The Real Issues - Dublin Shell to Sea Launch new €540billion note

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€540Billion noteAn Irish general election fever grips this place, where promises flow like water running off a mountain, and where the sun, the moon, and the stars are laid at the feet of the people, all for the sake of a no. 1 on the day itself.   From looking around us now you witness the desperate scramble of prospective candidates to get into power, into the Dáil, to receive their €100,000 PA salary plus expenses.  Jobs and Reform appear to be on top of the agenda, yet no one appears to be responsible for the transgressions of the past. 

All these Jobs will not take place without investment, yet since we are effectively broke and availing of an unsustainable loan from the IMF/ECB to pay for the speculators losses, it is hard to see how this promise of jobs will come to pass.

An obvious answer takes the form of the amount of Natural Resources this country has.  Not one political party is talking about this subject.  Not one of the established figures mentions the fact or talks about the deal that’s been reached with Shell where they can extract what they find and the exchequer see’s NOTHING from this.   You would think that the conservative estimate of €540Billon in Natural Resources would be a primary focus for political parties, and a good place to start would be to re-negotiate the deal with Shell.  You would be wrong.

Politics is not about the circus that we are seeing now as people vie for those seats in the Dáil.  Politics is about the struggle towards improving conditions in the here and now, in people’s daily lives.  Politics is not just about scratching your mark on a piece of paper every 4/5 years and hoping they’ll sort it out for you.  Politics is about sorting it out for all of us, it’s about solidarity.

Dublin Shell to sea will be launching the €540 billion ‘commemorative bank notes’ to members of the public, symbolising the cost to the exchequer of the extraordinary giveaway of Ireland’s oil and gas reserves. The commemorative notes mocked up to look like Euro bank notes and contain information for voters in the forthcoming general election on the infamous Ray Burke deal, which resulted in the State handing over control of its oil and gas reserves to multinational oil corporations. 

Dublin Shell to Sea spokesperson, Caoimhe Kerins said of the launch that ‘The general election campaign is being fought against the backdrop of the greatest economic crisis to face the people of this state since its foundation. Tens of billions of euro have been poured into private banks and the government is imposing savage public spending cuts. Yet voters have been told that there is no alternative to this austerity programme as the state lacks resources.’

‘However, the government’s own figures, published by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, indicate that Ireland’s Atlantic Margin contains ten billion barrels of oil equivalent. The value of this substantial reserve is estimated to be in excess of €580 billion. Saturday’s event has been organised to highlight the giveaway of our natural resources and to provide information to voters to ask prospective TDs.’

 ‘To date the Shell to Sea campaign has saved the state some €10 billion as Shell’s plans to raid the Corrib gas field have been frustrated for almost a decade. Shell to Sea is calling on the incoming government to reverse the notorious 1987 Ray Burke deal that reduced the state’s 50 per cent share in its offshore oil and gas to zero and abolished royalties, effectively ceding control to private corporations. Proper management of our substantial oil and gas reserves would provide a long-term revenue stream for the state and substantial resources to invest in our public services.’

Come along, help us hand out these notes, and let’s help ground the debate around real issues.  What we do with our Natural Resources, and how we extract them, whilst respecting the rights of the people directly affected, is a real debate.  Let’s move away from the never-never land of empty promises and towards what kind of Ireland we want to live in and how we are going to get there.

WORDS: Dermo

€540Billon note back

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