is the key to the Scottish people breaking up Britain until it is ultimately weakened. Divide and conquer, as always, a British Empire trick is being used against us, and I am complicit with my masters, as a traitor to Britain. I have emphatically denied the British people an In/Out EU referendum, because I know that the British people do not want any part of the EU. To this end, I am a liar and traitor to my own people but my masters have promised me great things for delivering the UK to them on a platter. Our laws in Britain are fully managed by Brussels/Germany now and it is going to get even more insidious in the future. We were not defeated in WW1 and WW2 but Britain will be defeated by me denying the people their rights to determine their destiny. You say we live in a democracy, I say you do, but that democracy is under EU regulations now and they will tell me what to do about how much democracy you are allowed from now on. So please carry on as you are, watch your Come Dancing and Britain’s Got Talent shows. Do not think for one second about what is going to happen to you, or your children in the future. Why not just text away and read your Facebook page. There is nothing to worry about.”
The Chancellor George Osborne stuns the city with the appointment of Mark Carney the Canadian central banker who will replace Sir Mervyn King as the next Governor of the Bank of England.
Carney had previously had previously ruled himself out of the job but his old employees Goldi Sucks persuaded him to reconsider.
Mr Carney will serve a five year fixed term rather than the normal eight years.
A spokesperson for Goldi Sucks stated they were delighted with the appointment and expected Carney to relieve the British economy of all its wealth within the allotted period.
Goldi Sacks added they had offered Mr. Carney generious incentives to take on the job of Governor of the Bank of England.
They further added they expect to play a meaningful and significant role in advising the UK on its future bailout terms. The signal for this will be a ratings agency downgrade of the UK economy.
The immediate outlook for the UK is Greek style austerity for the general population but the good news is the 1% will get richer
After years of indecision and holy fights with his conscience, God has finally decided to save the Queen.
In news released today by God’s chief messenger, the Archangel Gabriel, it was revealed that the Almighty has grown tired of dispatching monarchs over the centuries and now wants to maintain the status quo. ‘Arrows through eyes, decapitations, disembowelment, death by syphilis and burying under car parks hath been the fate of Kings and Queens for nigh on a thousand years,’ said Gabriel. ‘Thus God hath decreed that it would be less fraught to hang on to His faithful servant Elizabeth II for probably about another millennium.’
Saving the Queen will allow God to concentrate on other major issues ranging from starvation in Africa to attempting to introduce tiny amounts of goodness into the hearts of bankers, directors of utility companies and politicians.
In an exclusive interview with ‘Hello’, Gabriel revealed that God quite liked the current Queen, not only because of her tasteful wardrobe but because she loves horses. ‘He hath four trusted steeds Himself, which He hopes one day to take on a gallop around the place. In fact He’s just sent one of them down for a quick canter around the Middle East, so watch out for that.’
The news will come as a welcome relief to millions of people around the world who have been subjected to singing Britain’s dreary national anthem.
‘At last we can kick off major international football tournaments without having to mouth those brain numbing lyrics,’ said Roy Hodgson, England’s national football team manager. ‘There’s nothing more embarrassing than watching a dense team line up trying to remember the words.’
God’s latest decree has met with some criticism, however, most notably by Prince Charles. In an off guarded moment on an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef he was heard to declare, ‘Fuck, fuck and triple fuck. Mind you, ‘Jerusalem’ has always been a personal favourite of one’s.’
Sir Paul Kennedy, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, has told MPs that the powers could be justified when investigating incidents such as fly tipping and that setting a “crime threshold” would be difficult.
The Government has proposed new measures that will force internet and phone companies to record and store all activities of their customers for a year.
Ministers have said the move is only to allow the police, the security services and tax officials to tackle terrorism and serious crime.
The proposals will stop local authorities and hundreds of other agencies from accessing such records.
But Sir Paul, whose job is to check such powers are being used appropriately, said the powers should not be limited to law enforcement agencies, and said even “less serious” offences can have very serious impacts on the lives of the victims.
He told MPs: “It raises some (issues) particularly in relation to local authorities. They have a statutory duty to investigate fly tipping.
“It is not a very important crime but if it affects you directly it is very important to you.”
Measures in the draft communications data bill will require communication providers such as phone and internet companies to store details of every activity of their customers for a year.
The records stored will include emails, website visits, phone calls and activity on social networking sites, but not the content of any messages or calls.
The Government argues the move is necessary to allow the police and security agencies to keep up with modern communications and access data of serious offenders.
But civil liberty groups argue it is a huge intrusion in to people’s private lives.
A joint parliamentary committee is currently examining the bill, and Sir Paul gave evidence before it last week.
In additional written evidence, he said: “The powers should not be limited to just police and intelligence agencies.
“Parliament has delegated statutory enforcement functions to a number of other public authorities and as a result they have a clear statutory duty to investigate a number of criminal offences, some of which are their sole responsibility.
“Often the criminal offences that these public authorities investigate are regarded as very important at a local level and provide the public with reassurance and protection.”
He highlighted examples such as “criminals who persistently rip off consumers, cheat the taxpayer, deal in counterfeit goods, and prey on the elderly and vulnerable”.
He said requests from such authorities make up just over one per cent of the total adding: “but this does not mean that such public authorities should not be able to use the powers when they can demonstrate necessity and proportionality”.
He said: “It would be difficult to set a crime threshold for the use of communications data for a number of reasons, even by reference to the gravity of the offence.
“Previous statutory attempts to define serious crime have not produced satisfactory results and some “less serious” offences can have very serious impacts on the victims.
“It is therefore much better to leave it to the authorising officer to decide, in relation to the facts of each individual investigation, whether the application to use communications data to detect it is necessary and proportionate.”
Dominic Raab, the Tory MP, said: “This kind of intrusive surveillance is already shifting too far away from targeting terrorists and serious criminals towards indiscriminately monitoring ordinary citizens.”
Last week, Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, said the new powers will only stop “incompetent criminals and accidental anarchists” and not the “really scary people”.
He said terrorists and organised criminals would simply find a way around the tactic and not use established providers or encrypt their messages.
Mr Graham also launched a thinly veiled criticism of the Home Office that he was not being given either the powers or resources to regulate any future system.