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Shell to Sea occupy Dempsey's offices

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday November 23, 2006 23:27author by xtic - Dublin Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

If we're not going there, we'll have to stay here...

Shell to Sea mounted two demonstrations this lunchtime, one at Corrib House (as advertised) and the second just down the road at the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources.

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The Department was occupied by Shell to Sea activists from Dublin, Clare and the Rossport Solidarity Camp for an hour and the action attracted the corporate media who are just about finally starting to get the message.

We welcome the solidarity of the students from several secondary schools who organised the loud diversion at Corrib House.

We're starting to like this part of town and I hear the view from the roof of Dempsy's bolthole is excellent.

The struggle, as they say, continues. If anyone in the Dublin area wants to get involved in other stuff like this, can they send an email please to dublinshelltosea@yahoogroups.com

Shell to Hell!

Related Link: http://www.wsm.ie/story/354

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author by Tadhgpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 01:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think the email address above is incorrect- people should emails to dublinshelltosea@gmail.com.

author by dissenterpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

get with the program lads

the illegal blocade tactics employed by radical activists who abuse the proud legacy of "peaceful protest" have backfired and the people of mayo want you to give it up and let the legally sound work continue on the corrib gas project

in case you are totally oblivious you'll have seen that poland has prevented the EU getting a deal with russia - we need the corrib gas and we need it before Mad Vlad turns off the taps

*Red C poll published today

author by Hypocritepublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“legally sound work continue on the corrib gas project”

justice and law are completely different things. WHEN Ireland has a energy supply shortage (energy crisis) , people who are pissing on our constitution and giving away irish vital natural resources will either be in jail, our suppressing the masses

“we need the corrib gas”

you are either a Norwegian citizen or in the shell corp,

Related Link: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Boycotts/Crimes_Shell.html
author by Starstruckpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 14:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This poll is just one of many which has been conducted with varying results.
None of these surveys can claim to present an exact picture of opinion.
Each side can point to ione poll or another.
The fact remains that in a very sparsely populated area of North West Mayo 200 local people turn out in the cold and rain every morning at 6.30 to express their discontent with what is being done in theri community-thats the only survey any reasonable person needs.

And just to put your bullshit-"look at the survey you knob"response-have a look at a surveydone by a national broadcaster-not "Red C" whoever the fuck that is..--http://www.corribsos.com/uploads/nuachtmayopollrossport...D.pdf

Also its an idea for you to to read this piece and educate yourself- http://indymedia.ie/article/79054

author by Tompublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 14:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

....RTE is also a national broadcaster.....just pointing that out!!

author by Blowback Joepublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 14:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in case you are totally oblivious you'll have seen that poland has prevented the EU getting a deal with russia - we need the corrib gas and we need it before Mad Vlad turns off the taps

====

in case you're oblivious,,, Russia recently booted Shell out... and now corporate interests are attempting to punish Russia for it. Poland, which just bought a shite load of F-16s from the States (now they're in the Western 'club') is a handy pawn to use in this game.

Ireland can have the gas when Shell puts the terminal offshore...
There endeth today's lesson...

author by observerpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 14:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Starstruck, I don't know where you get your facts from.
Guess how many protestors were there this morning? - ZERO, thats right none at all (which is about 30 to 40 less than normal).

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 15:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to the Irish Independent (Nov 24 2006) the poll is carried out by Red C and commissioned by the Irish Independent/RTE Prime Time. Ciaran Byrne's piece fails to reveal either the numbers polled, the standard error or the sampling methodology (did the pollsters walk door to door, if so which areas, did they phone -- if so what was the geographical distribution, did they call at a certain time of day? Without these essential facts it's impossible to treat the poll as anything other than hearsay. It's odd that they're not mentioned as even the dogs in the street know that polls can be very misleading. As Starstruck mentions another important question is "how many polls did they have to take before they got this result"?

