Forget austerity, we’ve won the lotto

Matt Cooper’s introduction to an interview with Lorna Siggins on The Last Word, Today FM, 7/10/10:

“For many people getting an oil or gas find is a bit like winning the lotto, untold riches flow, great benefits for everybody involved. Unfortunately it’s not always like that, certainly when it comes to the Corrib gas field discovery, made as far back as 1996. It is a decade since the works started, trying to have the gas from that field processed in Ireland and yet all we’ve had over the last decade is misery and anger and rows and disruption and people’s lives, in many cases, not quite ruined, but very very adversely effected, and it is all part of a new book by Irish Times journalist Lorna Siggins, Once upon a time in the West.”

Listen here. [starts Part 1 – 17:30 mins]

The remainder of the interview, while interesting in the areas covering the social consequences of the project and the safety concerns, entirely failed to explore the subject of these ‘untold riches’. Given the state of the economy, the tone of this introduction is depressingly familiar. Just as negotiations or, god forbid, proposals to renege on zombie bank debt are marginalised in public discourse, so too are suggestions to revisit contracts made by previous governments in relation to these finds.

We needn’t bother even mentioning the phrase ‘Climate Change’, it is so far removed from the discourse at this stage that even whispering it would be to make oneself an outcast of intelligent mainstream debate.

For more on those untold riches and how they are to be divided:

The Great Corrib Gas Controversy, Centre for Public Inquiry, November 2005

On a slightly unrelated note, there is a photograhpic exhibition of Canada’s tar sands between London and Tower Bridge:

Image via Oil Change International

1 thought on “Forget austerity, we’ve won the lotto

  1. once upon a time in the west we had what was the fastest growing industry that thrived and was the the heart and lungs of the west the sugarbeet industry this was a stimulious package that empowered farmers ,taught them to be self sufficent and generated cashflow which created jobs, and financially eand up everybody recieved the benefits from country to town,but unfortunately this power was taken away by government decessions to end the beet industry and farmers did not have a say government officials instructed that it was no longer fisable and they pulled the plug on one of the most sucessfull industeries that ireland ever had, no doubt there was a hidden agenda in return we would sign up to europe and would recieve money this was a form of control and dis empowered the true spirit of agriculture and now the tap is turned off and maybe its time to return the blackboard and to sew new seed on irish soil and produce our own growth to generate income we are not as dependant on europe as we think we should call my bluff on the imf and to the irish commisioners who claim to be representing us get your finger out stand up for our principals what a shame we have no green representation in europe or that maire did not want Catherine I wonder why,and why they are so muted at the moment something stinks power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

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