January News Theories
I like to try to look beneath the news sometimes. It’s something of a point of observation between my wife and I, and it sometimes makes for some interesting conversations between us.
We used to be poles apart politically. She comes from working class background (as do I) and has been staunch Labour all her life, whereas I have always been closer to the Conservative Party line although both of us question and query the respective leaders actions and motives now and again. We both think that UKIP are a party without sensible policies and the LibDems too wet and weak to be a significant force, even as a coalition party. Which way the General Election will go in May though is still a very difficult call to make although a hung parliament will not be a good thing for the UK.
Low fuel prices might seem a good thing and as the effects trickle through to food and commodities via cheaper delivery costs, life will become a bit easier for those of us who spend up to the limits the banks will let us. I do have some other theories though on why the oil price suddenly dropped through the floor.
As we all know (at least as far as Europe & Asia are concerned), the setting of the oil price is set by OPEC, the Middle East oil producing companies and is varied by them altering production levels, sometimes to demand and just as often, to prop up their own economies. However, the current low price (dropping from $120 a barrel to $45 a barrel in less than a year) has several side effects, many of them highly beneficial to USA & Europe.
1. It reduces the income to the terrorist group know variously as IS, ISIS or ISIL. They had stolen or raided their way into many oil refinery plants in the Libya / Syria region and had been funding themselves via oil sales to the tune of many millions of dollars.
2. Russia is also a big oil producer, and after their adventures in the Ukraine, were starting to worry the rest of the world as to how much further they would go. Again the low oil price has limited what they as a country can do due to a severely decreased income. The Russian government was a notoriously bad payer to its employees when it was a communist state, but few did more than grumble then as they did not know better. Now the Russian people have a large appetite for luxury goods and may feel the pinch when the price of them shoots up. Mr Putin may blame outside forces but sooner or later his people will get fed up of his actions externally causing internal wage and goods problems.
3. The low oil price may just distract the world from some of the poor human rights situations in many of the oil rich Middle Eastern countries while they play the good guys.
Of course, I cannot prove ANY of the above but as an individual living in a democratic country, I’m allowed to think what I want to and (for the most part) say it out loud or at least on a blog post. However there does come a point where one should not say or do certain things, just because one can. I refer of course to the Paris atrocities.
The thugs carrying out the raids and murders should not be given any sort of religious status or even called terrorists. They did what they did to force people to their will. Bullying with menace if you like. Having said that, the magazine they struck at had done way more than could be considered satirical entertainment. The attack on the Jewish supermarket though was thoroughly undeserved and unwarranted and was little more that total brutal behaviour for the sake of it.
OK now. I’ve had my little say for the month. Let’s hope I can get back to more mundane subjects for my next few posts, infrequent as they are.