So, before this can be treated as serious news Ciaran Byrne has to provide the following:

1) How many people were polled?
2) What other polls were commissioned and what were their results?
3) What was the polling methodology?
4) Are the pie charts in the diagram captioned _exactly_ as to the questions asked?

Aside from all of the above (which absence makes Ciaran Byrne's piece essentially worthless) the figures are interpreted in a fairly partisan manner. To demonstrate this I shall present an interpretation as unbalanced but in another bias:

Fig.1 shows that at least 49% of the people surveyed according to some unspecified method believe that the project should NOT go ahead. Serious concerns have been raised over the safety of the pipeline and this probably reflects a genuine concern for health and wellbeing backed by the expert testimony of safety experts and An Bord Pleannala's initial rejection of the pipeline

Fig. 2 A massive 83% of those polled thought that the protestors represented at least a minority of those in the community. After over a year of intensive propaganda from The Independent Group newspapers (whose owner Tony O'Reilly has a financial interest in the Corrib gas field) which has intensified in recent weeks with wholly unsupported claims that Sinn Fein are the main protestors (and even less savoury insinuations that there is paramilitary intimidation of local scabs) this represents a stunning rebuttal of that campaign. Further, at least 43% believe that the protestors speak for the majority or all of the community. (This question strikes me as completely daft, I suspect deliberately so. Of course the protestors don't speak for ALL of the community. There's always one or two people will disagree. And what's the community? And how the feck would I know and what's my opinion worth if I don't live right beside where the pipe is going to go?)

Fig 3 Only 22% of people thought that Shell had been the most reasonable side during Shell's attempt to put a risky high-pressure pipeline through the heart of a quiet rural community. This number is no surprise to your expert analyst as right-wing EU politicians (e.g. Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2004, Jorg Haider's Liberal Party in Austria in 1998 and the PD's in Ireland) frequently poll about this proportion of the electorate.

Fig4. Only 41% of people agreed with an unclear statement made by McDowell that stated that Sinn Fein were supporting a tiny minority of people confronting the law and that Provo tactics would not work. Given the widespread revulsion to political violence in Ireland it's surprising (if you think that people are idiots) that a greater number didn't swallow the bait and kneejerk against the picture of balaclavaed men with AK47's intimidating plucky working men desparate to put a crust of bread on their table. There's also a great deal of confusion over this as it is rumoured that some people thought that the provo tactics and lawbreaking that McDowell was referring to were the vicious beatings by the Gardai of peaceful protestors and the scofflaw, illegal initial construction without planning permission by Shell of the pipeline.

Fig 5. Earlier opinion polls by TG4/Nuacht have shown that over 80% of those support the Shell To Sea campaigns demands that the development should occur at sea as is normal. Those citizens of the free, democratic republic want the protests to stop as a result of Shell building their gas refinery at sea. This figure is a stunning indication of the massive opposition to Shell with only 16% saying they don't know if the protests should continue. A further 52% have been radicalised to such an extent that they want the protests to continue with well over 14% advocating peaceful, non-violent direct action blocking of access to the site even if the Gardai continue their brutal assaults.

Related Link: http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1730478&issue_id=14931
author by Joepublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was made curious by the name 'RedC' as it sounds link an indymedia handle. A bit of googling reveal that is is presumably these guys http://www.redcresearch.ie/ although they don't actually have the poll up on their site.

Sit there for a while and watch the endorsements that come up at the bottom of the left hand column.

We have Coca Cola, Diageo and BT Ireland.

Who paid for this poll? Because from the site it looks like RedC carries out polls that deliver the result that their corporate clients want. Certainly the questions seem designed as has been pointed out to deliver a resposne that can then be interpreted by corporate spin doctors.

Is Shell on one these clients?

Did Shell pay for all or part of this poll?

Who set the text of the questions that were asked as part of the poll?

If so why did the state broadcaster using it without explaining the methodology and making this very clear.

author by Dermot Lpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 15:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The coverage of this 'poll' is utter crap. It should be a first lecture lesson to students of political communication in how bias affects the media.

