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‘Cheap’ Venezuelan oil for Red Ken

What the hell is one supposed to make of this?

The point at which Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez decided that London should serve as a model for services and governance in Caracas was not immediately apparent. He came in May, visited City Hall amid much controversy and fanfare, and was soon gone.

But the result of his visit is likely to be an extraordinary deal struck with London Mayor Ken Livingstone that would see Caracas benefit from the capital’s expertise in policing, tourism, transport, housing and waste disposal.

London, meanwhile, would gain the most obvious asset the Venezuelans have to give: cheap oil. Possibly more than a million barrels of the stuff.

South American diesel would be supplied by Venezuela – the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter – as fuel for some of the capital’s 8,000 buses, particularly those services most utilized by the poor.

This is gesture politics at its most contemptible. It is particularly bad given that the poor of London are, by any meaningful yardstick, considerably better off than their counterparts in the South American nation. The idea that Venezuela, a nation led by a thug who’s democratic credentials could be best described as flaky, is some sort of benefactor to the oppressed masses of London, is an utter joke. It is also particularly ironic that as part of this “deal”, London will “help” Venezuela’s tourist industry. No doubt Venezuelans cannot wait to discover the joys of the British welcoming service ethic.

We tend to dismiss the antics of Ken Livingstone as political theatre. If he wants to stand on platforms with Irish Republican murderers, we giggle. If he provides platforms for gay-hating Islamic preachers, we are all supposed to roll our eyes in amusement. Good ol’ Ken, what a laugh.

Incidentally, I wonder what the British government thinks about this?

19 comments to ‘Cheap’ Venezuelan oil for Red Ken

  • Iain Dale touches on this today. It seems Ken has also been sent to Coventry by the Jews. He’s doing well.

  • Paul Marks

    Chevez has been going to various places promising cheap oil (although most of the cheap, or free, oil has been sent to Cuba to prop up Castro).

    He also goes to countries like Russia and China to buy weapons, and to Iran to join in the “death to America, death to the Jews” stuff.

    Chevez will be out in a few years – as he is messing up the oil industry at home (he messing up everything else as well), but he will irritating till he goes (and he will leave behind a basket case country).

    Actually this is one of the times when one can say “it is Bush’s fault” as there was a coup against Chevez some years ago but the Bush Adminstration jumped up and down saying “do not kill Chevez” – of course the first rule of any successful coup is to kill off the previous government, so the “do not kill Chevez” bit doomed the coup to failure (President George Herbert Walker Bush made the same mistake years before with a coup in Panama – “do not kill Noraga” [spelling] thus dooming the coup to failure and leading to the need for an American invasion.

    “But the coup against Chevez was wrong because he was democratically elected” – Chevez himself had tried a coup against a previous democratically elected government and, as President, had violated the then constitution of the country.

    Why Latin American politics is like this is a difficult question, talking about hispanic culture leads to chants of “racist” so there we go.

    I hope that the hispanic immigrants into the United States leave their cultural traditions behind them – but it is too soon to tell.

    Of course one could say that they just take the main political doctrine of our time, that the wealth of some people is the cause of the poverty of other people (or, at least, that “social justice” demands that wealthy people have money or other property taken from them and given to the poor) and apply it directly.

    Either by violent crime (such as abductions and holding for ransom that is the curse of so many Latin American nations – victims are often raped, mutilated and murdered) or voting for people who promise to help the poor at the expense of the rich.

    Even the Conservative who (just) won the Mexican election had to promise to increase welfare spending (just as President Fox has already done over the last six years).

    If “the poor” have a “right” to the money or other property of “the rich” why not take this stuff directly? And use the bodies of “the rich” as well? After all the wealth of these men in nice suits and these women with soft hands is the result of the violation of “social justice”, so “the rich” are criminals who deserve to be violated.

    Property belongs to “the people” it is the “social product” – W.A.S.P. academics have been saying this for many decades, they can hardly object when people apply these doctrines directly to their own lives (and, of course, these academics tend to be better off than many people and to have nice soft women).

    Perhaps the rise of conservative Protestant churches in Latin American and the rise of the more conservative wing of the Roman Catholic church (and the decline of the “liberation theology” wing) will lead to a change in hispanic culture – I hope so.

