"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Shell and Marco Polo

Dear Madam,

Commercial risk is a complicated thing for most to understand, but Kevin Myers has many other important issues to contemplate, what with the Islamic tide set to soon overwhelm him. Too many it seems to warrant any deeper knowledge of it other than; Shell good, Mayo farmers not so good and Eamon Dunphy bad.

Shell who Mr. Myers attempts to cast as the heroic lead his version of Marco Polo's famous voyage of discovery, battling against primitive natives hell bent on breaking the law to resist hard working oil companies liberating the natural resources simply wasting away beneath their feet, have been unfairly type cast in my opinion.

The thrust if his argument is that Shell "has been sinking wells around the Irish coast for 20 years" with this being their first find. Shell has, according to Mr. Myers, undertaken huge financial risk in it search for resources around Ireland. It is now morally and legally obliged to take full advantage of its deserved bounty.

It is quite a coincidence that it is also 20 years since the state rescinded its right to the 50% stake in oil and gas operations maintained under previous governments. In 1992 the corporation tax rate on oil and gas profits was reduced to 25%. Oil companies were also allowed to write off all costs against tax, not merely from their Irish operations but from operations anywhere in the world, going back 25 years. Therefore all the 'commercial risk' referred to by Mr. Myers will simply be written off against tax liability.

Perhaps Kevin should stick to what he is good at, scaremongering.

Yours faithfully,

1. socialistparty

An Irishman's Diary
Kevin Myers

How do people who assemble signatories for public letters choose their guest list? What central principle unites an artist, Bobby Ballagh, a columnist for this newspaper, Fintan O'Toole, and that scrupulous observer of the drink-driving laws, Eamon Dunphy?

continued... The Irish Times