All of the points raised by R.Isible above are very pertinent indeed. How many people were in the sample? What was the methodology etc? Astounding stuff that they think they can get away with not publishing the basis of this poll, although unsurprising again in how they've spinned it. They didn't lead with "44 per cent supported an off-shore processing of the gas; 29 per cent supported a processing at Bellanaboy; and 17 per cent wanted the project abandoned," for example. Shell to Sea's rebuttal as published in ireland.com Breaking News is excellent but ethical journalism is all but absent from Independent News & Media nowadays so don't expect any of this to matter. As usual, the Cowards flinch and the Traitors sneer.

PS - Trolls Go Back Under Your Shell Bridge.

Related Link: http://www.labouryouth.ie
author by both are a shampublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 15:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How many people were in the sample? What was the methodology etc? Astounding stuff that they think they can get away with not publishing the basis of this poll, although unsurprising again in how they've spinned it.

Both the polls are actually like that, good on spin 0 on fact

so STFU!

author by Williampublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dissenter wrote: "we need the corrib gas and we need it before Mad Vlad turns off the taps"

Security of supply is like Saddam's weapons of mass destruction: a phantom. A bogeyman. There is currently no shortage of gas. Britain has just opened a new interconnector with Norway, which will supply vast quantities of gas to the UK and Ireland.

More importantly, Corrib is no guarantee of security of supply. The Shell consortium is at liberty to export it. It can choose to sell it to whoever it likes. The UK, France, Belgium. The highest bidder. This is according to the terms of their licence (courtesy of Ray Burke). You can check it with the Dept of Marine and Natural Resources. They can also confirm that there are now three interconnectors between Ireland and the UK and that export is feasible (the Asst Secretary of that Dept, Martin Brennan, said as much to prospective investors at a recent conference in Dublin: "there are now three interconnecters between Ireland and the UK, so if you do hit a gush, there's plenty of market out there.")

If we wanted to ensure some kind of security for the future - both energy-wise and financially - we would leave the 250-million-year-old gas under the sea for a few more years: until technology improves and it's cheaper and easier to extract it; until the state has established the expertise and the mechanisms to do the extraction itself (as the semi-state Statoil has done in Norway); until licencing terms change to reflect Irish interests; and until there really is a security of supply issue.... Who knows, we might be able to sell it to other countries who badly need it - by that time it could be so valuable Ireland could use the revenue to create a decent health service, education and the rest of it.

By the way, because I advocate leaving it under the sea, while also being a supporter of the Shell to Sea campaign, does NOT prove that "Shell to Sea really means Shell go away" (as Shell's John Egan has suggested on two Prime Time programmes). The personal views of some supporters of the campaign may well be that the gas should be left where it is, just as some local people have been so badly treated by Shell that their personal feeling is that Shell should go away. HOWEVER, the campaign is demanding something much more moderate - a shallow-water platform. In other words, processing at sea is in fact a compromise solution.

So, I THINK the following sums up the views of SOME local people: "I'd like Shell to go away, but I'm prepared to accept processing at sea and a Bord Gais transmission pipeline through Rossport..." (Though I'm obviously not speaking for the campaign or for any local people).

author by Niall - Clare Shell to Sea.publication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell to Sea statement on 'the poll' here: http://www.corribsos.com/index.php?id=1089

Informing Dept. staff that we wish to speak to ... etc.
Informing Dept. staff that we wish to speak to ... etc.

Eh … is that the minister you’re calling there love … or did I just hear you mention the … eh …Guards?!
Eh … is that the minister you’re calling there love … or did I just hear you mention the … eh …Guards?!

Ah yeah … Shell’s Cops - An Garda Síochána.  Garda B334 who refused to identify himself & Garda B333 Jason McDonnell , accompanied by Inspector Gerard Murphy (not in pic).
Ah yeah … Shell’s Cops - An Garda Síochána. Garda B334 who refused to identify himself & Garda B333 Jason McDonnell , accompanied by Inspector Gerard Murphy (not in pic).