  • Well, venezuelens have created a way out through the sources of the English , Chavez entrance will provide cheap oil for the britishers . Sounds like oiling sector has changed its pathway.

  • andrew duffin

    “the capital’s expertise in policing”

    Whatever can they mean?

    Shooting random Brazilians?

    I can see how that would be useful to the Venezuelan police all right.

  • Hank Scorpio

    Chavez has played the same cheap oil for “poor” Americans crap in Boston (IIRC) as well.

    Personally I’d be mighty pissed were I the federal government. This strikes me as coming awfully close to state and city government conducting their own foreign policy.

    Of course that an absolute degenerate scumbag like Livingston would go this route should come as no surprise.

  • I don’t see the problem. Ken has clearly sold the guy crap and we actually give him nothing that cannot be used to destroy his own standing and we get oil. Unlike others who are supplying weapons and tools to oppress the people.

    For the first time I believe Ken has done society a favour.

  • I don’t see the problem. Ken has clearly sold the guy crap and we actually give him someing that can be used to destroy his own standing and we get oil in return. Win Win for us. Unlike others who are supplying weapons and tools to oppress his people and attack the US.

    For the first time I believe Ken has done society a favour.

  • Sorry. Hit post, then preview as I intended. Corrected the errors and posted again. The first one was a mistake.

  • guy herbert

    Ken has also been sent to Coventry by the Jews.

    If only that were literally true. I don’t care who sends him. (Richard Branson has some nice, fast trains going in that direction so he might volunteer.) But can whoever does it make sure it is a one-way ticket?

  • “Of course one could say that they just take the main political doctrine of our time, that the wealth of some people is the cause of the poverty of other people (or, at least, that “social justice” demands that wealthy people have money or other property taken from them and given to the poor) and apply it directly.

    Either by violent crime (such as abductions and holding for ransom that is the curse of so many Latin American nations – victims are often raped, mutilated and murdered) or voting for people who promise to help the poor at the expense of the rich.”

    Looks like silly moral equivalence claims are not exclusive to the left. Opposing the economic policies of people like Lula da Silva is one thing, claiming they fall in the same category as ELN and FARC kidnappings is quite another.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    rantingkraut: theft is theft. If a politician bulldozes my house and demands my money, that counts as taking with menaces, so don’t spin that nonsense on me about how it becomes okay because it is democratic. Puhleese. What counts is the rule of law and respect for said. Many Latin American “democracies” have all the respect for law of a bunch of hyenas. Chavez being a class example.

    I remember seeing a rather good car sticker at a race meeting last weekend: “Stealing is wrong. That’s the government’s job”.

  • BigFire

    Not really sure what Chavez can actually deliever. The crude oil produced by the Venezuelan oil wells are the high sufure content oil that’s actually more expensive to refined than most of the other crude. Venezuela is actually still selling most of their oil to America, despite Chavez’s hatred of the Great Satan because the American Gulf Coast refinery infrastructure is the closest refinery with capacity and capability to refine the stuff for a good price. With the way Chavez and his cronies is running the oil companies, their actual refined petro is way down from before they fired all of the non-politicals.

    When it makes no economical sense to send crude oil to China (it cost a whole lot more in shipping), what can Chavez deliever to Red Ken? Last I heard, London doesn’t have petro refinery to make any sort of dent in its consumption.

  • Paul Marks

    I was writing about the President of Venezuela – Lula is President of BRAZIL.

    I accept that Chevez is a thug and Lula is not, although there are many abductions in Brazil – and criminals justify their actions by talking about how people richer than them is a violation of “social justice” (even if these people were born as poor or poorer than them – and they also abduct, and sometimes murder, the relatives of people who came from the same slums as them).

    It is the same doctrine. The late John Rawls and other academics would have been horrified at abductions, rapes, mutilations and murders – but by their own “justice as fairness” doctrines they provide the foundation for such thinking (why wait for the government administrators to threaten the violence and get the money – why not do it directly).

    As for the F.A.R.C and E.L.N. – both founded by rich kids (but people who came out with the same social justice doctrine that criminals from Mexico to Argentina come out with to justify their holding people to ransom – and to justify all their other crimes).

    Rantingkraut may not like – but that is just the way things are.

