Green calls for gas deal axe

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First published in News

A GREEN Party councillor has urged Oxford University to axe a deal with a Russian gas supplier in the wake of unrest in Ukraine.

Sam Hollick said it should stop taking gas from Gazprom, which the Russian government holds a majority stake in.

It comes after economic sanctions were imposed on Russia by the United States and the European Union.

Russia is alleged to be arming separatist rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine, who are accused of shooting down a Malaysian Airlines plane last month.

The Oxford City Council Green leader said: “It is not acceptable for Oxford University to sit back and ignore [its] responsibilities.

“The university needs to proactively support sanctions that will help prevent conflict.

“Outside this issue it should be seeking to divest from fossil fuels.”

University spokeswoman Clare Woodcock said the contract was under “constant review” through a third party utilities management company it uses, but added that it was not aware of any concerns that had been raised over the contract.

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Comments (6)

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9:00am Mon 4 Aug 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

nothing wrong with obtaining the best deal - if it's russian so what?
nothing wrong with obtaining the best deal - if it's russian so what? yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -4

11:17am Mon 4 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

The University should be fracking its own gas out of the land it owns throughout the country - nothing like localism to keep the Greens happy!
The University should be fracking its own gas out of the land it owns throughout the country - nothing like localism to keep the Greens happy! Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 1

7:12pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Geoff Roberts says...

yabbadabbadoo256 wrote:
nothing wrong with obtaining the best deal - if it's russian so what?
Here's what:

A nation is strong by several means. Here are 2:

1. It's population are dependent on a centralised structure. The less self sufficient a population is, the less able anyone is to breakaway. The more dependent your people are, the more control a state has over them. This isn't just through some kind of socialist authoritarian rule, it's also achieved by giving more power to private companies, for example. If you can generate your own heating and cooking, then you are less dependent. The nation is stronger because it has a source of income that people are dependent on (can you walk to work?) and that the people can't do anything that isn't regulated in some way. Control through dependency. Sure you can still vote, within reason. You can't, for example, vote for an openly anti monarchy party (or at least expect that party to get anyway) because it's illegal. Sure, they may not arrest me or you for voicing our opinions (hurrah! we're free) but try and get anywhere with that and you're screwed. We can't even instigate our own referendums. It's all nicely locked down.

You may, at this point, be wondering what this has to do with anything, then there's this:

2. A nation needs to protect itself from being dependent on its competitors and/or enemies. It's simple really, The more your country is dependent on other countries, especially for really important stuff, like fuel, the bigger the risks are. One of those risks is that the other country will realise you're dependent and like all good drug pushers, I mean..er... business men... etc, it'll clearly have great ethics... no? OK, it'll clearly take advantage of the dependency.

You sell someone a good deal at first, then when they've got nowhere else to go, or you don't do some other job for them, they increase the price and make a killing out of your misery.

Bulgaria, 95% dependent on Gazprom for gas. Don't forget here that gas also generates some electricity (about 32% in the case of the UK). Bulgaria annoyed Putin, a failed deal over a nuclear power station and the Bulgarian government were attempting to gain fuel independence from Putin by attempting to do deals with neighbouring countries. So Putin put the price up of gas, used WikiLeaks Bulgaria to agitate the population into protest and then they brought down the government.

Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Georgia (after it's been broken up by Putin) and others have all had 'gas wars' with Gazprom. More significantly in 2009 when we had the Russia-Ukraine 'gas dispute' in which Putin switched off gas supply to Europe.

Over the past week, the bosses of Centrica, owners of British Gas (one of Oxford's largest employers) have been called into Downing Street to discuss something very important.

In October, Centrica will start a 3 year deal to get gas, from Gazprom.

So what does point #1 have to do with this?

