Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This week's guest blogger, Raymond. J. Learsey, admires Fairfuel's noble efforts to wrestle with oil traders and the government over high fuel prices, but he calls us foolhardy. I'd prefer to call us idealistic. Fairfuel's foolish, idealistic ambition is for a world where the right of individual mobility isn't treated like a plastic chip on a roulette table. A world where speculators and vested interests are prevented from continually hiking up the price of the one commodity that's embedded in virtually everything we do and buy. And make no mistake, the Great Oil Price Scandal isn't another daft conspiracy theory dreamt up by some socialist nutter in a luke-warm bath, its real and its happening every single day.

Just look at the reasons why oil prices have to be manipulated. Russia's new economy is based on a market oil price of $117.00 a barrel, without that revenue President Putin can't deliver the economic improvements he's promised to calm his increasingly restless population. Iran needs high prices too and without them can't build their nuclear bomb, Venezuela can't build their roads and the Saudis can't buy any more gold-plated Bugatti Veyrons. These are big, dark vested interests who don't like to see the price of oil going down at all. The Chairman of Exxon Mobil admitted in an American Senate hearing that speculators routinely push the price of crude up by $30 on every single barrel. And he should know. But look at Mitt Romney, the Republican hopeful. Even though the American government admits oil speculation is out of control, Romney backs Wall Street in voting against a thorough Senate investigation because he's on the side of oil industry vested interests. 

And if you want to know how easy it is to manipulate to price of crude, cast your mind back to 2008 when a single oil trader working for the commodities arm of ConAgra Foods Trading Group deliberately pushed oil past the historic $100.00 benchmark for fun. Yes really. Jokingly, he said that 'some people collect art prints, we collect price prints.' ConAgra were fined $12 million but they avoided the much more serious charge of market manipulation and escaped with the lighter charge of not making a 'bonafide trade'. Vested interests got them off the hook.

Raymond maybe right that FairFuel is tangling with some seriously powerful forces, but we're proud that the debate on oil prices has started here. And the more of you who read this, the more will understand just how serious things are. Let's call it the Oil Spring, the moment when people started to realise that the woes of the global economy are inextricably tied up with oil speculation. The moment when the Big Change started to happen. When an oil company mogul freely admits that the world is paying 30% more for for crude than we should simply because of market manipulation, then its time something was done. The exposure of the Great Oil Price Scandal began on this pages. 

Quentin Willson   

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[ posted by Jim King, 31.07.12 17:26 ]

the government problem - is there an easy answer, well I think i can see one. Run it by you and see what you think.

Thinking of recall powers and things, then thinking its quite difficult to get a campaign up and running and make all people aware of it, so was thinking (oh no) anyway came up with this, see if there is a flaw.
When you, or anyone else, goes to vote you do so in the normal manner, Register, your name is crossed off or highlighted so you dont go twice, then you pick up ballot paper, there could be 2 or 3 books of papers to choose from or just a pile of them on the desk.
Each paper has a unique no eg COP-28738. Then you make your vote in the normal manner in the booth, you then keep a "tear off slip" from the ballot paper, which contains the number, in my case, COP-28738, and post the rest (which has the vote itself) into the box.
Once each vote has been cast then they could be counted in the normal way and a data base produced too (not too much work to fill in and prevents mis counts) The database could present a list then shows say 50 at a time and would read:
COP-28736 - Con
COP-28737 - Lab
COP-28738 - Con
COP-28739 - L/Dem
COP-28740 - Loony
etc. but the database knows the totals for each so at the bottom could read:
Labour - 1000
Conservative - 970
Lib dem - 300
UKIP - 246
Loony - 88
anyway once done the election is won in the normal manner (so in the example above Labour would win Copeland) all done in the normal way.

This is my proposal:
At any time during the term the voter can either go to the town hall and produce the slip, or post it, or send someone else with it and withdraw the vote, they could change the vote to someone else or change it to "no one". So i could withdraw a labour vote and give it to con or l/dem or loony or "no one". thing is the moment any active mp loses the majority - flagged by the database - then a by-election is called.
I think it should only be the victor voters who can withdraw or change - this would prevent in the above example all the UKIP voters Tactically changing to Con, purly to kick out Lab - but it also means that if the MP is not acting in a way that suits the people who elected them, then support is withdrawn and mandate removed.
There is no breach in the secret ballot, as only the person with the slip knows who COP-28738 actually is, and as the only ID required to change or withdraw the vote is the slip, then it could be posted or sent via proxy.
Also no great campaign to sign a petition is required and at the election then every voter knows (or could be told) how the system works and what the tear off slip is for.
There should of course be a limit to one change or withdrawl per term, However, if an MP is not acting in the interests of those whom elected them they they will be out on their ear before they can say "its not in our nature to campaign about fuel duty, and the party line is"
I am unable to find a flaw in this, Can you?


[ posted by Bill, 31.07.12 20:55 ]

Why is nobody developing an alternative to oil namely HYDROGEN

Look up Mike Strizki if you dont believe me!!


[ posted by Bill, 31.07.12 21:25 ]

I would buy into that idea Mr King. The one fly in the ointment is getting it implimented. Its like this oil price thing were fighting an uphill battle against vested interests. Our MPs are part of the system. We have seen their insatible greed and theres no one richer than the oil cartels. They are a bought force by them and a spent force if we are seriously expecting them to cut off their own back handers and bung gravy train in order to make the prices fairer


[ posted by Brett, 01.08.12 13:43 ]

Hello, just as a reply for Bill, I believe Honda are still developing the Hydrogen Fuel Cell car (beyond that of the FCX Clarity).
So far its a bit bulky (The home Hydrogen station) and theirs currently no infrastructure of hydrogen car refill stations.
So far every email I send out to an MP i get the usual rubbish of concentrating on greener renewable energies... the thing is i don't have a few thousand pounds to throw at an electric car. I definitely don't have £30,000 for a range extended electric vehicle either (Vauxhall Ampera, I would own one but its still very expensive so I'm stuck with 2nd hand diesels for now.)

And the annoying thing is if everyone switched to an electric vehicle (you know in magic make-it-up-as-we-go land) the Power Grid wouldn't be able to cope (currently) renewable sources can't cover it and the government would loose more tax income from fuel than we are asking for. Then the other problems of increase in cost of electricity (would probably get more tax thrown on that as well).

Either way we're on the short end of the stick as usual.


[ posted by Jim King, 01.08.12 16:51 ]

I do see your point Bill. Why would they cut their own noses off? - well voluntarily of course they would not. With ideas being presented out in the open though, then the British people will start to shout for them. The more people shouting the harder it becomes for the government to ignore. Well, they can ignore if they want to, but they wont be the government after the next election if they do.

All the motorists in the uk shouting together can make one hell of a din, and though revolutions always start small, it seems to take for ever to get an idea off the ground, once it starts to spread, it hits exponential growth. We are fighting an uphill battle as you rightly say, but still we have to fight it. The only other option is to simply lie down and take it.

As we are we get to vote every 5 years or so, for a party selected individual who represents a party, not the electorate. They are then on the gravy train for 5 years, and there is not a god damned thing the electorate can do about it for said 5 years. Sometimes they are put in their place by the house of lords (thats why they are going mad to reform it) but not often enough. If enough people are shouting loudly enough for the system to be a little closer to a direct democracy rather than an elected dictatorship, then its hard to ignore


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