    However, I do not believe things are genetic, hopefully (as leftist control over education and the Roman Catholic church weakens) such doctrines will decline.

    There is no real hope for the poor in Latin America (or any other part of the world) till such beliefs do decline.

    Robin Hood the antitax man is fine, but Robin Hood who “robs from the rich to give the poor” is force of destruction for both rich and poor (because of what he does to civil society).

  • Jonathan: of cause I agree that theft is wrong and so government cleptocracy and non government kidnappings fall in that broad category of things that are morally wrong. This does not stop me from noting that there are gradations within this category: a petty thief is still morally superior to a murderer and ‘kidnap + rape + mutilation + theft’ is worse than just theft. In Latin America in particular, there is a substantial difference between places like Columbia or Guatemala where organised crime is out of control and places like Chile or Brazil where people have to contend with the comparatively petty crime of social democratic governments.

  • Paul Marks

    I have just heard the B.B.C. Radio 4 news (the 1800 t0 1830 news, British time) report that the Greek police have finally arrested a bandit who has been on the run for 16 years.

    The B.B.C. described the man as a “Robin Hood figure who shared his loot with the poor”.

    Now do you understand Rantingkraut?

    I at least half wish that this nice social bandit had visited the homes of some B.B.C. people.

  • Paul Marks

    As I have already said I fully accept that Predident Lula of Brazil (who I did not mention in my post) is not a thug (unlike Chavez).

    But (also as I have already said) Brazil does indeed have a very big violent crime problem (including abductions) and the criminals justify their actions with the standard “social justice” arguments.

    However, I agree that the governments of Chile and Brazil are not as bad as that of Venezuela – I never said they were.

    Some people do not apply a doctrine as strongly as other people.

  • Paul, You learn something new every day (or every night by now). I didn’t know that Brazilian gangsters invoke social justice as a justification and I can’t quite imagine the judge keeping a straight face when they do. As for Chavez, I agree that he is a thug and not in the same league as Lula, Bachelet etc.

    Some people do not apply a doctrine as strongly as other people.

    True, I am not an anarchist, so I’ll have to accept some level of taxation I guess.

  • Paul Marks

    Rantingkraut if you believe that the Federal governmet is needed for national defence, such spending amounts to about 4% of G.D.P. – total Federal spending (and taxes) are many times that.

    So (even with a nonanarchist position – and not dealing with the question of the taxes of State and local governments) there is certainly room for radical tax and spending reduction.

    As for Brazil – yes they do.

    For example, the B.B.C. had a documentary about how the mothers of soccer players were abducted. The criminals (either in jail, or still at large – these ones had masks on) were interviewed.

    The criminals were asked how they justified the abduction (and sometimes murder) of women from the slums whose sons happen to have made some money from soccer (for some reason the B.B.C. people did not seem to have a problem with the abduction of people who were born rich – I sat there wishing that the criminals in the masks would just grab the B.B.C. people and hold THEM for ransom).

    The reply tended to be that the ability to play soccer was luck and the character to develop this skill by practice was luck as well – and luck did not justify someone having lots more money than other people.

    John Rawls (a nice man) would have been horrified at what these people did and I am sure that they had never read his “A Theory Of Justice” – but it was the same sort of argument.

    These people just put the social justice (or “justice as fairness”) doctrine into practice – and (sometimes) they extend to the use of the bodies as well as the money of their victims.

    There was a British novel written back in the 1950′s (oh my senile brain, I can not recall the author’s name) titled “Facial Justice” – where people were not allowed to be better looking that other people, and nasty things were done to people who were.

    As a bald middle aged man I would not be in any danger in the world of “facial justice” (someone once told me that I would be in no danger in an American prison), but I still do not support either the messing up of faces (via operations – Facial Justice style) or the violation of their bodies.

    But here is the “argument” – she (or these days sometimes he) has had a easy life (look at the soft hands and…..) I have suffered, why should I not…….

    It is easy enough to construct a counter argument – but I suspect that a bullet in the head (or two bullets) is the best way to deal with such “philosophical” criminals.

  • KBK

    Yes, Joe Kennedy has been working with Chavez on a heating oil deal for ‘poor’ people in the Northeast for several years. Chavez gets to tweak the US government with Kennedy’s assistance.

    (Link)