You may have noticed that the big oil companies had rather a good time last year. They could hardly fail to make bonanza profits given what was happening to the price of their principal products. While both BP and Shell first reached today’s price at the start of the millennium 23 years ago, Exxon shares have more than trebled in sterling terms since then. Woods is emphasising something which his trans-Atlantic rivals seem to have forgotten – he is running an oil company. Oil companies have been demonised in the UK.
And he was standing in the middle of the room with two snooker balls in a sock and Big Dog lying on the floor in a puddle of blood and snot. The young lad, what’s his name, Rishi, had over a hundred at his back and all of ‘em tooled up. Stood, looking more surprised than anyone over Big Dog who’s trying to slide away before anyone notices. Numbers, numbers, numbers. He’s sliced up Big Dog and left him wandering round with the scars for everyone to see.5 months ago Reaction.Life
As a headline it lacks the impact of “The Russians Are Coming!” which explains why this week’s military agreement between Japan and the UK received, at best, moderate coverage. Nevertheless, the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) signed by prime ministers Rishi Sunak and Fumio Kishida deserves attention for three key reasons. It demonstrates how Japan is re-emerging as a major military power. The new strategy document says Japan finds itself “in the midst of the most severe and complex security environment since the end of the Second World War. This is only the second RAA Japan has signed and will not be the last.2 months ago Reaction.Life
My Shadow Shadow Chancellor, Savij Kutz, would like to help Mr Hunt in his quest to reconcile the irreconcilable without causing the fissile Tory party to split again. Top of the list must surely be the white elephant on rails, currently boring its way though the Buckinghamshire countryside. Its supporters still pretend that the sums add up, but you can tell their hearts are no longer in the calculation. If Mr Hunt could somehow improve defence procurement, there would be no need to spend the mooted 3 per cent of GNP on the military. The sooner it does so, the more stored gas it can carry through to winter 2023.” Who’da thunk it?5 months ago Reaction.Life
Putin, meanwhile, was the fresh-faced leader of what he billed as a new Russia – a Russia open for business. Despite its outward commitment to supporting “European values” and stability on the continent, Germany has consistently been one of the most reluctant Western nations when it comes to support for Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has repeatedly called on Western nations to step up arms exports to help his country push back against an increasingly fierce and increasingly desperate Russian offensive in the east. There had also been hopes that the US would agree to calls to export its advanced M1 Abrams tank, giving Germany cloud cover to follow suit. Foreign Minister Anna Baerbock said on Monday that she “would not stand in the way” of efforts by Poland to ship the tanks to Ukraine.2 months ago Reaction.Life
Which must have hurt especially while she was trying to advance the case for Scottish independence. But that too has good and bad aspects for the SNP as support for independence depends on ignorance of what it would involve. What matters in our system is that the Prime Minister has the support of a majority in the House of Commons. Still Sunak being Prime Minister says something about the UK which contrasts with both Scottish and Irish nationalism. Sunak makes the SNP archaic.5 months ago Reaction.Life
German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, arrived in Paris today for a hastily scheduled lunch with French president, Emmanuel Macron, in a bid to find common ground amid a deepening rift between Europe’s two powerhouses. After the meeting, Scholz stated that: “Germany and France stand close together and are tackling challenges together.”But from energy to defence to China, Scholz and his French counterpart seem to be increasingly pulling in different directions. Macron believes Putin’s weaponisation of gas has made the need to strengthen European self-reliance on energy, defence and trade, crystal clear. Yet France has been more vocal about the bruised relations: “It’s neither good for Germany nor for Europe when Germany isolates itself,” Macron has said. Macron may be angry but at least his frustration shows that France is still invested in the bilateral relationship.5 months ago Reaction.Life
If the world is slipping back into the days of the Cold War, few places feel frostier than the Arctic Circle. The incident has sparked fears that Moscow’s intelligence services are actively attempting to get access and equipment into Western nations. Then, on Tuesday, Norway arrested an alleged Russian intelligence agent that they claim was masquerading as a Brazilian academic in the Arctic town of Tromsø. The blasts, which damaged the two sub-sea links, are believed to have been sabotage, and Western nations have pointed the finger at Russia as the culprit. Former British military intelligence officer and NATO planner, Colonel Philip Ingram, tells Reaction that the incidents are firmly part of the Kremlin’s playbook.5 months ago Reaction.Life