From Socialist Voice, October 2006

Shell still bullying and dividing our people

The global oil giant Shell is continuing in its strategy of divide and rule. The company’s newly appointed deputy managing director, Terry Nolan, has stated that under no circumstances would Shell be building an oil platform 52 miles off shore.
     Nolan, who hails from Muine Bheag, Co. Carlow, recently moved to live in Erris but has continued with the company’s assertion that the majority of local people want the gas brought on shore as is and that it is only a minority who oppose this development.
     Clearly the company has been advised by the Fianna Fáil government to get a local person to head the negotiations, creating the pretence that they are serious about finding an accommodation and allaying concerns. It is treating the people as successive governments have treated them: as if someone with a similar accent and who can talk about the Mayo football team will be sufficient to push opposition aside.
     The company wants to push ahead with the building of the terminal without reaching agreement with the local population in relation to the pipeline. It wants to present them with a fait accompli and not to negotiate a settlement.
     In today’s world, where natural resources such as oil and gas are increasingly scarce, it is crucial that we retain maximum control over these vital resources. We cannot allow global corporations to control these valuable and strategic resources and hold us hostage in relation to them. Once again the question of public ownership needs to be put at the top of the political agenda.

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