Quote of the Day on the Dept. of Marine & Natural Resources News Channel. - “To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster it’s renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”
Quote of the Day on the Dept. of Marine & Natural Resources News Channel. - “To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster it’s renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 16:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More importantly, Corrib is no guarantee of security of supply. The Shell consortium is at liberty to export it. It can choose to sell it to whoever it likes. The UK, France, Belgium. The highest bidder.

And for anyone that can't imagine something like this happening they should take a look at what happened across the USA when the electricity trading markets were completely deregulated and deals were made (to guarantee a supply of cheap electricity!) to allow energy companies, most famously Enron, to sell to whoever could afford it: massive blackouts during the heat of summer (especially on the West Coast and Mid-Western states), manufacturing halted in some industries, confusion and chaos. People wept and cried about it and couldn't believe it had happened and that surely their state government or the federal government would do something about it, but they just had to suck it up. They made the deal.

Incidentally, while a lot of Southern California was blacked out because the PGE was selling the power to other states, Los Angeles was just fine because the City of Los Angeles had not entered the deregulated power market, preferring instead to maintain control over it's own power generation plants. Immediately contiguous to Los Angeles was the City of Santa Monica. You wouldn't know you'd moved from LA to SM if you walked across the boundary apart from by looking at signs. However SM /did/ expose itself to market vagaries, just as we're being told we should do with the Corrib field. SM remained blacked out while they could see their neighbours' lights and hear their air conditioners.

That's what security of supply is about: do you sit on top of your own locally owned and run energy needs or not. Proponents of the Shell deal are talking exactly about removing our security of supply.

author by Niall.publication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

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author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Norway is of course intimately concerned with the exploitation of the Corrib gas field as the state company Statoil is a partner with the other exploiters. Norway is often cited as a model of what to do with oil (and gas) revenues. A recent conference under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund looked at why some countries benefited from having these natural resources and some didn't. Norway was the exemplar of a country that benefited.

http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2006/101706.htm

One of the conclusions (about which we may want to ask ourselves how does Ireland measure up) were:

"First, a fundamental characteristic of good budget systems is adequate checks and balances. These should make it difficult for unscrupulous companies, officials or political leaders to make private use of natural resource revenues that rightfully belong to the country as a whole."

Absolutely no one has made a convincing case that the exploitation of the Corrib gas is good for the country as a whole. It is a resource whose value will appreciate as oil runs out and the deal ( a very dubious one by a very dubious politician in a very dubious government ) provides little, if any, financial benefit to the exchequer.

So, what happens to the pathetic amount of cash if it does get reluctantly turned over by Shell to stop the paddies whining? Does it get invested in a proof-from-corrupt-politicians fund such as Norway has? Does it fuck. They don't even pretend that's what's going to happen.

"SNP chiefs yesterday outlined plans to invest oil revenues in a special fund that they claimed could be worth £90bn in 10 years.

The Nationalists want to follow in the footsteps of Norway, where a similar fund, started a decade ago, is now worth £123bn.
"
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1714212006

This entire Corrib project is an imprudent, reckless and moronic balls-up by a group of thicks in shiny suits who are relying on the rest of the population to be as stupid as they think we are.

author by rubbishpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

thats rosy but the state dont own the gas, when the state coughs up 200mill to explore a year then it is entitled to keep the gas it finds

the way you lot carry on you think the gas around Ireland is marked with big G marks or something

so stop whining ffs!!

