Unless you’ve been hiding under some kind of unpatriotic, Britain-bashing rock for the past couple of days (and hey, I wouldn’t blame you), you’ve probably heard at least something about Australian multi-billionaire business magnate Gina Rinehart’s £245 million investment in a North Yorkshire potash mine. And depending, in part, on what your opinion of the wonderful democratic decision of the British people on June the 23rd was, might govern your reaction to this; you might feel a little confused at why such a rich lady has chosen to invest in a relatively obscure part of this tiny island plonked in the middle of the Atlantic. Alternatively, you might be puffing your chest out, waving a mini Union Jack flag around, and proclaiming: ‘I knew it! I knew that the European Union was holding us back! Take that, remoaners – rich people are investing in Britain, the rising superstar of Europe!’
But all that glitters is not gold (or potash…). To get to the crux of the situation, we first need to look at who Gina Rinehart is. Even if you ignore some totally irrelevant but pretty creepy stuff about her keeping her father’s organs preserved for two years after his death, Rinehart still has plenty of other skeletons stashed in her closet.
Gina Rinehart reportedly earns £1 million every half an hour – she’s Australia’s richest woman. However, despite earning more in three or four hours than most people earn in a lifetime, Rinehart believes that miners are overpaid – so much so that she believes Australian salaries should ‘compete’ with African labourers on $2 a day. Britain doesn’t just need jobs, it needs jobs that will give people a decent standard of living, especially against inflation and the rising cost of rent (and just living in general).
Unsurprisingly, Gina Rinehart is quite the sceptic when it comes to climate change, which is pretty convenient given how much her mining businesses contribute towards it. In fact, she feels so strongly about climate change that she spent a lot of money flying British climate change sceptic Chistopher Monckton for a speaking tour in Australia. The last thing that the beautiful North York Moors need is the pollution that Mrs Rinehart’s mines are bound to bring. To make matters worse, Rinehart has started to buy up the Australian media, too.
But… but… but… jobs!
Long gone are the days that hardy miners went to work in Britain with only a pickaxe, miner’s light, and working class spirit to keep them going. Nowadays, a lot of mining work is automated, and although Rinehart may claim to be bringing a thousand new jobs to Yorkshire, at best this would seem optimistic and at worst downright dishonest.
Even if you truly believe that exiting mainstream Europe was a good thing, nothing should make you more wary than when vultures like Gina Rinehart start to swarm – it says nothing of our character as a nation to idly let them feed upon our flesh.