If you had spoken to an economist just a year ago, they are likely to have told you that a situation could never exist where oil could not be sold. Yet that is exactly what has happened around the World in the past 48 hours.
Oil has long been known as black gold for good reason.
In its refined form it fuels and lubricates our cars, lorries, buses, trains and aeroplanes and is used in the manufacturing process for a seemingly endless number of different things.
Its sale, trading and transportation has become such a key part of the World economy at large, economists and industrialists watch both the price and the quantities being sold at any time very closely. Downward fluctuations in price are often a good indicator of the economy slowing down – simply because less production and use of oil means that demand for everything else has dropped.
Oil production has been used as an economic weapon for a long time. One of the most unsettling realities of the interest that the West has had in the Middle East and Arab States since the Second World War has been maintaining dominance of the control of the Worlds oil supply – as the taps being turned off would normally mean that everything else can be brought to a halt – or supply restricted to the point where the prices of everything go through the roof because of the key role that oil plays in the production of almost everything today.
Oil has always been about money. Those who own the oilfields or have monopoly over the supply have until now been guaranteed to be able to write what seems like an endless cheque.
Not any more.
Suddenly, the vulnerability of their bomb=proof industry can be seen for what it as and the role that it plays within our lives.
Despite the fear that COVID-19 has created, and the damage that is being done as a result of the very poor choices and decisions that our Politicians have made, there are good reasons to be positive about what the future and the post-COVID-19 world will hold for us all.
The stranglehold that big business, the banks and the finance sector has on us all because of the way that money is generated, manipulated and given false value by the trade in commodities like oil is being broken.
Right now their grip is being destroyed by a tiny little Virus that neither we, the Government nor they can control.
A great door has been opened and we are literally entering a different World to the one that we have all previously known.
Money is nothing. It is an idea. A construct and nothing more. Money only works because we consent to it being a means of exchange. Yet it has become so important in our lives, we have culturally come to the belief that the possession of money and the other trappings of material wealth are the only things of value and the only way that we can truly assess what someone is actually worth.
Having our lives shutdown by the Lockdown has began to show us all what money and wealth is really worth. We have a choice between attaining and attempting to keep a false material wealth that always sits outside of us, or recognising the true value within us all that is never in transition and remains and intrinsic part of us all.
No, I am not making light of the pain and anguish that many people are already or are likely to go through in the coming weeks and months simply because the Chancellor and the Johnson Government haven’t got the financial support for everyone who has lost their income right.
In fact, one of the most telling reasons that the Government has got this all so very wrong, is the inherent belief within the establishment that Money is the god that underpins all things and that it must continue to flow at all costs or everything will go wrong.
The lesson that the Johnson Government will soon learn if it has not done so already is that they should have used the responsibility and the power they have to bring the economy to a halt whilst they dealt with the COVID-19 emergency, instead of continuing under the ridiculous assumption that bailing out people and small businesses because they suddenly have no income was the right and only thing to do.
This Government has simply turned an emergency into a crisis and made things considerably worse for us all.
Because of what our Politicians have done, as individuals, as communities and together as a Country, we are now set on a pathway which is going to cause us all a considerable amount of pain.
The flip side is that we are already and will continue to look, feel and think differently about the World around us and the way that things are being done.
Our values are already changing and are going to change further still. Whether it’s as simple as being because we can now see how working from home can introduce a much higher quality of life, or that we don’t need the regular visits to restaurants, coffee shops and out-of-town shopping villages – simply to be happy as we once thought we did, we are collectively going to see life and everything around us through a very different lens.
We will no longer see celebrity and status as the be-all and end-all. Instead we will see the value in conversation and relationships with others around us in ways that we can already appreciate today, that before the Lockdown we never even realised we had.
The march of globalisation is now over no matter what any banker, economist or business leader thinks. Jobs once lost from the UK will ultimately return.
We are going to want to shop locally with local traders and local producers who we can trust to be there in ways that big business cannot. As we do so, we will help our local producers to produce more efficiently and more cheaply and we will see the value in consciously considering and supporting the use of shorter and more considerate supply chains for the provision of everything that we use in our everyday lives.
The political system in this Country will not survive what our current politicians have done.
The Political Parties we have are part of an establishment that is out of touch with the realities of life for those who are governed.
Those who govern us in the future will have to understand everything that they are working with around them in the sense of a genuine and empathetic three-hundred-and-sixty-degrees world view.
Governance is going to be about the consideration of consequences in all that a Government or Authority will do and no longer about what a politician can gain from getting a job, rather than what they are there to give and do on behalf of us all.
We are going to work together and see community and collaboration as a way to do things for the benefit of everyone, rather than just a way to further our own cause. The power that is there to be harnessed by working together will be beneficial for everyone, because it will no longer be about money and its imaginary value, but about caring and consideration for all.
Much too much credence and power has been given to people who call themselves specialists and experts in one or other field and they have played a significant role in bringing us to where we now are. They are usually highly intelligent people with qualifications as long as your arm. But intelligence given by anyone without care, consideration and thought for others is wasted. It will never account for anything of real value in whatever they do.
The real opportunity that has come from COVID-19 will be the fall of money as a god, the reevaluation of what real wealth really is, and with it the return to a way of being and seeing the world where everyone has value, no matter what it is they do.
2020 is going to be a big year for us all.