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BP and Crude Politics


The worst thing any government official or business leader can do is admit they don’t have a solution to a large problem. Both BP and the Obama administration don’t have an answer on how to stop the oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, and the heat on them is increasing everyday. The U.S. is also starting to not-so-politely increase the hostile rhetoric against the ‘British’ oil titan, whilst that company desperately tries to share the blame with it’s two sub-contractors – or anyone for that matter. Shackles are up for all concerned and everyone, it seems, is weighing in.

The Department of Justice is talking about legally stopping the payment of dividends to shareholders, but many of those are tied up with the pensions of British citizens, thus no longer amounting to an environmental calamity ‘somewhere over there.’ Everyone is starting to feel the pinch. BP’s shares, of course, have fallen like a stone since this disaster, and there is now talk of a Chinese takeover of the company. One expert commented on the likelihood of such a deal, in the Guardian newspaper, by saying, “Hell has a better chance of freezing over than Obama agreeing to China drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.” Nonetheless, this is a seismic event that seems to produce nothing other than mud slinging, and what could turn out be the sinking of one of the world’s largest oil company’s and the shining light of a new American political era.

The Mayor of London, the former Mayor, and former government minister, Lord Tebbit, are all locking horns in the press and the fight is turning increasingly nationalistic. Tebbit obviously felt that the U.S. administration is bashing the Brits and said, “The whole might of American wealth and technology is displayed as utterly unable to deal with the disastrous spill – so what more natural than a crude, bigoted, xenophobic display of partisan political presidential petulance against a multinational company?” Current London Mayor, Boris Johnson took a similar Tory tack whilst new Prime Minister David Cameron strangely seemed to side with Obama.

Ugh. Reminds me of fights on the playground at school. “Teacher, he started it!” I fear the situation is only going to get worse as long as the crude keeps flowing – but at least we get to see what our ‘leaders’ are made of. On second thought, that’s never a good thing.

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William R. Feins , freelance journalist from London, UK; he received his B.A. degree in Economics and his Masters in Sociology. William has always been interested in the mechanics of business and the inspiration of original thinkers, and firmly believes that the former can’t succeed without the latter. In his spare time, he enjoys the ridiculous spectacle of watching table tennis on a big screen (preferably at a pub) and reading weighty tomes about World War II.

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