A find of “up to 20bn barrels of oil and gas” has been discovered in UK waters, Dr Robert Trice, Hurricane’s chief executive officer announced:
“This is a highly significant moment. We believe that the Greater Lancaster Area is a single hydrocarbon accumulation, making it the largest undeveloped discovery on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).”
He went on to describe the discovery of yet more untapped oil reserves in the North Sea as “exciting times”. This recent find is significantly larger than the average. The company who found it, Discovery, believes the oil forms part of the same giant field.
For oil companies that are getting tax breaks on the profits they make whilst selling off the assets of the People, this is indeed exciting. To the increasingly taxed British People, it proves that Socialism is the only means to channel the force of capitalism to the benefit of all – without it all we get is Crony Capitalism. As Tony Benn said of the UK’s North Sea oil reserves
“It became clear there was a lot of money coming in – and I was very keen to develop a North Sea Oil Fund. By the time I left office a 1/4 of the revenues from North Sea Oil revenues went to the British people.
When Margaret Thatcher came to power she used the money from North Sea Oil to pay the redundancy payments of those who she sacked.”
When the NeoLiberal Thatcherites and Blairites “creatively destroyed” our economy to replace it with a service based economy – selling off all of our infrastructure in the process – they didn’t tell us all that pain would be to create jobs that would themselves disappear to automisation in the near future.
The future is being forged, and even more so than the present, the Working Class have no place in it. “The job market of the future will consist of those jobs that robots cannot perform.” According to a study by Micheal Osborne at Oxford University, around 47 percent of total employment is in the ‘high risk’ category when it comes to being replaced by automisation.
Think of the standard supermarket : Where once there were 20 checkouts, there are now 20 self service robots and 1 attendant. That is what is going to happen to the whole economy. The ‘jobs at risk’ are jobs we expect could be automated relatively soon, perhaps over the next decade or two. The study predicts that most workers in transportation and logistics occupations, together with the bulk of office and administrative support workers, and labour in production occupations, are at risk.
A substantial share of employment in service occupations, where most job growth has occurred over the past decades are highly susceptible to computerisation.
While nineteenth century manufacturing technologies largely substituted for skilled labour through the simplification of tasks the Computer Revolution of the twentieth century caused a hollowing-out of middle-income jobs.
“As technology races ahead, most workers will reallocate to tasks that are non-susceptible to computerisation – i.e., tasks requiring creative and social intelligence.
For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills.”
Had the miners in Nottingham known that in 1984, they wouldn’t have sided with Thatcher, and like Germany and Scandanavia we would have a balanced economy fit to face the 21st century.
As it stands we dismantled ourselves for nothing, and face having vast swathes of our populace facing the levels of unemployment seen in the post industrial heartlands destroyed by Thatcher.
Last time there was a major oil find in UK waters, Harold Wilson said :
“THE NEXT GOVERNMENT COULD STAY IN POWER FOR 20 YEARS BECAUSE OF NORTH SEA OIL.”
And how painfully right he was – North Sea Oil was what Thatcher used during her Premiership to paper over the cracks and chasms in her economic policy. This is how the North Sea oil reserves were squandered by the Right Wing of British politics. We must ensure that does not happen again, and put the profits into a Sovereign Wealth Fund, for the benefit of all.