If you are dependent on utilities companies and ultimately the government, to heat and light your homes and cook on, if the government is dependent on a foreign government, one with a very aggressive strategy and engaged in a proxy war, who are we really dependent on?
[quote][p][bold]yabbadabbadoo256[/bold] wrote: nothing wrong with obtaining the best deal - if it's russian so what?[/p][/quote]Here's what: A nation is strong by several means. Here are 2: 1. It's population are dependent on a centralised structure. The less self sufficient a population is, the less able anyone is to breakaway. The more dependent your people are, the more control a state has over them. This isn't just through some kind of socialist authoritarian rule, it's also achieved by giving more power to private companies, for example. If you can generate your own heating and cooking, then you are less dependent. The nation is stronger because it has a source of income that people are dependent on (can you walk to work?) and that the people can't do anything that isn't regulated in some way. Control through dependency. Sure you can still vote, within reason. You can't, for example, vote for an openly anti monarchy party (or at least expect that party to get anyway) because it's illegal. Sure, they may not arrest me or you for voicing our opinions (hurrah! we're free) but try and get anywhere with that and you're screwed. We can't even instigate our own referendums. It's all nicely locked down. You may, at this point, be wondering what this has to do with anything, then there's this: 2. A nation needs to protect itself from being dependent on its competitors and/or enemies. It's simple really, The more your country is dependent on other countries, especially for really important stuff, like fuel, the bigger the risks are. One of those risks is that the other country will realise you're dependent and like all good drug pushers, I mean..er... business men... etc, it'll clearly have great ethics... no? OK, it'll clearly take advantage of the dependency. You sell someone a good deal at first, then when they've got nowhere else to go, or you don't do some other job for them, they increase the price and make a killing out of your misery. Bulgaria, 95% dependent on Gazprom for gas. Don't forget here that gas also generates some electricity (about 32% in the case of the UK). Bulgaria annoyed Putin, a failed deal over a nuclear power station and the Bulgarian government were attempting to gain fuel independence from Putin by attempting to do deals with neighbouring countries. So Putin put the price up of gas, used WikiLeaks Bulgaria to agitate the population into protest and then they brought down the government. Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Georgia (after it's been broken up by Putin) and others have all had 'gas wars' with Gazprom. More significantly in 2009 when we had the Russia-Ukraine 'gas dispute' in which Putin switched off gas supply to Europe. Over the past week, the bosses of Centrica, owners of British Gas (one of Oxford's largest employers) have been called into Downing Street to discuss something very important. In October, Centrica will start a 3 year deal to get gas, from Gazprom. So what does point #1 have to do with this? If you are dependent on utilities companies and ultimately the government, to heat and light your homes and cook on, if the government is dependent on a foreign government, one with a very aggressive strategy and engaged in a proxy war, who are we really dependent on? Geoff Roberts
  • Score: -4

7:23pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Geoff Roberts says...

I will state something is that highly likely to come up anyway out of that, which is: What about fracking? If we frack then we'll be less dependent.

Well, sadly, that may well be the case. I hope someone will tell me different. Personally I'm against fracking at this point, I think we're probably screwed either way in the long run, I'd rather be up Jack Straw's lane with a paddle than without one. Actually, scrub that thought. I mean, we'll regret having fracked the land when it was the only thing left to support us.
I will state something is that highly likely to come up anyway out of that, which is: What about fracking? If we frack then we'll be less dependent. Well, sadly, that may well be the case. I hope someone will tell me different. Personally I'm against fracking at this point, I think we're probably screwed either way in the long run, I'd rather be up Jack Straw's lane with a paddle than without one. Actually, scrub that thought. I mean, we'll regret having fracked the land when it was the only thing left to support us. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: -4

7:31pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Quoting Geoff Roberts:-". Sure you can still vote, within reason. You can't, for example, vote for an openly anti monarchy party (or at least expect that party to get anyway) because it's illegal."

The Green Party at their national conference in Inverness last Autumn formally adopted a proposal to ditch the monarchy...

Republicanism seems quite popular in Oxford!
Quoting Geoff Roberts:-". Sure you can still vote, within reason. You can't, for example, vote for an openly anti monarchy party (or at least expect that party to get anyway) because it's illegal." The Green Party at their national conference in Inverness last Autumn formally adopted a proposal to ditch the monarchy... Republicanism seems quite popular in Oxford! Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 4

12:43pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Geoff Roberts says...

I didn't know that! Thanks Andrew. At least 1 party isn't afraid to stand up to it.
I didn't know that! Thanks Andrew. At least 1 party isn't afraid to stand up to it. Geoff Roberts
  • Score: -4

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