The November issue of the Socialist Voice is now available online.
- Austerity is working!
- Turf-cutters fight back against state lies
- Intellectual property rights: Who benefits?
- Government policies exacerbating child poverty
- Health care, American style
- Ponzi ponces
- The reality of local government reform
- Understanding the crisis, and putting the system on trial
- European labour prepares a fight-back — Will Ireland be the odd one out?
- Cuba’s universal health care
- Venezuela: Why the media got it so wrong
- Withdraw Irish soldiers from Afghanistan now!
- A history of uneven development
- A play about four women
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I'm cross-posting this article by Michael Burke which was originally published in the Guardian's Comment is Free, as I think he makes a very important argument about how Ireland should treat it's oil and gas reserves which I feel like promoting in some way.
Discovery of oil off the southwest cost of Ireland has prompted talk of it being great news for the Irish economy. It could certainly do with some. But the announcement that known oil reserves are commercially recoverable is unlikely to offer any great boon to the economy as a whole. There may be a bonanza, but it will be only for a small coterie of Irish banking, property and oil tycoons who continue to benefit from the state's largesse while most of the population struggles in the fifth consecutive year of economic slump.
There is a long history of pillage of Ireland's natural resources, beginning with England's deforestation of the country for its navy. More recently, domestic politicians have continued that trend. The disgraced former energy minister Ray Burke was in office when Fianna Fáil granted extraordinarily favourable oil exploration licences to oil companies. The former head of Enterprise Energy Ireland, Brian O'Cathain, is reported to have said that some oil developers, such as Shell, will pay no royalties at all for the lucrative Corrib field, worth up to €10bn, and elected representatives have called on the current Fine Gael/Labour party coalition government to reverse the deal, so far without success.
The troika of EU, IMF and European Central Bank have insisted that Irish taxpayers bail out bondholders in failed Irish banks even while the domestic economy continues to contract. The domestic troika, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour, continue to insist there is no alternative.
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