Kwasi Kwarteng’s secret meetings with Saudi oil firms revealed

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/oct/11/kwasi-kwarteng-secret-meetings-with-saudi-oil-firms-revealed-by-foi

The chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, held undisclosed meetings with senior executives of Saudi Arabian firms when he was the business secretary, documents acquired by the Guardian show.

The meetings occurred in January, when Kwarteng visited the kingdom for a two-day trip under his previous ministerial role.

Documents released using the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) show Kwarteng held undisclosed meetings with the chief executive of Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer; the chief executive of Sabic, the world’s fourth largest petrochemical company; and the chair of Alfanar Group, an industrial conglomerate.

However, transparency disclosures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy did not contain any reference to meetings during the period Kwarteng was in Saudi Arabia when originally published.

I seem to remember someone saying that it’s difficult to tell politics and big oil apart …

Continue ReadingKwasi Kwarteng’s secret meetings with Saudi oil firms revealed

OBR forecasts likely to show £60bn-£70bn hole after Kwarteng’s mini-budget

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/oct/07/obr-forecasts-likely-to-show-60bn-70bn-hole-after-kwartengs-mini-budget

Kwasi Kwarteng has been handed independent forecasts on the state of the UK finances that are expected to show a hole of more than £60bn left by his sweeping tax cuts and a sharply slowing growth outlook.

Sir Charlie Bean, a ex-member of the independent watchdog and a former Bank of England deputy governor, said the document would probably show a large shortfall for the exchequer.

“It will be in the order of £60bn to £70bn relative to its previous forecasts,” he said, adding that Kwarteng would face three options: further U-turns on his tax-cutting plans, deep cuts to public spending, or risking the ire of already rattled financial markets by substantially adding to the national debt.

“What he’ll be confronted with, and I don’t think to be honest most observers and MPs have really woken up to this yet, is the extent to which the public finances has deteriorated since the spring,” Bean said.

Continue ReadingOBR forecasts likely to show £60bn-£70bn hole after Kwarteng’s mini-budget

Liz Truss pursues bonkers economic theory

Liz Truss has replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister of UK. The first obvious step intended to show the direction the new government intends was a budget presented by new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday. Kwarteng fired the Treasury's permanent secretary in the preperation of this budget.  

There is a cost of living crisis in UK driven by runaway inflation and massive increases in energy bills. Despite this, Truss and Kwarteng's budget benefitted the already stinking rich. The top rate of income tax of 45% for the highest earners was abolished so that the highest rate is now 40%. Clearly that's going to benefit the rich and the very rich most. 

Despite denials, this is trickle-down economics with the idea being that the economy will be stimulated by the highest earners and that benefits will trickle-down to all. There is a simple, logical argument against trickle-down economics. It is that the rich already have money that they can spend to stimulate the economy and they're not doing it, if they're already not spending their wealth, why should they now start? 

There is also an alternative, logical argument that to stimulate the economy it's best to instead help the poor. The argument is that the poor are desperate and that any money they receive to alleviate their wreched situations will be spent and therefore stimulate the economy. 

It appears that Liz Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng are pursuing outdated, discredited and abandoned economic theories which are the exact opposite to what is needed. Markets responded poorly to the budget. 

Continue ReadingLiz Truss pursues bonkers economic theory

Governments and fossil fuel companies accelerate fecking the planet

The Guardian has a very disturbing article reporting it’s research that it’s full speed ahead for climate destroying governments and fossil fuel companies and that there is no regard for the climate destruction that they are causing. It’s also bad news that there was no mention of the climate in the UK’s Queen’s Speech (the UK government giving notice of it’s intentions) other than harsher laws against climate protestors. Kwasi Kwarteng has already said as much – that the UK is aggressively pursuing exploitation of fossil fuels disregarding climate concerns “… we took steps to remove obstacles to accelerate production …”.

I find it difficult to understand how these people are so determined to feck the planet tbh. I know that they are Capitalists and mad Tories but is logic and reason totally alien to them? Don’t they care for their own children and grandchildren? I suppose that they can get into the habit of just following orders but just following orders has been dismissed as a defence.

We have to defeat these cnuts but have very little time to do it …

Continue ReadingGovernments and fossil fuel companies accelerate fecking the planet

Climate protest news 13 April 2022 / 2

Extinction Rebellion goes door-knocking for new recruits

Extinction Rebellion climate change activists have been door-knocking across London to attract new members.

The group says it is carrying out three days of “deep-canvassing”, approaching people in their homes to “listen to their concerns” about climate change.

Residents are being invited to local talks, to learn about the campaign and how to get involved.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) says the “outreach” exercises are part of a “week of action” in the capital.

XR says despite polls suggesting a high level of concern about climate change, “rarely do people have the opportunity to share their thoughts and fears about the world”.

Protestors enter Shell HQ in London to tell workers to ‘jump ship’

Climate protestors have stormed a Shell (LON: SHEL) office to tell its workers to leave the oil giant, according to reports.

Climate protestors have stormed a Shell (LON: SHEL) office to tell its workers to leave the oil giant, according to reports.

Extinction Rebellion UK has Tweeted to say that campaigners are currently inside the supermajor’s London headquarters.

Videos have also appeared online of demonstrators gluing themselves to the reception desk at the Shell base and demanding “to talk to HR”.

Widespread protests have taken place in London today as XR and Just Stop Oil activists call for an “immediate end” to oil and gas.

I went on TV to explain Just Stop Oil – and it became a parody of Don’t Look Up

Miranda Whelehan

I wanted to sound the alarm about oil exploration and the climate crisis, but Good Morning Britain just didn’t want to hear

Civil resistance is really not about protests or marches, it is about responding to a situation beyond our worst nightmares. At Cop26, the people who run things effectively confirmed that they were going to let billions of the poorest people on this planet die in order to keep business as usual going.

Well, to that we say no. We will not continue as generations have before and allow our actions today to have devastating consequences on those tomorrow. It is time to break that cycle and stand up for what is right. “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year.” That is a direct quote from Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. He said that last year. Time has quite literally run out. It only takes one quick search on the internet to see what is happening. Somalia. Madagascar. Yemen. Australia. Canada. The climate crisis is destroying lives already and will continue to unless we make a commitment to stop oil now.

Kwasi Kwarteng declares ‘we won’t switch off oil and gas production’ after protesters glue themselves to building

The Business Secretary has insisted the Government will not switch off domestic oil and gas production as climate change activists targeted his department in an act of “civil disobedience”.

But in a message to the activists posted on social media, the Business Secretary said: “You cannot – and we won’t – switch off domestic oil and gas production.

“Doing so would put energy security, jobs and industries at risk – and would simply increase foreign imports, not reduce demand.”

The group said the demonstration was part of a week of “civil disobedience” by XR in London.

“The action is planned to continue until the UK Government agrees to implement Extinction Rebellion’s immediate demand: to end all new fossil fuel infrastructure immediately,” it said.

Comment by dizzy: I understand that XR and Just stop oil are demanding an end to any expansion to oil and gas and not stopping domestic production as Kwarteng is claiming.

Continue ReadingClimate protest news 13 April 2022 / 2