author by Johnpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 21:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is only one small problem with your argument regarding Ireland setting up an Oil Fund similar to the one the SNP proposes for Scotland. Namely, Ireland doesn't actually produce any oil. Zero. Zilch. Not a drop of oil is produced from Irish waters. How can you have an Oil Fund without oil? You might as well criticise the government for not having set up a Pineapple Fund, as our production of pineapples in recent decades has exactly matched our production of oil, namely zero. Ireland is not in any way unusual in this respect. The fact that Scottish waters contain oil doesn't mean in the least that Irish waters contain oil, any more than the fact that Texas has lots of oil means that Ohio has lots of oil. It doesn't. Oil fields are few and far between in the world, only a few countries are oil producers. Only a handful of countries in Europe produce oil. France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Hungary, Sweden, Germany, none of these countries have Oil Funds because, like Ireland, they have as yet found no oil. The difference is that in those countries you don't have people going around moaning that their governments haven't, in the absence of any oil, set up an Oil Fund. Oil companies have been drilling in Irish waters since 1964. During that time they've drilled over a hundred exploratory wells, at a cost of about 15 billion euros in today's prices. And they've found no oil. Just a couple of small gas fields, that's all. If you'd been in charge since 1964, Irish taxpayers would have had to cough up all that dough. Despite our lack of oil, and Scotland's good fortune in having lots of oil, the Irish economy has nevertheless completely outperformed the Scottish economy in recent decades, a fact which the SNP never tire of telling the Scottish electorate. If you read their literature, one of their policies is to introduce a low rate of corporation tax similar to Ireland's, the lack of which in Scotland is what the SNP attribute Scotland's much inferior (comaped with Ireland) economic performance to.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 21:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is only one small problem with your argument regarding Ireland setting up an Oil Fund similar to the one the SNP proposes for Scotland. Namely, Ireland doesn't actually produce any oil.

A very astute observation. Now, try rethinking the argument with the profits from the Corrib gas fields. This time you'll see that the problem highlighted is that Ireland will not receive profit from this dangerous development because after taxes we'll get not one penny. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Contrast that to Norway which profits from it's resources and puts that profit into government-proof investments.

author by Johnpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 22:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Norway's tax regime was introduced years AFTER scores of oil fields were discovered in Norwegian waters. Setting tax rates on oil/gas production is a matter of striking a balance between obtaining revenue from what has allready been discovered and encouraging further exploration and development. The more oil/gas fields discovered, the more the balance shifts in favour of increasing tax rates. The more exploration there is without making commercial discoveries, the more the balance shifts in favour of keeping tax rates low, since in that situation the paramount need is to encourage oil companies to continue further exploration despite the poor returns up to that point As of now, after 40 years of exploration in Irish waters, all financed by private capital, only two very small (by North Sea standards) gas fields and no oil fields have been discovered. Yet you advocate that Ireland, after one small gas discovery, impose a tax regime similar to Norway where scores of large oil fields have been discovered. Norway didn't introduce its present tax regime after one miserly gas field discovery back in the 60s. If it had, it wouldn't now be a major oil producer, since the oil companies would not then have spent billions exploring Norwegian waters. It gradually increased the tax and royalty rates AFTER lots of commercial fields had been discovered in its waters. Likewise in the United Kingdom. In the early days of exploration in the waters of both those countries, before significant discoveries and when exploration was still highly speculative, tax rates were extremely low. That's normal practice. The paramount need in Ireland is to ensure that further exploration takes place. Given the poor record of successful commercial discoveries over the past 40 years, there is no way that oil companies will spend the billions necessary for such exploration if they are to be subject to penal taxation after one small gas discovery. If, however, and this is somewhat unlikely, a significant number of commercial discoveries were to be made in coming years in Irish waters, whose value significantly exceeded the total amont spent by oil companies on exploration, then it would be possible to increase tax and royalty rates without driving them away from further exploration in Irish waters.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Sat Nov 25, 2006 04:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Given the poor record of successful commercial discoveries over the past 40 years, there is no way that oil companies will spend the billions necessary for such exploration if they are to be subject to penal taxation after one small gas discovery

You are making a very strong case that Ireland cannot possibly profit from current hydrocarbon market prices and that we'd be better off waiting until they're more valuable before extracting them. Selling them now is 60's thinking and not appropriate. It's certainly not appropriate when the lives, health and local economy of Rossport is threatened for no net benefit to the exchequer. Risky, financially imprudent, cruel and impractical are polite versions of the proper adjectives to be applied to the muddled, provincial thinking of anyone that supports this project.

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