Thursday, May 22, 2008

Three Sides of an argument.

There are, it is said, at least three sides to an argument. First, there is the truth, followed by several variations on that truth.
Things were almost going good, the weather has been warm and dry, and the export and home market demand for shellfish has been high, allthough I haven`t bothered much going out to sea, there has been plenty of work ashore.

Rather than stand in young mens boots, out at the sharp and wet end of the business, I seem to have gravitated to that place where old sailors go. Grading and cleaning fish for market, repairing nets and pots, just "potching about". Even been out picking cockles, a great therapy for the muscles and bones that work the spine.....musn`t grumble though, work is work!
Until Monday morning, all was plodding along, the bills were getting sorted, and each day brought a new culinary treat...crabs, cockles and prawns etcetera, and the local farmers are just harvesting the first of their potato and salad crops.


Then came the news that the French fishermen were going on strike, due to the ever rising costs of fuel. (Klik for link.)


De la France (Klik.)

They were also protesting at the amount of imported fish that comes from "other countries".
That`s me! As it happens, most of the shellfish caught in Wales gets exported to France and Spain. (So fucking what...it`s a free market, and if you want to sell me your wine and fruit, surely I can sell my fish to the good folks in France, at a cheaper price too, for better quality!), well, c`est la vie, mon petit canard.

But when the French strike, they strike hard, and with great accuracy, the fishermen and indeed other sailors, moved their boats to blockade the ports of Marseille, and Boulogne, Calais, Dieppe, Bordeaux...
In fact for the last few days, France has been shut down, but little news of this fact is being broadcast on the news outlets.

A few thousand militant fishermen have shut down the grand republic, a big fuck off to the government of France, who are offering millions of Euros in subsidies to the fishermen to return to work.


Of course, when the French farmers heard the phrase "fuel subsidy", they too wanted a part of the plot, so they are joining in the blockades, not across the ports, but on the motorways. (Klik)


Trucks and cars are backed up around the channel ports, again, little or no mention in the British press. Seems like the media hate it when working class people show power and strength to the government.

I guess, in some ways, I have to support my fellow fishermen and workers, irrespective of nationality, in this instance, concerning the price of fuel, which seems to be rising due almost entirely to commodity speculation.
A few billionaire capitalists taking a cut from the endeavours of every person on the planet, because they can, and will continue to do so, as long as they can.
As the strike continues, there are hundreds of tonnes of shellfish sitting here in tanks and keeps, and the price is falling, Lobster is down from £10 per kilo on Monday, through £9 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and could fall further, unlike fuel oil, it has a "sell-by" factor.
Any British readers want a cheap few tonnes of crab, or how about some succulent lobster?
Of course, closing the cross channel ferry ports because of an argument over fish and fuel, also means that no other goods are leaving Britain for France.

Interestingly , the price of oil, in dollars hit $134 this morning, and seems set to rise infinitely.
Unless of course, other working class people around the world are forced to stop working, and take to the streets and ports to shut down the system, which denies income to the speculators.


In respect to the French strikes, they have forced upon me a few days of leisure and given "food for thought", but in the long run, I guess I have to support them.

There is an saying that life copies art, clicking on the title takes you to a clip from the old movie "Casablanca", the scene is at Rick`s bar, the Germans, ever steadfast in their march to conquer the world are singing songs in praise of their little schemes, when Humph decides that enough is enough.
The scene is for me one of the best, from Bogart, and indeed, from the history of cinema.

The tune, "The Marseillaise" became famous not only for France, but as the signature song of socialism...

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

.

Of course, any one buying oil from the Iranians, or the Russians, or the Venezuelans won`t be paying in dollars, so their contract prices remain unmoved.
France, like most of Europe still has contracts with the big american oilcos, whose prices remain firmly tied to the falling buck.
The Americans no longer export oil of course, and many of their supply contracts are filled by purchasing on the open market.
Which is supplied by surplus from the Russians and Iranians etc..
Who no doubt, are laughing all the way to the bank, as the price of oil ratchets higher, those with oil in the ground can call the tune.

2 comments:

an average patriot said...

I hope something there turns in your favor but the price of oil is going to keep skyrocketing and affecting everything not just food. You are right it is speculators. This could make countries like yours get rid of the dollar too.
yesterday I was going to put something together on the worlds growing problems and oil here was $130 per Barrel. Today it was $135. One day! Speculators, oil company's, who ever the hell it is has the taste of blood. Here they know Congress is powerless and this too is just beginning!
$10 gas is coming. Think about it, what do you think is going to happen when the chief idiot attacks Iran and really screws the world up?

landsker said...

Attacking Iran would be instant disaster for the US~UK, as the Iranians have enough missiles to ensure the rapid death of anglo-american adventurism.
Anyway, the French look like they are breaking their strike, so we will survive, allthough there is talk here in the UK of many job lay-offs.
Mostly in the financial and retail sectors, leisure and tourism is slowing, but the demand for food is alays there!
Road fuel here is now selling for almost $11 per gallon, and is affecting the profit margins and prices in all sectors.
Most of that is tax, which allthough contentious, does actually provide for some level of free basic health care and education.