Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Sludge Report #30 – Just Do It!

IN THIS EDITION: Olympics Upstaged By The World! Who Would Have Thought? - Goodbye Slobodan

NOTE: Authors of this report will be anonymous and wide ranging. Indeed you are invited to contribute: The format is as a reporters notebook (But can be varied - as now with this investigation). It will be published as and when material is available. C.D. Sludge can be contacted at sludge@scoop.co.nz. The
Sludge Report is available as a free email service..Click HERE - http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/myscoop to subscribe...



McDonalds Under Guard In Prague - Photo IMC

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=olympic
SCOOP OLYMPICS SPECIAL

Sludge Report #30


Olympics Upstaged By The World! Who Would Have Thought?

Sludge in recent reports has been fairly gloomy about the economic outlook for both NZ and the World. And there is a storm ahead, to be sure. Rising oil prices, a new currency/growth crisis – this time European, alarming direct action petrol strikes, the battle of Melbourne (s11) and now Australian petrol protests too.

And as the weather closes in Sydney, colourful people are gathering in autumnal Prague. S26 is shaping up to be an unusual compliment for European news audiences - a counter-point of daily anti-capitalism to a nightly diet of news from the Ozlympics – with doping, petrol-strikes, the weather and the ozone-hole to the fore.

Sludge is as usual keen to examine what seeds of hope are contained in this melee.

Short term oil prices are going down, a bit, as a result of the US decision to release 30 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve.

However this is – according to the boffins - unlikely to have any impact on either petrol prices – or heating oil prices. Financial market wisdom in the aftermath of the move tends to indicate that all that is likely to happen as a result of the special order from the White House, is that refining companies will make a bundle.

Meanwhile ever higher stakes are being employed at the main table.

Over the Weekend the G7 and IMF warned OPEC that its actions are causing instability. OPEC in turn warned the US and other G7 nations that releasing strategic reserves – as the US did yesterday - may not necessarily be a wise move to take.

OPEC characterises the US move as an overreaction. It advises the US to save its reserves for when it really needs them – “this is not yet a crisis” – appears to be the message.

But that is no excuse for ignoring the real message.

OPEC is effectively the world’s largest trade union. It is made up of nations outside the “employers” club of nations, aka the G7. And OPEC has decided to change the rules.

It wants something simple. A bigger share of the cake.

In effect this means it wants the West (G7) to lower excise taxes on its production.

It is also pointing out in the most succinct manner possible to Western policy makers that if there is to be rationing of petrol for environmental purposes then OPEC intends to get a bigger slice of the cake.

All fairly simple so far. But as usual there is a complication.

What nobody expected was for OPEC to find itself such an effective alliance as it has with European and now Australian truck drivers.

Add in S26 and the fact that many of the French Farmers (who arguably began the European wave of protests) are vehement anti-McDonalds campaigners, and the circle is completed. Change to one of the tenets of the world trading system is now being demanded by incredibly broad coalition of interests.

Oil barons, farmers, truckers, consumers, the British Conservative Party, the NZ National Party and increasingly organised Labour all want the same thing. They want petrol taxes lowered to avert the coming crisis of a collision between oil price inflation and Western nation monetary policy settings.

Basically the entire global productive sector is effectively united – with OPEC – in asking for cuts in excise taxes.

And the obvious answer for Clinton, Blair, Schroeder, Howard, Cullen, Anderton and Clark can helpfully be found back at the Ozlympics.

Just do it!

Goodbye Slobodan

While reports indicate elections in Yugoslavia are headed for a impasse if not a coup, Sludge remains confident that Slobodan Milosevic will shortly leave the building.

Why? Because he has it coming. Whether he wins or loses at the ballot it would seem that the world, and now Yugoslavia, is ready to rid itself of this particular nightmare.

© Sludge 2000

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news